If ever there was an award for the most unlikely slimming regimes, the Greggs diet would certainly be in the running.
The bakery giant launched its Minimise Me plan in July 2017. Now a new TV series claims eating nothing but food sold by the chain – including its infamous sausage rolls – can indeed help trim the waistline.
In the Channel 4 show How To Lose Weight Well, volunteer David Hulston, 46, shed 2st in just six weeks by living solely off Greggs products. David, a choreographer from London, wanted to slim down for a friend’s wedding.
The bakery giant launched its Minimise Me plan in July 2017. Now a new TV series claims eating nothing but food sold by the chain – including its infamous sausage rolls – can indeed help trim the waistline
Presenters Dr Xand van Tulleken and Yorkshire GP Dr Helen Lawal challenged him and five other recruits to stick to different diets to try to achieve their goals.
David’s brief was to consume no more than 1,800 calories a day for six weeks by consuming only snacks on the Minimise Me menu.
On a typical day this included an egg roll for breakfast, a sausage roll for lunch and coconut, lime and chilli chicken salad for dinner, with a banana and a fruit medley pot for snacking between meals.
Other daily menus included red berry porridge for breakfast, one slice of margherita pizza for lunch and a ham salad sub roll for dinner – again with a pot of fruit medley for snacks. Alcohol was strictly off-limits.
The results showed that David dropped from 17st to 15st and his waistline shrunk sufficiently for him to be able to wear his kilt to the wedding. ‘I’m over the moon,’ he said after discovering how much he had lost. ‘I did feel hungry but I’m glad I stuck to it. I’m fast approaching 50 and want to feel fit by the time I do. But when I started I was the heaviest I’ve ever been – and I love Greggs pasties. If you think you have the willpower, then go for it.’
Other daily menus included red berry porridge for breakfast, one slice of margherita pizza for lunch and a ham salad sub roll for dinner – again with a pot of fruit medley for snacks. Alcohol was strictly off-limits
His partner John lost 21lb on a wholefood diet that involved cooking from scratch and avoiding alcohol, sweeteners and junk food.
Dr van Tulleken says: ‘There’s always something we want to slim down for – whether it’s a wedding or a holiday. But how do we know which diet will work for us? In this series, we test the latest diets.’
Another surprise hit in the show is the potato diet. It involves eating nothing but up to 5lb of potatoes a day – boiled, mashed or baked – for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Only a few drops of olive oil and chopped herbs are allowed for flavouring.
Proponents claim it can help slimmers drop as much as 10 lb in a week, but the controversial regime is so low in protein that those on it are advised not to undertake any form of heavy exercise, as their energy levels will be severely depleted.
One volunteer ate boiled potatoes three times a day for a week. She dropped from 12st 4 lb to 11st 6 lb – a whopping 12 lb.
But Dr van Tulleken warns: ‘Crash-dieting is frowned upon by many health professionals for being unbalanced. It can be also be dangerous and might not offer long-lasting results.’
And dietician Marcela Fiuza says: ‘Eating just 1,800 calories daily, no matter where from, will result in weight loss.
‘But a Greggs-only diet lacks fresh produce and vital vitamins and minerals and is high in sugar and fat.’
l How To Lose Weight Well is on Channel 4 on Monday, January 7 at 8pm.