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Jane's Blog

By Jane, Oct 4 2016 10:20AM

We watched a very interesting pair of programmes on BBC1 last night discussing the epidemics of Obesity and Diebetes.

Firstly Fat vs Carbs took a brief look at the low-carb high-fat diet. Secondly Panorama's Diabetes the Hidden Killer provided an overview of the impact that diabetes is having on individuals, families, the NHS and the country.

In the first programme Jamie Owen took a balanced but brief look at LCHF. The NHS are still unable to embrace this diet as a realistic choice, despite the evidence that it is working for many people who are taking their health into their own hands. There are a few doctors willing to discuss the diet with their clients, but they appear to be taking a risk to their own careers by doing so.

It's a shame that Jamie only experimented with the diet for 3 weeks. After making such a good start and suprising his doctor with the results (his cholesterol levels came down and he lost 6KG) it would have been interesting to see if the progress he had made continued into the longer term as it has done for so many others.

I was appauled by the doctor who runs a weight loss clinic in the middle of an area with the highest obesity in the country and certainly does not recommend the diet to any clients. He talked about high risk and low adherance and yet his clients all suffer from exactly these issues. This sums up the scale of the problem perfectly. He considers high fat to be a risk but is not affected by the heaps of new scientific data to the contrary. And even if high fat were a risk that risk would pale into insignificance compared to risk and cost of type 2 diabetes afecting his neighbours.

There was also a spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, she was priceless; especially after listening to Sam Feltham describe an analysis of all the available randomised control data comparing low-fat vs high-fat diets. Without referring to any evidence of the government's guidlines being based on any science at all she said that her job was to weigh up all the information and advise the best approach. I looked at their website and aparently they did do some reseach costing just £16,000 in 2009 and so she is not entirely wrong here! She would not recommend LCHF, apparently there is not enough long-term data on its safety or efficacy (to which Jamie should have replied "but humans have been eating this way for millions of years"). Well, we have the data for her recommended diet and it is an unmitigated disaster. She has her head in the sand and it is people like her that advise our government.

The Panorama programme was scary. The scale of the problem of type 2 diebetes is vast. Up to 10% of the NHS budget is spent on it and it effects twice the number of people than all cancers do. Living with diabetes is dreadfull, and dying of it is gruesome for all concerned. Graphic pictures of a leg amputation made me shudder, but this is happening every day.

Someone gets diagnosed with diabetes in this country every 2 minutes!

I was saddened to see so many diabetics sat at home or in hospital eating cereals, potatoes and sweet drinks, or following a prescribed diet based on carbohydrates, the very thing that has caused their disease in the first place. If you have a disease that is caused by insulin in-sensitivity and high blood-glucose levels then why on earth would you choose to eat more and more carbs, which turn to glucose in the blink of an eye as soon as you eat them? And the answer is that this is the diet recommended by Dieticians, the NHS and their sponsored charity

We were told that the only 'cure' for type 2 diabetes is bariatric surgery. This may be the case for someone who has had the disease for many years and now had a high risk of death, but there are alternatives for everyone else.

Panorama did not mention the success that some GPs have been having recommending their patients adopt a LCHF diet, a natural dietary intervention as aposed to ripping out 70% of your stomach. People who had watched the fat vs carbs programme would have been left wondering why.

By Jane, May 26 2016 01:49PM

You may have seen lots of headlines in the news this week about a new report which criticises the NHS guidelines for healthy eating and suggests that we should be eating less carbohydrates and more fat. The NHS revised it's guidelines recently and they are encapsulated by the Eatwell Guide, a slightly revised version of the old Eatwell Plate, 35% of which is covered by carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, cereals and rice, all foods that will raise your blood sugar, increase the production oif insulin, increase your likelihood of storing those carbs as fat and increase your risk of diabetes and obesity.

As you may have read in my earlier blog posts these recommendations are based on science that was shakey when it was produced 40 years ago and looks vacant now.

The new report was co-written by two charities: the National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration of which I am a founding patron.

The report has raised eyebrows and hackles all over and invoked serious criticism from the established experts of institutions such as Public Health England and Diabetes UK. Sky news, ITV and the BBC have had some heated arguments on air. It’s all been rather exciting for those of us directly involved!

