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Live webchat with Dr John Briffa Wednesday the 4 July 12-1pm

(215 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 29-Jun-12 11:48:42

In response to popular demand we're delighted to invite Dr John Briffa for a live webchat next Wednesday 4 July at 12 midday.

Dr John Briffa is a doctor, award-winning health writer, and former columnist for The Daily Mail and The Observer. He is author of eight books on nutrition and self-help. His latest, Escape the Diet Trap has been widely discussed across the Mumsnet Talk boards.

In Escape The Diet Trap, Dr Briffa says you can 'achieve successful, sustainable weight loss without consciously cutting back on food and without the need for exhausting exercise'. One Mumsnetter describes the book as '...brilliant. Really easy to read without being patronising, and an eye opener with all the studies he cites. Really makes me feel that I am following a healthy diet for the first time in ages'. and another says, 'His advice is smart, sensible and rooted in Proper Science - but it's still controversial. Perfect for a webchat!'

Join us over lunch (extra helpings appear to be acceptable smile) at noon on Wednesday 4 July to chat to Dr John Briffa, or if you're unable to join us on the day, post a question in advance on this thread.

OliviaLMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 29-Jun-12 13:02:09


letticepetticoat Fri 29-Jun-12 14:06:36

Hello and welcome! I have been low carbing since February,have found it easy,have lost 2 stone and feel great! I have done a fair amount of reading around the subject and it all makes perfect sense to me,except everytime the media print sensational stories about 'low carb linked to heart attacks in women' etc etc, I can't help feeling a bit unsure! Can you point me in the right direction for reading about lonqer term effects of low carb/high fat woe? I am 70% convinced that this is my woe for life,but get a bit scared at times!

BIWItheBold Sat 30-Jun-12 23:10:30

Oh fuck a duck! You didn't give me much notice of this one, did you?!

Is he coming to the Towers?

BIWItheBold Sat 30-Jun-12 23:13:22

Why isn't this thread stickied, by the way?

BIWItheBold Sat 30-Jun-12 23:23:47

You have other webchats happening much later on in July that are stickied - but this one, happening next Wednesday, isn't - not really much of an advance notification, is it? hmm

MmeLindor. Sun 01-Jul-12 08:06:17

Marking place (since this thread doesn't seem to be stickied)

BIWItheBold Sun 01-Jul-12 08:57:21


BIWItheBold Sun 01-Jul-12 09:14:17

<applies manual sticky>

MmeLindor. Sun 01-Jul-12 09:18:30

This means I will have to read the book (it has been lurking on my Kindle for weeks)

<sellotapes thread to top of active convos>

BIWItheBold Sun 01-Jul-12 09:41:09

It's really easy to read, Mme - and definitely worth it before Wednesday

SingingTunelessly Sun 01-Jul-12 09:50:59

I've been low carbing for a few weeks now and love it!

Weight loss, improved hair and skin condition and energy levels through the roof. I have an underactive thyroid and was in despair at my tiredness, bloating and weight gain despite my level of thyroxine being stable for twelve months. All the doctor kept telling me was to increase my fibre, eat more vegetables and fruit, whole grain bread and pasta and the inevitable low fat mantra. I could weep for the time lost following that rubbish advice.

So, how can we get this message through to the medical world in particular? And how can I stop my friends recoiling in horror when they see me reach for the double cream and say "but you've lost so much weight you don't want to put it back on again by eating cream". <despair>. Or the classic "Are you trying for a heart attack?!" usually said jokingly but with an element of concern because of the rubbish press low carbing receives.

Looking forward to this chat.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 01-Jul-12 11:18:46


Sorry about the non-stickying - we've got something of a pile-up of stickies at the moment (we try not to have more than five). We'll get this one stickied as soon as we can.

Whippoorwhill Sun 01-Jul-12 11:31:27

So glad we are getting this web chat.

My husband and Mother in Law are both dealing, very successfully, with their Type 2 diabetes using a low carb diet. My MIL's Doctor is very anti this approach, despite her blood sugar being beautifully controlled and wants her to take Metformin and follow a low fat, high carb diet. He would also like her to take statins because as a diabetic she might be at risk of heart disease.

She has tried to talk to him about the research she has done but he is incredibly dismissive of this and she is starting to have a bit of a crisis of confidence as of course most of her friends think she should do what the Doctor says. At the moment she has a prescription for statins but hasn't had it filled.

Does Doctor Briffa have any advice that might make her feel better about what, to her, seems a very radical approach by not following her Doctor's advice?

CutItOutAndRestart Sun 01-Jul-12 11:36:36

no!! I will be stuck in work and unable to log on sad

I have just started reading his books (which are great and very easy to read btw) in search of a way forward for my current health issues.

As a long term veggie I was encouraged down the low fat high carb route from an early age. Two years ago gallstones were found and gallbladder removed as I was not responding to the prescribed no fat diet.

