The Alan Titchmarsh Show 25th September 2013

Today we have an exciting show where we are talking about obesity and weight loss and we’ve invited back three wonderful ladies the unslimmables from the last series who will be telling us about their drastic weight loss and healthier lifestyles

Obesity is a massive problem, with 2/3 of the adult population and 1/3 of children in the uk being clinically overweight or obese
This is worrying because obesity increases our risk of heart disease strokes diabetes and even cancer
Why do people become obese?  Well in most cases it’s a matter of eating too much and moving too little but it can be a sign of underlying medical conditions like thyroid disease
or a side effect of medications

The show today welcomed back three fantastic women, who kindly came 0nto the show in the last series,  to share their weight loss stories.

The Unslimmables:

We had The Unslimmables on the AT show six times last series (January to March 2013) helping them with their weight loss goals.

The three contributors were well over 20 stone each and had struggled with their weight their whole lives.

We did items with them such as fitness with Josie Gibson, diet with chef Dale Pinnock and food psychology with The Speakmans. The ladies have all kept in close contact and have encouraged each other over the last nine months.


CASE STUDY 1 – Cath (56) weighed 20 stone 11 in January 2013 and was a size 28. In 2009 she had a gastric band fitted which helped her lose 5 stone but then she put 3 stone back on. Cath has Type 2 diabetes and after being on insulin for the last 10 years she came off it in April and now takes Metforim tablets daily. After losing 7 stone 3 Cath now weighs 13 stone 8 and has gone down to a size 18-20. Cath has replaced a diet of junk food and sugar with fish, meat and vegetables. Although losing weight has given her a new lease of life she is now left with a lot of excess skin on her upper arms and stomach. Currently Cath’s regime consists of 4 gym visits a week and, unfortunately, she has developed achilles tendonitis which has caused her a lot of ankle pain.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is common
Approx 2.9 million people have diabetes in the uk
A scary fact is that we think there could be up to 850 000 Undiagnosed
There are 2 types of DM type 1 and 2 most people in the uk have type 2 like cath
In both cases there body’s sugars are too high and this makes them unwell
Symptoms may include feeling really thirsty , needing to urinate, frequent skin infections, weight loss


What does Lucy Advise?

Lucy Jones is an expert dietician on the show. She suggests a diet called 40 30 30 to help with diabetes which in a low carbohydrate and high protein diet. Each meal should consist of 40% carbohydrates, 40% protein and 30% fat. She will then tell us about the glycemic index which puts carbohydrates in order of low, medium, and high levels. Low GI carbs which Lucy recommends are pasta, beans and pulses. Medium GI carbs are basmati rice and granary bread while high GI carbs are white bread and potatoes. Lucy will have props or pulses, vegetables, fruit and grains in the studio which are perfect foods for Cath. Lucy will then talk about portion sizes and play a pasta game.


CASE STUDY 2 – Gill (54) has gone from size 26 to size 18-20 after losing 5 stone and she now weighs 17 stone. When she was 19 she had her teeth wired together for 18 months and although she lost weight she gradually put it back on. Her biggest downfall was microwaves meals but Gill now stays away from processed food and eats fresh vegetables and meat instead. As well as going to the gym Gill also bought a bike which she uses. Gill has loose skin on her upper arms, tummy, inside of her thighs and neck. Although Gill is pleased with the results she finds it difficult to motivate herself and is worried she will go back to her old ways. Having been on high blood pressure medication for five years and high cholesterol medication for ten years Gill is wondering if she can stop taking these.


Dr Dirk Kremer, the Resident Cosmetic Surgeon, discussed options available to remove excess skin after weight loss.

If you are obese, especially for many years, and lose weight you may be left with excess folds and rolls of skin, particularly around the breasts, tummy, hips and limbs. They can look ugly and are difficult to keep clean, so you may be vulnerable to developing rashes and infections. Cosmetic surgery can be used to remove the excess skin. The Unslimmables have been suffering with excess skin on their stomachs, upper arms and legs. Gill now has loose skin on her neck which she describes as a ‘turkey neck’. Dirk gave advice on the surgical options that can remove this


CASE STUDY 3 – Mum of two Katie (28) has lost 4 stone 3 and has gone from 22 stone 7 and a size 24 to size 18-20. Katie suffered with post natal depression and put on five dress sizes after pregnancy. She now goes to the gym 5 times a week and eats a diet of meat, fish, vegetables and fruit, eating five healthy meals a day. Having stopped drinking fizzy drinks and eating take always Katie has gained a lot of confidence. Katie now has lose skin on her upper arms, upper arms, stomach and her breasts have gone from a G cup to D cup which have left them saggy. Since working out Katie has developed pain in her knees after exercising.


Diet advice from Lucy: Lucy discussed ways to manage your weight when it has plateaued and how to carry on making changes. She discussed energy requirements, highlighting that this will need to go down and down as you lose the weight. Eating protein is ideal as if you lose muscle your overall energy output goes down. Lucy showed Katie how to make changes without starving herself by eating foods which are nutrient dense rather than energy dense. For example, eating swede on top of shepherd’s pie instead of potato as it is low in calories or eating soup half an hour before a eating to fill you up. Lucy has designed a ‘model’ meal plan for a day which includes a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner option as well as two snacks.


Breakfast: Muesli with yogurt and berries

Lunch: lentil soup with hummus, seeded crackers and mixed salad

Evening meal: salmon fillet with baby new potatoes, broccoli, asparagus and carrots