The popularity of keto has been skyrocketing over the past few years so it's no wonder that it was included as one of the diets on ITV's Save Money: Lose Weight, a popular series in which different diets are compared based on their effectiveness and cost pound for pound.
The latest episode (Tuesday 19 March, 2019) focused on the following diets, each one assigned to a participant:
- The Detox Diet Radical Metabolism
- The Vegan Diet
- The Keto Diet based on my Keto All Day Cookbook
- Calorie-Controlled Plan Pinch of Nom
- XLS Meal Replacement Plan
The five participants were matched to a diet based on their lifestyle and eating habits. The duration of the trial was 28 days. The focus of the trial was to reveal how much weight participants lost, how much money they spent and how they felt about the diets.
Which Diet Performed Best?
All of the participants lost weight which is no surprise because they had bad eating habits before the trial (too much sugar, snacking, fast food, etc).
We already know that low-carb diet is the most effective tool for weight loss and there is plenty of research in this area. However, even I was surprised with the results of this trial.
Not only the keto diet outperformed all of the other diets in this episode by a large margin but it outperformed every single diet in the whole history of ITV's Save Money: Lose Weight!
Mum-of-2 loses 41 pounds in just 28 days by following a keto diet!
The results of the trial concluded that
- The ketogenic diet was the most effective diet. Lorna lost almost 3 stone (41 lbs/ 19 kg) in just 28 days.
- The ketogenic diet was the least expensive diet because it only cost Lorna £7 (9 USD) per every pound lost.
- Two months later, Lorna is still following the keto diet.
- Keto outperformed all of the 25 diets they have ever tested on Save Money: Lose Weight.
Lorna: "I've made myself healthier. My blood pressure is down. It's actually about being healthy from within. I'm happy and I'm proud of myself!
This is a huge victory for low-carb and keto. Apart from the health and weight loss benefits, this simple trial showed that a keto diet doesn't have to be more expensive than any other diet. On the contrary, when considering the weight loss results, the keto diet proved to be the least expensive of all diets tested, pound for pound.
The Keto Diet Was Based on My Keto All Day Cookbook
I am so excited and honoured that my Keto All Day Cookbook was used to create a healthy diet plan for Lorna who won the Save Money: Lose Weight challenge. In fact, the presenters referred to it as "The Keto All Day Cookbook Diet"!
Lorna, if you are reading this, you made my day and I am so happy for you!!
My Keto All Day Cookbook is simply a compilation of some of my best recipes. If you are already familiar with the keto diet or have an expert to guide you like Lorna did, then my book will help you maintain a whole food based keto diet.
If you are new to the diet and need guidance
Diets Tested and Results
Below is every diet discussed in detail; how much each of the participants lost and how they felt throughout the diet.
The full video is available on ITV at Save Money: Lose Weight. You do need to sign up to watch it but it's free.
The Detox Diet Radical Metabolism
Louise started at 16st 4lb (228 lbs, 103 kg). Before the trial, Louise was the heaviest she has ever been. Her biggest challenge has always been snacking.
Louise started with liquid-only meals for the duration of four days, followed by a diet of gut-friendly foods. According to the diet plan, during the first four days, the juices are supposed to "flush out" any sugars and processed foods from the system.
During the gut-friendly diet phase, regular meals including more fruits and complex carbs such as legumes and rice, are reintroduced into the diet. Louise was following a whole foods based diet with no added sugar. Carbs were somewhat limited, however, the meals seemed to be very low in fat and likely low in calories.
How Did the Detox Diet Radical Metabolism Perform?
Louise lost 17 lbs (8 kg) in 28 days.
Louise: "I will never have sugar in this house again... ever... in any shape or form. The best thing I ever did was getting rid of sugar."
According to Louise, the first four days (also referred to as "liquid detox") were the hardest part of the diet. She had no energy and seemed to be struggling with the liquid food.
Also keep in mind that scientifically speaking there is no such thing as "detox". Your liver and kidneys do this job every single day. This fact was also pointed out in the series by Dr Ranj Singh.
The total cost of this plan (i.e. the foods required to follow this plan) was £520 (about 690 USD), the most expensive of all diets they were testing. This brings the cost of every pound lost to £30 (40 USD).
In my opinion, Louise may benefit from a keto diet because her biggest challenge is snacking. Eating foods low in carbs, moderate in protein and high in fat would help manage her appetite and avoid constant snacking.
The Vegan Diet
The vegan diet is on the rise, especially after the infamous Lancet study that discourages people from eating animal products. If you want to learn more on the sustainability issue, make sure to check The Sustainable Dish by Diana Rogers, RD, LDN. This amazing lady is shaking the ground and making real difference. Diana is also working on a movie called "Sacred Cow" which you can support by donating here.
James started at 18st 12lb (264 lbs, 120 kg). His biggest challenge is his love of convenience food (fast foods and ready-made meals).
On the vegan diet plan, he was able to eat three plant-based meals a day plus a snack, totalling 2,000 Calories. That's a lot of fruit, vegetables and legumes!
How Did the Vegan Diet Plan Perform?
