I Was Killing Myself With Food

‘I was killing myself with food’: 21st 8lb takeaway addict loses an astonishing EIGHT stone after her BMI reached 50


  • Used to eat six or seven takeaways a week and drink energy drinks

  • Was told she had high cholesterol and was at risk of diabetes  

  • Decided to join Slimming World and totally change her diet

  • In just 18 months Lindsey dropped from 21st 8lb  to 13st 6lbs

  • Now often does 10-mile walks and is hoping to lose more for her wedding


By Katy Winter

Published: 11:19, 23 June 2014 | Updated: 11:42, 23 June 2014


A self-confessed takeaway queen has managed to shed 8st in 18 months.

Lindsey Collier used to eat takeaways almost every night of the week and ballooned to a huge 21st 8lb, and had a morbidly obese BMI of 50.

But the 30-year-old was shocked into action after a visit to the doctors, and joined her local Slimming World group.


Lindsay, pictured before losing weight, had a BMI of 50 and was also told she had high cholesterol and was at risk of diabetes


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In just 18 months Lindsey dropped from 21st 8lb (left) to 13st 6lbs (right)


Now at 13st 6lb, Lindsey has dropped six dress sizes – from a size 28 to a size 16 – has turned her life around. She is even started her own Slimming World Group.

‘I have six or seven takeaways at the end of my road, and I would be there pretty much every night’ admits Lindsey from Stechford, Birmingham.

‘I would have an extra-large pizza to myself and drink a lot of energy drinks.

‘I couldn’t even walk to the bus stop without losing my breath. I had severe back pain and was on loads of medication.’

But when Lindsey went to the doctors in November 2012, she got the wake-up call she needed.

‘The doctor told me I had high cholestorol. I didn’t want to be in my 30s with diabetes,’ said Lindsey.

‘I was upset, but it was the first time that I had taken a really good look at myself.

‘I was literally killing myself with food.’

Lindsey was referred to her local Slimming World group in Lea Hall, which saw her ditch the pizza and chips, and finally cook her own healthy meals.


killing myself with food 4

Lindsey used to eat from her local takeaway restaurants most days, washing down her unhealthy meals with high-sugar energy drinks


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A newly slim Lindsey, pictured right with an old pair of jeans, now enjoys home cooking and long walks, and hopes to lose more in time for her wedding day


‘Walking into that group was the most nerve-racking thing I’ve ever done. I was scared of being the biggest, of failing, and people taking the mick.

‘But everyone was so friendly, and they made me a tailor-made plan to help fit around my vegetarian diet.’

Now Lindsey hopes to lose even more weight in preparation for her wedding to fiancé Jason.

‘I’m looking forward to getting a size 12 wedding dress’ said Lindsey.

‘I’ve still got a way to go, but I fell like a completely different person.

‘I love going on 10-mile walks now with my partner, and home cooking. If you had told me a year ago that I would be running my own group I would never have believed you.’



Fruit Juice Timebomb

Fruit juice timebomb: Health experts say stick to one glass a day as teenagers’ poor diets are blamed for

increased diabetes risk


  • Fruit juice should be limited as it contains a lot of sugar, experts warn

  • Those aged 11 to 19 are eating 42 per cent more sugar than recommended

  • Age group also eating 14 per cent too much fat, risking diabetes and stroke

  • Only one third of adults get recommended five-a-day survey reveals

  • Medics say government Change4Life advertising is having little impact

By Sophie Borland

Published: 23:14, 14 May 2014 | Updated: 11:41, 15 May 2014


The appalling diets of the nation’s teenagers have been exposed by a report which shows that many are already putting themselves at risk of diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

And last night health experts warned that fruit juice – seen by many as a healthy option – should be drunk no more than once a day because of its high sugar content.

Girls and boys aged 11 to 19 typically eat 42 per cent too much sugar and 14 per cent too much saturated fat.

Fruit juice time bomb 1

Health experts have warned people to stick to one glass of fruit juice a day due to its high sugar content


Fruit juice timebomb 2         AA07TW

Health experts have warned that young people aged 11 to 19 are consuming, on average, 47 per cent too much sugar, with the main sources being fruit juice, soft drinks, cereal bars, biscuits and cakes


Only 10 per cent of teenage boys and 7 per cent of teenage girls manage to get their five portions of fruit and veg a day.

Adults do not fare a great deal better. Only a third get their five-a-day and the diet of the average adult exceeds recommended sugar limits by 10 per cent.

