Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Don't eat these five foods! Or else!

It's almost irritating. Every time you look at a web page that deals with something of interest to women, there will often be an ad that invites you to find out which Five Foods You Must Never Eat. I had resisted so far, suspecting that it was a link to something sinister. But just now I took the risk.

Well, it was a link, to an online weight-watching outfit called The Trim Down Club. A nice lady began talking as a video presentation got under way. You didn't actually see her - just large, easy-to-read text, the words she was speaking. So that you got the message by eye, as well as by ear. I didn't object to that. She had a very pleasant, down-to-earth British voice, which I'm pretty sure I've heard somewhere before. Maybe the words were spoken by a Certain Well-Known Actress. Anyway, she sounded reassuringly like a forty-something mum who knew her stuff, and had found out a few things worth knowing about how to lose weight, and then keep it off.

Over the next half hour - yes, I had the patience! - she named and shamed the five naughty foods to avoid, and explained why they were so bad. And she held my attention. But (I will warn you) you first had to listen to ten minutes of background, mainly about herself and her past dieting problems. And then, after only the first three foods had been disclosed, there were ten minutes of Trim Down Club promotion before the last two foods were revealed. (My goodness, I really was patient!)

It was made clear at the outset that the information she was going to give about the five foods wasn't a secret, so I'm going to save you some time and tell you what they were.

1. Concentrated orange juice - or indeed any fruit concentrate you might have for breakfast.

2. Margarine.

3. Whole wheat bread.

4. Processed soy.

5. Sweetcorn, in particular GM sweetcorn.

You'll have to sit through the video for the full information, but basically she said these five foods made the body store fat instead of using it up. The mechanism wasn't the same in every case, nor always acted directly, but generally the body's blood-sugar level got messed up - with dire results that made you feel unhealthy and prevented weight loss. There were much better alternative foods, which (as you would expect) you could learn about if you joined the Club. I think she said that a one-off payment of £37 would give you lifelong access to the entire services of the Club, including menu suggestions and a member forum. Well, it has to be cheaper than anything else I've ever heard of, although the absence of a real person to goad and push you into eating less, weighing in, and working out, might be a crucial drawback.  

If you didn't join (and I resisted) a few food clues were still offered. Such wine being almost as bad as the whole wheat bread as a hi-carb (that is, bad-carb) source. (Oh, that's a pity!) And that butter was much more easily burned off than margarine. (Ah, now that's worth looking into!)

And have I been guilty of glugging or chomping into any of these five foods?

Judge: How do you find the prisoner Melford on the first count, of consuming concentrated orange juice?
Foreman of the jury: Not guilty, m'lud.

Judge: And how do you find her on the second count, of consuming margarine?
Foreman of the jury: Not guilty, m'lud.

Judge: And the third count, of consuming whole wheat bread?
Foreman of the jury (vindictively): Guilty as charged, m'lud. She done it all right. The Jezebel.

Judge: Ah! And the fourth count, of consuming processed soy?
Foreman of the jury: Not guilty, m'lud.

Judge: And finally the fifth count, of consuming GM sweetcorn?
Foreman of the jury: Not guilty, m'lud.

Judge (turning to the fat prisoner Melford, cowering in the dock): You have heard the verdict of the jury. What say you?
Lucy: I only ate a few slices when on holiday, m'lud. I beg for mercy!
Judge (severely): The jury has spoken. I must pass an exemplary sentence! You will be given a whole wheat bread and margarine diet for a minimum of seventeen years, followed by transportation for life.
The court (gasping at the sentence): Transportation for life!!
Lucy: Transportation for life? A bus pass at last!


  1. I actually watched that video too! The spiel was designed to hold you captive in the hope that in the next minute you would actually get to learn which foods they were talking about. Then near the end as you say, came the real purpose of the video, to encourage you to enroll on their course. These kinds of advertising techniques really annoy me but this time I was determined to find out what foods they were pointing the accusing finger at. I eat all those things occasionally though I have to say so they are not a problem. As with many similar foods I feel moderation and only occasional consumption does very little harm. Naturally there are foods to avoid if one is trying to lose the fat but we shouldn't be too hard on ourselves if we eat them once in a while.

    Shirley Anne x

  2. I truly admire your resolve as I gave up watching that video after about 10 minutes. Believe its conclusions if you wish, but my Noom fitness app disagrees. It says that wholemeal bread, in moderation is far more healthy than white bread. Consequently, I make a small wholemeal loaf every week and I've been successfully losing weight for several months.

    "All things in moderation" is much better advice. And as for giving up red wine, perish the thought!

  3. Oh, I haven't changed my bread-eating habits, which are pretty moderate: when home, two daily slices of Waitrose wholemeal-and-white sliced bread, defrosted and toasted; and otherwise only Ryvita (the sesame-seed variety). Away in the caravan, no toast at all; just local-bakery wholemeal bread, which keeps well.

    I agree totally about the finer things of life, in moderation of course!


    1. Ironically, being a Canadian on FB. The voice I heard was a Canadian/American lovely down to earth sounding woman.
      I think the british accent would have been brilliant! And yes perishe the thought of giving up red wine. A girl has to have some indulgences in life.

  4. Hey thanks for a lively and entertaining summary. I fell asleep half way into the video and when I woke up, I found I could not rewind... there was no way I was going to watch it all over again and I found your blog, thanks!
    Essentially it's about avoiding carbs and transfats (margarine). Not rocket science really, Gary Taubes' book, 'why we get fat' is much better and written from a scientific perspective

  5. Really appreciate you writing this I couldn't hack the video only managed about 12 mins. I think moderation is the key and will power has a lot to do with it. This is something I am lacking at the moment !


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Lucy Melford