Sian Birch

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Why slimming clubs are bad for your health

Imagine your house is a filthy, dusty, dirty mess. This may be easier to do for some (not judging!!)

Now in your imaginary, filthy, dusty, dirty house, imagine the dust is so thick you could literally shovel it and carry it out by the bucketload.

And nobody likes a filthy house, right? So you decide you’re going to do something about it. You’re going to join a ‘Cleaning Club’, where you go weekly to get your dirt and dust loss weighed.

After week one of your new ‘Dust Loss Challenge’ you gather up as much dust as you can, then proudly turn up for your first weigh-in…

“Wow! You’ve lost an incredible 4lbs of dust! Well done!”You are buzzing and sharing this all over facebook.

Of course, now your house is starting to get cleaner. So as you return for your following weekly weigh-ins, you notice you’re losing less and less. By week 5 much to the disgust of your ‘Dust Consultant’, you lose NOTHING.

You explain…
“I promise, I’ve been doing so much cleaning!! I can’t believe I’ve not even lost a single pound!! ”

“Don’t worry, maybe try a little harder with your cleaning this week!” you are told

The frustration, anger and downright injustice of your lack of dust loss means one thing and one thing only… I’m not cleaning my house anymore!! What’s the point?!”
You boycott all cleaning. In fact, you very deliberately try to dirty your house, as an act of rebellion against your Dust Consultant.

Filth gathers. Dust piles up. Dirt accumulates. And before you know it your house is back to being a filthy, dusty, dirty mess. In fact, it’s now even filthier, even dustier and ever dirtier than when you started.

Thankfully there’s a new ‘Cleaning Club’ in town.

You join. You re-start the process. You feel all that excitement and joy when you see those amazing initial dust losses. But soon enough the dust losses slow again. Soon enough the dust losses plateau again. And soon enough your blood is boiling again, because there is always some smug person who seems to lose 3lbs of dust… every… single… week… without really even trying.

There’s only one option.

The next week you turn up to Cleaning Club with your bucket full to the brim. As you pop it on the scales, all your fellow cleaning clubbers gasp when they see you’ve lost an amazing 4 lbs of dust.

Activate smug look.
Enjoy that look of “how on earth did she do that?” on her face.

What she doesn’t know, and the rest of the clean clubbers don’t know, is that you’ve been slipping extra items into your bucket to up the dust loss on the scales. A trick you now realise that those smug people at the previous cleaning club must have been doing all along.

And so.. your new trick…Only 50% of your loss is actually dust. The other 50% is a few household items, including your TV remote control, some batteries, and a few trinkets.

You repeat this little trick week-in, week-out, seeing very consistent and very impressive dust losses. Much to the disgust of your dust loss competition.

But… behind the scenes things are getting desperate.

To ensure your consistent and impressive dust losses, you’re have to sneak more and more household items into your bucket. What started as remote controls and batteries soon turns into items of jewellery, your car keys, and other valuable possessions.

Yes, you’re losing dust week on week.

But at what cost?

For every pound of dust you’re losing, you’re throwing out a pound or more of the good stuff. The valuable stuff. The stuff that’s actually important to you.

This trick of the scales catches on across all Cleaning Clubs, with millions of clean clubbers throwing out the good stuff, the important stuff…

Just so it looks good on the scales.


The moral of the story.

The dust is FAT.

The cleaning clubs are SLIMMING CLUBS.

The valuable household items are MUSCLE.

Just as when you start cleaning your house regularly, you lose less and less dust (because your house is getting cleaner)… when you start burning fat regularly, you lose less and less fat (because your body is getting leaner).

The cleaner you house gets, the less dust you can lose.

The leaner your body gets, the less fat you can lose.

And just as there is only so much dust that can accumulate and be lost in a week, there is only so much fat that is available to be burned each week. With this figure getting lower, and lower, and lower, as your house gets cleaner, or your body gets leaner.

The only way to ensure large and consistent losses week on week is to CHEAT. By either throwing out valuable household items with the dust. Or by shedding valuable muscle with the fat.

Millions of slimmers fall into the trap of eating less and less, starving their bodies, starving their muscles, and shedding valuable muscle and lean tissue weight, just to get their fix on the scales.

