New weight loss guidelines for the NHS in England will advise people to “lose a little and keep it off” for life. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is suggesting that overweight and obese people are sent to slimming classes with the aim of a 3% weight loss.

Weight loss: New NHS Plans Offer Outdated Advice

Are they serious?

When I was at my heaviest and suffering with multiple health issues I weighed approximately 18 stone (250 pounds). Based on this new guidance the NHS would’ve been advising me to lose less than 8 pounds! I don’t think that would really have made any impact on my quality of life or the cost to the NHS for my ongoing health problems.

Outdated advice

Over the last 5 years I’ve been studying juicing, nutrition and fitness and have developed my own strategies for weight loss and improving health in a way that creates lasting, sustainable change. I’ve personally lost approx 75 pounds (over 5 stone) AND kept it off. This has massively improved my quality of life, something that losing 8 pounds could never have achieved.

Seriously, do you think if I’d gone from being seriously obese at 250 pounds to seriously obese and 242 pounds it would have been a life changing transformation?

Statistics show that in England the number of adults that were overweight or obese increased between 1993 and 2012 from 57.6% to 66.6% among men and from 48.6% to 57.2% among women.

The proportion of adults with a raised waist circumference increased from 20% to 34% among men and from 26% to 45% among women between 1993 and 2012.

The answer to the obesity epidemic is NOT a 3% weight loss with weekly ‘fat club’ weigh-ins.

Prof Mike Kelly, the director of the centre for public health at NICE, said the guidelines were about lifelong change rather than yo-yo dieting, when the weight is piled back on after initial success.

Gill Fine, a public health nutritionist who led the team devising the guidelines, said a sustained 3% drop in weight would alter the trajectory of ever-expanding waistlines. She commented: “If people think they’ve got to lose over a stone, they don’t lose a stone and they get disheartened and they go back up – that isn’t going to help them. “But if they can just lose a little bit, keep that weight off then that is going to give them a health benefit.”

I have to disagree with Prof Kelly and Gill Fine – an 8 pound weight loss would NEVER have been enough to motivate me to “keep it off”.

Prof Kelly said “We would like to offer an instant solution and a quick win, a much greater ambition if you like, but realistically it’s important to bear in mind this is difficult. It is not just a question of ‘for goodness’ sake pull yourself together and lose a stone’ – it doesn’t work like that. People find it difficult to do – it’s not something you can just wake up one morning and decide I’m going to lose 10 pounds, it takes resolve, it takes encouragement.”

“It takes resolve”

Prof Kelly is correct that weight loss takes resolve, or determination. I am often asked where I found the will power to lose my weight and regain my health. It had NOTHING to do with will power. Sorry, but if you are relying on will power alone, you can expect to fail. Forget will power and find your motivation.

Natural Juice Junkie, Neil Martin before and after pic with kids

The picture on the left was taken shortly after my daughter born. The picture on the right was just over 5 years later.

My motivation was my wife and children. When my daughter was born and I watched her 10 year old brother cradle her in his arms I knew I had to change my lifestyle if I wanted to watch them both grow.

The decline in my health had started when my Dad died aged 50. I was 22 and suddenly felt I was halfway through my life. I gave up on myself.

It took sometime to accept how bad my health had become, but I knew I couldn’t give up on my children. My family are my motivation. Instead of following my Dad to my own early grave I found a new determination to turn my life around and to set an example for my kids.

I strongly believe that with a strong motivation ANYTHING is possible. I just hope that someday (soon) the NHS will wake up to the health benefits of juicing and eating real, clean, unadulterated, food.

I have to agree with Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, told the BBC the guidelines did not go far enough and looked like a “brave attempt to close the stable door whilst the horse is still bolting”, adding that “NICE should be going for the clinical excellence that it’s proud of and not the compromise it has suggested.”


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