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Kick start your fat loss – on Facebook
The average woman has been on 61 diets by the time she reaches 45, according to one survey. If you've tried countless ways to lose weight yourself, you could be forgiven for thinking KSFL sounds like just another fad.
Not so, says Rachel Holmes, fitness and nutritional expert and mastermind behind the plan. "The plan takes a completely different approach to the 'average' diet. There's no counting calories or points - instead the emphasis is on eating clean with plenty of protein and vegetables. And it's all run through Facebook, so there's constant support, information and motivation available from the group leader and other members - whenever you need it."
Those taking part sign up to a secret Facebook group where a few chosen leaders (fitness professionals who have themselves gone through the programme) post the eating plan and 10-minute workout video for each day - along with the latest weight-loss research.
Groups are kept to around 20 people - small enough to get to know each other but big enough to share motivation, support and recipe ideas.
So far, the programme has achieved some amazing results. In my group alone, most people lost 7lbs-10lbs, with one lady losing an impressive 16lbs in two weeks.
What makes KSFL so different?
As one of the country's leading fitness presenters and trainers, Rachel has worked with thousands of women keen to tone up and lose weight, but always felt something was wrong with the 'accepted' weight loss advice.
"Over the last 24 years, I've taken all the standard nutritional qualifications, read all the usual books, and applied the information to myself, clients and class members," says Rachel.
"What I came to realise is that much of the weight-loss industry standard information is flawed, has no plausible scientific evidence and doesn't work anyway."
Rachel designed the first Kick Start Fat Loss programme five years ago, at first inviting only fitness professionals to join - with a few of these disciples now running Facebook groups that are open to the public.
So what do you eat?
Once you join the programme you are given a list of foods you can eat - along with suggested supplements and herbal teas. The rules are simple - drink at least three litres of bottled water a day, stick to the foods on the list for each 'feed' and no snacking.
The plan is based around clean eating and Paleo principles - more commonly known as the 'caveman diet', which eschews grains, sugars and modern vegetable oils in favour of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, berries and coconut oil.
Rachel explains: "The KSFL clean-eating detox plan eliminates processed food, coffee, tea, alcohol and sugary foods on the premise that by detoxifying the body's liver and cells, it will burn fat more efficiently."
There is a big emphasis on eating lots of greens with each meal - including breakfast. As my usual start to the day involved a bowl of porridge and a piece of toast, this took some getting used to. Within a few days though, I found myself looking forward to my three-egg mushroom omelette with large side portion of wilted spinach.
"Start each day with protein," says Rachel. "Protein has a small impact on insulin, whereas carbohydrates (cereal, toast, fruit etc) have a big impact. Too much insulin leads to fat storage - especially around the mid section - an energy drop and cravings for more sugar."
Despite being allowed only very limited amounts of starchy carbohydrates (such as sweet potato) on certain days I found that I didn't get hungry once. On my porridge and toast start to the day I was hungry again around 11am - food for thought.
Benefits of simply going without
The plan also involves (brace yourself) short periods of fasting.
According to pretty much every 'diet expert' eating small meals every so often will help you avoid hunger pangs, provide you with stable energy throughout the day and keep the metabolism fire burning.
"In reality blood sugar is extremely well-regulated and maintained within a tight range in healthy people," says Rachel. It does not swing wildly up and down and it doesn't plummet from going a few hours without food."
Rachel continues: "All of my adult life I have believed I need to eat every three to four hours especially as I teach fitness classes seven days a week, otherwise I would be slowing my metabolism down and doing untold damage.
"When you are "grazing" through the day as we are told to do, eating small meals and often to stave off hunger you actually lose track of the volume you eat. Once I unchained myself from this way of thinking, I started losing more body fat - and found more time in my day."
Facebook and the power of community
One of the things that impressed me most about the plan was the power of community. Having tried other low-carb diets in the past, I had struggled to think of things to eat.
Now I had 20 people posting recipes - and photos - of each meal they ate as well as videos of group leader Abbe cooking food in her kitchen for inspiration. Not to mention the motivational and supportive messages and vlogs from Abbe and people in the group.
To help keep you focused, each person is asked to post their measurements and take 'before' photos prior to the start. (Thankfully the group really is secret so only those who have been given access can see what you post.)
There were also fitness challenges where we were encouraged to post how long each workout had taken - with the aim of bettering our scores at the end.
Thinking of giving it a go?
I would suggest you make sure you - and your food cupboard - are fully prepared. Choose two weeks when you don't have a holiday or big meal scheduled and make sure to stock up on allowed food (which will be posted on the Facebook group a few days before you start).
You should also be prepared for some side effects of detoxing, particularly if you've been a coffee, sugar or processed food addict.
