We set TV presenter and Celebrity Fit Club [2004] star Lowri Turner the challenge of testing out the Hamptons diet. A fortnight on, we went back to see how she got on.

What was your weight like before this diet?

I weighed 10st when I started Celebrity Fit Club in January 2004 and by the end of the show, I'd got down to 8st 12lb. But after that my weight started creeping up again and I was over 9st when I started on the Hamptons diet.

Have you always struggled with your weight?

I'm your classic yo-yo dieter. I've swayed between a size 8 and a size 18 over the years.

At the beginning of Celebrity Fit Club I'd got my weight down, but I hadn't lost all the baby weight from having my son Griffin in May 2000. When you're only 5ft tall, 10st is quite heavy.

Are you a healthy eater?

No! When you have kids it's a battle to resist finishing up those last chicken nuggets. I'm a stress eater – if I've had a row I'll reach for a glass of wine or a cheese sandwich or ice cream – or all three!

After my second baby I lived on cheese sandwiches for a year. The result was I was exhausted and my skin suffered.

Was that the turning point for you?

I'd spent a year being a single parent of two children. It was important to me to think about myself again and discover who I was as a woman in my own right.

I always felt guilty if I went out for a run because of the children. When Celebrity Fit Club told me they'd get me a personal trainer, I said: 'What I need is a baby-sitter!' I'm sure many mums can relate to that.

As a mother, your priority is your children – but you have to decide if you're going to put your own health on the priority list as well and leave some time aside for yourself.

Was your holiday an incentive?

In the summer of 2004, I went to a yoga resort in Miami, then to the Bahamas to swim with dolphins. So for two weeks I wasn't covered up by clothes. Before this diet, I'd have been very nervous about that.

Why the Hamptons diet?

I suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common hormonal disorder in women.

One side effect is that you put on weight very easily. Keeping your weight low reduces the symptoms and a low-carb diet is recommended, so the Hamptons seemed like a good idea.

I've done every diet out there over the years and I've learnt a bit about nutrition. I think this diet looks very sound scientifically.

As I reached my target weight I found it really hard to lose those last 7lb. My hope for this diet was that I'd shed some of those elusive pounds.

Did the diet work for you?

I lost 5lb, which I found amazing. One of the big differences was drinking water instead of caffeine – before, I drank a lot of diet cola. I don't think I'd ever had a glass of water voluntarily in my life. Now I'm used to it and my tummy is far less bloated.

How did you feel on the diet?

The first three days when I didn't have any caffeine was really hard. I had backache and felt terrible – it reminded me of when I gave up smoking.

Afterwards I felt much better. I had more energy and my skin improved. By the end of Celebrity Fit Club I was exhausted. I'd got my weight down, but it was such hard work.

Once I got back to where I was then weight-wise, I felt 100 times better.

What did you like most about it?

Being able to eat normal foods and not having to measure or limit everything. And you can bulk your meals out with lots more fruit and vegetables than you can on Atkins.

It's about proper food preparation, the use of fresh ingredients and eating healthy-sized amounts. It's not about replacing everything with low-fat options. I'm eating macadamia nut oil, lots of nuts and things we're been told are fattening. But it's all about good fats.

People who knew me many years ago – when every Friday was party night and I was smoking 40 cigarettes a day – wouldn't believe it if they looked in my fridge now. It's full of bottles of water, pecan nuts and home-made pesto.

What was the hardest thing about it?

The things I knew I'd miss were ice cream, chocolate and cheese sandwiches. But the worst thing was the lack of alcohol.

Also, it's not a cheap diet to do. The macadamia nut oil is expensive and so is organic meat. But you're not eating huge amounts of it. And, of course there are the things you're not buying like wine, which cuts my supermarket bill considerably!

Will you continue on this diet?

It seems a bit daunting at first because of all the science and the fat that all processed foods are banned. But it isn't difficult to follow. You eat lots of organic chicken, fish, eggs and cheese, which I like.
Ali MacArthur