A 1-day Mumsnet Academy course announced with health expert Dr John Briffa

(47 Posts)
PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 11-Sep-12 09:39:54

Hello everyone,

After the success of his recent webchat, we are delighted to announce that health, diet and weight specialist Dr John Briffa will be teaching an intensive 1-day course for the Mumsnet Academy on 21 October.

During the course Dr John will explore what happens to the body when we take conventional advice to eat less and exercise more and explain why this approach causes the body to defend its weight and doom us to long-term failure. He'll also reveal how to overcome the pitfalls of common weight loss strategies, talk about the types of exercise that can help shift fat and enhance health as well as divulging critical information on how to deal with issues that can sabotage our attempts to lose weight including negative body image, food cravings and compulsive eating.

There are only limited places available on this fabulous course, so if you are interested in more information or would like to register, click here.

Useful information might be:
Where is the course being held?
How much does it cost?
Sorry, but if eating less and exercising more doesn't lead to weight loss, I'm not sure what does, it sounds a bit gimmicky to me.

ladymuckbeth Tue 11-Sep-12 13:07:05

If you click on the link those questions are immediately answered InMySpareTime hmm

There's a lot of evidence to suggest that the eat less exercise more brigade has been wrong all along. For one thing, they've never been able to explain how if you for example reduced your calorie intake by 100 calories a day or what amounts to roughly 3500 a month, that would according to the theory lose one pound in weight - but if you continued to do that for the rest of your life..... then what? You eventually die? hmm. It has always sounded good to bleat "eat less, exercise more" at frustrated dieters, but the ogic fails at the first hurdle.

teaandthorazine Tue 11-Sep-12 13:28:30

<<Sorry, but if eating less and exercising more doesn't lead to weight loss, I'm not sure what does, it sounds a bit gimmicky to me>>

Yep. Because eating less and exercising more works so well for people, doesn't it?


BIWI Tue 11-Sep-12 13:33:14


Of course. If only someone had told me to eat less and exercise more, I would never have put weight on in the first place. hmm

It's not so simple, InMySpareTime. If it was, there wouldn't be anything like the level of obesity that we're seeing in the Western world.

But as you're clearly not interested anyway, why bother to post?

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Tue 11-Sep-12 14:23:44

<joins in with sighs>

Why is it that dullards people who say that 'eat less, exercise more' always think that they have said something profound?

vnmum Tue 11-Sep-12 14:31:15

<I'll join the sighs too>

Inmysparetime maybe if you signed up for the course you would learn why the eat less move more has not been successful in reducing the obesity epidemic.

Whoa! Very defensive there, sorry if I touched a nerve.
I read the webchat, he advocates chips over rice, that just sounds plain wrong to me.
My judgement on low carbing could well be skewed by the people I know who've low carbed but continued eating only total crap without carbs. Oddly, I haven't seen anyone pull that trick off.
Personally, I have lost 1st 7 since July by reducing my portion sizes and not snacking during the day.
I ate less, moved more and lost weight, so my viewpoint is that it can work, and making one kind of food "the enemy" is a typical trait of most fad diets, please explain why it's good.

BIWI Tue 11-Sep-12 18:22:45

<more sighs>

Low carbing is not a fad diet.

It is not about cutting out carbohydrates.

It is about re-jigging the proportion of carbohydrates that are eaten, so that rather than carbohydrate:protein:fat that most people eat (and indeed we are advised to eat), you eat fat:protein:carbohydrate.

Carbohydrates that are included in this way of eating are vegetables, salad and some fruits. Easily accessible, overly-refined carbs like pasta, bread and white rice are excluded/restricted.

The whole focus of this way of eating is on fresh, pure and unprocessed foods.

It isn't about eating total crap at all. I wonder what on earth your friends were doing if they thought they were low carbing? hmm

Good for you if you have lost that much. But please understand that it's not so simple for everyone.

Thank you for actually explaining what low carbing means, the initial post was unclear.
I don't eat much processed food anyway, but I do like fruit and veg.

BIWI Tue 11-Sep-12 18:33:21

Where does Dr Briffa say that chips are better than rice? I can't see that in the webchat at all.

PooPooOnMars Tue 11-Sep-12 18:36:00

Woah! Narky people on this thread. Completely unnecessary. All the group sighing at a poster who questions it just looks pathetic!

ladymuckbeth Tue 11-Sep-12 19:16:29

No-one really disputes that for a period of time you can eat less and move more and that weight will come off. But it doesn't stay off. Conventional dieting doesn't work. In the OP PatrickMumsnet mentions this part of what Dr Briffa will be discussing, that our bodies defend their weight - you might lose the weight but eventually your body sees to it that you put it on, even if it takes a year or two for that to happen.

