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week 5 update – first before n after pic - PLUS - the history of hormones and how one of them can stop us losing weight.
28 February 2014

from Feb 1st to March 1st after Freedom Eating from Feb 1st to March 1st after Freedom Eating


Week 5 of 18 – Our Break the Habit Challenge Continues with my second monthly pic!

Well here we go with the second ‘before’ pic on my journey towards the end of June as part of our ‘Break the Habit Challenge’ (full info on facebook group – see links at bottom). I’ve found it’s been an enlightening process, getting back to Freedom Eating, my proven method of eating like a slim person (as in Till the Fat Lady Slims book – links at bottom). But of course in ‘98-2000 I already used it to lose 35lb and keep it off for much of the next five years. (The slow move away came during a period of tough times which I will be covering in the updated version of TTFLS out at the end of the Summer.) SO – listening to my body and stopping at satisfied, not beating myself up and breaking free from food prison is easier having done it all before. BUT it did take me about three to four months to adopt the principles fully when I discovered the process originally so I’m enjoying going through some of that learning process again now. I’ve lost weight, I know that, and clothes are fitting better, my cheekbones are a little more prominent and I’ve had some lovely comments from people noticing the changes when I’m on air. THANK YOU!

So here’s the latest pic. Another one each start of the month in the run up to end of June joint get together for BTH gang, and my romantic novel 3 book launch!

PLUS - StopPress! - some amazing new info about hormones and their signals that's finally given me the scientific evidence that Freedom Eating works. See below for what that discovery is!

What I’m LOVING though is reading the incredible reactions from some of the people on the facebook groups who are all encouraging each other to join the Freedom Eating drive, break out of Food Prison, and become one of the TTFLS brigade, and describing their results.

One of the results is mentioned on Friday’s (28th) QVC Blog – click this link or see tab above to go read it – it’s heart warming!

And of course I keep seeing things like this – which is so rewarding I can’t tell you:

Jane Sargeant says –

“ Just a little bit of self praise. Yesterday my son phoned to say "Mum, don't make dinner, I'm bringing round a KFC! I politely refused and sat quite happily watching my hubby and son devour copious amounts of chicken whilst I stuck into my low fat lasagne. Today, I made dinner for my friend who brought pudding. Swiss roll. She insisted I'm allowed a treat, which yes I am but (and get this Debbie Flint, you'll be proud) my body didn't crave it. So, I had a nice cuppa whilst they chowed down. Ok self praise over but this really is getting easier. 7 weeks ago I would have had both the chicken and the ice cream!!! So, I guess the moral of the story is...carry on and stick at really does get easier to deal with and the mini meltdowns get fewer and fewer xxx 

Lots of feeling proud for me on our groups this week! Thank you girls.

(Link for TTFLS - Till the Fat Lady Slims - book is at bottom of this post). 



This week’s Monday Essay, below at bottom of blog, focusses on the amazing job of hormones in natural weight management, including Leptin – and that fab discovery - an amazing observation I’ve made by putting two and two together after watching how Leptin’s action is totally mucked up by eating too much sugar. Do read the Monday Essay below, and tell me if you agree – there are links to some pretty life-changing videos for you to watch, too.

Just as Freedom Eating is life-changing.

The Discovery - And then whilst on the BBC site, a link to another upcoming show popped up, which made me smile.

There on the BBC report about a new Horizon show was one paragraph which I will be incorporating into my updated TTFLS in September. Because it backs up my whole assertation about listening to your body and losing weight. 

If you go to read the report, by clicking here to go to the BBC site, you’ll read a pretty similar view about how Leptin can help moderate eating and how if it’s disrupted you get obese.

Half way down, is this interesting paragraph –

“In 2001, the research unit at Imperial discovered vital clues. They identified two previously unknown hormones called PYY and ghrelin which seem to play a part in our sensations of fullness and hunger.

Ghrelin was linked to the sensation of hunger and PYY to fullness.

"It completely opened up a new chapter," said Dr Le Roux, "because for the first time we understood that the gut can actually talk to the brain and influence how hungry you are, or how full you are."

Aha!! After all those years of knowing that my body was giving me signals about what it wanted and when to stop, and here it is in medical speak.

So there you go. Freedom Eating has an aspect grounded in science. Give it a go. And watch out for the Horizon show The Truth About Fat - Do Our Hormones Make Us Fat - on 20th March.

And now forever more, when I talk about the signals your body gives you when it reaches satisfied, I can say it's the gut that is actually talking to the brain, influencing how hungry you are or how full you are. As proven by science. Involving hormones Leptin, Grehlin and PYY. 


Extras -

- How dark choc could help ward off diabetes risk - well it's got to be done... Actually I found a new one in Tesco sweetened with Stevia and with cocoa nibs for fibre. Made me feel a bit sick after just two tiny squares tho. Oh well... click here for more

- Sugar is Toxic, simplified - I love the science but if you don't, and you're desperate for a solution to those damned sugar cravings in the first few weeks of a diet, do have a listen to this. Sugar-Podcast really makes it simple. And do please share with anyone addicted to fizzy drinks or orange juice too. click here for more. 

