Diana Mais, 56, from Sutton Coldfield, weighed more than 17 stone and suffered from knee pains, backaches and ill-fitting clothes. It left her feeling low and sluggish for a number of years. But when she came across a simple weight loss diet plan, her life was transformed.
With LighterLife, dieters get access to meal-replacement food packs – consisting of shakes, soups, mousses or bars – and slimmers eat these while on the plan, rather than conventional food.
With weekly support from a LighterLife weight loss counsellor and a variety of weekly Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Mindfulness activities, Diana was able to overhaul her lifestyle.
Diana revealed that on the diet plan she dropped from a size 22 to a size 12.
She said: “Coming from a Jamaican family, my mother would cook up the most delicious meals.
“Mealtimes were a huge part of our family, and though my weight had never really been an issue, by the time I reached my mid-thirties, everything changed.
“I’d gotten married and life became too comfortable. I was just 10st on our wedding day and when I weighed in at the start of the year, some 20 years later, I was over 17st.
“When I started LighterLife, I was recommended to start the Total plan to lose up to a stone each month.
“On the plan I chose four products to have each day, and I was instantly so impressed with the variety on offer.
“I stuck to the Foodpacks and I lost an impressive 9lb in my first week. The rate of weight loss is so motivating and keeps you focused on your end goal.
“I’m so excited to just feel ‘normal’ and not feel self-conscious and embarrassed about my size.
“Since losing 6st my energy levels are off the scale, I genuinely believe I can achieve anything I set my mind to, and that feeling is so liberating.
“I feel confident and excited about the here and now, as well as the future, and with my Management plan in place, I have the tools to keep my weight in check.”
But what does the NHS say about the LighterLife Total Plan?
The official NHS websites states: “The LighterLife weight loss plans combine a very low-calorie diet (VLCD) with weekly counselling.
“With LighterLife Total, for people with a BMI of 30 or more, you eat 4 meal-replacement food packs a day – consisting of shakes, soups, mousses or bars – and no conventional food.
“LighterLife Lite, for those with a BMI of 25 to 30, involves eating 3 food packs a day, plus 1 meal from a list of approved foods. There’s a new LighterLife Fast Plan based on the 5:2 intermittent fasting plan.
“The meal plans can lead to very rapid weight loss, and you’re advised to see your GP before starting. How long you stay on the diet depends on how much weight you have to lose.”
What has the NHS highlighted as pros and cons of the diet?
•The counselling can help you understand your relationship with food, so hopefully, you can make lasting changes to keep the weight off for good.
•With the meal replacements, there’s no weighing or measuring, so it’s a hassle-free approach to weight loss.
•Having a break from real food may kick start your weight loss, and the initial rapid weight loss can be motivating.
•Initial side effects of the diet can include bad breath, a dry mouth, tiredness, dizziness, insomnia, nausea and constipation from cutting down on carbs and fibre.
•Surviving on a strict diet of shakes, soups and other meal replacements isn’t much fun and can feel socially isolating.