For anybody who may be losing motivation or losing hope in calorie counting and thinking they'll have to resort to the extremes of a VLCD in order to lose weight.. don't give up just yet!
I was probably once upon a time the record holder for the most diets tried, most money spent and wasted and least amount of time actually sticking to each diet! I bounced back and forth between calorie counting, Cambridge, slim and save, weight watchers, slimming world and JUDDD.. each time not giving each diet my all and only swapping and changing for an excuse to carry on eating junk food and binging until I had everything ready to try the next diet.
It was only after a nasty breakup with my sons father in January that something actually clicked in my head and I took the whole weight loss thing hands on..
For the first week I had zero appetite due to being so down and upset.. but when my appetite did return I chose to count calories. It's probably the cheapest diet out there, and has the most freedom, as really you can eat what you like as long as it fits into your calorie allowance.
Since January I tend to aim for 1300-1600 calories, but I use myfitnesspal to track everything and use the weekly calorie feature, so if some days I'm very busy or don't have much of an appetite I'll eat less, other days if I'm particularly hungry I'll eat more, some days I eat a high calorie day just to incorporate my social life by going out for food with friends.. so long as I keep under my weekly target and average 1300-1600 I'm happy and consistently lose.
I am eating cleaner now, well trying too.. I tend to avoid processed foods as much as I can and eat a lot of fresh things such as chicken, turkey, eggs, fish etc. And I drink probably 2-3 litres of water a day.. but I DO drink things like sugar free red bull, diet coke occasionally, iced skinny lattes (within calories) and eat treats such as a small McDonalds now and again.. and I don't let myself feel guilty for it. So long as it's within my calories I always lose weight.
January 16th of this year I weighed 16 stone exactly and was a UK size 18-20.. now only 6 months later I weigh 12st 2lbs and am a UK size 12. I dont have any loose skin so far, and hopefully shouldn't due to drinking plenty of water, exercising and using firming creams. I have a small amount of fat on my legs, belly, back and arms, but otherwise not very much and thanks to weight training in the gym I'm pretty firm!
I'd still like to lose maybe another 2 stone, to take me down to 10 stone where I was before.. but I'll take each day as it comes and stop losing when I'm happy with my shape and size
Basically, don't give up!! However tough it may gets at least it's getting you somewhere. Progress is key and focus on taking each day as it comes. And if you have a bad day, don't write off the rest of the week and start fresh the following Monday!! Just get straight back to it the following day and you'll probably find you still lose weight that week regardless.
Nobody has to resort to the strict regime of a VLCD to lose weight.. if they do work for you, then great! If they don't, then they're not the be all and end all..
I've lost nearly 4 stone in 6 months through eating what I want within my alloted calories!
Good luck everyone and I'll do my best to take a photo of myself later on and find a photo from January to do a little before and after even though I'm not finished on my journey just yet!