While I experienced a little tiredness in the first few days, others in the group reported varying degrees of headaches, tiredness, inability to sleep and sickness. On a more positive note, towards the end of the 14 days, the benefits of the detox were felt by everyone.
One lady with severe reflux problems in the group said she hadn't needed to take her medication, which was unheard of for her, while others reported improvements to their arthritis, night sweats and skin conditions - as well as finding they had lots more energy. Not to mention, of course, losing some serious pounds and inches.
By the end of the two weeks I had lost 7lbs. Like any diet though, it comes down to a lifestyle choice - and it remains to be seen whether I can resist crisps, biscuits, cake and the like. At the very least, I have discovered that cooking healthy 'clean' foods from scratch isn't difficult and tastes great - as well as meeting some lovely people on Facebook.
And if I should need another super boost of motivation, I can always join the monthly maintenance plan or sign up for another 14-day detox at a later date.
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just exercise more and eat less
thats the only way to lose weight
Not a fad....Sounds like one to me. Every healthy eating and diet website I have ever seen tells us that loosing more than 1lb a week is bad for your health and likely to go straight back on as soon as you stop the diet. Stop looking for a quick fix to weight loss, there isn't one. You just have to eat healthy and excercise. No meal plans or special foods are going to help, all this sort of diet does is cost you extra money.
It's low carb and no snacking so of course you are going to lose weight!
My cousin lots loads of weight on the cambridge meal replacement - as soon as she stopped it she put the majority of the weight back on - because she hadn't addressed why she is eating so much and didn't learn to eat in moderation.
You need carbs for energy no matter what new fangled diet is telling you - yes this is a crash diet so its a quick fix but once you start eating again (no doubt the way you did before ie lots of crap) then you will put it all straight back on....
So is it really worth it?
I was just pondering this question of PE in schools and recalled some of my childhood. You may be highly interested to know the following. I was a BMX rider for most of my childhood, that developed a tone in my body which was really quite good.
When I did PE at school, I never really ever broke a sweat. When I gave the BMX'ing up, the same still applied and I did not lose my tone because I was a 'bit' active, yet still never broke a sweat in PE. What I conclude from this is that if you get the shape/tone you want in your own time, PE need not be excessive, you may not even need to break a sweat, thus not really needing to have a shower at school. Removing the worries some get about their bodies and showering with the other kids, who can be rather cruel.
It seems to me that blood flow and muscle stretching is the main part of it, it’s the ability and control coupled with confidence which matters most. IMO.
With the possibility of home exercise on games consoles being so easy and fun, plus there's loads to do with your friends these days for fitness. Look, I know no-one wants to say this stuff, despite its often very probable most might kind of agree that they do not need to struggle at PE unless they choose to, So I came out of my troll cave and spouted it.
I was recently asked if it bothered me that girls are leaving school with a flat behind (seriously), I had to ponder that for quite some time. My answer is no, it doesn't bother me, even if it were my kids, provided they have choices.
Lets not mention the eyeful the mid life crisis enduring PE teacher gets, between itching his way from room 4 to noticeboard D when little s**** cause an embarrassing.. Bullies mess, half in the hall.
With regards Boys needing football to excess, Well, is it not a better idea to sign up for footy?, after for example the first two years of standard training in that? (I do not know if its like that now). Plus it means those hours ater school where boys end up smoking pot might be more likely filled with the sport they miss. Girls seem to be saying they would prefer to choose in total, then what? ..Those who choose are even more at risk of the below possibilities, I bet shocking things happen thousands of times a year, just recently I spotted a Youtube video of a girl who had her draws pulled right off, to the skin, poor lass. God only knows how many tens of thousands saw that. The more we avoid that kind of possibility, the better.
And with regards.. 'Yes, but it is simply that way and it never bothered us at all!, Boys like girls and that kind of thing is acceptably sorted within social structures'
Well.. I see your point, but it is worse in some schools, worse some generations, worse when your not looking.. And me in my arrogance, I believe 'fully clothed' boys interested in girls and vica versa, in the break time outside are a better prospect for parents overall to deal with as their kids are busy doing 'who knows what?' sometimes. Teachers can not always be there, kids are faster than weasels when they get ideas in their heads all of a sudden.
Thats my effort for the cause of little interest which only seems to matter to the kicked around few, I never chose to have a shower at school myself, no-one particularly bothered me about that, but I felt kind of pathetic since no-one else seemed worried.. I suppose thats because I moved schools a lot.. So you might see why my attitude is like this now.
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fad....Sounds like one to me. Every healthy eating and diet website I have ever seen tells us that loosing more than 1lb a week is bad for your health and likely to go straight back on as soon as you stop the diet. Stop looking for a quick fix to weight loss, there isn't one. You just have to eat healthy and excercise. No meal plans or special foods are going to help