James lost 14 lbs (6.5 kg) in 28 days.
The first few days were not easy for James. One of the issues James mentioned was that he felt bloated which is not surprising for a plant-based plan. He started feeling better from day six — very likely a result of ditching processed foods. He especially enjoyed the sweet recipes such as granola.
On week three, the cravings returned and he started feeling tired. On week four he regained his energy and felt more focused again.
The total cost of the vegan plan (i.e. the foods required to follow this plan) was £304 (about 403 USD). This brings the cost of every pound lost to £20 (27 USD).
The Keto Diet
The keto diet has been on the rise for the last few years and exploded onto the diet market in 2018.
Lorna started at 20st 2lb (282 lb, 128 kg). Her biggest challenge has always been her love of chocolate and fizzy drinks. She has been struggling with yo-yo dieting. At 44 inches around her waist, Lorna was at an increased risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
How Did the Keto Diet Plan Perform?
Lorna lost an incredible 41 lbs (19 kg) in 28 days using recipes from my Keto All Day Cookbook, like this Italian Sausage Frittata.
Even for Lorna, the first few days were not easy. She experienced the symptoms of keto-flu, which is natural result of carbohydrate withdrawal. She was suffering from headaches, nausea and was exhausted. Luckily, keto-flu symptoms are only temporary and can be minimised by increasing your electrolyte intake.
In week three, Lorna started to feel like a new woman! She had a lot more energy and felt amazing, in her own words:
Lorna: "I've got way more energy and I'm glad I stuck through it. Coming out the other side is so worth it cos I feel amazing... Who needs sugar, go keto!"
Before the weigh-in, Lorna was worried about the results because of the high-fat nature of the keto diet and she was shocked at the exceptional results.
The total cost of the keto diet plan (i.e. the foods required to follow this plan) was £300 (about 398 USD). This brings the cost of every pound lost to just £7 (9 USD).
Calorie-Controlled Plan Pinch of Nom
Monty started at 21st 10lb (304 lbs, 138 kg). He works long hours and is often eating on the run. His biggest challenge is takeaway food and lack of experience in the kitchen. Monty has type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure which are the main reasons he wants to lose weight.
Monty's diet plan didn't require any specialist ingredients but was simply restricted in calories.
How Did the Pinch of Nom Plan Perform?
Monty lost 12 lbs (5.5 kg) in 28 days.
When Monty started following the diet plan, he was struggling with food preparation but that has improved in week two. The food was tasty and his willpower was getting better.
Just like most of the dieters, Monty started feeling weak, tired, dizzy and less motivated in week three. In week four he seemed to be feeling better and more energetic again.
The total cost of this plan (i.e. the foods required to follow this plan) was £232 (about 308 USD) which makes it the cheapest of all the diets they were testing. However, when it comes to weight loss per pound, the Pinch of Nom diet cost £19 (25 USD) per every pound lost (almost three times as much as the keto diet plan).
XLS Meal Replacement Plan
Sincy started at 15st 5lb (215 lbs, 98 kg). Her biggest struggle has always been Indian food and chocolate. She eats about 500 extra calories every day just by eating chocolate treats. Sincy would like to start a family but has been struggling and was turned down for IVF because of her weight.
I hope people like Sincy will read this post because they can benefit from a keto diet. Apart from weight loss low-carb diets can even support fertility.
On this meal replacement plan dieters follow a strict regime of low-calorie, high-protein shakes for breakfast and lunch, two snacks, followed by a calorie-controlled meal for dinner. That is five meals every single day.
How Did the XLS Plan Perform?
Sincy lost 12 lbs (5.5 kg) in 28 days.
At first, Sincy enjoyed the shakes and the diet was easy to follow. However, as she was approaching week three, she got bored drinking the same shakes and was struggling to follow the diet plan.
The total cost of this plan (i.e. the foods required to follow this plan) was £316 (about 419 USD). This brings the cost of every pound lost to £26 (34 USD).
Alcohol and Calories
A part of the episode also focused on liquid calories from alcoholic beverages. This was really useful as it showed how easy it is to significantly exceed your calorie intake just by having a couple of glasses of popular alcoholic beverages.
For more information, you can check out my Complete Guide to low-carb Alcohol here.
FAQ Based on Social Media Comments
In the section below I included answers to common questions on social media so that everyone can benefit from them. I'll update them as needed.
How is it possible to lose 41 pounds in just 28 days?
Lorna's 'before' weight was 282 pounds which played a role in her weight loss. Other factors that play a role in weight loss are body bat percentage, gender, age, activity level, stress and more. You can calculate your ideal macronutrient intake by using our keto calculator.
Did Lorna fast?
Fasting was not mentioned at all. My assumption is that Lorna was eating to satiety because unlike some of the other diet plans, no calorie restriction was mentioned in the keto diet plan. As you may know, natural appetite suppression is on of the main benefits of a keto diet.
Were you involved in this trial?
I was not involved in this trial at all. In fact, I found out on Facebook when a friend of mine tagged me in her post. That is how I learned about the trial and that my book was used.
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