After years of trying everything under the sun (including low carb), I am now settled on a 'don't weigh myself, eat Paleo (no dairy/sugar/grains), avoid processed food, focus on things that increase and don't decrease my health' strategy. Focusing on weight loss doesn't work for me - I can do it, the weight comes off, but healthiness ends up coming second to weight loss and eventually I 'fall off the wagon' and the weight goes back on. The wagon needed to be ditched...

ladymuckbeth Tue 11-Sep-12 19:18:42

And PooPooOnMars - the snarkiness was in SpareTime's post to start with. Dismissive and ignorant, and obviously sniffy about something that sounded 'faddish' without actually knowing anything about it.

Also interested to read if Briffa recommends chips over rice. He might, if they were very occasional, not many of them, and they were fried in olive or coconut oil. I doubt it though...

rubyrubyruby Tue 11-Sep-12 19:24:23

Sounds like it could be a bit of a bunfight!

..... shame I can't make it.

You got all that from one sentence?
Only one poster told me anything about low carbing, how is sighing at me likely to cure my "dismissive ignorance"?
BTW the main point I was trying to make has been rather lost in the furore, MN academy is trying to get people to book on a course without saying where it is or how much it costs. That's basic information when trying to fill seminars surely?

rubyrubyruby Tue 11-Sep-12 19:32:17

There is a link in the OP

<<sigh>> wink

BIWI Tue 11-Sep-12 19:32:49

There are links in the OP to tell you most of that, IMST. The only thing that they haven't announced yet is the location.

When you follow the link, you have to go as far as "book the course" to find out it's in "London", with a not at all google map link showing you where London is, but not where the course is (unless it is in fact in the middle of Trafalgar Square), at that point, still with no information on how much it costs, I gave up.
Please stop sighing, you'll pass out.

How much does it cost then?

rubyrubyruby Tue 11-Sep-12 19:37:30

You must have a different link to me then confused

rubyrubyruby Tue 11-Sep-12 19:38:54

£99 - so about 50 Big Macs.

BIWI Tue 11-Sep-12 19:41:41

As I said, the location hasn't been announced yet - beyond London.

It's £99 and takes place on Sunday 21 October.

ladymuckbeth Tue 11-Sep-12 19:41:49

rubyruby grin

The cost is at the top of the first page linked to in the OP when you click on '1-day course', highlighted and in bold. It really wasn't difficult.

ladymuckbeth Tue 11-Sep-12 19:43:12

Also very obviously signed that the course takes place at a Central London venue TBC. Is that not clear enough for you?

Silly me, I thought "click here" was the place to clickconfused.

ladymuckbeth Tue 11-Sep-12 19:44:32

'Click here' takes you to the very same page, with the very same price highlighted and in bold at the top of it...

Eat less move more seems to be workin for me. But it doest make money for anyone I suppose.

BIWI Tue 11-Sep-12 20:13:24

Does your car go further if you put less petrol in it?

LardBean Tue 11-Sep-12 20:18:02

No but it conks out if I put diesel in it

BIWI Tue 11-Sep-12 20:20:23


It goes faster smile

When it's not lugging its enormous petrol gut round that is

mielebosch Tue 11-Sep-12 23:10:10

I should think the <<sighing>> posts on this thread are enough to put anyone off going on the course.

mielebosch Tue 11-Sep-12 23:11:06

Please don't bother to <<sigh>> at me, though.

MNP Wed 12-Sep-12 00:20:23

Seriously considering the course.

BIWI Wed 12-Sep-12 08:13:23

mielebosch, the reason for the sighing is two-fold:

- the patronising nature of the post telling everyone to 'just' eat less/move more. It isn't as simple as this - if it was, we wouldn't have an obesity problem the like of which we see in this country, the US and elsewhere in the Western World

- those of us who are interested in the whole low carb way of eating are generally pretty fed up with other people (who generally haven't done any research/reading of their own) coming along and telling us that we're wrong. Despite the fact that it evidently works as a way to lose weight (see comments above re 'eat less/move more'

It's a fascinating area of development for us all, and not just for those of us who want to lose weight. The long term health benefits of low carbing are significant. For that reason alone, the course will be well worth it.

