10 Things You Need to Know About Losing Weight

10 Things You Need to Know About Losing Weight

2009, Health  -   81 Comments
Ratings: 7.55/10 from 125 users.

10 Things You Need to Know About Losing WeightEvery year millions of people in Britain try to lose weight, and most fail. We are constantly bombarded with advice about dieting and the latest slimming fads. But what really works? In this programme, medical journalist Michael Mosley investigates the latest scientific breakthroughs in slimming, uncovering ten of the simplest ways you can shed those pounds. From the slimming secrets of soup to our brain's response after skipping meals, what he discovers may completely change the way you think about diets, health and losing weight.

Michael does not look like he is at all overweight, but while making this film he discovered that he, like millions of others, has internal body fat around his kidneys and liver that he really needs to lose. So he tries out the scientific tips himself, and by the end of the film he succeeds in losing the weight he wants. Plus, musician Alex James, who is a passionate cheese maker, tries out an intriguing scientific discovery - that low-fat dairy products can help you excrete more fat from all your food.

Radio presenter Amy Lame learns how just a few small changes in her daily routine can help burn significantly more calories, which is handy for those who hate exercise and the gym. And actress Debbie Chazen, who eats healthy foods, has her metabolism checked and keeps a food diary - with some surprising results.

We discover the scientific reasons why soup keeps you feeling fuller for longer than solid food: it's all to do with the particular way the stomach shrinks and expands, and we'll prove it using ultrasound scans of Territorial Army recruits. Full of practical tips and scientific insights, we discover how anyone can lose weight more easily.

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81 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Marcia Everett

    ooh so much so much. 1) wouldn't it be great to have National healthcare where we could all get ourselves examined to see what's going on. 2) Lots of little doo dads. I asked a woman who had lost a lot of weight once what she did and when she said EAT LESS i was crushed because I knew i couldn't. 3) Protein may keep you full but some of us want to eat less meat to No meat. and beans are pasty. Can a protein shake with low fat milk work? 4) LOW FAT? I often see LO-CAL but rarely low fat (on dairy) gotta lotta searching to do.

  2. Debra Harris

    Really good post! Hope there will be more good post here!Thanks for sharing valuable information. great video.

  3. Jure

    Thank you very much for making this film! I love the idea of achieving big changes by implementing small ones into my daily routine and the advice shown in the movie will help me do just that ^^ Thanks!

  4. Nick Riley

    That fat around your kidney houses your adrenal glands and performs an important shock absorption function.
    There is fat dispersed internally for a reason.

    1. Ceci

      Some fat is necessary, but a lot of fat is dangerous!

  5. Corey Lee Wrenn

    What about the vast majority of Nonwhite people who can't digest dairy? As though dairy is the only source of calcium instead of healthy, cholesterol free, pus and blood free, cruelty free dark green vegetables.

    1. CarlaKah

      So TRUE!!!!!

  6. Liz

    I agree completely with the tendency to under report calories. It's so easy to forget extra things that add up - olive oil when cooking, a random snack or taste of something offered by a friend, sauces, etc.

  7. Beata Filipiak

    The documentary is really informative and uplifting. I had no clue what the afterburn effect was, or that protein, calcium or a regular soup had such a favorable impact on slimming.

  8. John S

    I don't know what people don't understand..it's calories in vs calories out...duh...I lost 25 lbs by doing this...No expensive, ridiculous weight loss companies wanting ypu to eat "their food". Change what you eat to more plant-based foods..eat less...done!

    1. John Stejre

      From one John S to Another =o]

      NO its not "calories in vs calories out" you obeously knnow nothing about nutrision.

      A calorie in never a calorie, it depends on where it comes from, the source ex white flower or vegetable calorie brakes down differently in the body and becomes energy very differently.
      I can eat 6000cal from protein and fat and not gain a pound but if i eat 3000cal from carbs a tend to fatten very quickly =o/

    2. Ronald Conner

      I can eat 6000cal from protein and fat and not gain a pound . god must really like you. unless your talking about a week not a day.

