Irish family make the change from two litres of fizzy drinks a day to cucumber and kale
A young family, who guzzled two litres of fizzy drinks a day and lived on a diet of unhealthy snacks and chicken dippers, have spoken about the struggle to change their unhealthy lifestyle.
Kildare mum Debbie Mason (29), described how she would comfort eat by gorging on crisps, while her partner, Peter Redmond, drank two litres of fizzy drinks daily. Their sons Ryan (8) and Luke (5), survived on a diet of chicken dippers and had a fondness for sugar laden treats such as ice-cream.
This evening, TV3 viewers will see the family-of-four battling their unhealthy eating habits to shed the pounds and embrace a new lease of life on the health show Doctor in the House.
Crisp lover Debbie told the Herald she was "shocked" when the show's doctors told her that nearly 50pc of her body was composed of fat and she was borderline obese.
Debbie, who suffers with depression, put this down to comfort eating when she was feeling low or not eating at all. She was put on a healthy eating plan and educated about portion sizes.
"It wasn't about denying yourself or going cold turkey as you'll crash even harder then. I'm not a sugary person, crisps were my guilty pleasure but now I eat little and often with six meals a day," she said.
Debbie said used to consumer almost one large bag of Doritos a night, but now restricts herself to eating a small amount of crisps on a Friday.
"When I first started eating my carrot sticks and cutting up cucumber for snacks I found it hard, but I have surprised myself and gotten used to it."
The show's Dr Nina Byrnes found Debbie's partner Pete faced his own challenge in that he drank two litres of sugary drinks every day which he needed to stop. He has now swapped soft drinks for water.
Debbie explained how difficult it was to introduce more food groups, including superfood kale, into her family's diet, particularly for fussy eater Ryan.
"It was like weaning a new-born baby again," she said. "The nutritionist said it would take a full year to change their habits and not to expect anything overnight. The other night Ryan ate kale for the first time so I was delighted."
Debbie spoke about her struggles with mental health and said the show has given her new ways of coping when she is feeling down.