Dietitian’s Inspiration

Be inspired by Brett.

He has already lost 2 stone 10 lbs. Will he reach his ‘dream’ weight? Join him on his weight loss journey. Brenda Smith, a Registered Dietitian, shares her client’s experience.

Brett is 60 years old with Type 2 diabetes which is controlled by diet and medication. He started with a BMI of 36.9kg/m2 (Obese, 21 Stone 11 lbs) and after 6 weeks has lost 2 stone 10 lbs. At the beginning of the Programme we discussed his weight history, previous weight loss attempts and his attitude to a range of weights. His ‘acceptable’ weight was 19 stone and he has already achieved this. He has successfully pushed through his 5% and 10% weight loss targets. These goals are clinically important because this is when weight loss starts to translate into health benefits. The diabetic nurse recently reduced his diabetic medication because his blood glucose measurements have started to fall. Why has he been successful so far? What I think is less important, it’s what he thinks that is more important.

This quarterly news letter follows Brett’s story at the beginning of the Counterweight Plus (CWP) Programme using his own words and followed by my observations. The Programme targets 15% weight loss but clients can lose more. It is a year long programme that has 3 phases. Brett is in Phase 1, the Total Diet Replacement phase which lasts 12 weeks. Phase 2 is the Food Reintroduction Phase and Phase 3 is the Maintenance Phase. During the Total Diet Replacement Phase, clients have a daily menu of 4 sachets of shakes and soups plus some milk (and plain yogurts depending on their plan). The Total Diet Replacement Phase kick starts their weight loss. It also allows them to have a break from food and to reflect on their past eating behaviours. In the Food Reintroduction Phase, the shakes and soups are replaced with balanced meals. This is done gradually. By the end of the Programme, clients should have a balanced diet and be able to maintain their new lower weight. In subsequent quarterly news letters, I hope to update you on Brett’s journey.

What were your reservations before starting, including any cost reservations?
My main reservation was that I wouldn’t have the willpower to stick it out and do it justice. Fear of failure in other words.
With regard to cost reservations I didn’t have any. I don’t know what my pre-diet food bill amounted to, so I had no thoughts on whether the programme was more expensive. I just thought that losing weight was my top priority given my diabetes so that the sums mentioned were not that important.

I carefully screen my client’s for suitability. CWP was appropriate for Brett and I believe he will be successful because he was ready to make changes and losing weight is his ‘top priority’. He has worked his lifestyle around losing weight. He wants to be a healthier weight to improve his diabetic outcomes and prevent health complications such as heart disease and nerve damage.

What do you think now?
The diet is not that hard to stick to. What helped here is that I was forewarned by yourself to expect the toughest part to be in the first few days – so I was ready for that. Also at our second meeting when I said I was hungry you queried that and asked me if it was really just that I wanted the sensation of food in my mouth. And when I thought about it, that is what it was and I remind myself of that when I find myself thinking of food. Also my wife is a great help – she takes care not to fill the house with the smell of food by baking or using the slow cooker for example. Lastly the counsel you gave me to keep what I’m doing to myself was sound advice.

Sometimes a client may come across people in their life who may not be as supportive of their weight loss as they would like. For example some people may be jealous of their success, pressurise them to eat or don’t think it’s healthy to be on the Total Diet Replacement Plan. Brett has ongoing support from his wife in addition to the 1:1 support I provide at appointments. I encourage clients to identify family, friends, groups and colleagues who will be supportive to their weight loss journey.

With regard to cost, my wife told me that her gut instinct is that we are spending no more on food than we did before.

The cost of the shakes and soups is £2.14 per meal. I provide these at cost. I am an independent dietitian and get no kind of commission for providing the shakes and soups or providing this Programme.

Why do you think it is working for you?
It works for me because it is simple to follow and there is no ‘wriggle’ room – i.e. nothing left for me to interpret such as ‘sin free food’. The only thing that can go wrong on any one day is to forget what I’ve already had and keeping a food diary takes care of that.

Brett has already started to discover his behaviours towards food and has started to manage difficult times using forward planning and alternative activities in high risk situations. These behaviour modifications will become powerful tools when we start re-introducing foods in his diet.

What do you hope to achieve?
When I started I wrote down my ‘dream’ weight and my acceptable weight. Now into my sixth week these targets seem readily achievable. I think I would like to replace these targets with the target of getting into a ‘normal’ weight range, be that measured by BMI, total fat % or how normal my visceral fat level was. The latter is what got me started and what continues to motivate me is my Type 2 diabetes.

Brett’s ‘dream’ weight is 16 stone 7 lbs. So far, he has made the most of the Programme and I think he will achieve his ‘dream’ weight and hopefully go on to reach a healthy body indicator. He continues to inspire me with his commitment. Most recently he has returned to the gym and went out on his push bike.
More details on the weight loss programmes I provide and my wider services with costs can be found on or if you would like an informal chat please call me or book an appointment at Springbank Clinic.