Forget fads and shed pounds on the ‘great gran diet’: People ‘should avoid low-fat options and stick to traditional fare such as a full English breakfast’
- People should stick to traditional fare such as a Full English, says top surgeon
- Andrew Jenkinson advises to buy food at a greengrocer, butcher and fishmonger
- The bariatric surgeon wrote about the diet in a book, Why We Eat (Too Much)
Eat like your great-grandma should be the mantra for dieters, says a top weight-loss surgeon who has watched thousands of people try – and fail – to shed the pounds.
People should avoid seemingly healthy low-fat options and stick to traditional fare such as a full English breakfast, according to NHS doctor Andrew Jenkinson.
He advises them to buy all their food at traditional stores, such as a greengrocer, butcher and fishmonger, as our ancestors would have done.
People should avoid seemingly healthy low-fat options and stick to traditional fare such as a full English breakfast, according to NHS doctor Andrew Jenkinson (file photo)
Mr Jenkinson says: ‘Imagine you are taking your great-grandmother around the shops. If there’s any food she doesn’t recognise, don’t buy it.’
The bariatric surgeon has written a book, Why We Eat (Too Much), distilling what he has learned over decades of practice, during which he has spoken to 2,000 obese patients. What they told him about dieting was ‘always the same story’, he says.
‘They all say they lose weight to begin with, but then put it on again and end up heavier than when they started.’
While crash diets might appear to work in the first few weeks, he says, they usually backfire because they trick the body into believing it has to cope with a famine – and save energy.
As a result, weight-loss stalls, and eventually rebounds as the dieter is driven to eat more by powerful hunger hormones. The dieter then ends up blaming their lack of willpower, when the real culprit is a diet that is destined to fail.
In his book, Mr Jenkinson says a far better approach is to ditch the quick-fix solution in favour of an old-fashioned approach: buying fresh food daily and cooking it yourself.
He writes: ‘My simple eating rule would be to try to buy all your food from the greengrocer’s (a traditional one that just sells fruit and vegetables), butcher’s (one that sells dairy products as well as fresh meat) and fishmonger’s.’
People should start the day with a traditional full English breakfast, which he maintains will ‘set you up for the day’.
Mr Jenkinson stresses that it is not a ‘no-carb diet’, but he does recommend reducing carbohydrates – which means no trips to the bakery and no toast with your eggs, bacon, sausage and tomato.
‘There should be no bread in the house. You can probably remove the bread bin as you won’t need this any more,’ he says.
Dieters must also accept they need an hour or two a day to shop and cook from scratch – but Mr Jenkinson says many people waste that much time ‘mindlessly watching Netflix or scrolling through social media’.