‘I was addicted to fad diets – I ate baby food and charcoal to try and be thin’


Helena Phil, 42, went to excessive lengths to attempt to reduce weight in her late teenagers – however after years of unsuccessful, and harmful, weight-reduction plan, she had a turning level

Helena Phil took on all kinds of fad diets in a bid to reduce weight, earlier than educating herself about diet

A private coach who spent years attempting to reduce weight has warned individuals concerning the risks of fad diets.

Helena Phil, 42, was 15 stone as an adolescent and extremely self-conscious about her weight.

“I attempted all the things, and typically I’d lose just a few kilos, however I’d solely put them again on once more,” she instructed The Mirror.

Desperate for a technique to reduce weight, Helena turned to fad diets – together with some harmful consuming habits.

One of the crazes she tried was a charcoal food regimen – which concerned dissolving charcoal in water and swallowing it.

“I believed it will eliminate toxins in my physique. I learn someplace that it is best to drink it on an empty abdomen, so I didn’t eat beforehand.

Helena struggled together with her physique picture for years as a teen


Helena Phil)

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“It simply made me really feel sick, and I had a relentless feeling one thing was caught in my throat.”

After every week of consuming activated charcoal, Helena began to really feel sick, so she determined to attempt one thing totally different.

“I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt like s***,” she mentioned.

While activated charcoal can have some well being advantages, consuming it usually can result in vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea.

In critical instances, it might probably even trigger gastrointestinal blockages.

After Helena gave up with the charcoal food regimen, one other fad caught her consideration – the newborn meals food regimen.

“I’d examine it in magazines and thought I ought to give it a attempt,” she mentioned.

The craze, which was as soon as in style with Hollywood stars, includes consuming small jars of child meals to considerably scale back calorie consumption, which causes fast weight reduction.

People giving the food regimen a go are purported to eat jars of child meals all through the day and an ‘grownup’ meal within the night.

But when Helena tried it, she ate child meals for all three meals of the day.

“It didn’t agree with me in any respect. I ended up vomiting most of it up.

Helena now coaches different individuals on methods to be aware of what they eat and the way they prepare


Helena Phil)

“But I really believed it will work. I had such low self-worth and it took a little bit of time to register that these diets weren’t a long-term answer.”

Perhaps probably the most harmful food regimen Helena tried out was consuming only one meal a day, in a bid to drastically scale back her calorie consumption.

“I felt like c*** and I had no power. One day, I practically collapsed once I went out for a run,” she mentioned.

The scare was a turning level for Helena, now in her mid-twenties, who realised fad diets weren’t going to work for her – or anybody else – in the long term.

“I believed, ‘no, that’s sufficient’ and began to grow to be extra aware about what I ate.

1) Tapeworm food regimen

This grisly-named food regimen is simply as disagreeable because it sounds. Tapeworms, that are parasites, might be caught unintentionally by consuming raw meat. But as a fad food regimen, individuals have been identified to take a tablet that incorporates tapeworm egg. When the tablet enters the physique, the egg hatches and releases a tapeworm that basically eats all the things you are consuming. In idea, it means you may eat no matter you need, as a result of the tapeworm eats extra energy. However, releasing a tapeworm into your physique is extremely harmful, and may trigger fever, diarrhoea and ache within the stomach. In critical instances, the tapeworm can disrupt the features of your important organs. In quick – it isn’t beneficial.

2) The cigarette food regimen

Unsurprisingly, specialists reckon this is likely one of the most harmful fad diets on the market. It basically includes lighting up as a substitute of consuming if you really feel hungry. In idea, you would reduce weight by doing this, however at nice value to your well being. By now it is properly documented that smoking will increase threat of most cancers and coronary heart illness.

3) The imaginative and prescient food regimen

This baffling experiment includes placing on blue-tinted glasses if you sit down on the dinner desk to attempt to make your meals look much less interesting. The jury’s out over whether or not or not this one works – however maybe it is best to eat a vibrant food regimen of fruit and veg as a substitute.

“I educated myself extra about diet and physique sorts, and began coaching on the health club. I additionally stored a meals diary,” she mentioned.

Helena observed if she ate a bit extra nutritious meals in the course of the day, she’d have the ability to gas her physique to coach as a lot as she wanted.

When she was doing fad diets, Helena would are likely to binge within the night, as a result of she’d go all day with out consuming something.

As Helena began consuming healthily and coaching, she ditched the scales and stopped obsessing over her weight.

“When I used to be doing fad diets, scales have been my holy grail. But in the future, after just a few months of wholesome habits, I attempted one thing on and it fell right down to the bottom,” she mentioned.

Now coming as much as 20 years residing healthily, and after writing three books on fitness, Helena desires to warn different individuals about fad diets and the way harmful they are often.

Do you may have an actual life story? Email [email protected]

In explicit, she desires younger girls and ladies to keep away from social media – which might push individuals in the direction of excessive weight-reduction plan.

“In my time, there was nothing like Instagram and Facebook. I’d inform these ladies to cease evaluating themselves to others on social media,” she mentioned.

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