The report, the Government’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey, also shows  that children aged ten and under typically exceed the recommended daily limit of sugar by 34 per cent.

Their main sources of sugar are fruit juice, soft drinks, cereal bars, biscuits and cakes.

It reveals that adults are eating half the recommended weekly amount of oily fish – which protects against heart disease, cancer and dementia – while teenagers and children only manage a fifth of  this amount.


The survey, which involved 4,000 adults and children between 2008 and 2012, says 48 per cent of men and women have above-normal levels of cholesterol, putting them at higher risk of heart disease  and strokes.

Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘This study paints a clear picture that too many people, especially children, are not eating healthily enough.

‘This puts them at greater risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity now or in the future. There is no magic bullet to solve this problem. Parents, schools, restaurants, retailers and the food industry all have a role to play.

‘But the Government can fire the first shot by implementing a 9pm watershed ban on junk food marketing to stop children being bombarded with advertising about products high in fats, salts and sugars. We also need stringent regulation to protect children from online marketing tactics.’


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Only a third of adults get their recommended five-a-day, and are still eating too much fat, with 48 per cent having higher-than-average cholesterol, putting them at risk of heart attacks and strokes


Fruit juice time bomb 5

Experts have also warned that government Change4Life adverts which promote healthy eating are not working, as people who already eat healthily are the only ones who pay attention


There is also concern that policies such as the NHS’s Change4Life programme are having little effect because only healthy adults and children pay any attention.

The initiative, which has cost taxpayers £65million since its launch in January 2009, consists of television adverts, a website, a helpline and locally-run sports clubs all aimed at curbing the obesity epidemic.

The scheme also produces posters for schools, community clubs, GP surgeries and hospitals urging the public to eat their five- a-day, take regular exercise and  cut portion sizes.

Dr Ian Campbell, of the National Obesity Forum, said: ‘In spite of a raft of measures designed to encourage us to eat a healthier diet we are, as a nation, failing miserably.

‘If we really care about the health of our children we need to take far more decisive action.

‘We need to regulate the food industry to make healthy choices easier, more attractive and cheaper.’

Dr Alison Tedstone, the chief nutritionist at Public Health England, the Government agency that released the report, said fruit juice was a good option as one of the recommended five fruit portions a day.

But she warned: ‘It should only be drunk once a day and with  a meal because it can be high  in sugar.’

In March, Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer, said the Government may have to introduce a  sugar tax to help make the nation’s diet more healthy.

Later that month the World Health Organisation urged the public to cut their sugar intake by half to six teaspoons a day.

Yesterday Labour MP Keith Vaz called for food labels to include the numbers of teaspoons of sugar in all products.




The 11 Most Controversial Food Additives

We are all blissfully unaware of what is being put into our ready made processed foods.  Below are a list of the additives commonly and controversially used.  We wonder if any of us would knowingly add these to our shopping lists.


Thin Silhouettes


1. Acesulfame Potassium (Acesulfame-K)

Is a calorie free artificial sweetener which is 200 times sweeter than sugar. It is often used with other artificial sweeteners to mask a bitter aftertaste.

It is found in more than 5,000 food products worldwide, including diet soft drinks and sugar-free ice cream.

Although it has approved for use in most foods, many health and industry insiders claim that the decision was based on flawed tests. Animal studies have linked the chemical to lung and breast tumours and thyroid problems.

2. Artificial Flavouring

This denotes to any of hundreds of allowable chemicals such as butyl alcohol, isobutyric acid, and phenylacetaldehyde dimethyl acetal. The exact chemicals used in flavouring are the proprietary information of food manufacturers, used to imitate specific fruits, butter, spices, and so on.

Found in thousands of highly processed foods such as cereals, fruit snacks, beverages, and cookies.

The FDA has approved every item on the list of allowable chemicals, but because they are permitted to hide behind a blanket term, there is no way for consumers to pinpoint the cause of a reaction they might have had.

3. Aspartame

Is a near zero calorie artificial sweetener made by combining two amino acids with methanol. Most commonly used in diet soft drinks, aspartame is 180 times sweeter than sugar.

It is found in more than 6,000 grocery items including diet drinks, yoghurts, and the table-top sweeteners such as NutraSweet and Equal.

Over the past 30 years, thousands of consumer complaints have been received, due mostly to neurological symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, memory loss, and, in rare cases, epileptic seizures. Many studies have shown aspartame to be completely harmless, while others indicate that the additive might be responsible for a range of cancers.

4. BHA and BHT

AKA, Butylated HydroxyAnisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene are petroleum-derived antioxidants used to preserve fats and oils.

