The Rosemary Conley diet plan must be one of the most well known and established diets, especially in the United Kingdom. Back in the 90’s it was the go-to diet, we bought the eponymous magazines and we also went to her Diet and Fitness Club too.
Rather like those from Slimming World and WeightWatchers it is a diet plan which looks at long-term weight loss. The plan however is different because it also deals with regular periodic exercise. It is not a fad diet either because the program has legs. This diet is still relevant today and worth giving a try because of its almost holistic approach combining exercise and food in one organised approach.
At the bottom of the article are various opportunities to purchase some of those iconic and eponymous diet books and work-out videos !
Who Is Rosemary Conley CBE ?
Rosemary Conley is an author and business woman in her early 70s. Her rise to fame has come from the development over many years of her multi-million pound business in weight loss advice, the diet and associated products. She was born on December 19th in 1946 and lives in Leicestershire, UK.
Following health problems from gallstones she began a low-fat diet. That diet sparked a business idea because she realised it was possible to offer women an approach to dieting using a portion system. The result was a book called The Hip & Thigh Diet that sold 2 million copies in 1988. Five years later she launched her Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Clubs. There was also a successful magazine which reinforced her dieting programme.
How Does the Rosemary Conley Diet Work?
The dieter is encouraged to consume foods with 5 per cent or less fat but not including porridge oats, lean meat and oily fish. The diet itself focuses very much on calorie content and cutting out fat.
The objective is to lose 14lbs (1 stone) every 7 weeks and to promote lifestyle changes. How long is spent on the plan depends on what your goal is in weight loss. The web-site and her books provide plenty of useful advice about how to regulate portion size and do your own calorie counting.
One of the methods used to manage portion size is the ‘portion pot’. This is designed to provide a fixed amount of food stuff such as rice, pasta, cereals and so on. It is quite a clever idea because it teaches us about portion size and portion control.
To help with compliance and improve continued adherence to the diet, there is an online web-site which covers cooking, various pieces of medical, nutritional and psychological advice and perhaps most importantly of all, various exercises for all fitness levels. Videos are available on-line giving demonstrations on various exercises, which are designed for all types of people.
Coaches who she trained and inspired also ran fitness classes and offered support and motivation but this is no longer available. It’s possible this idea could be resurrected as there is still scope for providing direct advice of training regimes coupled to the dieting plan.
The diet plan offers a number of recipes which fit with the overall weight loss plan.
One of the main benefits is the idea of physical activity as part of the plan.
What Are The Issues?
The main bugbear is that the portion pots only really work at home and many users of the system can never quite apply portion control elsewhere. Managing fat intake is far trickier than we like to think; we now know that ready meals for instance might say they are low in fat but contains subsequently higher amounts of sugar which means higher levels of calories. Excess levels of calories are banked as visceral fat in the long run. It is possible that weight loss is not sustained but on the other hand it might mean a more successful and slower weight loss or at least maintenance of weight.
This is a solid, no nonsense diet plan but she has refined hew views about dieting and brought out the 3-2-1 diet which we outline next.
The 3-2-1 Diet
In 2016, a new diet plan was developed to accommodate different types of dieter. This approach developed because a diet is not one ‘size that fits all’. It takes into account the type of dieter you are. The recipe book offers a variety of delicious meal suggestions for all times of the day, from breakfast right through to the night time. The recipes are for meat lovers and vegetarians.
The diet works in the following way.
In week one, the weight-loss starts with three days of ‘light’ eating and then four normal days of feeding. From week two onwards, there are two ‘light’ days and five normal days. For maintaining weight, there is one light day every week.
‘Light’ eating is easy to understand. The meals should provide a maximum of just 800 calories. Her book offers detailed plans on a balanced diet. It also includes what to eat on the ‘normal’ days so as to derive most benefit.
if you are not overweight, then it is recommended you do a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes of exercise per day just to burn off that glycogen stored in your muscles. However, if you are overweight, she recommends beginning with just 5 minutes every day and building up the duration as the weight loss kicks in and you become fitter.
What Do Others Think ?
The BDA (British Dietetic Association) considers the diet and exercise plans to be balanced. There is always the issue that low-fat does not mean low carbohydrate when choosing ready meals. At least there is a the opportunity to check how much carb is in a dinner if it is prepared at home.
Perhaps more importantly, it offers advice on how to conduct a long-term management of weight. The web-site is probably one of the most valuable around because of what it says about nutrition, exercising and diet generally. We could all do with understanding what is important in maintaining a healthy weight and this one offers plenty of help.
The business empire no longer exists, a victim of time and the appearance of other diets but the principles behind the diet and the approach taken are worth still looking at. Rosemary Conley’s web-site is also worth checking out for a host of tips on how to lose weight easily. The recipes are great having tried them too.
What it did and still does is inspire people to look at the way they live and consider how to combine diet and exercise so as to enrich and improve their lives.
What Can You Buy That Is Associated With The Rosemary Conley Diet Plans ?
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The 3-2-1 Diet book from 2016 is available and very much relevant today. What is so good about it is the variety of recipes that fit with modern day living and keep you on track with the plan. Even if you do not follow the plan, I still think the recipes are worth investigating.
The original books are also available and in updated versions too. Look for the original Complete Hip And Thigh Diet book from 2002 which is published by Arrow and which we mentioned before and there is the follow up – Rosemary Conley’s Amazing Inch Loss Plan: Lose a Stone in a Month which is available in paperback too.
Those books don’t stop there. There is the original Flat Stomach Plan and the Complete Flat Stomach Plan which is a more extensive collection of recipes to suit a wider variety of tastes and needs. This book offers what she calls a ‘free choice’, three-meals-a-day eating plan. There are healthy menus which cover what can only best be described as ‘instant’ supermarket branded meals alongside DIY gourmet offerings. There is also something for the vegetarian.
Fitness as we have already mentioned at great length is an integral part of the diet plan. We are not short-changed. What about trying out those fitness DVDs? You can get the Rosemary Conley’s Fitness Triple Pack which is highly rated on Amazon for example. For many this is a good old fashioned work-out and it seems to work for many over 50. Then you should try the Rosemary Conley – Ultimate Whole Body Workout DVD from 2entertain which also gets you to the nub of the fitness workout with proper warm ups and cooldowns after each section. There is a much more intense workout designed for aerobic fat burning as the leading title puts it. It isn’t any clearer than saying Rosemary Conley – Fat Attack DVD.
Revised: 10th December 2019 …addition of new material on the 3-2-1 diet and items about Rosemary Conley herself.