This reaction is unsurprising, as the report accuses the government and its advisors of presiding over 30 years of poorly constructed guidelines that have very clearly failed to achieve their aims of improving public health and in particular the rising tide of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

I am not going to repeat all the evidence and science raised in the report, if you are interested in the subject then you would be best off reading the reports (there are in fact two of them) for yourselves. You will find them under the Reports tab of our website here:

The reason these reports have stirred so much anger is that they are upsetting the apple-cart. The establishment has dutifully established and followed the dogma of the low-fat high-fibre diet being the only solution for too many years. Yes, for some lucky people (who are insulin sensitive) this solution does work, but for most of us this dogma leads to the inevitable conclusion that if you can’t lose weight then you are either lazy, greedy or lying. I know that this is not true!

Many of my clients have trouble sticking with the traditional NHS recommended weight-loss diet. This is because traditional diets are all about fighting hunger. We can only do this for so long while the motivation lasts, and for most people this is not long enough and either give up or they get caught in a cycle of yo-yo dieting.

The lower-carb higher-fat diet that we at the PHC advocate is, for most people, easier to stick to as it is more of a lifestyle change than a diet. Once you get over the fear of fat and the fear of cholesterol (for anyone worried by this please, please read the first report) and realise that it is just about eating tasty real food which is more satiating, then you will see that the reason the diet works is that you will feel hungry less often and consequently eat less. This is why we say it is not about counting calories.

This last point appears to be lost on the establishment; they want formulae from their own research before pronouncing judgement. That is fair enough, but there are truly thousands of people following this diet worldwide. In Sweden and South Africa it has become mainstream. Public Health England absolutely refuse to concede the truth of this. They claim there is “absolutely no evidence” and yet this evidence is widely available; my friend Sam Feltham the principle author or the report presented a summary of it on Sky news to the government’s chief advisor on obesity Professor Susan Jebb, she ignored him and said that it’s all about counting calories. Her reputation is simply too great for her to admit that she might have got it wrong.

The press tend to report that fact that we advocate not counting calories and take that to mean that we eat tons of cream and butter. This naivety de-rails the debate. This suggestion is not true and is poor journalism really. Hunger is at the root of what we eat and blood sugar levels are at the root of hunger. When we eat more carbs then we lose control of this, and we are forced to fight it every day; eating less carbohydrate allows us to take control of our blood sugar, our insulin and consequently our health. We refer to eating fat ‘ad libitum’ which means ‘to one’s pleasure’; in other words eat as much fat as you wish, not as much as you can.

So, there we are. The debate rages and it is set to rage for a good while longer.

If you are interested in this whole subject then let me know, I’d love to hear your feedback. And also, if you know anyone who is struggling with following the NHS guidelines for weight loss or is contemplating a grim lifetime on Metformin - that’s about 3.5 million people in the UK - then perhaps you should point them to this new report, or to the excellent website where loads of great information relating to the LCHF diet can be found. They should discuss this report with their GP. And of course I would be happy to try to help.

By Jane, Apr 20 2016 02:32PM

This month I am feeling rather smug.

For the last 5 years I have been telling everyone I meet that loosing weight is not about eating less and moving more. I know this. I understand the arguement and I know from reseach and experience that it is wrong.

I also know that the key to sustained weight loss is to cut out refined carbohydrates and processed food from your diet and just eat real food. I have proved this with myself and with my clients.

And this month we have two fantastic new articles that prove that I am right.

This first article published in The Gaurdian is just amazing. It is a technical summary of everything to do with the fat vs sugar debate and the related obesity and diabetes epedemics and what to do about it. If you are at all interested in the health of your friends and family then you should read this, then go and talk to your doctor about why the NHS still recommend a diet basd on carbohydrate to diabetics who then have to spend their whole lifes monitoring their blood glucose! Eat real food and the problem dissapears, completely.

The second article is by the highly respected Dr Jason Fung and can be best summarised by the statement "It's the insulin, stupid!"

Fung’s not saying exercise isn’t important. It’s just not a great weight loss tool. I agree, although I do think that excercise can be a great motivational tool aiding your commitment to a lifestyle change that can be hard to make.

At the heart of the matter it is what we eat that makes a difference to our control of blood sugar and consequently our hunger and our weight. The Low Carb High Fat diet is here to stay.

If you want to learn more about managing your weight with Real Food Dieting just give me a call.

By Jane, Apr 22 2015 01:42PM

I have learned this week of an amazing court case looming in South Africa. Tim Noakes, the celebrated Sports Science professor, champion of the Low Carb High Fat diet and author of the Aspire book of the century (The Real Meal Revolution) is to be charged with professional misconduct and will have to attend a hearing at the Health professionals Council for South Africa.

