Anyone out there in their 70s, 80s or 90s?

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Anyone out there in their 70s, 80s or 90s?

This topic contains 363 replies, has 56 voices, and was last updated by  Eirlys 3 years, 7 months ago.

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  • Hello, Salliegrace.

    You’ve already lost 2 pounds? That’s good going. Remember it all adds up!

    As I’m one of the people here who weighs around 8 stone I know that must sound a “just right” weight to others. I am, however, only 5 foot in height and I mustn’t carry surplus weight. It isn’t easy for a vertically challenged, old person to lose weight, according to the experts. Well with this diet one can lose weight, so there!

    I have just returned from a week’s holiday and I threw out all ideas about following any diet whilst we were away. Now that we have returned I am waiting a whole week before I even weigh myself because I am sure I have put on weight. It is only to be expected!

    Now, Salliegrace, you’ve asked for help and I reckon you have come to the right place. Everyone here, I am sure, will tell you that the 5:2 diet works.
    It needs organising (getting in/preparing calorie-counted meals), but it is surprising how quickly one gets accustomed to this. Some people have said they find the few meals they eat boring. To be honest, I don’t mind eating the same meals every fasting day, but then I’m basically lazy!

    Ginette has posted above a link to some excellent 30o calorie meals and you will find lots of others if you use Google. Ready meals are useful as they are already calorie-counted but I find soups best of all. The Weight Watchers people had some great recipes my husband made when he was given a soup maker as a gift. These soups are truly delicious and very filling.

    Think of each fasting day as just one day. The next you can eat more but go easy on the chocolates and cream cakes!!

    A 2 pound a week loss can be half a stone over a month. Multiply that by 12 and you could lose 5-6 stone. It has been done.

    Do follow the diet, and keep posting here. People are very supportive and helpful.

    Hi Eirlys
    Thank you so much for replying so promptly and for all the advice. Such a relief to link up with you. My local friends are mostly slim and don’t understand my struggles. I can understand that you watch your weight carefully and congratulate you for all your efforts. You plainly are an expert with 5:2 and will quickly get back in the groove. I was about 12 when I was last 8st!! At 5’5″ my GP would be happy with 11st. I am so thankful to have found this thread and grateful for all the support, and will keep in touch. Bless you!

    Sorry, Sallygrace, I am no expert, but like followers here am interested in anything to do with the diet and in finding tasty recipes.

    If you read postings in other sections on this website you will learn such a lot.

    Hi Sallygrace

    You have good advice from Eirlys. You have done well to lose 2lb and it was only your first week. Patience is the key. Do it for 10 weeks and then look back.

    It will seem difficult at first but it gets easier. You change the food you want to eat and this helps. I have changes from a very carb based, treat based non healthy diet to now bread about 4 days a week (granary or wholemeal). Potatoes about 2/3 times a week for evening meal. Few snacks, normally fruit or youghurt. Some treats but occasionally not daily as they once were. I have to say all of this without really trying it was the way 5:2 worked. The only thing I have consciously changed for a few weeks is the treats. I felt as if I was having too many especially over Easter.

    Last week my first treat free week I lost 3lb reward indeed. I have added exercise as I was a real couch potato before. Mine I choose is in the form of a Wii a game which I play through the TV. I enjoy this as I can do as much or as little as I choose. Any exercise though is good. I just don’t enjoy walking and I don’t fancy the gym.

    I wish you luck on your journey. You will find lots of help on the forums. I am not of qualifying age for this tread but I was interested.

    I try to post helpful links here like recipe links and so keep in touch that way.

    I will be interested to see how you do. We all find our own way of managing after a few weeks. You will soon. Don’t forget the health benefits as well. Weight loss is good but the positive health impacts of this way are also really important.


    Has anybody got any youghurt maker recipes. I have the yoghurt maker but no book. I would like to make greek style youghurts.

    Appreciate any info of tried and tested ones.


    Ginette, I don’t know how old your yoghourt maker is but the following might be of help.

    If it isn’t, try Googling your question with the name of the maker.

    Thanks for that. I have no idea either. I bought it from a car boot a long time ago, as I was working long hours then I didn’t have time to experiment. It was £2 so a real bargain.

    I have just bought a large pack of youghurts and so will start once they are finished. I’ll let you know the results.


