A mother-of-three claims listening to a mindfulness tape while she slept helped her lose 7st (98lbs).
Rachael Buckett, from Inverness, was approaching her fifties weighing 19st (252lbs).
But her excess weight, which she had spent decades trying to lose, left her feeling like a pensioner because she found it so painful to move.
Desperate for a change, the 51-year-old turned to Slimpod — a programme based around a nine-minute daily audio clip that claims to teach listeners how to ‘lose the desire to snack’.
‘After listening to it for the first night, I woke up and was repulsed by crisps, which I would usually have several bags of a day,’ Mrs Buckett told MailOnline.
Two years later, recruitment worker Mrs Buckett weighs 11st 9lbs (163lbs) and credits the programme for changing her life.
It did not trick her body into burning more fat. Instead, Slimpod aims to ‘retrain the brain’, so healthy eating becomes an ‘automatic habit’. Now she has overhauled her diet to get rid of junk food, and sticks to an exercise regieme.
Rachael Buckett, from Inverness, was approaching her fifties weighing 19st (252lbs). Two years later, recruitment worker Mrs Buckett weighs 11st 9 lbs (163lbs) and credits the Slimpod programme for changing her life
Mrs Buckett she said her excess weight — which she had spent decades trying to lose — left her feeling like a pensioner because she found it painful to move. Desperate for a change, the 51-year-old turned to Slimpod — a programme based around a nine-minute daily audio clip that claims to teach listeners how to ‘lose the desire to snack’
She has since lost more than 100lbs (7 stone and 4lbs, 46kg) by doing three forms of physical activity every day — whether that’s walking the dog, going for a 5km (3mile) run or climbing a Munro, of which she’s done 21 in the last year
WHAT SHOULD A BALANCED DIET LOOK LIKE?
Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS
• Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit and vegetables count
• Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain
• 30 grams of fibre a day: This is the same as eating all of the following: 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, 2 whole-wheat cereal biscuits, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and large baked potato with the skin on
• Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks) choosing lower fat and lower sugar options
• Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily)
• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consuming in small amounts
• Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of water a day
• Adults should have less than 6g of salt and 20g of saturated fat for women or 30g for men a day
Source: NHS Eatwell Guide
Discussing her decision to try Slimpod, Mrs Buckett said: ‘I was fed up of feeling like crap. I thought I had some undiagnosed conditions, it was so difficult to move.
‘I was coming up to 50 and thought “this must be what an 80-year-old feels like”.’
She had been trying to lose weight for her whole adult life, since she had her first child at 19.
Until September 2020, her daily routine included sitting down in front of the TV from 7pm to 11pm, while her husband brought her snacks, such as crisps and chocolate.
He would have to help her get up from the sofa and she struggled to climb the stairs when going to bed.
‘I tried lots of quick-fix options, looking for a solution without properly committing,’ she said.
These included cutting all unhealthy food from her diet, having cereal for every meal and smoothies for breakfast and lunch.
Mrs Buckett looked into more effective ways for losing weight, after the approaches of denying herself the food she wanted failed.
Weight Watchers and Slimming World both seemed like ‘unsustainable options’, Mrs Buckett said.
‘I came across Slimpod and thought “it’s worth a try”,’ she said.
Slimpod sees users sign up to a 12-week ‘audio/visual transformation programme’, which costs £148 and is run through an app.
It includes video coaching, free recipes and access to a private Facebook support group.
On top of this, it also provides access to four ‘unique life-changing audio recordings’, that use ‘cutting-edge neuroscience’ labelled ‘nudge thinking’ to interfere with habitual and emotional responses to food.
The company claims its methods result in ‘permanent’ fat loss for many without resorting to ‘humiliating’ weekly weigh-ins, dietary pills or slimming shakes.
Mrs Buckett said it’s ‘difficult to describe’ what the daily nine-minute recordings say, but it includes ‘positive affirmations’ — inspirational phrases and statements to encourage positive changes.
After listening to it for just one night, she claimed she woke up with a completely different mindset and determination to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
The first sign of a change was that she wanted to ‘eat less, move more and choose better’, Mrs Buckett said.
Mrs Buckett said: ‘I’ve done healthy eating before and never had this much energy.
‘They do get you to build new daily habits and helped me build up to doing 10,000 steps every day.
‘The recordings don’t say what not to do, as everyone is different.’
She has since lost 7st 4lbs by doing three forms of physical activity each day — whether that’s walking her dog TJ, going for a 3mile (5km) run or climbing big hills.
Mrs Buckett said she usually hits 10,000 steps a day by lunchtime and her average step count is 13,000.
And her eating habits have changed drastically.
She used to have lots of carbohydrates, such as bread and potatoes, junk food including crisps and chocolate, and no fresh food.
She now tends has all of her meals within a eight-hour window, fasting for 16 hours every day. Studies have shown the approach helps with weight loss and lowers blood pressure.
Mrs Buckett has since lost more than 7st 4lbs by doing three forms of physical activity each day
Mrs Buckett said she usually hits 10,000 steps a day by lunchtime and her average step count is 13,000
Her workouts include walking her dog TJ, going for a 3mile (5km) run or climbing a Munro, of which she’s done 21 in the last year
Slimpod sees users sign up to a 12-week ‘audio/visual transformation programme’, which costs £148 and is run through an app. It includes video coaching, free recipes and access to a private Facebook support group. On top of this, it also provides access to four ‘unique life-changing audio recordings’, that use ‘cutting-edge neuroscience’ labelled ‘nudge thinking’ to interfere with habitual and emotional responses to food
Mrs Buckett’s diet is packed with vegetables such as broccoli, avocado and spinach and she has cut out soft drinks — sticking to water, coffee with no sugar and one bottle of red wine per week.
However, she does occasionally tuck into treats on the weekend, such as a tube of Pringles.
Though she now has crisps once a month, compared to five or six bags a day before Slimpod.
And unlike before, snacking no longer triggers a chain of poor food choices, Mrs Buckett said.
‘I’m now obsessed with running and would love to lose another stone but I’m really happy with my current weight,’ she added.
Dr Ian Johnson, a physiologist at Quadram Institute Bioscience in Norwich, told MailOnline that sustained weight loss is ‘notoriously difficult to achieve’.
Slimpod ‘certainly seems to have worked’ for Mrs Buckett but the only way to know that any treatment is effective is to conduct a randomised, controlled clinical trial, he said.
A study involving 82 overweight individuals examined whether Slimpod could lead to weight loss.
The results, published in the British Journal of General Practice, show that users lost an average of 4.3kg (9.5lbs) in six months, while the control group who listened to audio relaxation recordings only lost 1.2kg (2.6lbs).
The findings ‘sound promising’, Dr Johnson said.
‘However, one would need to wait for further clinical trials to confirm that it’s a valuable approach for the population in general,’ he added.
Obesity is one of Britain’s biggest health issues with the latest data showing 64 per cent of adults were either overweight or obese in 2019.
However, an analysis by Cancer Research UK last released last month predicted more than 42million adults in the UK will be overweight by 2040, about 71 per cent of the country.
Exercise is one of the best ways to lose weight, with the NHS recommending two-and-a-half hours of moderate intensity activity per week, such as brisk walking, bike riding and tennis, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, such as running, swimming and football.
But critics say you cannot outrun a bad diet and health chiefs warn that extreme calorie-restrictive regimes don’t work.
There are currently two weight loss drugs available on the NHS, orlistat and liraglutide.
Orlistat works by preventing fat being absorbed during digestion, while liraglutide works by tricking the body into feeling full.
Both drugs are usually only prescribed if a person has already made ‘significant’ effort into losing weight through diet and exercise.