My name is Charlie Spedding and Who wants to lose a Million Pounds? is my idea. I have worked for most of my life as a Community Pharmacist, which means I understand how the human body works at a chemical and hormonal level. Over the years, I have seen thousands of people in my Pharmacy who were taking medication for metabolic diseases, like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. I rarely saw any of them get completely better. This problem happens because the medicines for metabolic diseases treat the symptoms of the disease but not the cause. The cause of metabolic syndrome is nearly always lifestyle and the biggest factor in lifestyle is diet. People don’t become ill because their bodies lack a pharmaceutical drug; they become ill because they lack the correct nutrition.
I became a Pharmacist because I am fascinated by how the body works and I like helping people to become more healthy. However, I no longer work as a Pharmacist because I realised I could achieve far more by campaigning for healthy diets and lifestyles. I think it is far better to prevent illness than to medicate it. I now spend a lot of my time reading the latest research on health and nutrition. I endeavour to bring you this information in plain English.
My fascination with the human body and how to fulfil its potential was one of the things that helped me to have a successful athletic career. Many years ago, I was an international athlete: I won the London Marathon and an Olympic bronze medal in the marathon at the Los Angeles Games. I know from experience how wonderful it feels to be slim, fit, healthy and energetic. I am not, however, going to recommend that everybody runs marathons to lose weight because, as I show elsewhere on this site, exercise is a very poor way to shed excess body fat. Regular exercise is essential for your physical and mental health, but it won’t help you to lose weight unless you change your diet.
I grew up in a County Durham pit village but my Olympic achievements showed me that ordinary people can do exceptional things, if you approach them with determination, the right information and a clear goal. In my running career, I set very high targets for myself and I have aimed high again by choosing to call this initiative Who wants to lose a Million Pounds. It is an extraordinary amount of weight for a group of people to lose but I know from experience that you never achieve anything unless you try.
Professor Timothy Noakes is one of the world’s leading authorities on human physiology. This is what he had to say.
I fully endorse Charlie Spedding’s intervention, the goal of which is to help those living in the UK to lose one million pounds of body weight by reducing their carbohydrate intake and by eating more healthy fats. We know from experience around the world that this intervention would dramatically improve the health and reduce the medical costs of those who commit to this simple method for losing weight and improving health. This is a very important intervention led by a world class athlete who understands that you can’t outrun a bad diet. For our health, we have first to sort out our diet, then we can add the exercise. But without the right diet in the first place, our efforts are largely wasted.
Prof Tim Noakes OMS
MBChB, MD, DSc, PhD(hc), FACSM, (hon) FFSEM (UK), (hon) FFSEM (Ire)