The Loose Women presenter on getting in shape once and for all
By Claire Muffett-Reece
Denise, tell us how you got involved with LighterLife in the first place…
‘I wasn’t looking for a quick fix for a holiday or event, and although my pending wedding to Lincoln was my short-term goal, I wanted to keep the weight off and really tackle this negative cycle I’d found myself in with food. Whilst on the plan I had four LighterLife products a day and had lots of tasty options to choose from. The porridge is still my absolute favourite to this day.’
Six years on how do you maintain your two stone weight loss?
‘I think some people get confused and think you stay on the LighterLife Total Plan forever, but that’s not the case. Instead you use the calorie-controlled products to help you maintain your new weight. So, for the last five and a bit years I’ve been following the LighterLife FlexiFasting Plan, which means I use LighterLife Foodpacks to fast one, two or three days a week depending on my schedule. This way I can still enjoy fish and chips with the family but make informed decisions when I do so.’
Does that mean you’re forever on the scales?
‘I never weigh myself – it’s more about how I feel. If my jeans feel a little snug then I’ll throw in an extra FlexiFasting day that week. I’m a very happy size 12.’
Before LighterLife, did you ever try any crash diets or different plans?
‘Oh, I remember the cabbage soup diet! The thing with diets is that they all work for the period of time you’re on them, but it’s changing your relationship with food that’s key – and that’s what crash diets don’t do. Yes, if you restrict your calories for a set amount of time you’re going to lose weight, but the reason why most people fail is because you’ve not learnt new tools to keep the weight off. With LighterLife yes you lose the weight fast, but the products are nutritionally complete, and you have the support there to educate yourself on new eating behaviour.’
How body confident would you say you are on a scale of one to 10?
‘Oh that’s such a funny question to answer! All I can say is I feel more body confident now that I did in my 30s or 40s!’
Are you a gym bunny, do you just keep busy to stay fit?
‘For the last nine months I’ve kept fit on stage thanks to Calendar Girls the Musical. I love to walk when I’m home in Cheshire so I’m now back to that. I don’t have a regime as such, but I like to keep as active as I can.’
What would you say to readers who want to lose weight?
‘My advice would be to find the right support to help you reach your goals. We all know how to diet but we forget that the most important thing is to understand why we eat too much in the first place. We need to change our mindset for life-long results. Most of the time we reach for food for an emotional reason, such as stress, happiness or sadness, and without the right support you’ll just go back to your old eating habits.’
A recent LighterLife survey shows that one in four women go to great lengths to hide their body from their partner, keeping the lights down in the bedroom and feeling embarrassed about being naked. Do you think we can honestly ever change this attitude and get our body confidence back?
‘I think women and men become more confident with age and I do think it’s something we can grow into. My top tip to feeling confident in the bedroom is to bring in the humour – nothing is more attractive than someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously!’
You revealed you suffered from depression in the past. How can we encourage others to understand that looking after your mental being is just as important as your physical appearance?
‘I share the good and positive times in my life, but I also want to shed light on the harder times too. It’s important to me that I give a voice to others who might be suffering in silence. The more we talk about mental health the more we are breaking down this ridiculous stigma around it. In the last 30 years I’ve seen a massive change in how we talk about depression and I will continue to do my bit in raising awareness. Our mental wellbeing really is just as important as our physical health!’
Denise Welch lost 2 stone in 2 months following the LighterLife Total Plan, and has been maintaining her weight with the LighterLife FlexiFasting Plan. Visit www.lighterlife.com for more information.
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