Dr Alex Richardson  strikes again - the UK's leading expert on omega 3's has just emaile dme with some science attached to why EPA and DHA omega 3's are so vital and how they can help so many things from depression to arthritis to sleep to eczema to ADHD to immune system to high cholesterol and blood pressure - the list goes on and on. In fact it's so good, I've posted a separate blog about it. Go here for more. However, there's also another seminar coming up, on March 21st, in London which you can book yourself in on if you have children who have ADHD. click here to book asap.


Joining In

Not too late to share your own precious ‘before pics’. Do come join us, it’s never too late! And if you’ve got a ShareStory you’d like to feature on here and you’re not on facebook, just email me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. All the links to the groups are below.

Don’t forget if you’re a facebook member of Back to You QVC Group or of the closed group Break the Habit BTU, to give us your Monday update on facebook!

Go here to read the Back to You QVC Group updates and to join.

Go here to request to join the new CLOSED Break the Habit – BTU Group.

If you’d like to join in on my own Break the Habit Challenge, it’s here.

And for more info about Freedom Eating, for Till the Fat Lady Slims book – click here for Amazon.


Next week – come back for another Monday Update when you’ll be hearing from several of our ‘Break the Habit Challengers’ about what’s been working for them. And if you're one of them, do please feel free to leave me a comment below on this blog - or on my QVC Blog (via tab above) - always nice to hear them!

Best wishes to you all and whatever your challenge, here’s to a happy healthy, successful week ahead!





The POWER OF HORMONES – how broken Leptin signals can make us put on weight and the history of hormones in medicine.

If you saw, as I did, the BBC4 show ‘The Fantastical World of Hormones with Professor John Wass’ you’ll have seen how hormones were first ‘discovered’ and how eventually exxperts found out that certain essential hormones are made not within an organ but within our FAT CELLS. There’s a summary of the show below. But the most interesting bit for weight loss was in the last ten minutes . For those that didn’t see it, there’s a basic outline of what was in the show below at the bottom - catch it before Wednesday 6th March, when it’s no longer available on this link - Click here to see it on i-Player – fast before it’s removed! (Do look on youtube or google it in case it’s been posted somewhere else.)

But basically, the final ten minutes talked about the hormone Leptin, which switches off our hunger signal once we’re satiated. Theoretically.

Yes some people’s Leptin doesn’t work properly, but the proportion of medically diagnosed Leptin deficiency is tiny. More’s the point, a lot of us are creating it ourselves with what we eat.  (Although they didn’t say it on the show, sadly - obviously the prof didn’t watch the video I’m about to mention!)

If you want to look for the main culprit for one of the reasons why so many people find their Leptin signals are not working, just examine the youtube sensation ‘Sugar the Bitter Truth.’ Within the first ten minutes you’ll hear Dr Robert Lustig talking about how this hormone comes from within your fat cells and tells you to stop eating any more, and how for millions this system is now broken. He says it’s happened since the FDA brought in low-fat in 1982, which actually raised sugar consumption. It should have been BOTH sugar combined with the fat, but a mistake – yes a mistake – in the calculations of the science back in the 70’s led to just fat being demonised.

As a result, this systematic excess sugar consumption has led to the exact opposite result of what they wanted to achieve. For instance, 15 and a half pounds of extra fat per year from just one excess can of fizzy sugary drink per day. The bio-chemical feedback mechanism is not working as a result of this extra sugar. Within the youtube video, if you like your science as I do (sorry, I’m a geek like that!)  you’ll hear EXACTLY why the intake of sugar and the way it’s processed in the liver produces that effect.

ALSO – the undisputable truth that a calorie is NOT a calorie is NOT calorie. Yes, if you eat sugar calories, a third of all those sugar calories end up unavoidably going back onto your body as FAT. No matter what exercise you do, no matter what else you eat. The bio-chemistry is all there clear for all to see – just watch it and be amazed. That fact alone helps me not reach for the ‘treats’ – they no longer feel like treats if they’re like three steps forward one step back in my quest to lose weight.

Let alone their effect on CHOLESTEROL and BLOOD PRESSURE

Let alone their effect on Leptin and Ghrelin.






So do your own research, investigate – get curious. And seriously rethink the whole sugar thing if you’re in need of losing weight and keep finding yourself craving sugary ‘treats.’ Well these ‘treats’ may be directly contributing to your poor health in ways you never realised. Education is a wonderful thing, so arm yourself and research, research, research.

PLUS – watch this other show I always point people towards, ‘Is Sugar Toxic’ – the famous fourteen minute long report from the renowned US news programme Sixty Minutes. And spread the word about it – especially if you know anyone who’s suffering from cancer. Watch this report and you’ll see why I say that.

Anyway, that’s it for now!