When they lose 2lbs or more week after week, they either don’t know or don’t care that at least 1lb or more of that weight is the GOOD STUFF. The important stuff. The lean tissue and muscle that keeps us strong and healthy. That keeps our skin from sagging and getting puffy. And that keeps our fat burning metabolism revving.

Weight loss has become an addiction.

An addiction driven by Slimming Clubs because it keeps people coming and paying and buying their cruddy products. An addiction which slows the metabolism with every pound of muscle loss, ensuring the slimmer has to eat less and less to keep seeing results.

One day I hope everyone will see this.

And everyone will see Slimming Clubs for what they are…

An addiction to starving and binging… An addiction to seeing a number week on week… An addiction that is breeding puffy, saggy, limp muscled bodies that may weigh less… for a while… but are probably less healthy than heavier, more muscular, more active bigger people.

The take home message?

Aim for FAT LOSS (just throwing out the dust) rather than WEIGHT LOSS (throwing out the dust with your most valuable possessions).

Muscles are cool.

Muscles keep you young.

Muscles keep you strong.

Look after them…

And don’t throw them out with the trash!!
Thanks to Liam from (slightly adapted but such a great article!!)

New Year Resolution? To do or not to do?


new yearEvery year people make resolutions to change something about themselves or to start doing something differently.

new year 2

Unfortunately, those new year’s resolutions end quickly and they are soon back to their old ways. Setting new year’s resolutions has largely become  a joke. Losing weight is often one of the top new year resolutions  which is made year after year after year. It’s probably more useful to write a list of funny new year’s resolutions and laugh at them.

Here is a list of funny new year’s resolutions that you can laugh at before you set yourself up for failure this year

Funny New Years Resolutions about Weight Management

I will…


Lose weight by hiding it somewhere you’ll never find it.

Gain enough weight to win at being  The Biggest Loser.

Buy the  next size up clothes so they look baggy and people will ask if I’ve lost weight

Start smoking to lose weight

Lose weight by inventing an anti-gravity machine

Find a more accurate scale

Remove the jam from my  doughnuts

Eat more fruit ( covered in chocolate) snacks.

If you are serious about losing weight – then before you rush to join a gym – book in for a FREE health and wellness check. As a health coach I can help you achieve your short and long term goals and make 2016 the year to remember.

Practice protein

protein basics

I am passionate about helping people lose weight and maintain their weight by practicing their protein but what does that mean? Protein ‘diets’ have often hit headlines with eg the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet.

Why is protein so important? How does it really help you lose weight? Here are 5 reasons why protein can be your weight loss.

1. PROTEIN SATISFIES & SAVES CALORIES  Protein is important because it helps us feel fuller for longer.Protein helps slow down digestion making us more satisfied and less likely to go back for seconds or get caught snacking.

2. IT SLOWS SUGAR HIGHS AND LOWS  Pairing protein with carbohydrate-rich foods slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream which helps keep the  blood sugar from soaring  and  helps prevent cravings

3. PROTEIN REQUIRES MORE OF YOUR ENERGY  The “thermic effect of food” (TEF) is the energy we use to digest food into small, absorbable components. Protein has a higher TEF compared to carbs and fat meaning you’re actually burning more calories to process protein than to process the other two.

4. IT FUELS FAT BURNING  As we lose weight, the body loses both muscle and fat. Having adequate protein coming in from our food fuels fat burning while preserving calorie-burning lean muscle.

5. PROTEIN PROMOTES MUSCLE REPAIR & GROWTH  Protein needs increase  after bouts of intense exercise so increasing your protein intake after exercising  is beneficial. Also, after strength training have a high protein snack , ideally within 30 minutes, when the muscle is sensitive to nutrients that it can use to repair and grow.

Warning!! Eating more protein alone won’t  help you shed excess weight in a healthy way. When consumed in excessive amounts it can still lead to weight gain just like eating too much fat and could put unnecessary strain on the kidneys over a long period of time.


This is how I start every morning – Herbalife protein shake. My favourite – vanilla with banana.

Fast food for smart people!!



Stress and weight!!


Whether you have a weight problem or not – I’m sure you’ll be outraged to read some of the comments in this blog but sadly they are being made all the time even if not out aloud.

A CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch allegedly  told the world that he doesn’t want  overweight women  shopping in his stores as they are not  “cool enough” for their brand.

A Government offical  took his share of jokes and bashings after undergoing gastric bypass surgery.’Would you trust him to make decisions about important world matters if he can’t even control his own eating?’

Unfortunately, we’ve been so brainwashed by the Diet/Medical/Media Industries that overweight people are often the brunt of jokes and sarcastic remarks from those who think that fat people deserve the scorn they receive. “Politically Correct” doesn’t come into the equation when it comes to the overweight.

We have a myth-informed public that insists you get overweight from being undisciplined, lazy and lack the moral fiber to maintain any weight loss achieved. Sadly, overweight people are also quick to accept this castigation, and are frequently first in line to blame themselves for getting overweight in the first place.

‘Overweight people’ are often the first to make the ‘fat joke’ – ever wondered why there are so many clowns and comediens who are large?. The Vicar of Dibley turns to chocolate at every ‘stress’ point.


The fact is, there is something that the vast majority of overweight people have in common. STRESS is the common denominator. Unless you are a very unusual person, a stressful change or event in your life precipitated weight gain. It could be the breakup of a relationship, financial pressures, being afraid of losing your job, illness or death of a close fried or family member, abuse or even humiliation. And there are others effects from stress that may be chronic, like a continuous white noise that you don’t notice, until it’s turned off.

Stress changes how your body metabolizes food. Often  people won’t even change their “normal” eating patterns and they still start gaining weight.

Dieting and over-exercising to overcome overweight also throws the body into stress.

The stress of self-condemnation, depression, and difficult emotions puts your body in a state where it doesn’t feel safe. All of these factors work against any permanent weight loss. This will not change until the stress is managed; or better yet, eliminated.

If losing weight was as easy as claimed often by those who have never dieted, wouldn’t there be just one diet that people would go on, and then they would be “cured” of their overweight for good?

That’s why I’m in the business of healthy eating  – not diets. That’s why I measure and monitor the metabolic rate and it’s not about all about the weight.

That’s why I’m in the Fast Food for Smart People Business. (Healthy fast food and snacks for when you don’t have time or inclination to make that healthy breakfast before leaving for work).

That’s why I’m in the business now of helping with stress. Focusing  during this Christmas Season on Finance. Would you like to pay your  household bills by using cashback from shopping you would have to do anyway?

Please use the website to book an appointment for a ‘Health check’ – FREE with no obligation

Partly adapted from an  article by Lianda Ludwig.

Diet the Big Fat Lies part 3

Many dieters think they can lose weight by skipping breakfast, spending an hour in the gym, sticking to ‘low-fat’ snacks and eating salads. WRONG!!

Most dieters struggle to lose weight – and even if they succeed, many still pile the pounds back on. It’s not surprising when you consider the number of myths associated with dieting.

I would be rich now if I had a pound for everytime someone says ‘ I’ve lost x stone  multiple times over,

Avoiding carbs helps you lose weight

Foods high in carbohydrate have had a rough time in the past few years, thanks to the popularity of low-carb diets such as the Atkins diet. But there’s no evidence that carb-rich foods

are more likely to make us gain weight than any other food. In fact, carbohydrates are the food group most likely to keep you feeling fuller for longer and are the most important source of energy in the diet.

Anyone who follows the low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet will soon begin to feel lethargic and irritable  – the very time you’re most likely to go in search of the biscuit tin.

Your body needs carbs!!

Forget  no-carbing if you want to be healthy and keep weight off. You need carbs to provide you with fibre and high-fibre foods tend to be more filling than low-fibre foods, so they could help you to eat less.

The best carbs are those with a high glycemic index (GI), that raise your blood sugar levels steadily and keep them up.




Diets: the big, fat lies part 2

Many dieters think they can lose weight by skipping breakfast, spending an hour in the gym, sticking to ‘low-fat’ snacks and eating salads. WRONG!!

Most dieters struggle to lose weight – and even if they succeed, many still pile the pounds back on. It’s not surprising when you consider the number of myths associated with dieting.  I would be rich now if I had a pound for everytime someone says ‘ I’ve lost x stone  multiple times over’.

