Pauline Quirke & The LighterLife Diet

You may have seen the recent pictures of Birds Of A Feather actress – Pauline Quirke, proudly showing off her new slimline figure and looking pretty pleased with herself. And why shouldn’t she?

The funnygirl TV star has lost an amazing six stone in weight and it is all due to the LighterLife Diet Plan. Pauline had reached her heaviest weight at 20 stone but said that it was only when she was told she needed a hip replacement in her late forties that she decided to take drastic action. “I was filming the BBC drama series Missing and had to do several takes where I got out of a car and walked up stairs.

My joints were in agony and at first I thought it was my knee,” she said. “But X-rays showed my left hip had almost completely worn away. Having a hip replacement in my late forties was a shock and, of course, I tried to make excuses about the reason why it had happened. But it came down to my weight.”

The actress, who plays Hazel Walsh in the ITV soap Emmerdale, had already lost 2 stone in the first five weeks on the LighterLife weight-loss programme. However, the 51-year-old actress was determined to continue losing the weight and it has paid off. She is now a healthier 13 stone and with six stones down she wants to lose a total of eight stone at this time and she won’t let the weight come back.

Quirke admitted that she had previously lost weight two years ago but put it back on after quitting her diet. “I lost 3st and remember looking at myself in the mirror after slipping into a jacket that I hadn’t fit into for a decade,” she said. “I could look at my reflection for the first time in years and think, ‘This is the real me’. “But then I made the foolish mistake of going off the diet and slowly the weight crept back.”

Pauline lost the weight by adhering to the LighterLife plan which is is medically termed as a very low-calorie diet (VLCD). The LighterLife plan works by banning all normal food and replacing it with food packs which include protein drinks, soups, desserts and bars.

The diet allows you only 530 calories a day; the normal calorie intake for a woman is around 2000 and for men about 2500. You stay on this very low calorie diet until you have achieved your desired weight. You can then begin to eat normally again or LighterLife will give you a tailor-made eating plan. As with many meal replacement diets, there is online support and group meetings to help with motivation.

The problem with meal replacement diets is that once you come off the diet it is very easy for the weight to creep back on as you go back to your previous eating habits. A better way to sustain weight loss is to adapt a healthy eating plan that incorporates daily exercise. However, many overweight people are suffering from a lack of motivation and want to see instant weight loss which then prompts them to lose more weight.

Once a weight loss has been established, through the LighterLife programme, a healthy eating plan could be put into place to sustain this weight loss.