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Advice for people starting out, please!

mini mouse

Full Member
S: 18st10lb C: 15st12lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 35.8 Loss: 2st12lb(15.27%)
Hi everyone,

I started my LL journey this week. I think I have about 5 or 6 stone to lose, but I can't really say until I know what I look like and feel like at that weight!! I am on day 6 now. I was astonished to find thatI had lost 6.6lb by day 4 at my pop in. The food packs are actually ok, which is a relief, althought I have found the nut bar less than nice!

I have to say it is very motivating finding all of the stories of success on this website. Well done to all those people who have been sticking to this diet for many months. I love seeing photos of before and after, its so motivating.

Anyway, I was wondering if any of you old-pro's had any advice for someone starting out. Although I am doing ok so far, 94 more days seems a very long time, and any snippets of info that will help me through will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks :)
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likes posting.
hi mini welcome too the site, sounds lke you are doing fab already well done on your loss so far.Im on week 13 its gone so fast has the time.I want too lose about 6 stone altogether but i will see how it goes.Just make sure you have all your packs & 4 lts of water & you should be fine.
Hi Mini Mouse!

Well done for starting LL. The very fact you've started the programme means you have what it takes to reach your goal!
I started mid-february when I weighed 20 stone and 2lbs. I now weigh 13 stone and 12lbs. You have less to lose than me so have faith that you'll be at goal in no time at all :)
You're right to be flexible about your goal weight too. Sticking to a goal too rigidly can be demotivating. Just keep going til it feels right.
Try not to think of the time you have left but think about how far you have already come. Also remember that you are making a choice, a very positive one. Don't tell yourself you can't eat, tell yourself you choose not to.
The hardest bit for me when I started was the amount of water I suddenly had to drink. Water flavours are a lifesaver! In moderation of course.
Keep going Mini. You're going to do great and the weight will drop off you!
Hi Mini Mouse!

Congrats on starting on LL and having a fab mid-week weight loss! I know what you mean about the nut bar btw - I think you'd have to give me a million pounds to eat another one of those, lol!

I know that 100 (or 94!) days seems like a long time; I said exactly the same thing when I had just started out. But I'm coming up to day 50 now and I can say the time has flown by - mainly due to the fact that I've gone down two dress sizes in the last six weeks and feel fantastic!

Anyway, I'm not exactly an 'old-pro', but my tips would be:

1) Don't skip on the water! It really is as important as everyone says.
2) If possible, get into a routine. I have set times for having my shakes - that way I always have something to 'look forward' to!
3) Don't go mad and buy loads of clothes because you can never be sure what size you'll end up. It's best to go to Primark for cheap every day stuff until you've at least finished foundation, because you'll be losing weight so quickly! If you are a shopaholic (like myself!) go for shoes and bags as much as possible!!
4) Remember you are doing this for yourself and noone else. There is only one person who controls whether you succeed - and that is you. You can do it! :)

Anyway, I've rambled on now, lol. I hope I've given you a few useful tips!

Don't forget to let us know how you get on at your first weigh-in!



Gone fishing
The best bit of advice I can offer is don't cheat;)

This is your golden time. Once people start cheating they often find it difficult to stop.

Make the most of this time, and best of luck :)


Gold Member
G: 12st0lb
In would have to agree with KD do not put a thing in your mouth not even a slither, I made this mistake and am so regretting it. It is so hard to get back on track.

Water is also important
I have to agree with everyone else and cannot stress enough on the not cheating issue - honestly it really does make it sooo much harder to get back on. I would be at least 2 stones lighter at this point if i had never eaten.
The clothes shopping tip is also a good one, cos a size only lasts 4 weeks max from being tight to hanging off your arse!
Take each day at a time and try not to think about how many days you have left because in reality you're probably not going to be quite ready to start management after 100 days, but you will not be far!!!! The time will fly by honest.
If you are ever tempted just remember it will not make you feel any better in fact quite the opposite. Everyone so helpful on here and the arcade proves useful to take your mind off your belly.
Well done on your loss so far and good luck
Hey Mini Mouse - welcome :D

I'm on week 23 and have lost 90lb's. You sound like you've made a brilliant start so stay focused and keep going and the weeks will fly by.
Agree with everything that everyone has said on the cheating front. Make a real commitment to yourself on your 100 days. This is the golden time and it's really the only way. I lost 5st 2lb in Foundation and was completely abstinent throughout. A few slip ups over the past month has done nothing other than slow me down and give me more mental trauma style headaches than anyone would ever want or need, so stay Golden!