    3. Fahd Chaudhry

      Or he's already weights around 600 pounds.

    4. Sy2502

      In other news, famed scientist John Stejre has demonstrated the Laws of Thermodynamics are wrong.

      Come on now...

    5. JB Rz

      Laws of thermodynamics also states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. But it also can be transfered into a different form, another compound that has potential energy. You took his statement quite literally my friend.

      Come on now...

    6. Sarah

      The body processes calories differently, depending on the source. Complex carbs take more energy to break down than refined/processed/simple carbs. If you go low carb, your body will go into ketosis and you will urinate out ketone bodies. It takes energy to break down fat, which is part of why Atkins/low carb diets actually WORK for most people who actually follow them (i.e. not someone who eats fried chicken with sugary dressings in a tortilla wrap twice per day and calls it "low carb").

  9. Nicola-Jane Wiseman

    I'm confused here... scientific analysis of the poo samples taken said that there was double amount of the fat excreted when Blur man was on the high calcium diet than when he was not. The conclusion at the end of that from the presenter was that an individual that followed a high calcium diet 'MAY' help with weight loss. How come 'may'? Wasn't it already proven in the scientific trial that it will? Or am I missing something?..

    1. Gennybean Arenga

      They said 'may' to cover their asses. Since people different from each other, each person will react to a certain diet differently than the next. It also depends on the demographic that they studied and how many participants they have had. This is what makes nutrition hard, each diet is unique to an individual. So keeping in mind that last sentence, following a high calcium diet may or may not help you lose weight depending on how your body reacts to the said diet.

    2. Sy2502

      While people who have trouble losing weight try to justify themselves with the "special snowflake" excuse, barring specific medical problems, the human body works very much the same for all human beings. And even the "special snowflakes" will often benefit from the same exact common sense information in the documentary. I was born with a rare genetic disorder by which my body makes less of a chemical needed to burn stored fatty acids, but I do exactly the same things in the documentary: portion control, sensible food choices, exercises. And while I may have to work harder than others, I have low body fat and am in great shape.

    3. Organ_Morgan

      English is preferred here. The "special snowflake" excuse is some obscurity.

    4. Achems_Razor

      Quit trolling, otherwise you are out of here!

    5. Organ_Morgan

      I am not trolling. I am seeking meaning where obscurity was given.

    6. Sy2502

      The "special snowflake" expression is English.

    7. Organ_Morgan

      Is it? The two individual words are English, but what do they mean as a duo in the sentence above?

  10. Christopher,

    i love how everyone here thinks their an expert. Someone on a low carb diet can lose more weight eating more then they were before. So there goes your theory about calories in vs calories out.

  11. Maorigirl

    I just saw this, it aired in NZ last night and like a lot of you found it very interesting, unfortunately I only saw it from about number 4 onwards. Did anyone take all of this down or are they able to provide a link to the info? I'm particularly interested in the bit about breakfast. I use to muesli and fruit but guarantee that within an hour I was hungry again. For breakfast this morning (7.30am after an hour work out at the gym) I had ham, baked beans and mushrooms on toast (forgot to take an egg to work with me) and lo and behold I only began to get peckish about 11.50am. Amazing!!

  12. energywrx

    This was interesting. It seemed to end before the documentary was complete. I do question some of the information, especially the part on dairy. The more high fat dairy in your diet may produce more fat in your poo but it also produces more fat in your blood stream. Non-dairy alternatives like margarine actually produce more plaque in your blood stream, so natural fats are better for you, but I wouldn't go hog wild with it. Fats actually bind to high fiber veggies, like carrots really well, if they are eaten at the end of a high fat meal - which seems to make more common sense to me.

    1. zzowee

      They didn't say high fat dairy, they said low-fat dairy. The guy was taking in the same total amount of fat both weeks, just from different sources. The difference is that the week when he didn't have dairy he didn't get the extra calcium to "wash" out the fat from his body before it could absorb it.

