Thank you, Jenni Murray!

By Judith Wills, Friday 27 April 2012

Well I'm feeling a lot better about myself this week, thanks to broadcaster Jenni Murray, who has managed to put back on all the five stones she lost on the Dukan Diet last year, writes Judith Wills
BreadIs giving up carbs really the best thing for long term weight loss?

And there's me moaning, and I'd only put on five pounds! (Mind you, that still represents over 20% of my total loss so it isn't as trifling as you'd think.)

It would be easy for me to use her plight as a reason to have a go at the Dukan Diet. I'm not a fan of his high-protein plan for several reasons, some of which are:

  • Why give up a whole food group (carbs) if you can lose weight happily without doing so?
  • Why give up carbs when they provide a range of nutrients that many high-protein foods lack and which are necessary for our health?
  • Why pretend that it isn't 'how much' you eat, but 'what type of food' you eat, when all known nutritional science shows time and again that indeed, 'how much' - i.e. how many calories - is a vital factor in weight control? Dukan works mainly because it restricts calories.
  • Why encourage the world population to scoff even more meat than we do already, when a high meat diet is wasteful of our planet's resources?
  • Why encourage us to eat more meat during a recession, when meat is one of the most expensive food items in our shops?

It would be easy, but I'm not going to. Because the fact is that Jenni Murray gained back her five stones after she came OFF the Dukan Diet - so how can I blame him for that? No doubt if she'd stuck with it, at least 80% of the time, or so, she'd still be a svelte little thing today.

No - she was so relieved to come off his restrictive plan, that she went out and binged on everything non-Dukan that she could find - bread, wine, pies, and cake no doubt included.

And she didn't stop. And all those naughty things made her fat again.

Actually - can I change my mind? I will blame that high-protein diet, if not Dr Dukan himself, as had Jenni chosen a more moderate, balanced approach, and allowed herself to include carb foods, and treats, in moderation while she slimmed down, she would have had no need to go so mad once she was let out of jail.

There really IS no point at all in anyone losing weight, ever, if it's all going to come racing back on. Pointless, pointless, pointless, and it makes me mad.

Oh look, damn - I started this off all bitchily happy at Jenni's plight, and now a few words later, I'm not. But I'm slightly perked up by the fact she's now doing the WeightWatchers plan, which is at least a positive start to the daunting task of trying to get it all off a second time in two years.

PS I have actually lost one of my five pounds now.

Chicken traybake with sliced squash, sweet potato and red onionAte last night: Chicken traybake with sliced squash, sweet potato and red onion, doused with lemon juice and a bit of cumin seed. Just fling decent chicken pieces (most of skin removed) in a roasting pan with sliced vegetables, toss all in olive oil and seasoning, roast at 190c, turning once or twice, for 50 minutes, adding a little chicken stock, juice of a lemon and cumin for the last 15 minutes. If you're feeling diligent you can brown the chicken pieces first.

Catch up with Judith's Diet Challenge blog posts.

Join the discussion on Saga Zone forums

Judith's Saga Zone thread.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.


  • 79

    What to eat when you've got to have something!

    I think one of my problems is that I'm marginally bored, writes Judith Wills

    Read on

  • Judith Wills

    April 13, 2012: Why is this so hard?

    So I lost the weight last year, I got fit - or at least, fitter - and felt quite pleased with myself

    Read on

  • Porthmadog

    April 5, 2012: a wet weekend in Wales

    I love North Wales. I've spent several happy family holidays tramping around the valleys of Snowdonia and even puffing up some of the peaks; I've dug sand on the beaches and paddled in the freezing seas.

    Read on

  • Judith Wills

    The sensible alternative to the fat tax, Prime Minister

    At last October's Conservative party conference, David Cameron talked the talk about imposing a 'fat tax' on high-fat, high-sugar items such as sweets, cakes, chocolate, biscuits and sugary drinks, to try to curb the UK's obesity problem

    Read on

  • Health Club

    Health Club

    Free membership and free online assessment to see how healthy you could be.


  • HCP thumbnail

    Health Cash Plan

    You can claim up to 75% of your common everyday healthcare expenses including dental and optical treatments.


  • Saga Health Insurance

    Health insurance

    A comprehensive range of competitively priced HealthPlans.



Type your comment here

 characters remaining.

Health Cash Plan

Over 50s can claim back 75% of healthcare costs

  • Help with everyday healthcare expenses
  • Cash towards dental and optical bills, plus many more healthcare costs. 



Saga health e-newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest health news by signing up to our fortnightly health e-newsletter.

Champneys spa breaks

3 nights for 2 or 20% discount

Exclusive Saga offer - treat yourself to rest, relaxation and rejuvenation with a break at a Champneys resort.

Pinterest - what is it and how do you use it?

Social networks are evolving as new sites fill niches – and perhaps none has made a bigger impact recently than Pinterest.