3 You can ‘work off’ a burger/ cafe latte and muffin etc  in the gym

It’s very  common for people to try to offset unhealthy eating habits with exercise, for example eating a Mars Bar or drinking a pint of beer  and believing that  30 minutes running on a treadmill cancels it out.

The trouble is our bodies respond differently to exercise. For some people a  one-hour jog, can be of little benefit when it comes to dropping body fat.

Calorie counters on exercise machines may be to blame for raising people’s hopes. They don’t take into consideration individual body composition, including levels of muscle mass that ultimately determines how much fat you burn.

There’s no doubt that exercising is good for the waistline.

But the sums are tough – ”to lose a pound of fat through exercise, most people need to run 35 miles,” says nutrition and weight loss expert Laura Williams. “Far better to restrict calorie intake.”

4′Lite’ foods and drinks are good for dieters

Foods with labels such as ‘low-fat’ or ‘fat-free’ are often higher in calories than those not labelled ‘low fat’, thanks to the extra sugars and thickeners used to boost the flavour and texture.

Some low-fat products contain up to 60g of sugar per serving – almost as much as a 600ml bottle of Coca-Cola (70g).

Cereal bars are among the worst culprits. While many are lower in fat than chocolate bars, they often contain just as much sugar.

Even “diet” foods that contain fewer calories and less fat aren’t the answer. They are often laced with sweeteners, which may contain xenoestrogens, (these disrupt your hormonal profile and can cause fat storage) and some like aspartamine are still being argued about as whether there is a link to brain tumours.

Diet  drinks have even been linked with weight gain.  In recent studies the risk of obesity was greatest amongst those drinking only diet soft drinks.

This is   because the  artificial sweeteners the drinks contain tell the brain a lot of calories are about to be consumed. When that doesn’t happen, you eat more to compensate. You also can get  used to  a new ‘sweet’ – and then not even apples are  sweet coke


Diets: the big, fat lies part 1

Many dieters think they can lose weight by skipping breakfast, spending an hour in the gym, sticking to ‘low-fat’ snacks and eating salads. WRONG!!

Most dieters struggle to lose weight – and even if they succeed, many still pile the pounds back on. It’s not surprising when you consider the number of myths associated with dieting.  I would be rich now if I had a pound for everytime someone says ‘ I’ve lost x stone  multiple times over’.

1.Skipping a meal can help you lose weight

The opposite is true – we gain weight when we skip meals because our metabolism slows right down as a result of storing fat. Your body assumes you’re starving and goes into survival mode.

Skipping breakfast is particularly bad . One study found that people skipping breakfast were nearly five times more likely to be obese, one reason for this is that it prevents you from having high-fat and high-calorie snacks during the morning.”

Your body has gone through an overnight fast and when you break that fast, you give your brain the food it needs to perform,  If your brain fails to get this kick-start, you inevitably start craving the kinds of food that will raise your blood glucose and brain glucose quickly,  usually unhealthy, high-sugar foods that have the fastest effect.

If you really want to lose weight, eat both meals and snacks. Eating little and often is now recognised as the best way to keep your metabolism on an even keel. It will also stop you overeating at the next meal.

2Fats are bad

Not eating fats can make us fat.

Omega 3 fatty acids – found in oily fish, some nuts, seeds and beans – can inhibit fat storage in the body.

They also increase thermogenesis, the internal body heat system that accelerates calorie burning. When we eat food rich in the Omegas we  accelerate fat burning, and  stem hunger and reduce cravings

Next week hear  about other bad habits you may have thought were good that are hindering your weight loss.avocado

Excuse to not go to the gym?

‘I’m too busy to go to the gym’, ‘I can’t afford the gym’, ‘I get bored at the gym’. These are three excuses I have made about going to the gym.

How many excuses have you made in the past?

With 10 Fridays to Christmas and just a few more to the New Year – we are soon to be reaching the time of year when gym membership applications rocket.

Have you ever made a new year resolution to go to the gym only to find a few months later that you have lapsed.I know someone who signed  a 2 year contract and never went once. Not mentionning any names (but I do wonder why  my husband looks guilty when gyms are mentionned and I do know he was secretly relieved when the gym burned down.)

