Me: O.K. so what are you doing to loose weight now?
She: Well I'm still on me diet, an' I go to the gym three times a week.
Me: I see, what is your diet at the moment?
She: 'ealthy eatin'.
*continues in response to the Dr J Inquisitorial eyebrow raise (TM)*
Tha's muesli wiv' skimmed milk in the mornin', sallad an' that for lunch, and a proper cooked dinner.
Me: O.K. (see I'm being really good today, oozing empathy and Royal-College-of-GP-ness) and how many Calories does that work out to?
She: *blank look*
(In a tone that suggests I just asked her to drown baby kittens) Oh, I don't count Calories.
Me: *lightbulb clicking on overhead* I think we've hit on the real problem here.....
And so the consultation went on. You get the picture. So here's the (as our cousins across the pond so serendipitously call it) skinny. Loosing weight is all about a ridiculously simple equation.
Calories out > Calories in = weight loss.
So be it "cabbage soup", "F Plan", "Atkins", "GI", "Mars Bar" ( a personal favourite), "That bird off the telly", "Hi Fibre", "Lo Cholesterol", "Very small stones" (o.k. I made that one up) or "what ever the hell else you like" diet, the key to the whole exercise is to reduce the enegy value of the intake below what your metabolism is currently burning.
Now I'm not for one minute pretending that makes the process of dieting easy, but I remain convinced that anyone who tells you it can be done without at least some attention to Calorie intake is conning you.
The consult ended with me agreeing to supply the Xenical she had last year to kick start the process, and with her (I hope) going away to really look at her intake afresh. Personally I'm not a great fan of slimming pills, especially not the ones derived from amphetamines or thyroid hormones, but Xenical I can just about live with.
Oh and for information the Mars Bar diet-- three normal sized Mars Bars equate to around 1200 Calories. So eat three a day- and nothing else- and with effort weight loss should be entirely possible.
Just don't tell your dentist I said so.