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Trying to keep the weight off? According to Lighter Life, it’s a question of mind over matter. Literally. “If losing weight was as simple as just eating less and exercising more, everyone would be slim and healthy,” says Bar Hewlett, founder director of Lighterlife. Bar and Jackie Cox created a programme addressing the psychological reasons behind over-eating, launching Lighterlife in 1996. Dieters work with counsellors to explore their relationship with food to help shed the pounds. Since launching, more than 100,000 people have lost weight with Lighterlife, and, with predictions that by 2050, 60 per cent of men, and 40 per cent of women could be obese, there should be no shortage of customers. Bar says that she did not take a salary from the company for years, earning money “by being a counsellor and running Lighterlife groups in the evenings following a full day in the office”. With sales of £21.3m and an annual 56.9 per cent growth rate, she and Cox might feel they have earned a pay cheque now.

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