In terms of stuff that will help, apart from the water (critical, keep on glugging), keeping bars at a minimum and generally not going off plan, here are some other things which should keep you going;

- Make a chart. Plot an average loss of 3lb's per week and look forward to the dates ahead where you will have a rough idea of what weight you will be.

- Keep a journal. Write everything down, as often as is helpful. I look back at my Week 1 journal and it really makes me smile :D

- Prepare for wardrobe overhaul. Enjoy sorting through your clothes and try everything on once a month. The joys of bagging everything up for the charity shop (or make some cash on ebay if you can be bothered to list everything!)

- Buy ridiculous amounts of pampering delights for the bath. You will find yourself in there quite a lot!

- Plan ahead for situations that seem a little challenging. It's amazing what you can get through if you're well planned.

Oh and of course, keep on posting, that will help loads :D


Silver Member
S: 17st2lb C: 11st10lb G: 10st5lb BMI: 27.3 Loss: 5st6lb(31.67%)
Tips from an old pro

Hi - I started on January 7th and an edited version of my weightloss chart is up in the recent threads. I have lost almost 8 stone in 7 months and I had no idea what my actual goal was when I started - but today I put on a pair of size 8 jeans - so I think I'm there!

I am 5ft 5 and a big bit and I went from a BMI of over 40 to a healthy weight in 6 months.

Tips for the beginning - track everything and read everything - I read almost every thread on this site! Find the blogs of people who started off at similar BMIs and had similar goals and who succeeded - Eira's blog (if you google Eira and Lighterlife you'll find it) was really useful to me, as was Gaijingirl's - you might find mine useful - I am actually trying to make it easier to read - I'll be adding pictures shortly. You may want to find some books to read about addiction and food so you can do some wider reading around the LL book.

I spent the money I was saving on drink on goodies from Clarins and if I felt weak I would moisturise! I also bought lots of chocolate scented lush goodies.

The other big tip I can give you is to get out there for an hour's walk every day or every other day - start small - maybe twice a week, but walk. As much as you can. Find interesting black leaf and leaf herbal teas .

I got through my mid dress sizes by buying a good quality black fitted cardigan in a size 18 which I still wear as a size 10 (but I tie it up and belt it now) Invest in a belt and use it to jazz up baggier clothes as you reduce in size and watch out for the sales - there are lots of bargains at the moment so find yourself a pair of work trousers for a fiver in one or two interim sizes - I had an amazing size 14 skirt that I could barely get up my thighs for a while - it cost me £5 in the sale and although it now falls off me - the day it did up and did up easily was one I will always treasure! I also discovered cheap dress shops for quick fashion boosts - my £10 dresses have got me through a lot of low points.

If in doubt when buying anything, get a size smaller than you need - you would be amazed at the rate of dress size loss. I did splash out £60 on a size 14 Karen Millen dress which was a bit naughty - it's the blue one in my photos...

Solongandthanksforallthecheese | Diet, fitness, weight loss blog

I will pay to have it professionally taken in when I get to my final size. (My counsellor has the cards of a chap who lives near me and he'll be getting a fair bit of business from me shortly!)

Hope that helps - but it boils down to a few things

  • Read everything you can find!
  • Follow the rules to the letter.
  • Keep charts and graphs that excite you so you look forward to updating them!
  • Drink as much water as you can.
  • If in doubt, moisturise.
  • Put yourself first at all times. If you don't feel like doing something, don't do it.
Well done on getting this far! I'm on day 130 & not cheated once...my advice would be as follows;
1) Take it a day at a time
2) Drink the water
3) DONT CHEAT! When you want to distract yourself, remind yourself of why you are doing it but dont cheat!
4) Try & see this as "you" time. When I started it was with (& still is) that this is my healing time; a place or me to look at my addiction with food and to learn to deal with life without food. The journey has been incredible!
5) Plan in mini treats - I have a big treat at every stone! (bread maker was the 4 stone one!)
6) Dont get complacent when people start complienting you!
7) Do the homework & use the group sessions!
8) Keep posting!
9) Be aware when others are sabotaging your efforts - OH's (I dont have one!!) seem to be quite threatened by losses, as do friends who were quite happy with the fat friend & less so with the skinny one!
10) Stick with it - it really is life changing & worth every denied temptation! While not cheating has been tough (see blog!) I can honestly say I have never been more proud of myself, ever & I feel fantastic emotionally! A way to go physically but I'm on the way!