And if you come along, I promise I will not sigh. I won't even tut grin

ladymuckbeth Wed 12-Sep-12 08:45:44

BIWI, I didn't bother sighing, because over the years I've learnt to try my hardest not to engage with these arguments failed massively yesterday, obvs I can only speak for myself, but a lifelong weight problem (I've always fluctuated between being 1-3 stone overweight or 4 at my heaviest post-twins) has - thankfully - also given me an enormous amount of knowledge from reading up widely on health and nutrition.

I'm increasingly reassured as the years go by that slowly but surely, a revolution is happening. Every fitness professional I come across these days espouses a paleo or low-carb/processed food free way of living. Crossfit, which is huge in the States and on the up here, also advocates Paleo/low-carb as the way to ultimate fitness. Not just weight loss, but fitness and health. Bodybuilders have known for decades that the way to shift fat and build muscle (even if you're not wanting to become ripped) is achieved by eating good protein and fat, and by ditching most of the carbs in your diet. Someone as mainstream as Dr Briffa is writing best-selling books about it. It's no longer all lampooned as being nonsense that 'Fatkins' is promoting, telling everyone to stuff their faces with double cream. It's about eating real food, realising that we're not developed to cope with eating grains or sugar. It's about walking past the aisle after aisle of processed shite in the supermarket, looking at your trolley containing veg, fruit, meat, fish, eggs, butter - and feeling proud that these are all real food that we've been eating for thousands of years. Now THAT'S a movement that doesn't make money for anyone, really - which is why there's been so much resistance - the food industry is going to implode if the truth really outs - that all these low-fat foods that have been peddled to us for decades, are BULLSHIT and are increasing heart disease and obesity.

The one that really gets me, with 2yr old toddlers, is the fact that I'm supposed to start feeding THEM semi-skimmed milk and low-fat yoghurts etc. Um yeah hmm because the human race has been 'skimming' milk since the dawn of time. No thanks.

BIWI Wed 12-Sep-12 08:47:36


ladymuckbeth Wed 12-Sep-12 08:55:24

Oh and don't get me started on the fact that the nursery the girls are due to start attending proudly announces that it feeds them a low-fat vegetarian diet featuring tofu and Quorn. WTAF? angry I'm looking forward to telling them that I don't want an ounce of soy products or factory-manufactured fungus alleged to cause lifelong allergies going NEAR my children. What is wrong with society that we think it's better to feed them this shit rather than actual, you know, MEAT that we've been eating since the dawn of time.

PooPooOnMars Wed 12-Sep-12 10:42:31

The one that really gets me, with 2yr old toddlers, is the fact that I'm supposed to start feeding THEM semi-skimmed milk and low-fat yoghurts etc.

While i agree with a lot you've said i don't with the above. By that i mean i don't agree that the advice these days is to give toddlers low fat food. I believe it is commonly accepted that children need fat in their diet. The only time I've ever seen it said that children should have low fat diets is by idiots on here. You know those threads that come along every now and then discussing children's nutrition and some idiot will say children shouldn't eat cheese otherwise they'll be obese. hmm I've never come across it in the real world.

ladymuckbeth Wed 12-Sep-12 12:34:10

The reference that comes to mind is from Dr Green's 'Toddler Taming' which says that now a child is two they need to start having semi-skimmed milk and low fat products "like the rest of us if we want to stay trim". Shocking. (Btw low-fat products is not the same as fat-free; which to be fair I'm not sure I've ever had recommended to me, thankfully...)

I don't like toddler taming. Think I have a slightly old version but I was quite shocked at some of the advice

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 13-Sep-12 10:25:26


When you follow the link, you have to go as far as "book the course" to find out it's in "London", with a not at all google map link showing you where London is, but not where the course is (unless it is in fact in the middle of Trafalgar Square), at that point, still with no information on how much it costs, I gave up.
Please stop sighing, you'll pass out.

Hi InMySpareTime, sorry the info is unclear. The course costs £99 and will take place on 21 October in Central London. We haven't decided on the venue, but guarantee it will be near major tube links. Patrick

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 13-Sep-12 10:28:08


Seriously considering the course.

Hi MNP, it's going to be a great course - you should definitely do it. Email me directly if you have any questions.


BigBroomstickBIWI Mon 15-Oct-12 11:51:37

Do we have a location for this yet? As it's next weekend!

BigBroomstickBIWI Tue 16-Oct-12 06:30:05

Lots of feedback on my Bootcamp thread, by the way - if you're reconvening it, please could you make it a later start? A 10.00 am start on a Sunday ruled out a lot of people from outside London attending, as they couldn't get early enough trains!

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