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Pauline Quirke’s dieting battle

If anyone was going to make a diet work it was actress Pauline Quirke, she was determined to lose weight after realising that she tipped the scales at nearly 20st (the same weight as a sumo wrestler).

While doctors warned she would face another hip operation if she continued to pile on the pounds. Further motivation to shed 8st came when she was employed as the face of diet giant Lighter Life, the low-calorie plan which replaces meals with packets of soups and shakes. She was paid generously to reach her target weight of 11st, which she managed to reach in just under a year. But sadly, Pauline, 52, has not maintained her target weight.

Nutritionist and diet experts estimate she’s put on at least two stone since last March and will probably continue to gain weight. She says: “If your body has adapted to less than 800 calories a day then it has been starved, when you start to reintroduce normal food the body wants to store fat as it is traumatized. “LighterLife is a very low-calorie diet, you’re also more likely to lose lean body mass, including muscle, which is not sensible for the long term. Without muscle your metabolic rate will slow down.”

Pauline’s story is one that might make any celebrity on the verge of signing up to become a diet ambassador think twice. Amanda warns: “Even if you stick to healthy foods, you’ll put on weight if you’ve previously starved your body.” She adds: “It’s so demoralizing to have lost all that weight and to be eating healthy, only to be gaining weight.  It’s a cycle people often get trapped in, each time they diet they need to eat less and less to lose weight. They’re on a hiding to nothing.  “And what if Pauline goes back to eating high-fat foods?”“All the weight will go straight back on,” believes Amanda. “And she could possibly gain even more.” But what especially worries the nutritionist is the location of the weight regain. “A lot of it has gone right on her middle, and that’s the danger zone, medically. It can lead to heart disease and risk of type 2 diabetes. The muffin top is indicative of things having gone wrong.”

Former TV Presenter Amanda, who runs a weight loss plan website, would prescribe a structured exercise regime to increase Pauline’s metabolism and regain her lean muscle, teamed with an eating plan of five small meals a day.

Last year, Pauline – who has recently finished touring with the stage version of Birds of a Feather – told how she finally decided to battle her weight demons after admitting to herself that she was greedy and that it was her love of cheese and wine that had caused her weight to creep up over the years, leaving her a size 28. “I’d had a disc removed in 1991, I had diabetes in 1994 when I was pregnant with my son Charlie, and I had to have a hip replacement in 2009. “Then I had a fall and fractured an ankle that would heal properly. That was enough – it was time I sorted myself out.” She added: “My goal is for you to interview me in a year’s time and me to say, ‘Yes, I’ve kept it off’, I’m not going down that slippery slope again…” We hope you’re right, Pauline.

Have you ever felt disheartened about putting weight back on that you have previously lost?

Categorised in: ,
11 Jan
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4 thoughts on “Pauline Quirke’s dieting battle”

  1. elsieb66 says:

    Sensible, healthy eating and exercise. No diet will make you lose weight and keep it off. The information is out there, but people want a “quick” solution. There isn’t one. It takes hard work and re-training your brain … and proper exercise. I lost over 6 stone, 4 years ago and have maintained my weight easily.

  2. Diets don’t work in the long run for most people – we need to learn and understand our eating and what it means.

  3. I did Lighter-life in 2007 and again in 2010. I think the fact that I had to revisit this extreme diet speaks for itself. I lost huge amounts of weight but the fact that my consultants were not the slimmest people I have ever met (one was pushing at least 18st) should have set alarm bells ringing. This is a quick fix if you have something really special coming up but long term it is impossible. You crave food on the diet even though your not hungry. They have a 12 week step to introduce you slowly back to food after you have lost the weight but trust me after 12 weeks of liquid and some of it is awful your will power becomes very very weak!!
    It is an expensive way to lose weight, it does not last and does not teach you about eating healthily. The only good thing is it does make you think about why your over weight what has got you there, nothing that a good session with your doctor would be able to sort. There are much easier and sensible slower ways to lose weight I don’t think Lighter-Iife is the answer it proclaims to be. I think Lighter-life have set Pauline up for a eventual epic fail and it will be all over the press and the web!

  4. Eleanor McCarthy says:

    Yes I was two stone over weight felt I had to do something I joined Cambridge diet same structure very low calorie intake fast weight lost i felt amazing yet I got obsessed to stay slim they only way was to continue barely eating I obsessed over every calorie constantly exercised as theses diets do not work on a long term basis : I felt like a model when I lost the weight everyone said I looked so slim yet two years later the weight came back and more ; I had starved my body just 800 daily intake had set a starvation motion which is impossible to live like forever . Yes they work initially the weight flys off and the workers are so supportive . Yet for a long term weight loss it has to be totally life change not short fix . When I first lost the weight I thought it was forever two years later I was heavier than I had first been . They need to help long term with a education on nutrition & exercise : I hope it works for Pauline yet it’s scientifically proved starvation dieting isn’t the life solution

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