    Hi Ginnette,
    Here is a link for making low fat Greek yoghurts
    Compliments of Mr Google.

    Thanks Kiwiflyer

    This war really interesting but oh so fiddly. I need a simple to make one as I don’t have a food thermometer

    Keep the ideas coming please.

    I just had a post on another thread. This is from a regular. They buy their greek style yoghurt from Lidl. A massive pot. Milbona greek style for just over a £1

    I tend to use youghurt on fruit.


    Hello Ginette,

    I find that Fromage frais can be a good substitute for yoghurt, I think it tastes just as nice and has far fewer calories, is virtually fat free and has very little sugar. It is not expensive, typically about a pound for a large tub. Good luck,

    This looks an interesting website,

    To be honest, I find Lidl yoghourt really good and inexpensive. I also love Onken.

    Well I took the plunge and weighed this morning. I am back to 7 stone 12. Expected more so I am not disheartened. While I was away I scoffed chocolate cake, and walnut cake, and also delicious meat pies from a farm shop. It just wasn’t possible to even think of calories.

    I shall fast next Wednesday when Other Half is out all day and then the following Friday, or Saturday.

    Thank you so much, ladies, for all your encouragement and advice. Your support is such a help, thank you. I realise my mistake – not being careful enough on non-FDs, so I have started counting cals, at least in the short term.

    For FDs I have made a veg/beef stew & counted all the cals, then divided by 10 & frozen them, which means just adding some greens and my main meal is ready. Let’s hope I have good news when I weigh at the end of my 2nd week. Blessings!

    Thanks enilorac

    I am trying to cut sodium to get my blood pressure down. I know that some yoghurts contain sodium. I haven’t found a good place to get good value fromage frais from. Any suggestions.

    Oh well Eirlys

    You had a good time and isn’t that what 5:2 is all about, being able to enjoy yourself. I have cut out all high fat treats for two weeks as I was overindulging over Easter. I have lost 3lb and 5lb. This is a massive amount of weight for me. Over Easter I lost 1/2 lb on two weeks. The most I had lost until then was 3lbs on two occasions. I have been on it since about 8th January. I have lost about 2 1/2 stone and I still have about 6/7 stone to go.

    Many thanks for the links I look at them all.


    Being organised is really part of the journey. It all helps.

    You sound as if you are on the right road.


    Love all the good advice on this forum! Of course, I need a translator sometimes as I’m a Yank–what’s Marmite and Oxo?? And I still have to pause and convert stones into lbs to figure out how much everyone is losing, but the important thing is that the diet works. I’m down another 2 lbs. which makes 13 lbs. since January. Not a huge loss but nice and steady (almost a stone, right?)

    A couple of old tricks to help conquer the munchies–clean your teeth when you finish eating or chew some sugarless gum. If you’ve got 50 calories to spare, rice cakes are good. And I checked out the web site someone else suggested and it’s got great ideas for a full day’s menu under 500 calories —

    We’re getting ready to move across country in two weeks, so life is very hectic but I’m planning to stay with our diet as much as possible. Will let you know how we’ve done once we’re settled.



    Marmite is a Yeast Extract which a British company make from some by-product of the beer making process. It tastes very salty but I believe it doesn’t contain too much salt. Another very similar spread that you may you may know of is Vegemite. You can spread either on bread or toast, or you can stir a spoonful into a mug of hot water to make a savoury drink. It is said that you either love it or hate it. I survived happily on Marmite sandwiches throughout my secondary school life despite my mother’s pleas to be allowed to change the menu!
    14 lbs to a stone.
    All the best, Caroline

    Hallo, I’d like to ask if anyone combines diets e.g. 5:2 + LCHF or Atkins or WW? In your experience, what are the pros and con’s? Thanks.

    Hi All

    Look at these shocking images of a brain responding to sugar. Remember that if you don’t burn the carbs that you eat they too turn to sugar. Enough to make you think!


    My Other half and I watched a US documentary about obesity and the main culprit, according to research, appeared to be Corn Syrup. This seems to be in everythin g as it is cheap but its effects can be devastating.