  13. devastatingjoe

    Save yourself the time...
    Eat low fat dairy, get sleep, its not your metabolism, exercise daily, eat smaller portions and blend your food.

    1. Sieben Stern

      dairy is horrible - the one thing that makes me pack it on. beef, milk, cheese - cow products. blech.

  14. Katie Land

    I liked this documentary. Alot of useful tips, and things that I didn't already know about. The only problem I have is, why the hell you decided to cut the ending off! You should probably add that on.

  15. Wise__Guy

    How seriously can you take a doctor who says "I'm not too keen on exercise" and still hopes to keep weight off healthily? No "science-based" plan, as he puts it, is going to relieve him of the need - the absolute necessity - to exercise.

  16. Chris Shaw

    Only need one way.. it's a magical diet I have been thinking up for a while now. It's called the "Eat less food" diet. If having too much food to eat has become an issue then you have a very cushy life and maybe give some food to people that need it. If weight is an issue then simply stop lifting your hand to your mouths a bit. Er am I missing something?

    1. Katie Land

      OH! Just eat less!? Well why didn't someone just tell us that sooner, maybe everyone would be skinny! Obviously you've never had a problem with food. It's just a bit more complicated than that for some people.

  17. Dimitri Peruzzi

    Interesting. It does give good tips on how to keep fat off, but we need also to remember that test performed on a single subject and once, can not be considered 100% truth for all subjects. Dima Almazov

  18. athenascurse

    We all have the best idea on dieting. But I have found the best of all diets. You can eat what you want and never need to exercise. If you wish to add exercise and watching what you eat into it you can do at your own leisure.
    8 to 10 glasses every day!
    And it needs to be Ice cold water.
    It takes your stomach more work
    to warm the water which in turn burns fat
    and cleanses all the bad things in food
    and in your body. The cold in the water has
    to be a particular temperature before it
    hits your other organs into your bladder.
    Which in turn makes you lose tons of weight
    I lost 52 lbs in 3 months.
    And am still loosing.

    The only thing that ppl need to start avoiding is
    Pop is the biggest problem in americas population
    of obesity.
    Instead of hitting the candy section,
    hit the veggies and fruits.
    Grab and apple instead of a Snickers.

    Its the way you think about food that makes it
    sometimes difficult to lose weight at times.

    Trust me this actually works. Vs, all the other
    diet bull.

    1. Khal Shamia

      I'm someone who bases theories on nothing but Logic. And that seemed rather logical to me. It made sense. I'm a professional personal trainer, and I might recommend this diet to my clients if it works as well as it has for you. So all it is, is just 8 to 10 glasses of ice cold water, spread out throughout the day, and you'll lose a ton of weight? :) Thanks!

    2. Katie Land

      Even if you drink tons of ice cold water you won't be able to burn off enough calories to be able to eat whatever you want :/ I can see that you would burn a few extra cals by it being cold and that drinking that much would keep you a little fuller, but this is an addition to a good diet. Not a diet itself.

    3. charley

      Yes, this works, as I have done a variation of it for years, each summer during gardening season. I get very hot and thirsty gardening so every few hours I gulp down as much of my 50 degree well water as I can. It gives me a bloated feeling and kills my appetite immediately. I dropped from 198 lbs down to 169 lbs in three months this year, without having any hunger pangs or desire to eat. Whether a non-workaholic could do this I don't know, as being hot and thirsty is the driver of the process I think.

      Unfortunately as soon as my gardening workout is over for the year my weight starts back up as my appetite returns. My waist goes from 38 to 32 inches and back again each year, as my weight goes from near 200 lbs down to 150 lbs and back.

  19. Losing Stomach Fat

    The best tip I got for weight loss was to get your fitness training done in the morning before you eat anything, your body tucks into your fat stores for energy.

