Petronella Ravenshear devised a diet plan that promises rapid weight loss. It is a three month programme that lays the foundations for a healthy diet and involves four key phases. The expert behind the diet told Express.co.uk how slimmers can lose up to a stone in two weeks.
Preparation, phase one of the Human Being Diet, involves an intense two days of eating only vegetables.
This is followed by a 14 day Reset, phase two, which sees slimmers eat three meals a day, which combine equal weights of one type of protein and a mixture of vegetables, as well as a daily apple.
The third phase, Burn, is 10 weeks of phase two, adding olive oil and a weekly treat meal.
The fourth and final phrase is Forever, where slimmers continue phase three and maintain the Human Being Diet whilst experimenting with extra treat meals.
In the first 16 days, slimmers go oil, alcohol, sugar and grain-free.
“It’s all about blood sugar balance and about removing the substances, including sugar and alcohol, that cause inflammation.
“And it’s also about giving our beleaguered livers a bit of a holiday and some TLC.”
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Petronella continued: “When our liver is overworked and has accumulated fat it can no longer help us burn fat, and sometimes it takes a couple of weeks for the body to start burning fat.
“That 16 day period is where the magic begins.”
Petronella told Express.co.uk a few rules for the first 16 days, which are undoubtedly the most difficult and restrictive.
“Perhaps the most important rule to observe is a minimum of five hours fasting between each meal – no snacks, no tea or coffee between meals, just water.”
The expert stressed that it’s not just about what slimmers eat but when, too.
“We eat within an hour of waking, have lunch at least five hours after breakfast and make sure we’ve finished eating before 9pm.
“And then, while we’re asleep, our bodies can get on with fat burning.”
But how can dieters ensure they stay full when following the low-carb programme?
Petronella said: “Drinking enough water is key – so often we eat because we think we’re hungry but in fact we’re thirsty.”
The Preparation and Reset stages of the diet do seem challenging, but they are not without reward.
“Happily, the results in the first two weeks can be dramatic and losing anything between half a stone and a stone is normal.
“With a quick win like that it makes it easier to stay on plan for the long haul.”
Petronella advised that weight loss may plateau briefly when slimmers start adding treat meals, but reassured slimmers that it would pick back up again.
“The average weight loss from the end of the 16 day reset is anything from one to four pounds a week.”
As for treat meals, “anything goes”.
“It could be a Sunday roast with all the trimmings, or it could be fish and chips and a glass or two of wine, or a delicious Indian curry.
“The key is to consume calorie-laden fats to snap the body out of ‘energy-conservation’ aka starvation mode. We shock the body with lots of extra calories and that restimulates fat-burning.”
Taking into account our “unique biochemistry” – for example some people need to steer clear of wheat – phase four of the diet is very similar to the Mediterranean diet, which is often thought of as the best in the world.
This is essentially eating “fresh, wholesome unadulterated foods, including a wide array of vegetables, and lots of extra virgin olive oil”.
Petronella revealed: “Olive oil is perhaps the finest superfood of all.”
The Human Being Diet is beneficial for perimenopausal women, who often struggle with sudden weight gain around their middles.
“The programme is a hit with menopausal and perimenopausal women who’ve ‘tried everything and nothing has worked’ for them.
“I get so many lovely messages from (mostly) women who tell me that HBD has changed their life.”
And it’s not just a weight loss diet – it can in fact alleviate several perimenopause symtoms.
“Balance is restored.
“Belly fat for example, can be a sign of an overworked liver but it can also be down to too much of the stress hormone, cortisol, in the system.
“Anxiety and insomnia often go hand in hand with menopause/perimenopause and eliminating pro-inflammatory foods and restoring blood sugar balance can relieve both anxiety and insomnia and the belly fat diminishes too.”
Younger women are also embracing the diet too, for its positive effects on skin, including acne and dermatitis, and for rebalancing hormones.
Those who are interested in trying this diet should consult their doctor first.