Posted by: sharonseidel | January 11, 2013

The Phenomenon of The TV Chef

I do enjoy watching TV cooking shows.  Jamie Oliver, Rachel Ray, The Cook and The Chef, Anthony Bourdian, Antonio Carluccio, The Two Fat Ladies (there’s a blast from the past!) and especially The Hairy Bikers.  I particularly enjoy the travel/food shows where they showcase a country and a cuisine and if the presenter is a cook as well they make their version of a local classic.  The interesting thing about all these celebrity chefs/foodies is watching the expansion of their waistline over the passage of time.  Watch an older episode of Jamie Oliver in his Naked Chef days and then Jamie in his 30 Minute Meals or a young Nigella compared to Nigella now and you’ll see what I mean. It’s a natural consequence of being surrounded by food all day as a career and in many cases travelling constantly and eating hotel/restaurant food.  We watch this occurring, but as with ourselves when we put on weight and are in that state of denial for a time, I have often wondered if they notice what is happening to their bodies.

Last night I was watching TV and found a program called “The Hairy Dieters”.  The Hairy Bikers, who travel around the world on the backs of motorbikes sampling the local delicacies and cooking up a storm are very large and likeable lads who have been getting larger and larger over the course of their show.  Apparently, they both had their light bulb moments and decided that they needed to do something about their weight and in turn their health, and so it was time to change their ways.

What I liked was that they were very honest about the fact that they knew that as die hard foodies they would not be satisfied simply eating a couple of lettuce leaves and a stick of celery. They recognised that in order for their change to be sustainable and permanent, they needed to be able to still enjoy their food and that meant making over real food to lighter, more healthy versions.  They also recognised that they needed a support team around them to cheer them on in their journey and so gathered a group of like minded souls with similar goals to join in their quest. When I checked out their website after watching the show, they had lost 6 stone between them, just by changing up their food and adding some exercise. I also liked that it showed unless you are being mindful about what you eat, by not counting all those little extra bites and tastes here and there ( you know the ones that don’t really matter when you’re cooking),  what can happen to your weight.  These boys were consuming 3500 calories a day without being aware of it!

I also checked out their recipes, and whilst I thought that some were still a little calorie heavy and I could see where they could be lightened up even further, they looked like good sensible real food that would not leave you feeling deprived.

I have tried many a diet that required losing food groups (Bodytrim) or restricted you to one recipe for the day (the soup diet, Lemon Detox) and whilst there is a quick short term weight loss, it is unsustainable in the long term.  As soon as you start eating real food again, the weight all goes straight back on.  The only diets that I have found to work for sustainable weight loss have been those which teach you how to eat real food sensibly and accountably, less of a diet and more a lifestyle change, such as Weight Watchers and now the 12 Week Body Transformation.  The other element that works for me with 12WBT is the support system that is built into the program, it really takes that sense of isolation out of the process.

Anyway here’s a taste (sorry, bad pun) of the Hairy Bikers, before and after:


  1. I did like the hairy bikers, will check out their new stuff! Thanks 🙂

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