    Google Corn/Fructose Syrup or see:

    I combine diets, SallyGrace – Fast and low-carb. My only real target is to get to a set weight so that my daily up-and-down weight circles around it, so I do whatever I can to achieve this.
    Low carb allows me to cut all sugars out and enjoy the foods I really love: so potatoes, bread and, of course, sugar itself, are out but bacon and eggs are not. The low carb diet states catagorically that replacing the likes of bacon and eggs with serial will send your blood lipids soaring in all the wrong directions – read Why We get Fat, page 195, you will be astonished by the detailed research that has been done on this for years without anyone revealing it due to business interests and misinterpretation.
    I had, according to my lipids, a 27% chance of heart attack according to my doctor, and was offered statins which caused major cramps. I have been on low carbs for a few weeks and my lipids, without statins, are now all normal, to the astonishment of the nurse I entertain with tails of my diet! The Fast diet started all that some years ago but I failed to keep it up due to giving work up. Now I am back on what I would call a systematic diet rather than dieting.

    Yesterday we went to the seaside and I had a plate of mixed meats on top of a mixed salad and finisted a plateful followed by a beautiful coffee with cream on top, no sweet. Today I will fast on just two low-carb low cal meals. My weight is going steadily, though not dramatically, down, which to me means that I am not needlessly suffering the pangs of hunger and my body is adjusting properly downwards, though I have enjoyed the freedom of eating what I love perhaps a little too much, thus the fast today!

    I should add that the ‘Tales’ that I tell the nurse (NHS) are taken from How We Get Fat and The Calorie Myth, so I’m not making things up. Think she is interested because she is a little overweight and follows the usual, bad advice given about low fat diets and exercise. Fat is seen, logically, as being unfriendly, but body-wise it is a lot friendlier than sugar. Even lard is mostly good fat, though pushed out of diets due to misinformation. Do we go green if we eat greens??

    fasteddie: As a child everything I ate seemed to have been cooked in lard, or with lard. I was as thin as a rake and at a time when Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield were the women we wanted to be like!

    During WW2 members of my family kept a pig in the garden and when that was killed we all shared the meat and the lard.

    I do love butter, especially Welsh butter!

    Sugar seems to be the enemy now and the trouble is it can be addictive. At the moment I am trying to ration a box of chocolate!!

    I am 70 and usually fast two days a week but because of my age,height,weight etc my normal diet should be 1400 cal so my fast day is 1/4th of that 350 cal. I am still not getting consistant benifits. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    70-best-year-yet: Well I am no expert but I thought all women followed a 500 calorie diet on a fasting day and men, 600 calories. 350 seems terribly low.
    Why not shift to 500/600 calories and see what happens?

    The human body, I have read, is programmed to keep body weight within a healthy range. I don’t think 350 calories is a healthy “target”, but that’s my opinion.

    I would love to know how you worked out the 1400 cal limit. The amount of cals needed to support one pound of flesh is supposed to vary between 15 to 20 cals, so using 20 as a guide this would put you at five stone (70lbs) so I suppose you can’t have done it this way as you are unlikely to want to go below that.

    The body does fight to maintain a steady weight, Eirlys, but not necessarily a healthy one, just one which it is used to. And some people on this diet fast on zero cals!

    I think it’s what you eat as well as how much and we have all discovered this, so there is really no easy way to diet, but the good news is that once you have achieved the ‘set’ weight of your dreams then only the over-eating of rubbish should disturb it upwards again – in theory!

    Eirlys, I was on the 500cal fast for 6 months and no change. 350 works, sort of.

    FastEddie there is a calculator with this web site (start from Home and follow links).

    350 is do-able. I have always had a good – no fast food – diet so the things I eat are not much changed.

    I have never dieted in my life before this but now my health needs improving.

    I have really got to get back on track. Have had a bit of a rough time recently and my eating has gone haywire. I think I must be what is called an emotional eater Anyway yesterday I eat very carefully and today I am back on my fast and so far so good. I agree that 350 calories a day does seem terribly low and to be honest I don’t think it will make that much of a difference.My problem is that I tend to overeat on my non fast days especially of late! Good luck everyone reading all your posts and helpful tips help.

    Hello. I also have a TDEE of 1400, so I fasted on 500 cals Monday and Friday and with the use of an app ate 1200 cals on non fast days and after 6 months lost 11 kgs. Some weeks losing nothing some even going up but I kept up the regime and weighed only once a week. After that I upped my non fast days to 1400 cals. It been 18 months since I started the 5:2 and since Xmas have been a bit lax on non fast days resulting in putting 4 kgs back on. I’m sickened and although I continue to fast I don’t seem to get my non fast days in line, old habits die hard I’m afraid. I need another fire up. It’s interesting hearing all your stories.