  20. ProudinUS

    I have a 10 "Don'ts" list you need to know about loosing weight........and here they are:

    1) Don't look like my wife! (rolls-a-plenty)

    2) Don't look like my wife's sister! (pound-for pound..intimadating)

    3) Don't look like my wife and her sisters mom!(Michelin' Man)

    4) Don't go to a restaurant with them and expect to be done any time soon.They might rub off on you!( they usually stay there long enough to roll into the next meal time.)

    5) Don't expect to stand in back of them and be seen in a picture!(No 3-D version in that shot.) This is only for a before and after shot.

    6) Don't mention that you're on a vegetarian diet in front of them!
    ( because they are very skilled with a knife and can butcher a whole chicken in less then a minute and have that thing cooked and in front of you before your will power would even have a chance to kick in)

    7) Don't tell my wife and her sister's mom that their obesity might be genetacal!( because she will get in your face and smear your make-up with all her facial grease and make you hungry)

    8) Don't eat any foods that my wife's family might bring to a social gathering! ( Sally Strothers has been known to unexplainly show up and film a "feed the world" comercial and spoil the event)

    9) Don't take any advice from my wife and her kind when it comes to cooking your favorite dessert!( not only will they make it for you but will have visual evidence leaking from numerous chins each one posseses. In my mother-in-laws case there are four.)

    10) Don't (and this is very important) by any means follow them in a buffet line and listen to them describe every item in the menu! ( they are well educated in the anatomy of animals and are known through out the community as "The Deli Trio".

    These women are very skilled in deception and should be aproached cautiously because they are very sneaky in their natural habitat.

    1. tedkins

      very odd

    2. Guest

      Don't bother learning to spell.

    3. Tina Crisas

      Don't take spelling or grammar lessons from this moron (ProudinUS)

    4. Tina Crisas

      I'm surprised she hasn't dumped your loser, alcoholic and vile a$$ already.

    5. patriotbill

      You don't have to tell me i'm an A$$ I am well aware of this but I could not help myself...I laughed my A$$ of reading that...and about the rest I agree with you...

  21. Cygnus

    So-so doc, many of things are commom sense. Rememeber hearing the same things in second grade. Eat more protein, cut the carbs and excercise, why is that so complex?

  22. wq

    Wow this "afterburn" phenomenon is so interesting! It never occurred to me that this existed though it makes perfect sense!

    as for the milk thing, wonder if specially processed lactose-free milk also works.

    I don't need to lose weight but I really enjoyed this documentary. it's both informative AND interesting.

  23. Kathryn

    Excellent documentary, very informative and it shows that small changes in lifestyle can really go along way. Also the soundtrack was fantastic; Radiohead, Bjork, Blur it was sweet lol.

  24. sarah

    The calcium bit was only about dairy calcium not all types of calcium and they did say you should have low fat dairy options like skimmed milk, low fat creme fraiche, low fat cottage cheese they weren't suggesting you eat lots of high fat dairy. So you would absorb calcium from other sources, but I agree its not clear if it makes the dairy calcium more difficult to absorb or not!

    They didn't re-scan him so it wasn't clear how much visceral fat he had lost....would have been interesting to see the difference.

    However I found it very interesting especially the soup section :0)

  25. Jem Hopkins

    1/ Did Mr Mosely go back for a MRI scan to establish how much of his 5kg weight loss was visceral fat, how much other fat and how much muscle? Is there any DIY method for measuring visceral fat ? I use a special plastic caliper to measure overall body fat as this is claimed to be far more reliable than any technique other than full immersion especially the electrical resistance ones.

    2/ The idea of dietry calcium stopping fats being metabolised is fascinating. As well as the earlier question about possible loss of calcium, I wonderer whether this effects all fats equally, or is it biased towards un-saturated or saturated or trans etc. Also how much is removed? Did I see a figure of 5gms per day which would equate to a useful but not vast 45 cals? What would be the effect of say a tablespoon of fat-free yoghurt with or immediately after a fat containing meal?

  26. neil

    well i didnt no that you could still burn fat after exercise (afterburn) this makes me feel all the better for exercising.But what would happen if i had a carbohydrate rich meal ie cous cous after i exercise. would this stop the afterburn process because i have topped up on carbs?

