Fad diets don't work! It's something we're told time and time again, but few take notice and continue to to shed £££s in a bid to shed the pounds.
But now a mum-of-two has proved it by ditching fashionable fads in favour of a healthy eating plan – and has lost more than seven stone.
Ellen Reading, 35, has tried everything from the Atkins diet, Slim Fast and the cabbage soup diet but has never been able to keep pounds off.
But after struggling to squeeze into a size 24 top, she knew it was time to change her unhealthy ways.
She started cooking healthy meals and is now a trim nine stone and can fit into size eight jeans.
Ellen, from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, said: "I've done every single diet under the sun. A milkshake diet was the worst. It made me feel really ill. I got really bad stomach cramps.
"After three days on the cabbage soup diet, I gave up out of sheer boredom. It wasn't worth it.
"I'm a vegetarian so when I did the Atkins type of diet I had to eat a lot of fish. It was awful.
"After I had my son, I put back on all the weight I'd lost since having my daughter. I thought: 'enough is enough.'
"It's not been easy but I've kept the weight off."
Ellen first began struggling with her weight as a teenager and went on her first diet while still at school. Over the years, her weight went up and down as she tried different diets. But within a year of getting married, she'd put on six stone.
"I told myself I'd lose it again at some point but I never managed it," she said. She continued to pile on the pounds after she gave birth to Lauren, five, and two-year-old Christopher.
Finally, after hearing about how a friend lost weight following the Zoe Harcombe Diet, Ellen decided to give it a go.
The diet works by cutting out foods that lead to cravings and weight gain, like processed foods and sugar.
She said: "I'd just had my son and you can't breastfeed on many of the other diets but you could carry on with this one because it isn't calorie controlled.
"For the first five days, you have to do a detox. I felt like death and started getting sugar withdrawal symptoms.
"But in that time, I lost five pounds and it really spurred me on. Then the weight continued to fall off.
"There is no portion control so unlike other diets, it's easy to stick to and you keep the weight off.
"It's not restrictive. If I want a piece of cake, I'll have one. But it gives me a sugar rush because I'm not used to it. It's a strange feeling and I don't really like it.
"It's not a diet as such - it's a change of lifestyle."
Now, she says she enjoys cooking healthy 'real' food and would never go back on a fad diet.
She said: "They're a waste of time. You can't spend your life living of a milk shake or counting calories.
"There are also a lot more exciting things in life to do. I can run around after my children at the park now. That's the biggest benefit. I wouldn't have even walked to school before."
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