    I honestly don’t think I could manage on 350 calories.

    I go without breakfast on a fasting day as I can do so. It is evening time that is my bugbear. I seem to want to eat as soon as I sit down to watch TV. I find knitting or crocheting a help then, particularly the former with a nice, easy stitch.

    Water with a little lemon juice and a slice of lemon helps and I am partial to cider vinegar.

    Warning! When I had a blood test once my potassium level was up and I was sent for. I had been drinking the cider vinegar produced by a friend who made cider and it was STRONG! After a fortnight without cider vinegar my potassium level was fine.

    Everything in moderation!!

    Of course, the TDEEs, I forgot about them, sorry. I don’t think 350 is bad when you see all the meals in the likes of M&S which name the calories, they have some good 350 meals if you just want one a day. Other than that you could always go for an egg at each meal, with a little salmon with it at tea-time.

    I’ve just had a poached egg on a salad for lunch and have bought a spiraliza for when my wife makes the pasta I try to avoid, as the device allows me to make shapes with veg that mimic the pasta – all helps!

    The absolute bottom line is that you get to a diet that can be enjoyed as that is the only way of maintaining a diet.

    Ok, So here is what I do for 350 cal.

    I skip breakfast except for coffee with 2tbs 1%milk. Skip lunch. 1/2 tomato at about 3:30 – 4:00. Get grumpy just in time for kids to show up – not good. 5:30 – 6 pm eat early a gigantic salad usually with an egg or salmon and salsa for dressing then mid evening I have a 70cal slice of toast with 20cal jam.

    I count carefully and if I have any left over I have a 5cal 60% chocolate drop.

    350 isn’t bad. Think of all the people who have no food on some days. Think of all the people who do not eat for some other reason for a day or two. It is uncomfortable but not really nasty.

    Well perhaps you should ask my kids. Yes I know 70yr old women do not usually have kids. But I do. So I have to live to 150 to make up for them having an old Mom.

    Probably I over eat on 5 days. I love food!!!!

    Lost two pounds after yesterday fast – now 10st 11lbs after hoping for 10st 12!!! Celebrated this morn with fried egg and bacon.

    Yesterday’s fast consisted of no breakfast, nice poached egg atop pile of salad with olive oil poured on, then a steak tea with greens, carrots and cauli. No supper – used to be a big item – and have had no sugar, bread or potatoes for at least three weeks – and I’m quite proud of not missing them. I miss sarnies, of course, and everyone laughs at my food choices when we’re out, like having starters for a sweet, but it’s working. Oh yes, and I took the wife for an ice-cream out yesterday!

    Zoe Harcombe’s diet consists of just not mixing carbs with protein, which might suit some. She says don’t ration chocolates, Eirlys, just get the lot down and treat it as a carb meal. Once I hit my set weight I might try that along with fasting. Stanley Matthews fasted every Monday and had odd eating habits from what I read, with contrary stories of vegetarianism and eating steaks!

    Hi All

    Well done fast Eddie

    I just thought that I would tell you my story. I fond it really hard to lose weight before 5:2. On 5:2 I never have carbs apart from vegetables on a fast day. On this day I eat only in the evening through choice. I do however cound in enough milk for 5/6 large cups of tea, this is what keeps me going.

    I slowed to 1/2 a week due to overindulgence on the two weeks of Easter. Someone I am friendly with on another forum was supporting a personal friend of hers to do the fast beach diet. This compliments 5:2 and is meant to kick start it when on a plateau. So I volunteered to join her. I have to say I had misgivings as 6 weeks without treats that I like seemed a long time….however it was these treats that had slowed me down.

    So I bit the bullet and joined. I do a little exercise not too much about an hour and a half over the week. The first week I lost 3lbs and the second I found I really wasn’t hungry and stranger still not missing my treats. I lost 5lb which I think is too much. I have a lot of weight to lose. Just under 6 stone now.

    Nothing else changed just cutting out the treats. I didn’t feel deprived either, which I thought would happen.

    It is worth doing it if you can for just two weeks. I think it adjusts what the brain is telling you to eat. So strange. As some of you are struggling I just thought I would share. I will post a link to the Fast beach diet planner. Don’t worry about the planner go to the last page and just read through the rules. This is all you need to know.