Hope that helps!

mini mouse

Full Member
S: 18st10lb C: 15st12lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 35.8 Loss: 2st12lb(15.27%)
Wow everyone, thanks for the great advice:)

I have found the weekend tough because of social events yesterday and today because I was home alone, and usually the first thing I would do would be to head to the fridge! I dont feel as though I am close to cheating, but for some reason I have felt very sorry for myself and deprived!

I really want to experience the success you all talk about. It will be a first for me as I have tried all the usual diets and each time I have lost weight at a painfully slow rate, then piled it all, and some more, back on again!

Cerulean, although I only officially joined minimins today I have been reading up for the last few days. I came across your blog and pictures a few days ago, and I found it to be extremely motivating to see how wonderfully well you have done; you really do look wonderful in the pictures. I am 5ft6 and can't imagine myself below a size 14 (and its hard to imagine that). did you ever imagine how far you would go on your ll journey at the start? you mention reading about food and addiction, could you recommend a good book? I love your idea about creating a chart to monitor my weight loss and see where I'm headed.

There are loads of great suggestions from people. I definatly like the idea of giving myself rewards for success along the way. I will have to use my imagination as my rewards usuaully involve a meal and some alcohol!

I think you are so right about planning ahead to deal with situations. This is something I will do because for me I think it is key.

I am really shocked that you say its possible to go down a dress size in 4 weeks...but hugely excited at the prospect!

Thanks again for you support.

mini mouse


has started again!!

It is so right about dress sizes dropping so fast. I have learnt to buy what I would call cheap & cheerful clothes to tide me over until my size stabilizes. I dig around in sales, visit Peacocks, QS and my total fave is Primark!! I bought some jeans that I love in Tchibo about 3 weeks age, reduced to £5. I would love to hang on to them, but they are already baggy and saggy. I have tried to hot wash them, but they didnt tighten up very much....

As for treats, here are some of mine:

Lush bath bombs, my fave is Butterball. Mind you, there is a lot of Lush stuff I love to bits!

Yankee candles - I have so many of those in lots of differinf fragrances, to suit my mood. They are not cheap, but I beleive you get what you pay for, and they are fabulous!

Jewellery (costume variety) I love East, Monsoon etc for lovely earrings and necklaces.

Skin creams, face creams etc. Anything to pamper yourself. After all what you are doing is pretty tough and you deserve a treat!

Anyway, LL is one heck of a reward in itself, so just relax and enjoy! You wont regret it, I promise!
Hi mini mouse

Wanted to say good luck, and there is so much fantastic advice posted here - follow that, and you'll have an amazing journey!


Full Member
S: 236lb C: 232lb G: 196lb BMI: 42.4 Loss: 4lb(1.69%)
The best advice I can give is find something to look forward to each week!!

I started counting the days and had a countdown where I'd cross each day off alist so I knew how many more to go and it dragged, then My college courses started again on Wednesdays (LL on Thursdays) and I'd look forward to that, then the TV show My time of Life was on, so that was Mondays I'd look forward to and I found that by the time Thursday came it was like oh yeah, LL today!! and the last 7 or 8 weeks have flown by. It's my last WI on Thursday and I can honestly say that it does not seem like it's been over 3 months since I started!! At the beginning it does seem like and endless amount of time but when you stopp putting so much emphasis (sp?) on it you really do rush through it all!!

Hope that makes sense!

Good luck mini mouse - I shall be using your jourmney to inspire me.
I think you are all amazing and so very supportive.

I have an appointment today to get my form signed. I hope to be starting LL very soon. I took my form into the doctors surgery ahead of my apointment to make sure they were happy to do my blood pressure etc. The receptionists just looked at me like I was mad and said "you'll have to ask the nurse if she wants to sign it" ???? Very helpful. My first hurdle.

I am excited and terrified in equal measure. I weigh 17.7 stones (have not said that out loud to ANYBODY) and so feel like I have a very long way to go. I can't remember the last time I felt good about myself. I will let you all know my start date.


One Day at a Time
S: 17st10lb C: 17st10lb G: 14st0lb BMI: 36.6 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
Hi Drama Queen

I've started LL today - I have to say my Doctor didn't seem to have a clue about any of it - she just signed the form and sent me to reception to pay!! Only one thing on their minds I think! Still, the elation I felt when she signed it - knowing that I'd be able to pick up my foodpacks last night, was fantastic!

I've just had breakfast (Banana Shake) and it wasn't bad - I was expecting much worse and actually it was very drinkable. I've had a litre of water already today so staying on target.

