'Poo camp' charges Â£500 to help you find a healthier diet
A respected nutritionist has set up the first bite-sized boot camp in Britain to help dieters lose weight by analysing - their POO.
Stool samples were made famous by Dr Gillian McKeith, who performed basic visual inspections to identify dietary needs on the Channel 4 series You Are What You Eat.
But health expert Victoria Wills, 40, is now going one step further and offering her customers a scientific gut analysis.
Her one-day long workshop in London, costing an eye-watering £500, is the only boot camp offering the service in the UK.
When customers book to attend a workshop they are send a DIY poo-testing kit through the post.
Their sample is then sent away to a private laboratory, so by the time the dieter attends, Victoria has already worked out a detailed plan of action based on the results.
The respected nutritionist, who founded the NuBeginnings fitness plan, said the controversial technique can have enormous benefits.
"I realise that some people will be horrified at the thought of handing a stool sample to someone who's not their GP or surgeon.
"But I want to show that gut analysis can be a real tool when it comes to losing weight and feeling good about yourself.
"If you were to have the same tests done by a doctor, they might be able to tell you about any underlying ailments which need medical treatment.
"I'll provide customers with a more detailed breakdown of their gut bacteria so they can go about consuming the right things to put their bodies back in balance.
"Once that balance is found, it unlocks the key to exercise and weight loss potential."
Former management consultant Victoria believes the process allows her to put an end to bacterial imbalances in people's stomachs.
This can aid with weight loss and even help beat depression and anxiety as well as putting a stop to a sweet tooth.
She added: "You can carry around 2kg of microbes in your gut and intestine.
"Your gut microbiome - this population of bacteria - influences your health in a massive way and two-thirds of it is entirely unique to you, either because of your genes or what you put into your body.
"The information I will get from the lab will then tell me which foods a person needs to be consuming in order for them to bring their gut bacteria back into a balance.
"Having poor gut bacteria make-up can lead to massive cravings for sweet and sugary food, which can obviously hinder any attempts to lose weight.
"The gut and the brain are also inextricably linked. Gut bacteria produce many of the neurochemicals responsible for regulating mental processes, so if yours are out of kilter you can end up with depression and anxiety - another major cause of weight gain.
"Meanwhile a general feeling of lethargy because you're not digesting food properly will make you feel like you don't want to do any exercise.
"It's easy to get trapped in a vicious circle - all because of what's going on in your gut."
Victoria will also give customers at her boot camp blood tests to check for food intolerance and hormone levels, and weight-loss hypnotherapy.