  27. Rene



  28. Lili

    In fact, I have watched this documentary on Dubai Channel two days ago. I liked it very much, but I wasn't ablt to see it from the beginnig. I spent long time looking for it on the internet. Finally I found it. It is different and based on scientific experiments that we were able to watch while other (advice) based on experiments that we just read about! Thanks to all those contributed to this documentary.

  29. Evelyn Smith

    How informative and eye opening. Has made my resolve to lose weight more determined. I like Charles B will put my blender to good use.
    Thankyou for this documentry. E.M. Smith

  30. Charles B.

    Wow. I need to eat more protein. I eat cereal for every breakfast, but it's high calorie, but by the time lunch time comes, I'm very hungry and can overeat. More protein in the morning would help stave off hunger pains longer.

    I wish this would tell us how to redude an already enlarged stomach.

    I need to get a blender so we can make soups.

    1. Chris Shaw

      hunger pains.. Really.. hunger pains. Check yourself. for real. Omg the hunger pains. Keep the hunger pains at bay. Dear god. That's insane.

  31. Shania

    I am looking for information on the drink that Debbie Chazen drank that gave her her actual calories consumed as opposed to her perceived calories. This looks like an excellent tool to use in a clinic and I would appreciate it if anyone could guide me to a site/company to get more details :-)

  32. Vlatko

    I've been to Canada twice @Trippinrob. I spent one year there and I must say it is an amazing country... and people are exceptionally polite and easy going.

  33. Trippinrob

    I like food, Nah, I love food, and I'm not going to watch this video (lol) I'm relaxing and having my banana smoothie. Can anybody help me build a magnetic motor, for world peace and stuff...

    Peace & Regards

    Vlatko, you rule. Come to Canada guy,

  34. Colin Hall

    I've found that alternate day fasting has realy benefited me in my weight loss pursuits. I seem to have a very slow system that requires more time to digest, so by only eating on every other day I find that my weight is gradually decreasing (approx 4 lbs per month) and my general feeling of comfort is far higher than previously.

  35. Achems Razor

    @Colin Hall:

    Absolutely! I alternate Atkins diet with all fruit diet, eat only bananas for breakfast, fruit all day long, cleans out the body. Fast a few days, with Welches concord grape juice, all that for a couple of weeks.

    Then still eat lots of fruit, with proteins, lots of exercise, which should not be an option. It is my ongoing regime, lost about 60 pounds overall within 6 months, reduced my waist from 42 inches to 32 inches. And am never hungry.

  36. Colin Hall

    I used to be a great advocate of the Atkins diet when I was in my 30's, but now I'm in my 40's I need something a bit more mean. To keep my fabulous figure ;-) I now do regular, periodic fasting and find it really works for me.

    My 30 day cycles include: 1 x 5 day fast, 1 x 3 day fast and 2 weeks of alternate day fasting. The benefits to me are both physical and lifestyle. Keep in mind I was 17st 10lb when I began, so plenty of fat resources to feed from. The physical is obvious I lose around 8lbs of flab each month, the lifestyle is great because even though I'm dieting I can have a function each weekend and blow out still.

    I'm convinced that the body need time and space to clean out and, for me at least, fasting works :-)

  37. Dante

    holy HELL great soundtrack! boc ftw!

    Excellent doco. Very interesting.

  38. Ping Blog

    I did like this documentary. it was great.


  39. VetTech

    Hey there! Great documentary... thanks for sharing it :-)

  40. Lawrence

    What a great documentary. In fact, I've been using several of the tips and they certainly haven't hurt. I've suggested that several of my friends see the video.

    Still, the biggest thing is counting calories. The better the counting the easier it is to monitor your weight.

  41. Allison

    It was interesting to hear the correlation between being hungry and craving high fat/calorie foods. I've noticed that when I get hungry, I'm much more drawn to the cookies rather than the carrots sticks and often wondered why that was.