    I hope this helps, link to follow


    Hi all

    Some really interesting article that has noting to do with fasting but is about how onions can help avoid colds and flu.

    Really worth a look. I shall certainly try it.

    I hope you are all doing well m


    Hi All

    Interesting article by Michael Mosely

    All about why a some fats are good for us. Good news for butter cream etc bad news for margarine etc.


    Cheers, Ginette K, sent that link to my daughter who insists only the low-fat diet gets her weight off (forgetting the on-then-off again yo-yo). It seems we are destined to see fat in diet as fat on belly, without the same blindness regarding greens!
    Still, sausages and tomato fried in olive oil for breakfast today maintains my losses between fasts. Have a good weekend, all.

    Hi Fast Eddie

    I found it really interesting. Only half an hour so easy to watch.

    I hope it helps your daughter. In many low fat foods like yoghurt they add sugar. It is the sugar content that needs looking at. 4g is a teaspoon. So this focuses the mind. I use Stevia to sweeten stewed fruit etc. this is meant to be a natural sweetner and 1/3 of a teaspoon is like 1 teaspoon of sugar. I am sure this can be used in cakes as well.

    Hope you are all doing well this week?


    Agree with Ginette. Sugar is the one to watch and even some sweeteners. Because my husband is diabetic I check the sugar percentage per 100 gms and am quite shocked at some of the answers. Sugar seems to be added to what I would have thought were “unnecessary” products.

    70-best-year-yet : I followed your fasting day routine to see if I could do it. Went without breakfast (easy); lunch (surprisingly easy; didn’t expect that), then had all my 500 (not 350) calories in the evening.

    Next day wasn’t hungry at all, nor feeling faint(!), and I went without breakfast.

    Didn’t weigh that day but the day after and I was back at 7 stone 10 pounds.

    Well done Eirlys

    I only eat in the evening on fast days. This suits me best. I can then have a meal and something else like melon, or I can have the melon at lunch time. I don’t suffer cravings.

    As long as I allow for cups of tea I am fine.

    Here are some whole day meal plans. 500 of them. They can also be used for other days maybe with added carbs here and there. Makes it varied and achievable.

    This may also really help people new to 5:2 if you are stuck for ideas.

    Plenty to choose from.


    Thanks, Ginette, for the link to the 500 calorie meal plans. It has some great sounding recipes that I plan to try–if I ever start cooking again! There are so many good frozen meals available now and it’s easy to add fresh vegetables and salads. Think I’ve gotten lazy in my old age. On the other hand, with four children I think I probably fulfilled my quota for homemade meals over the years!

    I’m down another pound which makes 14 since January. Slow but steady which suits me fine. Hubby is down 23 lbs. which of course makes me a little jealous.

    Have a good week everyone.


    I’m 77 and do 4-3. Only diet I can stick to. I’m not too active so I stay around 400 on fast day. Have hit a plateau lately but will keep going.

    i down 10k in 5 weeks by this files

    My missus and I are both 75. We live in France so are constantly tempted to over eat and drink. Although we had seen Michael Mosley’s TV Horizon programme in 2012 we had not followed it up.

    However, at a Lunch Club last week, yep that’s how it is, we were reminded of the diet. Another couple have been on it and have felt the benefit despite spending most of the Winter in Portugal. We eat at organised events twice a month on set days and generally eat out at least twice a week so fasting on a regular basis will take a bit of organising.

    We are pretty serious about it, however, my wife is on Previscan (French Warfarin) so has to watch her diet against Vitamin K so her blood INS is tested monthly and she also has a touch of blood pressure. So its very interesting and helpful to read the experiences of other people, with a special nod to Eirlys who is a mine of information.

    We’ll post again when we decide how to approach the diet and have decided what days to fast and how to keep that vital check on the INS.

    As an after thought, how do people find the influence of drinking wine and spirits? Obviously wine figures high on the food list for us, most meals in fact, so some guidance would be helpful.

    I have just realised that the search facility is the way to go for any questions about wine and drinking with the Fast Diet. My search brought out masses of advice and experience which will take some time to read. So for the moment I’ll browse these posts. I have also taken the plunge and ordered the new diet and exercise books as the Kindle version contains lots of references to page numbers which makes it difficult to refer to.