What did he do? He recommended to a mother that she wean her child onto a LCHF diet rather than adopting the traditional high carb diet that has become prevalent over the last 40 years and is linked with high rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Who accuses him of such a crime I hear you ask. The head of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa, Claire Julsing-Strydom.

The LCHF diet has been rattling feathers for some time now and the loudest rattling has come from those who stand to lose the most, dieticians. Some have embraced the diet, and in doing so thrown out much of what they learned in college and have practiced for years; other have not and they are now stuck between a rock (losing their professional respect because they are seen to be wrong) and a hard place (admitting that they are wrong). So some of them are backing into a corner and fighting back, trying to rubbish the diet and in particular Dr Noakes.

His hearing is set for 15 June. Noakes seems positive about the outcome.

“I think it could be a turning point in the debate about what our infants, and in turn adults, should be eating. If the representatives of HPCSA are prepared to listen to the science, they will realise that there is something very seriously wrong with the teaching of nutrition in South Africa, as it is in the rest of the world.”

Dr Noakes is no stranger to all of this attention. Ever since he tore out the chapter on diet from his world famous book ‘The Lore of Running’ he has adopted a strategy of public confrontation with his opponents in order to spread the science and the efficacy of the diet to as wide an audience as possible.

I can’t wait to hear the outcome of the case

By Jane, Mar 5 2015 11:49AM

We often here this retort from smug-slim commentators who take pleasure in patronising fat people.

“Just eat less and move more, it’s not rocket science, is it?”

Looking around at the state of the nation’s health and our complete inability to manage it at both a personal and national level I am tempted to reply:

“No it’s not rocket science, it’s harder than that.”

50 years ago we put men on the moon. Since then we have built space stations and even landed a probe on a passing comet. When our best minds get together with a common goal we can do amazing things.

Over the same period of time global obesity has increased massively, along with type 2 diabetes and other modern diseases. Why has this happened? With all this brainpower available, why do we not have a solution?

The cheap answer - that some people are inherently lazy - just doesn’t wash any more. I have clients who easily lose weight on a diet and I have clients who do not. I have clients whose husbands lose lots more weight than they do when share my client’s diet. Older women in particular have more difficulty managing their weight, but I can assure you that they are not being lazy! Clearly we are not all the same and the pervasive mantra of “calories-in, calories-out” seems childish when talking to these clients about what to eat.

Up until recently there has been an amazing absence of science to tell us if low-fat or high-fat is best. And as a result a multi-billion pound diet & food industry thrives on vulnerability and lies.

On average woman try 16 diets in their lives lasting on average 1 month each. Lack of willpower and boredom are cited as the main reasons we stop.

And yet somehow we are persuaded to try that chemical shake for breakfast by the nice salesman with a fake PHD after his name. Or we fall for the latest 'trick' offered by another 'expert' who has managed to keep his amazing new discovery hidden from the world but can offer it to you today for just £39 if you buy now. When most diets consist of eating fake food or just starving it’s no wonder we give up so easily.

I previously thought that it might not be possible to make a fast buck out of the LCHF diet as it is just about eating real food. But this week I heard a case for a new diet ‘trick’, a pill that you can take which mimics the transition fat-adaption without having to limit eating carbohydrates. It made me feel sick just to listen to the lies being peddled.

Why are our best scientists not looking at this? The answer is simple: the food industry do not want us to find out!

Everything we are learning about what to eat is saying “Don’t eat processed food!”, that most of the food in the supermarket is bad for us. And so Nestle and Kellogg’s produce junk science that tells us that their products are healthy, they add fibre or iron filings to their flakes and make out that is good whilst ignoring the copious additions of sugar and salt that make it palatable but unhealthy. And the food industry appears to employ people to patrol the internet looking for characters to assassinate if we dare to suggest that we might have got it all wrong.

Before we had rockets, rocket science was the big dream. Now we have them perhaps it is time for our best scientists to look closer to home in order to answer today’s big question:

What should we be eating?



I'm Jane Roweth, owner of Aspire Fitness Solutions (I'm the one wearing red) and in this blog I'll be leaving day-to-day business behind and commenting on some of the wider issues in the health and fitness industry.


I've been around this industry for 20 years now and I have a lot of experience and opinions to share.


I'll also be sharing some of the stories that have been making Aspire such an inspiring place to work for the last 9 years.