What’s the Right Diet for You? BBC2 Case Study Update

Earlier this month we took part in BBC2’s weight loss series, ‘What’s the Right Diet for You? A Horizon special.’

The three-part series explored how taking a personalised approach to weight loss and dieting can lead to long-term, sustainable results. To test this theory, the show used 75 overweight participants, who were all put on personalised diet plans based on their genetics, gut hormones and tendency to emotionally eat.

To help participants keep track and report their progress, they were each provided with a BC-731 body composition monitor. Over the three months, participants lost a combined weight of 103 stone, making positive changes to their health and wellbeing, and changing their lives for the better.

With filming finished, the challenge continues as the volunteers try to stay on track, persevering with their weight loss and aiming to achieve their individual goals. This week we caught up with some of the shows participants to find out more about them, how they’re getting on and whether they’re keeping up with their regular weigh-ins!


Age: 33

Starting Weight: 15 stone 9lbs / Current Weight: 12 stone 8lbs

Starting Body Fat Percentage: 38% / Current Body Fat Percentage: 31.9%

Starting Muscle Mass: 41% / Current Muscle Mass: 46%

Alison is a married mum of one who has struggled with her weight for around 15 years. The BBC2 experiment labelled her as an emotional eater, and as part of the show, and the diet and lifestyle changes prescribed she started attending a local Slimming World group.

Alongside changing her diet and making healthier food choices, Alison began using her Tanita monitor regularly. Seeing her weight and body fat percentage drop week on week encouraged Alison to stay dedicated to the program. Attending weekly meetings at Slimming World also helped Alison on the path to long term weight loss, helping her to address the reasons she was eating and make positive changes to help her towards weight loss goals.

Alison says, “Taking part in the series has not only changed my eating and exercise habits, but it has also impacted on my life in an incredibly positive way. I now cook from scratch regularly and try to avoid processed meals where possible. I am also far more active, trying to walk or take the stairs to make sure I’m moving. I still use my BC-731 on a regular basis to ensure I stay on track and headed in the right direction!”

Alison before and after


Age: 51

Starting Weight: 18 stone 13lb / Current Weight: 17 stone

As a youngster, Peter was a talented rugby player who trained every day and could eat whatever he wanted without gaining weight. His life drastically changed after sustaining a severe injury, which forced him into early retirement a few years ago. After a string of failed diets, Peter reached crisis point in 2007 when his weight crept up to 20 stone.

The decision to take part in BBC2’s diet experiment was an easy one. Peter knew that something had to change and after being labelled by experts as a ‘feaster’, he began to understand the reasons why he overate. In Peter’s case, his gut hormones did not relay messages to his brain to say he was full resulting in him regularly eating too much and always feeling hungry. To combat this, Peter was advised to eat a high protein, low sugar diet which although hard at first, worked well for him.

Peter says, “Using the Tanita BC-731 on a regular basis helped me to see the changes in my body and what it is made up of. I feel a great sense of achievement when I see my body fat percentage decrease and my muscle mass and hydration levels increase. Using the BC-731 has really helped me to understand healthy weight loss and I must say, it has been an invaluable tool on my weight loss journey. It doesn’t stop there either, I’m determined to get fitter and have even started paying football with my son again!”

Peter case study before and after


Age: 26

Starting Weight: 19 stone 5lbs / Current Weight: 15 stone 12lbs

Danielle has struggled with her weight since her teenage years. After participating in the BBC2 programme and being labelled a ‘constant craver’, Danielle has been following an intermittent fasting diet. For two days in the week Danielle restricts the amount of calories she consumes, sticking to approximately 500 calories a day. For the rest of the week, Danielle tries to make healthy food choices, trying not to overeat.

Danielle says, “Finding out I was a constant craver has really helped me to understand why I overeat and why so many of my weight loss efforts failed. I am finally having some success, have drastically reduced my portion sizes and am trying to make healthy food choices. I have always been fairly active, but since losing weight I am determined to exercise more and do cardio and weight-bearing exercises at least three times a week. Using the Tanita body composition monitor has also really helped me with my weight loss. I use the monitor almost daily and seeing how my body has changed really gives me a sense of achievement. It has also helped me set realistic targets which will benefit me in the long term. I am currently on mission to increase my muscle mass so that I am fitter and healthier for the future.”

Danielle case study


Age: 52

Starting Weight: 101.1 kilos / Current Weight: 82.1 kilos

Starting Body Fat Percentage: 46.8% / Current Body Fat Percentage: 41.7%

Elinor has struggled with her weight throughout her life. After taking part in the BBC2 programme she made major changes to her diet, eating fewer carbohydrates, consuming less alcohol and choosing low GI options. Alongside changing her diet Elinor has changed her exercise habits too, vowing to become more active and aiming to do 10,000 steps per day as well as regular workouts on the cross trainer.