Read on for my abbreviated notes on the Professor Wass show on hormones.

Best wishes



More than 80 known hormones in humans alone

Eg Stressed – we produce cortisol

Eg Adrenalin- for exercise – for fight or flight response

Eg Oxytocin – bonding process

Several kinds of hormones – Amines, peptides, steroids

Hormones target particular cells – a hormone matches their specific chemical structure – only fits one cell, otherwise it’s like trying to unlock a door with the wrong key. Hormone in correct cell effectively unlocks it, and makes it change to perform a specific task – eg adrenalin makes heart beat faster.

Some long lasting, Eg Oestrogen secreted every Day has effects that last for years

Eg Growth hormone – chris greener is 7’5” as he had a tumour in his pituitary gland which meant he kept growing.

In 1780’s – Irishman Charles Byrne was enormous – a medical curiosity collector kept his skeleton. 100yrs later Harvey cushing said Byrne’s pituitary gland looked enlarged. The gland usually sits on a stalk at base of brain nestling inside protective bone. When he looked at Byrne’s skull the hole for the gland was much bigger – he probably had a tumour on his pituitary. Similar tumour caused chriss greener’s height. This study put a stop to some of the utter rubbish about hormones in the early 1900’s.

Like Brown sequards – rubbish cures – involving semen etc

Hormone Insulin – prob best known of all – without it you develop diabetes – before it was disovered, diabetes was a death sentence (diabetes = sweet urine, couldn’t store energy and child wasted away and died in teens). In the late 1800’s pancreas removed from dogs, who had diabetes. Pancreas produces insulin but mostly it just secretes digestive enzymes – virtually no insulin in it. Frederick Banting was an unlikely hero to find a cure – was a failing Canadian GP. Sensational and dramatic discovery:

JANUARY 1922 – tied off dogs pancreatic duct – only producing insulin now – used this concentrated dog insulin on other diabetic dogs and it worked. Then tried it on a dying guy – Leonard Thomson took this ‘brown muck’ – he became the first patient ever to be successfully treated and survived way past childhood.

In 1920’s, a new wave of hormone research promised miracle cures. BUT had unwelcome consequences – off track – involving bizarre fads – Eugene stynACK claimed to reverse the ageing process in lab – eg isolate male hormone testosterone – did it by tying off the tube carrying the sperm (vasectomy) – he was a sensation, people flocking to have it done on themselves (incl William butler yeates – 69, writer’s block – noticed increase in sexual desire, wrote better poetry… eg the wild old wicked man, in 1938; Dated a 42 yrs younger actress? Had Stynack stumbled upon secret of eternal youth!? No scientific rationale tho. He thought the more testosterone circ around body the more vigour. Publicity around his claims spurred on huge research. This gave more understanding of pituitary (and where this guy went very wrong. Coupled with the study of Byrne’s skeleton, this didn’t make sense, as Pituitary ensures body hormone levels regulate- acts like a thermostat. So if not enough, it would make more. So Stynack’s work stopped making sense.

More recent research challenges our views of how hormones regulate us. Dr sadaf faruck has studied Leptin.

Eg Leptin – mice obese – this was a brand new type of hormone – using a new system for how fat is regulated in our bodies. Produced not by a gland like other hormones, but by our FAT ITSELF.

Fat can make hormones – EG leptin. Acts in brain to control our weight. Fat cells themselves can control how much we eat – feedback loop with brain. More fat stores = more leptin, means it tells our brain SOONER, not to eat.

BUT If for some reason the fat cells DON’T make leptin, sadaf faruck has found it could be genes. Mutation or gene defect disrupting leptin production – unable to control appetite, eat more than need, become obese. Showed a case study where it is definitely Genes. 

Hormones are a key factor in us controlling our appetite. Gave people leptin injections and effectively cured some patients.

On verge of discovering a whole range of new hormones. Grehlin and PP5 (?) even more recently discovered. It’s going to be vast.


Before you run off to get tested for genetic reasons for not enough leptin, watch Sugar the Bitter Truth and ask yourself seriously if diet might be the cause first.


work in progress

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  • Comment Link Debbie Flint 2 April 2014 posted by Debbie Flint

    Sandra, Jane, Lynne-
    Ta so much! Yes freedom eating really works.
    Hoping the trend will continue in the next pics each month in run up to end of June get together! X

  • Comment Link Sandra Hampson 4 March 2014 posted by Sandra Hampson

    Wow Debbie, you look fantastic already! Xxx

  • Comment Link Jane Sargeant 4 March 2014 posted by Jane Sargeant

    Wow! I've just been catching up on my reading of your blog and updates on here. I can't believe your before and after photo. You look amazing, such a big difference and you looked great in the first one. Well done you x

  • Comment Link lynne Sneddon 3 March 2014 posted by lynne Sneddon

    Well Done Debbie on the before and after pics and well done Jane Sargeant. It's great what freedom eating does :D xx

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