Weight Loss NHS
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gut microbiomes

What to do?

Going fat free and sugar free and taking lots of exercise was the plan, with reasonable sized portions

I've lost a respectable ish half kilo a week, not nearly as much as expected given the effort being put in and how good I was being at sticking to plans

Now it seems following a Mediterranean diet, but without the usual olive oil, is less healthy than having the Mediterranean diet, WITH the olive oil.

Worried what will happen, but am going to substitute lentils and nuts for quorn and try lots of different new types of fruit and veg, with a daily spoon of home-made vinaigrette on whatever it goes with, because I love it. Anyway, at least lentils are being recommended already.

4 Replies

Hi Bongo,

Sugar free is obviously a must but fat free isn't, in my opinion.

All things in moderation is good and you don't say if you weigh your portions and keep to the recommended calorie levels each day?

A loss of a pound a week is good but if you want to lose more then check what your daily intake is against your Resting Metabolic Rate. In my case my RMR is around 1900 calories and I try and stick to around 1400-1600 calories a day.

I do not count exercise, and I have lost an average 2lbs a week over 22 weeks.

Maybe look to reduce your carbohydrate intake as well? I also take it easy on fruit.

Have a good week - John


Hi Bongo

As always, healthy eating and weight loss are more than just about calories, different foods have different effects on your body. I agree with Kantara, going fat free is not a good idea as many important vitamins are fat soluble.

Your gut will thank you for a wide variety of vegetables, but if you are not used to eating a lot of veg, increase your intake slowly to give your body a chance to adapt. Cutting out foods made with refined starch, as well as sugar, could also help with the weight loss.


I am a T2 diabetic so I watch my carbs but am not Low Carb High Fat because of other health issues. About 3 months ago I started taking probiotic supplements and high omega 3 supplements too. I watched all the info on gut microbiomes etc and I understood it and it made sense. However 3 months on and eating healthily (ok the odd treat of a cake or chocolate on special occasions), I have felt no change in how I feel, no change in my weightloss (I exercise too). However, I'm not worried, this is a slow journey for me but at the end of the day as long as you are eating a fairly healthy diet (I love the Mediterranean one as it suits me) and are watching your portions of everything and getting some exercise you will lose weight and get healthy but not necessarily quickly. I'm happy to maybe lose 1/2lb a week and then go up and down over the weeks but as long as the overall trend is down, I don't have a problem with it. Its the long term picture you need to look at, not the quick fix.

Eat what you like to eat (within reason ;) ) watch portion sizes, eat good fats, fruit and veg and unless you are a lover of quorn or similar stuff, don't feel compelled to eat it. Make sure you enjoy what you're eating, eat only when hungry, have a drink and if that makes you feel better you were probably dehydrated.

For me the thing is that there's no much contradictory stuff out there that one day say eating eggs is good for you, the next they aren't - you know what I mean - a glass of wine prevents dementia today but causes something else tomorrow! All it does is make people worry! I try not to take any notice of it now, I can't keep changing the way I eat because scientists (some in the pay of the food industry) keep moving the goalposts. I honestly believe that we just need to eat everything in moderation and exercise regularly, no faddy diets or having to buy special foods.


I'm going to substitute lentils and nuts for Quorn (because it's processed) and add vinaigrette dressing to salads (because it's got extra virgin olive oil), and I'm going to have plenty to eat earlier in the day and nothing after five, and I'm doubling the exercise I do. If that doesn't work I'm going back to what I had when I was thin, as follows:

When I was at school for my daily food I had buttered toast, crisps, cola, two eggs, 3oz grated cheddar, a bit of salad with loads of mayonnaise, a school pudding, a pint of various milky drinks with sugar in, a daily chocolate bar on the way home, four biscuits, (two custard creams and two chocolate digestives) a fried egg with instant mash and frozen peas, and a potted dessert. Exercise was the five minute walk to the bus stop, but they did make us do sport if we didn't hide first. It was considered healthy at the time, just as long as you brushed your teeth.

And if that doesn't work......have you ever seen an older Mediterranean type who wasn't fat? I thought they were known for it? I could be wrong, of course.

Maybe it's the gut microbes in fat people causing the cancer rather than the fat itself? Perhaps it's the sugar they usually like that causes the cancer? My head is spinning with confusion. Must continue to keep records of menus and exercise and weight, so at least I'll some perception of being in control.

Best of luck to us all.


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