Elinor says, I found the BC-731 very useful. It was incredibly interesting to see how my body composition changed over time. Monitoring weight can be demoralising if you feel you have followed the rules but lost little or no weight – with the monitor even if I didn’t lose much weight! But I could see other measurements change towards the healthy range (visceral fat rating, water composition etc.), which was so uplifting.”




Tanita goes behind the scenes with Boditrax at BBC2’s “What’s the Right Diet for you? A Horizon Special”

Tanita BBC Horizon 3Together with Britain’s top obesity specialists, Tanita took part in a new BBC2 weight loss series ‘What’s the Right Diet for you? A Horizon Special’ which aired in the UK earlier this week.

We were lucky enough to go behind the scenes with one of our partners, boditrax and their consultant Dan Siggs who was present during the filming and heavily involved in analysing and tracking the health of the volunteers throughout the series using the Tanita MC-780 and boditrax software.

“It was a fantastic few days of filming spread across the summer” says Dan. “It was great to go behind the scenes and really get to know the volunteers, helping them discover the causes for their overeating and showing them how to tackle them.

Before embarking on their personalised diet plans, I worked with all the participants to measure their body composition. Knowing what your body is made up of is very important to ensure you lose weight healthily and permanently. Using the boditrax K780 which incorporates the Tanita MC-780, we measured all of the volunteers, obtaining their weight, body fat percentages, muscle mass, basal metabolic rate (the amount of calories burnt at rest), visceral fat, metabolic age and hydration levels. This gave us a baseline for development, and some concrete figures which could be used to see how volunteers were progressing and the improvements being made to their health.

For many, seeing their personal body composition measurements was difficult. Everyone who took part in the show was overweight, but seeing the hard evidence, especially high body fat percentage readings and drastically older metabolic ages really brought home the damage that overeating had done to their bodies and their health. It was my job to educate the volunteers about body composition and the good news was that all of their measurements could be brought down to healthier levels with the right diet, which they were set to be given just hours after seeing me.

The contributors’ body composition was monitored weekly as they followed their individual eating plans and data was tracked by BBC researchers and the academics leading the study using boditrax reporting tools.

Watching each of the volunteers win their battle with overeating was truly inspiring. They all worked so hard to make sure they reached their weight loss target, and although there were some wobbles over the three months, everyone managed to pick themselves up and keep going. Overall, the group achieved an incredible weight loss of 654kg (103st) and it gave me great pleasure to deliver each person their final body composition readings which on average included a 2.8 point drop in Body Fat Percentage and a 2 year reduction in metabolic age! Although some of the participants still had more weight to lose, they were definitely headed in the right direction and making progress.

Working on the show gave me a great insight into the biology and psychology of overeating. For many, weight loss is simply a case of eating less and moving more, but there are so many other contributing factors which should be taken into account. If you’re currently trying to lose weight, I urge you to watch the series and determine why you overeat to tackle those reasons and achieve long-term, healthy weight loss.”

If you missed the series, there is still time to catch up on BBC iPlayer. Click the link below to begin watching the show, and keep an eye out for our Tanita body compositions throughout!



Tanita work with BBC2 investigating the science behind diets in a Horizon special television series ‘What’s the right diet for you?’

p02f20cyTogether with Britain’s top obesity specialists, we’ve taken part in the upcoming BBC Television programme, ‘What’s the Right Diet for you? A Horizon Special’.

This three-part series which airs on BBC2 on the 12th, 13th and 14th January at 9pm will explore how a personalised approach to weight loss can lead to long-term, sustainable results.

This ground-breaking national experiment, led by Dr Chris Van Tulleken, clinical Professor Tanya Byron and a team of leading scientific experts aims to tackle the reasons why people overeat. The programme aims to find a diet plan best suited to people with a history of overeating, related to three causes:  their genetics, gut hormones, and emotion-related eating.

To set a baseline and track participant’s progress throughout the three month programme, each of the volunteers was measured using the Tanita MC780 Professional Body Composition Analyser and their body composition data was recorded and analysed using boditrax software. Tanita also provided participants with a BC-731 home-use body composition scale so they could track and report their progress on a weekly basis.

To find out more and learn about the science behind the theory of personalised diets, tune in to BBC2 for the first episode on ‘What’s the Right Diet for you? A Horizon Special’ on Monday 12th January at 9pm. We will also be sharing exclusive information about the volunteers featured on the show and their stories, as well as some behind the scenes info. So, keep checking our Facebook and Twitter pages for more information!

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Smoked Salmon & Rosemary Protein Quiche Tartlets

Here at Tanita, we are always on the look out for healthy dishes to cook. We love this recipe for smoked salmon & rosemary protein quiche tartlets, which are packed with protein and low in fat. Give it a try!