Two years on I'm still in pain. Looks like it was not my gallbladder but sphincter of oddi dysfunction and they got it wrong about the gallbladder angry

here's the problem - I cannot get any support from the health service other than eat a low fat high carb diet. I have explained in great detail the effects this woe has on my weight and mood with no success. Why they cannot accept that carbs are like crack to my body I don't know!

so I am no low carbing as I know it works. Added to this I have taken the decision to reintroduce meat. My long term aim is to go for low carb and lower fat and cut out the processed food so to me it makes sense to no longer be vegetarian. How I explain this to my gp next week without him thinking I am completely bonkers I don't know hmmconfused sad

QueenStromba Sun 01-Jul-12 14:14:44

I've been following a low carb diet since September and by the end of the year I had lost 2.5 stone, cut my antidepressant dose in half and gone from a borderline pre-diabetic fasting blood glucose level of 5.6 to a pretty perfect 4.0. I've also discovered that I have issues with wheat - a little makes me windy and more than that makes me painfully bloated and wreaks havoc with my digestive system. I'm very good at avoiding wheat at home but I'm not so good at checking for hidden wheat in restaurant food. I know if I had a diagnosis of coeliac disease then I'd be a lot better at checking for hidden wheat but I'm not keen to eat a "normal" diet for six weeks in order to get a diagnosis.

My question is:
If I am coeliac would I do more damage to myself eating a small amount of hidden wheat maybe once a fortnight for the rest of my life or by eating a normal diet for six weeks in order to get a diagnosis?

BIWItheBold Sun 01-Jul-12 14:37:38

I just don't know where to start with the questions, as there's so much I'd like to ask you!

But i suppose my main one is this. I have read a couple of your books now, and receive your newsletter every week, linking to your blog. I've also read Gary Taubes' The Diet Delusion and Why We Get Fat - and I'm persuaded that low carb is not only a good way to eat to help lose weight, but also that it is much better for our longer term health. And as someone whose father is an insulin-injecting, Type 2 diabetic and whose mother died from breast cancer, I can only see low carbing being a positive step for me.

But why is it that the medical profession still advocates low fat rather than low carb - despite all the evidence against it?

captainmummy Sun 01-Jul-12 16:26:42

I've been low-cal dieting since new year - and put on 2 kg.

I started a low-carb 'diet' 2.5 weeks ago and have lost 2kg.

I am a bit concerned re the saturated fat, the cream,cheese, meat aspect. Have i just been 'conditioned' into believing these are 'bad' for me? Or is Low-carbing useful for weight-loss, then I should go back to my fruit (really miss it) and low-fat yoghurts?

vnmum Sun 01-Jul-12 19:58:09

Hi and welcome to Mumsnet.
I have been low carbing since feb and finding it so easy and I feel so much healthier. I have also got my DH to low carb also which has cleared his IBS symptoms up completely.

My question is in relation to exercise and low carb.
I believe you do not advocate as such, doing lots of cardio to help weight loss on a low carb diet. My DH has to do 40 - 60 mins of cardio (runs, weighted runs) 3 to 4 times a week as part of his job. He also does weights 3 to 4 times a week for strength. Is it still possible for him to lose fat while doing this level of cardio and low carb at the same time? and how can he help his body cope with it all?


SharonGless Sun 01-Jul-12 20:01:56

Dr Briffa (swoons)
Thank you for coming to talk to us. What is your professional opinion of the Swedish study which has been sensationalised in the British media?

Also (sneaking in an extra question hoping Oliviamumsnet won't notice) do you think we will get to the point where supermarkets are catering more for low carbers? Every prepared salad I pick up has pasta or rice in it. I am following a low carb diets which is fine when I am at home or work but out and about proves more of a challenge

Heartstart Sun 01-Jul-12 20:55:17


Have been following low carb having read your books and finding BiWi's thread on here. It has made me review my ds diet and he now has much less carbs. He clearly follows my family body type, hefty, and if eats carbs his belly distends. Whats your view about low carbing for children?

CutItOutAndRestart Sun 01-Jul-12 21:04:16

sorry just re-read my excited garbled mess and realised I didn't ask a proper question blush

essentially its what biwi said. Why do you think we are still led to believe that low fat is best by health professionals? Is it ignorance of the mounting evidence against this stance or is it simply going to take time for the message to filter through and the advice given adjusted?

Jins Sun 01-Jul-12 21:32:19

I've been low-carbing for the last 9 years and I'm convinced of the health benefits. I've seen many people swap and change between low carb and 'normal' eating over the years and it seems to me that women never go back to those glorious first weeks where the weight just falls off whereas men seem to get similar results each restart.

What do you think causes this difference between the sexes?

<scuttles off to get kindle version to read before Wednesday>

SpagboLagain Sun 01-Jul-12 21:46:47

Low carbers often recommend nuts as snacks. My husband has a very severe allergy to all nuts, so we don't have anything like that in the house. Do you have suggestions for good alternatives, other snacks and best ways of replacing any particular oils or nutrients that nuts provide?
(I haven't read your book yet, but have heard good things about it so will be doing)

NigellasGuest Sun 01-Jul-12 22:36:41

My husband has Parkinsons Disease and has had some muscle wastage. Your book Escape the Diet Trap seems to be geared towards weight loss. Husband does not want to lose weight - he wants to put it on - so how might your way of eating be adapted to his needs? (it's working brilliantly for me by the way - but my goal is indeed weight loss)!

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