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Contrary to popular belief, Dr. Mansfield’s book “6 Secrets to Successful Weight Loss” explains that there’s no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ diet. Instead, he explains how ‘traditional’ methods of dieting (such as low-fat and low-calorie) can actually do more harm than good. In order to achieve a sustained weight loss and reach your personal goals, you need to identify primarily whether you have any underlying health issues that could be obstructing your weight loss.

These underlying health issues can include thyroid problems, yeast syndrome and especially food sensitivities. To identify what issue is preventing you from achieving your weight loss goals, Dr. Mansfield advises an elimination diet tailored to the unique makeup of your body. Food sensitivities can cause reactions in a similar way to an allergy - they interfere with the part of our brain that controls our appetite, they can cause symptoms such as headaches and irritability and they can ultimately lead to weight gain. Similarly, an underactive thyroid can be a hidden cause of stubborn weight that’s hard to shift.

In a nutshell, it’s not all about counting calories. What matters is what you eat – not how much of it. Dr. Mansfield explains that the ingredients in modern-day popular foods can contribute to weight gain too, highlighting the role of food in human evolution. Refined carbs and yeasty foods in the modern-day diet can trigger yo-yoing insulin levels, fatigue and headaches.

A diet based on ‘safe’ foods unlikely to trigger reactions (such as certain fish, fruit, vegetables and lean meats) is advised in the initial elimination stage, and you can eat as many of these as you like. The fact that these foods are unrestricted means that you needn’t feel hungry. Common culprits of food sensitivities (such as wheat, milk, yeast and eggs) are cut out completely at this stage. To find out which foods you could be sensitive to, the more ‘risky’ foods are then re-introduced to your diet very slowly.

After following this process (which takes up to six weeks, with a further two if you react to several foods) you should be able to achieve sustainable weight loss by avoiding the foods you are sensitive to.

This book will resonate with anyone who’s dealt with the frustration of following a low-calorie diet to no avail, and will come as a welcome relief to those with hidden food sensitivities. Dr. Mansfield uses clear and simple language to put across sometimes quite complex medical processes, making this book accessible to everyone who wants to find a long-term solution to weight loss. He offers advice on topics such as the role of exercise in weight management, plenty of interesting case studies and a comprehensive food list at the back for your reference.

The Six Secrets of Successful Weight Loss, £12.99 is available from http://www.hammersmithbooks.co.uk/thesixsecretsofsuccessfulweightloss.html