Found in beer, crackers, cereals, butter, and most foods with added fats.

Of the two, BHA is considered the most dangerous. Studies have shown it to cause cancer in the fore stomachs of rats, mice, and hamsters. The Department of Health and Human Services classifies the preservative as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”

5. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

A corn derived sweetener representing more than 40 percent of all caloric sweeteners in the supermarket. In 2005, there were 59 pounds produced per capita in the USA. The liquid sweetener is created by a complex process that involves breaking down cornstarch with enzymes, and the result is a roughly 50/50 mix of fructose and glucose.

Found in about two-thirds of the HFCS consumed in the United States is in beverages, it can be found in every grocery aisle in products such as ice cream, chips, cookies, cereal, bread, ketchup, jam, canned fruits, yoghurt, barbecue sauce, frozen dinners, and many more products.

Since around 1980, the global obesity rate has risen proportionately to the increase in HFCS, and Americans are now consuming at least 200 calories of the sweetener each day. Some researchers argue that the body metabolises HFCS differently, making it easier to store as fat, but this theory has not been proven.


Food On Scale


6. Interesterified Fat

A semi-soft fat created by chemically blending fully hydrogenated and non-hydrogenated oils. It was developed in response to the public demand for an alternative to trans fats.

Found in pastries, pies, margarine, frozen dinners, and canned soups.

Testing on these fats has not been extensive, but the early evidence doesn’t look promising. A study by Malaysian researchers showed a 4-week diet of 12 percent interesterified fats increased the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol. Furthermore, this study showed an increase in blood glucose levels and a decrease in insulin response.

7. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

The salt of the amino acid glutamic acid, used to enhance the savoury quality of foods, MSG alone has little flavour, and exactly how it enhances other foods is unknown.

Found in chilli, soup, and foods with chicken or beef flavouring.

Studies have shown that MSG injected into mice causes brain-cell damage, but the FDA believes these results are not typical for humans. The FDA receives dozens of reaction complaints each year for nausea, headaches, chest pains, and weakness.

8. Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

A manufactured fat created by forcing hydrogen gas into vegetable fats under extremely high pressure, an unintended effect of which is the creation of trans fatty acids. Processed food manufacturers like this fat because of its low cost and long shelf life.

It is found in margarine, pastries, frozen foods, cakes, cookies, crackers, soups, and non-dairy creamers.

Trans fat has been shown to contribute to heart disease more so than saturated fats. While most health organisations recommend keeping trans-fat consumption as low as possible, a loophole in the FDA’s labelling requirements allows processors to add as much as 0.49 grams per serving and still claim zero in their nutrition facts. Some progressive jurisdictions have approved legislation to phase trans fat out of restaurants, and pressure from watchdog groups might eventually lead to a full ban on the dangerous oil.

9. Red #3 (Erythrosine) and Red #40 (Allura Red)

These are food dyes that are orange red and cherry red.  Red #40 is the most widely used food dye in most countries.

Found in fruit cocktail, sweets and candy, chocolate cake, cereal, beverages, pastries, maraschino cherries, and fruit snacks.

The FDA has proposed a ban on Red #3 in the past, but so far the agency has been unsuccessful in implementing it. After the dye was inextricably linked to thyroid tumours in rat studies, the FDA managed to have the liquid form of the dye removed from external drugs and cosmetics.

10. Saccharin

Is an artificial sweetener 300 to 500 times sweeter than sugar. Discovered in 1879, it’s the oldest of the five approved artificial sweeteners.

Found in diet foods, chewing gum, toothpaste, beverages, sugar free sweets and candy, and Sweet ‘N Low.

Rat studies in the early ‘70s showed saccharin to cause bladder cancer, and the FDA, reacting to these studies, enacted a mandatory warning label to be printed on every saccharin containing product. The label was removed after 20 years, but the question over saccharin’s safety was never resolved. More recent studies show that rats on a saccharin rich diet gain more weight than those on high sugar diets.

11. Yellow #5 (Tartrazine) and Yellow #6 (Sunset Yellow)

These are the second and third most common food colourings, respectively.

Found in cereal, pudding, bread mix, beverages, chips, cookies, and condiments.

Several studies have linked both dyes to learning and concentration disorders in children, and there are loads of animal studies demonstrating potential risks such as kidney and intestinal tumours. One study found that mice fed high doses of sunset yellow had trouble swimming straight and righting themselves in water. Health authorities do not view these as a serious risk to humans.