    This morning I had a small operation on my shoulder to remove some chunks of calsification in the joint. I’ve had debilitating pain, some very intense, for some time which has prevented me from doing much exercise and even things like decorating or gardening. In the space of an hour I have got back most of the shoulder movement with only a little soreness which they tell me will wear off over the next few weeks. Nothing short of miraculous.

    If the diet is half as effective as this I’m really looking forward to the future.

    Enfrance2003: France. Wonderful. All that sunshine and lovely food. Aren’t the French supposed to be a slim nation? Guess it must be following the so-called Mediterranean diet.

    “a mine of information”? Oh dear! I just read a lot. You are quite right Googling for information comes up with a LOT of help.

    Sorry to hear about your shoulder problem but sounds as if you have done the right thing having it operated on.

    What is the Health Service like in France?

    (Sounds as if your wife has the same problem as our son-in-law. He has to watch out for Vitamin K.)

    Hi All

    Before I answer all I need to post this link that I got from another thread. The thread was for people with diabetes – if we think we struggle you should see the struggle they have.

    This is about aspartame and the studies they have done on it.

    Extract below:

    “Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners are primarily promoted to diabetics and those concerned about their weight. This despite the fact that artificial sweeteners have repeatedly been shown to produce the exact opposite effects:

    Research shows that aspartame worsens insulin sensitivity to a greater degree than sugar
    Artificial sweeteners have also been found to promote weight gain, in more ways than one
    Over time, artificial sweeteners have also crept into a wide variety of products not directly targeting diabetics and dieters.”

    It also shows studies from 1986 where a large amount of people were tested. I hope the UK newspapers highlight this. So many people drink diet drinks which contain these thinking they are helpful. It is worth reading to the end.

    Sorry, I am posting this on multiple threads but it is such an important issue, espricially with Pepsi being in the news.

    Hi Enfrance

    Food labels are not as helpful as here I always find. Which part of France are you living in?

    Hi A Idol

    I’m a visitor on this thread but like to encourage you all. My weight loss slowed for a couple of weeks down to half a pound a week. I joined a friend on the Fast Beach Diet. Not because I have or want to have a beach body. My aim was to kickstart weight loss again which it surely has. Mine is because I want/need to lose weight for health benefits, but also for my blood pressure which is so high I am unable of work. I was about to ask my doctor if I could work part time when she said that she was sending me to a specialist. I’ve never heard of a blood pressure specialist before. They are unable to give me more medication as it interferes with other pills I am on.

    I started trying to reduce last May and lost a stone before January at just cutting back on treats, bread and potatoes generally. I started 5:2 the second week of January and feel sure that this week I will reach a 2 stone loss on this WOL.

    The fast beach diet is the same as this one but cuts out treats (or what I think of as treats) also cuts down carbs. If you want a link to find out more, post me a reply and I will gladly add one. No need to buy the book. I did and read it and realised that I hadn’t needed to buy it as there is enough information around.

    On the fast beach diet I am now on week 4, it is only for six weeks. I have lost 3,5,1 and 2 lbs so far. I am not a really big loser normally I used to lose about1/2 lbs which I was happy with. I always aim for 1lb. I do a little exercise about an hour and a half to 2 hours a week. I have been told to have complete rest but there is only so much TV I can watch and I know a little exercise helps.

    I have another 6 stone to lose as I was 9 stone over at the start.

    Sorry to have hijacked your thread again, but I know you are used to me popping up here. I also pop up on the diabetic one as I have friends and family who are diabetics, although thankfully I am not.

    I wish you all good losses.


    Ginette: My husband is diabetic (Type 2) and the diabetic Nurse regards him as her star pupil. This is because he follows the “rules” and regulations! A lot of diabetic sufferers don’t.

    As a result I also follow this “diet for life”. Lots of fruit and vegetables and a cut-down on sugar. I don’t go without chocolates and sweets but I can go for long periods without suffering withdrawal symptoms!!

    Ginette, I read about the Aspartame situation last week. What is more the Pepsi people are still adding this to UK Pepsi drinks, it is alleged, even though it has been banned in the US. If this is true it is a disgrace.

    You have done so well on your diet. Keep up the good work!

