Weight loss secrets: do alternative therapies work?

Gemma before

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Weight loss secrets: do alternative therapies work?

We gave three readers a Closer diet and workout regime to follow for eight weeks and asked two of them to try out an alternative therapy at the same time. So who lost the most weight?

JUST DIET & FITNESS - ‘I lost 7lbs!’

'I wasn't doing any exercise and was unhappy with my love handles and my tummy'

natalie beforenatalie after

Natalie Gannon, 27, a 5ft 7 marketing assistant from Milton Keynes

BEFORE

Weight: 11st 9lbs

Size: 14

Chest: 40in

Waist: 33in

Hips: 38in

AFTER

Weight: 11st 2lbs

Size: 12

Chest: 39in

Waist: 31in

Hips: 38in

Before, I wasn’t doing any exercise and was unhappy with my love handles and tummy. I didn’t eat well – I’d skip breakfast, have a cheese sarnie for lunch, a Chinese takeaway for dinner and snack on crisps and chocolate.

The 1,200- calorie plan (from www.closerdiets.com) was easy to stick to because the meals were decided in advance and I could choose between home-made and ready meals.

Breakfast was wholemeal toast with low-fat spread, lunch was pitta bread with low-fat cheese, houmous and an apple, and dinner was home-made pasta and salad or a ready meal like cod in parsley sauce.

The exercise plan from Harpers Fitness included tricep dips, squats, lunges and jogging. I did it three times a week at home for at least half an hour. I also sat on a giant exercise ball while I was on my computer at home and rocked it from side to side to work my abs.

I lost 3lbs in the first week – after that it came off more slowly. Now I feel great – my love handles have gone down, my tummy’s shrunk and I’ve lost 7lbs, going from a size 14 to a size 12.

I’ll stay on the diet because it’s so easy and I’ll exercise when I can.

Hannah Davies of Harpers Fitness (www. harpersfitness.co.uk) says: “Teamed with a healthy diet, exercise that increases the heart rate for short periods is good for burning fat long-term. It increases the metabolism so you burn food quicker.”

ACUPUNCTURE – ‘I dropped a dress size’

'I had so much energy, I started going to the gym more'

Gemma before Gemma after

Gemma Gurvitz, 22, a 5ft 3 events manager from Essex

BEFORE

Weight: 10st 10lbs

Size: 14

Chest: 40in

Waist: 331/2in

Hips: 39in

AFTER

Weight: 10st 6lbs

Size: 12

Chest: 39in

Waist: 32in

Hips: 37in

In the last five years I’ve yo-yoed between a size 16 and a size 10. Before starting the acupuncture I’d lost 11/2st in six months through healthy eating and going to the gym, but I’d plateaued and needed a kick-start.

Ross Barr, the acupuncturist, said he’d work on my digestive system and energy levels so the weight loss would occur naturally. I lay down and Ross put needles in my feet and forehead. It didn’t hurt, and after the 45-minute session I felt relaxed for days.

The first session cost £50, then it was £40 for further treatments (I had five in all). I slept better and my digestion improved, so I felt less bloated.

I also had so much energy, I started going to the gym more, doing 75 minutes of exercise three times a week.

Before, I didn’t bother with breakfast, I’d have a sandwich for lunch, curry for dinner and snack on crisps. But this time I followed the Closerdiets.com plan and had porridge for breakfast, pasta salad for lunch and fish with veg for dinner.

Although I only lost 4lbs, I went to a couple of weddings during this time so I didn’t always stick to the diet.

The acupuncture made me feel fab and helped me get to the gym – so my stomach’s flatter and I’m much more toned. I’ve already booked more sessions with Ross.

Acupuncturist Ross Barr (www.rossbarr.com) says: “Acupuncture can help with weight loss by improving the digestive system and making your body work more efficiently. This, in turn, boosts your energy levels, which means you’ll work harder at the gym.”

HYPNOTHERAPY – I lost over a stone!’

'I'll never go back to my unhealthy ways- I'm more energetic and so happy with my body now'

[ASSETHERE=image]Angela after

Angela Agor, 35, a 5ft 5 educational consultant from Enfield

BEFORE

Weight: 11st

Size: 12

Chest: 36in

Waist: 32in

Hips: 38in

AFTER

Weight: 9st 11lbs

Size: 10

Chest: 32in

Waist: 29in

Hips: 37in

Two years ago I started overeating because I was unhappy at work. My only exercise was walking to the shops to buy junk food. I didn’t even try to diet as I knew I wouldn’t stick to it.

I left my job but I’d put on a stone by then. During our two-hour session, Marisa Peer, the hypnotherapist, asked me to close my eyes. She then told me they were glued shut – I tried to open them, but I couldn’t. I felt so relaxed.

We talked about how I comfort ate from an early age. Marisa told me I should think about which foods would benefit me and to visualise my ideal size. The session cost £295 but one is normally all you need.

Afterwards, Marisa gave me her book and a CD of the session. Since then, I haven’t craved junk food at all, so it was easy to stick to the CloserDiets plan.

I had omelette for breakfast, a jacket potato with goat’s cheese for lunch and chicken with cabbage and rice for dinner.

Marisa also told me to enjoy exercise as it would make me thinner, so I did the workout regime three times a week and went on my mini-trampoline 20 minutes a day.

I’ll never go back to my unhealthy ways – I’m more energetic and so happy with my body now.

Hypnotherapist Marisa Peer (www.marisapeer.com) says: “Hypnotherapy changes your thinking so you don’t want to eat treats like cake. I believe diets alone don’t work because they don’t stop you thinking cakes are lovely!”

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