Makes 2

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 30g pea protein powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour (e.g. Tiana Organic Fair Trade Coconut Baking Flour)
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp onion granules

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 2 eggs
  • 50g smoked salmon, chopped
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • salt & herbs, to taste


1. Pre-heat the oven to 190’C/170’C Fan/Gas Mark 5.
2. Using a food processor or blender, blend the crust ingredients together until you get a wet doughy batter.
3. Scoop the batter with a spoon and press into 2 small tartlet tins (or 1 medium-sized one).
4. Use your fingers to press the dough into the tins. Bake for 15 mins, or until starting to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
5. To make the filling, whisk the eggs with the chopped salmon, milk, seasoning and herbs – plus other vegetable fillings if you like.
6. Fill the tartlet cases with the mixture. Bake for 30 mins or until set.



Don’t lose weight, lose body fat!

It’s time to take a different approach to weight loss and stop thinking about the number on the scales and start focusing on your body composition in order to improve your overall health and wellbeing.

The body is mainly made up of muscle, fat and water. When you exercise more or start dieting, your body composition will often change, even if your weight stays the same, so it’s best to not get so hung up on pounds and kilos. Quick-fix, crash diets may produce speedy results, but the weight loss will be in the form of body water and healthy, lean muscle tissue which is not a long term achievable solution. Additionally, very low calorie diets can force your body into ‘starvation’ mode, storing body fat rather than burning it. So even if you lose weight, your body fat could increase.

Using a Tanita body composition monitor will help you to understand the true impact your fitness and diet plan has on your fat, water and muscle levels. If you’re serious about transforming your body, the key to success is focusing on building lean muscle, staying well hydrated and losing excess fat.

Rather than traditional home scales which simply read your overall body mass and calculate your weight, global leaders in health monitoring, Tanita Europe offer a range of body composition monitors which use Bio-electrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) technology. These monitors accurately calculate a whole range of statistics including weight, body fat percentage, muscle mass, body water, basal metabolic rate and visceral fat, for an in-depth analysis of your body and your health.

Why not try: The Tanita BC-730.  This colourful mini body composition monitor uses advanced BIA technology to enable you to measure your weight and vital statistics so that you can effectively see the true impact of your diet and fitness programme.


Retails from £45 at http://www.tanita.eu or http://www.amazon.co.uk

Broccoli Bread

We love this delicious healthy version of broccoli bread; rich in protein and low in calories, it only takes 30 minutes to bake!

1 Loaf: provides 10 Slices.

60g unflavoured whey protein
60g pea protein powder
8 egg whites
2 eggs
1 large broccoli head, steamed and chopped


1. Pre-heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 3.
2. Using a blender or food processor, blend all the ingredients together until smooth.
3. Pour the batter into a medium loaf tin (ideally a silicone one) and bake for 30 minutes, or until a sharp knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Broccolli bread recipe - Copy

Go the distance: How to achieve the mind-set of an endurance athlete

Setting your sights on a marathon next year? Whether you’re a professional runner or a complete novice, you will need to undertake months of gruelling training and be prepared for the long run.

The best endurance athletes are capable of pushing their bodies through extreme amounts of suffering, a stage which top athletes refer to as “the grind”. But as well as tolerating physical strain, author of ‘Ultra Performance’, Paul Moore claims endurance athletes boast five mental strengths to support their performance:

  1. Mental Toughness
    The dedication that endurance athletes display towards realising a goal is absolute – their lives are structured around sport. It is important to adopt a mental toughness approach and focus on the long term goals you want to achieve rather than just “winning”.
  1. Extreme Motivation
    Whatever your chosen sport, your training will be intense, so make sure you love it. It’s difficult to be a successful endurance athlete without enjoying what you do and having a true passion.
  1. Intense Focus
    Top athletes are experts in the art of focussing. Endurance sports often take place in the most remarkable and intense environments so make sure you can focus on the task at hand without being distracted by what’s going on around you.
  1. Have a Positive Outlook
    Endurance races are hard; athletes will remember the tough times where the sheer physicality of what they were doing was overwhelming. If the mind thinks negatively then the body will respond negatively. It is important to keep up positivity in order to relax and to realise your maximum capabilities.
  1. The Grind
    A common term amongst athletes, the grind is the ability to push on through when things are mentally and physically tough. It is important to ensure you allow time to recover for maximum performance and reduced risk of injury.

If you’re training towards an endurance challenge, it’s not only important to master you mind-set. Your body composition will contribute to optimal exercise performance, so it is vital to find the right balance between weight, hydration, fat and muscle and monitor your body composition over time and in conjunction with your training regime. Why not try the Tanita BC-601 segmental body composition monitor with SD card connectivity. The BC-601 measures weight, segmental body fat, segmental muscle mass, hydration levels and BMR so that users can set goals and tailor their fitness programmes for success. Body composition data is automatically stored on the SD card and can be downloaded onto your computer so that you can view and manage your data using the free ‘Bodyvision’ software or our new web based my.tanita.eu software.

Happy training!