Great news – going to the gym could make you increase your weight? – that’s why you don’t go!!

The key problem is that we reward ourselves with ‘treats’ after exercise – or have the “I’ve been to the gym, so I can eat what I want mentality”.

Exercise is a good way to keep weight off – but it’s not a good way to lose it. Going to the gym will burn calories – but alot  less than we think.

1lb of fat is 3,500 calories — so to burn 1lb of fat you’d need to run about 38 miles.’

So lets imagine you treat yourself to a  muffin and latte .

If you run one mile, you burn roughly 100 calories.A muffin contains around 500 calories – so you would have to run for five miles or walk for 10 miles to burn it off.

And when it comes to a latte – which has around 150 calories – it would be 1.5 miles of running or a three-mile (hour long) walk.

That is why people never lose weight going to the gym in the long-run.

Sleep deprivation and obesity

The time is 1.35am and I am sitting writing a blog about late nights and a link with obesity in teenagers. Is there a moral here?  It’s OK I’m not a teenager so need to worry.

Researchers in the US have  found that for  each additional hour teenagers stayed up during the school week there is  an increase of 2.1 points in body mass index.

Although BMI (body mass index) does not distinguish between lean muscle and fat, and the researchers  did not measure waist circumference, the study does raise  concerns about  a link between lack of sleep and obesity.

There was also a link found between an increase consumption of fast food and lack of sleep.

A study from University of Bristol published recently, found that if you need a lie-in at weekends to make up for lack of sleep in the week, you may be at risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

As well as lack of sleep being linked to obesity, night shift work has also been linked to being severely overweight, because sleeping during the day burns fewer calories than sleeping at night. Another factor is that  hormones linked with feeling  hungry and  feeling satisfied  are affected  by sleep deprivation.  Shift workers often choose high sugar and fat foods to satisfy that hunger!!

The secret is to go to bed early. My father always used to say to me – ‘an hour before midnight is worth two after’.
I never questioned it back than . I wish I had now. Where was the evidence? I guess no US or UK Universities probably his mother and before her, her mother……….

Christmas Crackers

Is it  crackers to be talking about  Christmas in September?

I thought that as I  went into my local garden centre last weekend – the first thing I saw was a Christmas tree.

Around the corner though, was devastation as old displays were being demolished and the start of the red and gold theme was becoming apparent on the first few reassembled displays.

Fortunately Rudolph the Reindeer wasn’t being played otherwise I may have walked back into the sunshine and ambient 22 degree temperature of a September afternoon.

However if you need to lose a stone in weight before Christmas or drop a dress or trouser size then now is a good time  to start to start planning for Christmas.

Find out more by  booking  in for a FREE consultation

Are you getting ready for Christmas

Are you getting ready for Christmas?

3 Day Trial Results

I wasn’t recognised the other day – this person was amazed at how much slimmer and younger I looked.

Thankyou Herbalife

Sian Birch View All

I started the 3 day diet, easy to follow , didn’t even bother to reweigh I just knew I felt better. I immediately  started on the full weight loss management programme

Mamoona from Ashton under Lyne View All

I lost 2 cm off naval , didn’t lose any weight but gained 1 lb muscle. Had more energy

Lilian from Manchester View All

Being diagnosed with terminal cancer – I often just don’t feel like eating. having a healthy shake ensures that I get all the protein, vitamins and minerals my body needs.

Karen from Sale View All

I lost 1 lb 2 oz, 3cm off naval and chest and even 1 cm off right arm and wrist!!! Amazing !!

Juliet from Oldham View All

Lost pounds!!!  Lost 2% body fat !!  Lost  a few years off my metabolic age !!

Then I went on holiday and lapsed.

On returning – the ne thing I noticed perhaps more than my weight gain were the dark circles under my eyes. Whilst on the herbalife shakes the dark rings disappeared

Gayatri from Ashton-Under-Lyne View All

I lost  1lb , 1 % body fat  3 cm off naval and 2 years off my metabolic age !!

Ceri from Ashton View All

Lost 2lbs and 3 cms off my waist – am going to carry on with the Herbalife

Becky from Ashton under Lyne View All

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