    I'm also a believer in the findings that choice leads to higher calorie intake. I always prefer a bit of a palette of flavours. So, if I'm somewhere that variety is plentiful (sushi for example or an indian buffet), I'm much more likely to leave feeling like I've way over eaten.

  42. Michelle

    I was wondering about the calcium bit. If the calcium binds to the fat and is excreted, does that mean the body misses out on the calcium too? Do bones suffer as a result?

  43. John Brady

    I like the emphasis on only bothering with scientifically established fact, rather than the usual conjecture. With that in mind, Lee Evans, do you have any references for your comment above re eating carbs during the day vs during the evening?

  44. Valkyri

    Saying "not all calories are equal" is like saying "not all degrees of centigrade are equal" - a "calorie" is simply a measurement of energy, and yes, they are all as equal as degrees centigrade, inches, or litres.

    If you want to say all "sources" of calories are not equal, that would be correct. However, it's also something so obvious that anyone with even the basic knowledge of food intake knows, and therefore it's either a simple-minded or insulting comment.

    Anyhow, I haven't watched and probably won't - if they're saying dairy is the key to weight loss then they lost all of mine immediately. Humans are the only ones that drink the milk of another animal, and the only ones that drink milk after being weaned. Somehow, I just can't fathom that this is what nature intended for us, nor can I imagine what was going through the head of the first person who decided to take milk out of a cow's udder - to drink. I just hope he had a glass. *squick*

  45. lee evans

    Atkins will put you into ketosis, which is quite effective (and possibly neuroprotective), but evidence points that between diet and longevity, the lower your metabolic rate, the longer you will live. So best of luck to you Charles B.

    oh and the paleo diet Achems mentions- I can personally vouch that on a diet of mostly nuts, eggs, seeds, and fruit, your body will begin to balance itself out.

  46. Nobodies Right

    I would personally stay away from Atkins, it works to lose weight and but you will probably not live excessively long...

  47. Achems Razor

    @ Charles B:

    HaHa, Want to loose weight? Try the Paleo diet.

    Google..."Paleo Diet"

    Or, if you want loose weight fast, Google..."Atkins diet"

  48. Charles B.

    Oooooooooo! I have to watch this one again! And take notes. I want to live to be 100, but I need to take off the weight in order to live a longer more healthy life. It's really not easy at all.

  49. wusha

    great documentary!!!
    thanks for adding

  50. Antonio

    The soup technique works! I have been blending my food (vegetables, potatoes etc) into a pureed soup. I have lost weight and it does work, just make sure you have some protein in the soup as well.

    Great doc, and great information.

  51. lee evans

    The "calories in to calories expended" ratio is a little outdated to be the focal point. Not all calories are equal. This doc lightly touches on how endocrinology impacts metabolism, and would have done well to expand upon this.

    The things you eat and the timing to which you eat them could use more attention, because they impact all sorts of neglected topics in weight regulation (and overall well being). For example, if you eat starchy, carbohydrate-rich foods during the daylight hours, your body will use it to synthesize serotonin, to later be turned into melatonin come nighttime. Your glycogen stores will replenish, and you can use that up during the day. Conversely, if you eat those starchy foods before bed, it raises the chance that the glycogen created then will be relocated to fat storage.

    Sorry for being long winded haha. Some things just seem as if they would be common sense if the public paid more attention to science, and less to opinion programming.

    The calcium bit is interesting. They list dairy calcium specifically as binding to the dietary fat in digestion. I'd like to see a bioavailability chart that wasn't funded by the dairy industry.

    1. Matt Alexander

      "Calories in to caories expended" is a scientific fact. There have been numerous studies published in well respected medical journals where people were fed diets with different macronutrient ratios but with the same calories. Everyone looses the same amount of weight in the long run! That is a fact. However, which ratio is better for overall health and well being is debateable.

      Matt A. D.C.

  52. Karen

    So that explains why some people are not absorbing calcium.

  53. prakash

    what happened the big sugar video