After leaving the show, she launched her own wellness brand, The Weight Loss Trilogy, along with her sister Alexandra, who is also a wellness coach, and mother Kathi, who is a registered GP. “One doctor. Two health coaches,” the brand’s Instagram says. It also notes that one of its specialties is ‘healthy eating’, but following some of their recent advice, that claim has come under question.
On their Weight Loss Trilogy Instagram page, they shared a (since deleted) illustration of a peanut butter jar alongside the caption: “The perfect snack? Does not exist.”
In the detailed caption, it said, “We highly discourage snacking as it is very important to allow your body to rest and repair itself in-between meal times.”
Instead of snacking, the post suggested having a glass of water to satisfy thirst, which is often confused for hunger.
“Have a glass of water/cup of herbal tea - hunger is often confused for thirst ,” one tip read, while another suggested, “Go for a walk, phone a friend, read a book - hunger is often confused for boredom.”
“Surf the ‘hunger wave’ and understand that it is absolutely okay (and healthy) to be hungry and that it will pass.”
Yep, the Internet was not pleased.
The advice was quickly slammed by commenters for being ‘harmful’ and ‘toxic’.
Even eating disorder and body image foundation, The Butterfly Foundation, was concerned by the advice given, telling Yahoo Lifestyle, “Butterfly has major concerns that the advice given via this weight loss program imposes unhealthy ‘diet culture’ on people... (And) promotes restrictive diets as an effective and sustainable weight management strategy which research evidence does not support.”
Helena and her family have since deleted all of the account’s Instagram posts, replacing them with an official apology post, along with two detailed posts that address another criticism they’ve received: not providing enough evidence to back up their advice.
“We would like to take this opportunity to apologise to all of the people that we have offended or mislead with our posts – in particular, the one about snacking,” the apology post reads.
“We were wrong to post this, as we did not explain the context of this comment, nor how we approach the weight loss journey.”
While their statement was perhaps too explicit when they condemned *all* snacking, they do believe that in some cases, snacking can be a hindrance to weight loss.
Discussing their experience with their own clients who struggle with weight loss, they noted, “One thing we find that they have in common is snacking throughout the day. At work and at home. We promote no particular diet, but we do encourage 3 healthy and nutritionally balanced meals each day.”
“We also didn’t expect this kind of backlash with regards to evidence, as the science of fasting is something that is internationally renowned. There is an enormous amount of evidence for fasting, and the evidence is also clear for short-term fasting (as we advocate to our clients) – which is allowing 4-6 hours of fasting in-between meals and trying to eat all meals within a 12-hour period.”
They went on to include a long list of reading material for those who want “proof”.
In their apology, they explained, “We have been helping people on their weight loss journeys for more than 10 years,” adding, “We are passionate about the results our clients achieve and the positive impact it has on them. We were hoping that by using this platform we would have been able to reach out and help others too, but we now realise that the outcome is very different to what we anticipated.”
They wrapped up the whole misunderstanding by saying, “We will not be commenting further – please respect that we are utterly heartbroken and distraught by how this has turned out and need some time to process it all.”