Howard’s Way unveils a fourth diet control centre

From: Howard's Way
Published: Mon Jan 11 2010

Howard’s Way’s centre, in New Road, Croxley Green, will become the organisation’s headquarters. Penelope Howard, an expert in the field of obesity and head of the VLCD provider, Howard’s Way, explained: "Initially, potential patients will visit the centre to explore the 12-week Howard’s Way programme and sign up to join a group of dieters.

"Once they join a group, they come along to one of our centres – such as the one in Croxley Green – at least five times a week for the first week and then twice a week for four weeks. They also receive 24 hour phone support throughout the 12 weeks of their diet."

Since people are often reticent to discuss their weight issues in ‘public’, every patient’s first contact at a Howard’s Way centre is in private, with a Howard’s Way ‘locum’.

Howard’s Way’s Helen Cull commented: "Over time, members of each group become ‘close’ to each other and are happy to offer mutual support – in addition to the support that Howard’s Way provides."

According to Helen, the Howard’s Way approach to losing weight is unique because:
• Each patient is treated as an individual – and the patient’s on-going health is the key priority.
• Groups meet in small ‘home’ environments to put members at their ease and patients share their experiences voluntarily.
• Howard’s Way only accepts patients with a body mass index (BMI) of over 30 and who have been referred to Howard’s Way by a doctor.
• Howard’s Way educates patients as they lose weight so that they are able to make more sensible lifestyle choices.
• Howard’s Way’s maintenance programme – to help patients keep to their new weight – lasts for the patient’s lifetime and is free.

Typically, most patients lose at least three stones (20 kilos) in weight in the first 12 weeks of the Howard’s Way diet. As Penelope Howard pointed out, that is the equivalent to the entire free baggage allowance that some airlines allocate their passengers.

Howard’s Way intends to launch its Croxley Green centre in February.


About Very Low Calorie Diets (VLCD)

Some 45 per cent of Britain’s population is now classed as ‘obese’. Obesity has been shown to increase the risks of contracting a range of conditions including high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer and sleep apnoea - a respiratory disorder in which breathing is made more difficult by excessive body fat around the neck or on the chest. This excess body fat constricts the airway and, sometimes, the lungs, causing short interruptions in breathing during the night.

Those who are obese and who want – or need – to lose a significant amount of weight in a relatively short time are finding a very low calorie diet (VLCD) to be an effective way of achieving their goal.

A VLCD is a diet involving extremely low calorie consumption each day. It is defined medically as a diet of 800 kilocalories per day or less. VLCDs are formulated, nutritionally complete, replacement meals containing 800 kcal (3350 kJ) or less per day. VLCDs also contain the recommended daily requirements for vitamins, minerals, trace elements, fatty acids and protein. Carbohydrate may be entirely absent, or substituted for a portion of the protein - and this choice has important metabolic effects. The VLCD products are usually a powder which is mixed with water or another low calorie liquid.

A 1997 study concluded that the use of a very low calorie diet (VLCD) is very effective in rapidly improving glycaemic control and promoting substantial weight loss in obese patients with Type 2 diabetes. Moreover, a VLCD increases insulin sensitivity and reduces the substrate for gluconeogenesis. Thus VLCD treatment may improve glycaemic control more than calorie restriction alone. A VLCD is typically undertaken by an obese patient who wishes to lose a lot of weight quickly, as the risk to health that obesity presents is considered much greater than any risks of the diet itself, so long as it is undertaken with medical supervision.

Because of the extremely low calories per day, a VLCD diet cannot be used by children no matter how obese. Also, a VLCD must not be undertaken without appropriate supervision.

All Howard’s Way locums are given extensive medical training relating to being on the diet, and constant back-up is provided by Penelope Howard herself, to ensure the continuing good health of all Howard’s Way patients.

About Howard’s Way VLCD

Penelope Howard had worked with obese patients and a very low calorie diet (VLCD) for some five years before she founded Howard’s Way in 1998.

Those enrolling on the Howard’s Way VLCD initially agree to an 18 week programme involving regular meetings twice weekly for the first four weeks, then once a week from there on. For the ‘Distance Dieter’ these meetings are replaced with one-to-one ‘support calls’ every week. In addition, Howard’s Way staff try to speak to those beginning the diet for at least five minutes a day to provide vital ‘moral’ support.

Howard’s Way recognises that the hardest struggle is maintaining lost weight. So, while dieting, all patients are talked through weekly handouts to gain knowledge and understanding on the workings of their body and the effects of eating certain foodstuffs. Additionally, Howard’s Way Maintenance support is ‘free of charge for life’ for all our dieters.

Typically, most patients lose at least three stones (20 kilos) in weight, men often much more, in the first 12 weeks of the diet. Those who choose to carry on with the diet continue to lose about a stone (6.5 kilos) every four weeks.

The Howard’s Way VLCD comprises specially formulated foods, in the form of: milk shakes; soups; and fruit bars; containing the full complement of vitamins, minerals, protein and essential fatty acids that an adult requires but restricting the calorific intake, to induce a state of ‘mild dietary ketosis’ after day three of the diet.

Further information from:
Penelope Howard: + 44 (0)1923 773851 /
Bob Little, Bob Little Press & PR: +44 (0)1727 860405 /
Company: Howard's Way
Contact Name: Bob Little
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: +44 (0)1727 860405

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