Six years ago, Denise Welch, 60, decided it was time to make a change. She’d already given up alcohol, which, she said, was “one of the best decisions I’ve ever made”. But, while some people may shed huge amounts of weight in the process of ditching the beverage, the actor and Loose Women star saw the opposite. Rather, she replaced the drink with sugary treats, a habit which soon saw her pile on two stone.
My knees were hurting, and I felt quite breathless
Denise Welch on beginning her weight loss journey
“There is this thing that if you take alcohol out of your life, you immediately lose weight, but actually, it’s very often the case that the complete opposite is true,” she said during an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk.
“Because, if you are an addictive personality, which I am, you very often replace one addition with another.
“So, I gave up alcohol and started to replace it with what could have been a potential food addiction, and obviously as well I had years of sugar, from the alcohol, that had been surging through my veins suddenly removed. That had to be replaced by something.”
Initially, Denise didn’t worry about putting on a bit of weight, instead focusing on the pride which she quite rightly felt from having given up alcohol.
But, she soon realised she had put on two stone – and it resulted in problems with her health.
“My knees were hurting, and I felt quite breathless,” she explained. “I’m quite good at self-analysing myself about many things and I thought, ‘I’m in trouble here. I’m eating like I was drinking.’”
Her habit also saw her secret eating, as well as overeating.
With her wedding approaching, Denise decided to overhaul her lifestyle – and shared her hopes to do so very publicly: during a chat on Loose Women.
It was around this time when LighterLife got in contact with her – and Denise decided to give the weight plan a go.
“I knew that this was something I wanted to do for life, because I was potentially going to destroy my life with an eating disorder: a potential food addiction as opposed to an alcohol addiction,” she said.
As well as eating the LighterLife food packs, Denise took part in group cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) counselling calls.
The actor went on to explain how these total dietary replacement (TDR) packs are designed to allow slimmers to focus on the CBT.
“This company was started by three women who were morbidly obese, and had tried everything else in the world and were really seriously putting their health in danger,” she said.
What has the NHS said about the LighterLife diet plan?
The British Dietetic Association (BDA) has reviewed this plan which combines a very low-calorie diet (VLCD) with weekly counselling, and the results have been published on the NHS website.
It has pointed out that the plan can lead to rapid weight loss, but it’s recommended you see your GP before begininng LighterLife.
“Rapid weight loss can be motivating, but it’s unsustainable,” the BDA said.
However, it did point out that the VLCD and counselling component may work for some people. Find out more of its advice on the NHS website.
Denise Welch flaunts her figure
Denise Welch flashes cleavage in plunging glitzy gown.
Denise Welch flaunts her figure
“The reason for taking food out of the equation is that so the CBT can work, you are concentrating solely on changing your relationship with food.
“And, while you’re doing that, taking food out of the equation is the best answer.”
Nowadays, Denise, who is celebrating six years with LighterLife this month, maintains her weight loss on the LighterLife FlexiFasting Plan.
The actor also ensures that she maintains a balance in her diet, by having the odd treat each week.
“I’ll have a treat on a Sunday. I love fish and chips as my treat. Being on the LighterLife journey doesn’t mean I can’t have fish and chips, I can’t have a desert, it doesn’t mean I can’t have these things.
“It just means that I make informed decisions to have them – rather than reaching for [unhealthy] food in times of emotional stress.”
Denise Welch lost two stone in two months following the LighterLife Total Plan, and has been maintaining her weight with the LighterLife FlexiFasting Plan. Visit www.lighterlife.com for more information.
If you’re worried about your own or someone else’s drinking, you can call Drinkline, the national alcohol helpline, on 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am to 8pm, weekends 11am to 4pm).
For support and information about eating disorders, call the UK eating disorder charity Beat for free. Helplines are open 365 days a year (weekdays 12pm – 8pm, weekends and bank holidays 4pm-8pm). Adult Helpline: 0808 801 0677 Studentline: 0808 801 0811 Youthline: 0808 801 0711
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