    Eirlys; Its not always sunny although we had 30ºC last week for a couple of days (we get -19ºC in some winters) but the changes in the weather do enhance the seasons. Sadly, the idea that the French are all slim is a delusion. The French MacDonalds is the largest franchise outside the US and we see far more overweight people now that 12 years ago. However, the practice of eating a proper meal at lunchtime is still ingrained into the habits of most French. Today we had a five course meal with 25cl of wine and one coffee for under £10.00 each. You can see why we eat out so often. In fact, many workmen such as the holes and poles telephone, building and roofing companies have their meals paid for by the company which promotes much better eating. We’ve even seen the Gendarmes having lunch although they make a point of adding water to the wine while smiling at the other diners 😉

    When people such as yourself post information you invariably post a link to the source. This is a very helpful and much more credible in any discussion so thanks again. Plus your experience and encouragement must help. I searched this site for the references to wine and the results were a revelation as well as being very helpful.

    The health service here is not absolutely perfect but very nearly so but it doesn’t come cheap. Despite the EU reciprical arrangements we are still governed by the French system rules which are difficult to understand sometimes but seem to work. We pay 23€ up front for a consultation with our ‘medicine’ (GP). We get most of that back and paid into our bank but we also pay for a ‘mutual’ health policy which costs us around 2,000€ per year which includes dental treatment. If you are poorly or aged you will not be penalised with higher subscriptions hence the mutual name. The Government applies a tariff to all health work. This is usually about 70% of the actual cost of the healthcare, the other 30% is paid for by the mutual. Some treatments are paid for in full, usually life threatening or long term debilitating illnesses. The up front payment – as against the ‘free at point of delivery NHS system’ – is seemingly to guard against time wasters and seems to work.
    The plus side is that we can usually get a GP consulation at the next surgery or at the latest the one after. I could eulogise about the treatment. Our experience is that it is damn near perfect but occasionally we hear of the odd complaint. By the way my shoulder is brilliant and I’m looking forward to doing something about the weeds in the onion bed. Having read quite a bit about the operation on the internet I was expecting a lot more pain etc., so its miraculous. The treatment was an example where the Government pay the full 100% so it didn’t cost us or the mutual anything. I’ll probably take the pain killers back to the pharmacy. Sorry about going off subject but you did ask 😉

    Ginette K; We live in the Northern Dordogne, not to be confused with the area in the South around the river, (Dordogneshire) We only have a few of the ‘ex-pat brigade’ who only want to mix among themselves playing cricket, bridge and English bowls. Even our book club has French members who put our French skills to shame but we do struggle to involve the French in our Lunch Club.

    You mentioned the French labelling. Apart from the language differences it looks quite clear although I’ve no experience of the British labelling. My Lidl meusli croustillant, with nuts, caramelised banana! (I don’t eat them so the cats and birds have them), raisins, puffy bits, dried apple etc., gives a comparison between their meusli and what they call ‘average’ – presumably other similar products although they are not specific. Obviously they say that in the crucial areas like sugar their product has much less than the ‘average’ so frankly it is better to compare their figures with a comparable meusli to make any sense of it. As they supply the figures for their product anyone interested enough will take the trouble to research other similar products they fancy and make their own decision. I suspect we may have some work to do on this so thanks for mentioning it.

    Typical of the posters on this site you are taking the message into other threads and that can only be helpful. People can filter out any issues that don’t affect them but its good to see important information like this being shared.

    On a slightly humorous note. I mentioned that I had ordered the Fast diet books because the Kindle version is a pain. So I was initially pleased when I got an email telling me that they had been dispatched. I lost the smile when I realised that somehow the default address had changed to our daughter’s in the UK instead of France. I will now have to wait until she forwards them to us. Did I tell you about the minor frustrations of living here? ;-(

    Enfrance: Well I can see why you think you need the 5:2 diet! All those courses for under £10. No wonder you left rip-off Britain!

    Seriously, a book you might like is:

    5:2 Diet Photos: 600 Food Photos, 60 Low-Calorie Recipes & 30 Snack Ideas Paperback by C. Cheyette and Y. Balolia.

    This will give you some idea of food quantities/calories.

    I really like this book because it shows one what a portion looks like, or should look like. My eyes really fool me!

    The French Health service sounds complicated. Ours always seems to be in some sort of trouble, or confrontation. Can’t understand why they don’t insist visitors to the UK must have some form of health insurance. We have to pay it when we visit countries out of the EU and I have read that even in the latter UK citizens have been penalised. But I digress!

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