Good luck with getting started - people here are amazing - its impossible not to be inspired...

lots of love
I have to get my form signed, send it in and then wait until we have at least 8 members to get started, so not sure how long it will take. As I have made my mind up to do it - I just want to get on with it.

Lollypop - Well done on your first day. Let me know how you get on. Lots of love and positive thinking!


One Day at a Time
S: 17st10lb C: 17st10lb G: 14st0lb BMI: 36.6 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
I know what you mean - I was really lucky. I decided I wanted to start it last Tuesday - went to an info session on Thursday - got my form signed at Doctor's yesterday lunchtime and had my first group session last night. Its all been a bit rushed but my LLC gave me a choice. Join this group which is already a couple of weeks ahead or wait until September for a new group. I KNEW I would've changed my mind/ 'chickened-out' by September. So I chose to start it now.
Lollypop - You def did the right thing. I think you really have to seize the moment once you have decided. I just hope it's not too long for me to wait. Let me get the doctors' over with first and then at least I am on my way! :). Will let you know how I get on.:wavey:
Hi Mini Mouse

Better late than never, I hope. I agree with everyone's suggestions above; my neighbour has also taken the plunge! She is off to the introductory session this week and wanted some tips. I found myself answering the "how did you do it?" questions, so here's my guide, based on what worked and what didn't for me (and I'm not "there" yet, of course):


It's really important to start the programme with a positive frame of mind - most people do tend to feel a mixture of excitement and dread. If you've seen the foodpacks before starting, your mind (and other people!) will be telling you that you couldn't possibly survive on four sachets (or three and a bar by the end of week one) a day! Suspend disbelief and start finding out which flavours you like.

There is something for everyone - I particularly disliked the vegetable pack and I tried it at the beginning, middle and end of Foundation and my reaction was always the same. Thanks but no thanks.

To cook or not to cook, that is the question..

I did not have access to a microwave until after Foundation, which was no bad thing as I was ready for variety. I think being able to make 'crisps' would have curbed my obsession with the real thing so if you are a creative cook (I definitely wasn't), you may find having a microwave feeds your inner chef without deviating from the plan.

It is really important to eat all four packs, every single day. No more, no less. And one bar, absolute tops!

And if you still have to cook for other people, make the first week a ready-meal fest. Fortunately, there are enough brands out there that aren't loaded with sugar, salt and fat. The critical thing is to minimise temptation in those early days.

There are enough places on the internet (<a href="http://www.minimins.com">www.minimins.com</a>) to find some recipes for packs but my advice is keep it simple (soups and shakes only) in the first few weeks.


LighterLife is hardcore - no two ways about it. Going into ketosis can range from being absolutely fine to absolutely not fine. I felt cold and tired for a LONG time after starting the programme but when I look back at my diet, it's not really surprising that it was in shock!

Try to drink as much water as possible - my neighbour doesn't drink any so I advised her to start with one glass a day and build up from then. Otherwise, zero to four litres is a hell of a leap. And drinking water (more than four litres once you are into the programme) really does speed up the weight loss (but don't ask me how).

You are what you eat (or what you don't eat!); lots of people find that LighterLife radically alters their bodily functions. Be prepared and get advice from your LLC about how to handle your particular situation. FYI - I needed 'help' and found psyllium husks in capsule form worked for me BUT you need to check if they affect ketosis.

Ketosis is KING in LighterLife.


It's absolutely vital that you make the commitment to attend the sessions; ok, let's be honest, the DVDs aren't 100% fantastic BUT it's the one chance to really learn and understand why and how you got to the point (wth your weight) when LighterLife seemed like the only option left. Many people do LighterLife becauuse of the "now or never" situation. As you work together, in a closed group, you will be able to connect with people who have had a similar relationship to food as you. It's liberating to know that these people understand exactly what you mean when you talk about food in a way that perhaps friends, partners and family may not.

By making a commitment to attending the sessions, you are making a commitment to yourself. Many people doing LighterLife have forgotten how to do that - make themselves a priority. Many of us are busy (or have been busy) taking care of everyone else and, somehow, we got left behind (to eat all the pies)!


It's really important that you like your LighterLife Counsellor. If you feel you do not connect, don't go to his or her classes. Shop around. Your Counsellor is the one who will support you through this journey so make sure that you feel comfortable.

My own view - which maybe controversial - is that it is much, much better to find a Counsellor who has done the programme because they needed to (not because it was part of their securing the franchise). For example, I have issues with food but I have no idea what it's like to be anorexic so I couldn't really advise someone how to handle it. So how can someone really empathise with me, I wonder, if they have never been overweight?


This is absolutely vital and something I did not do in Foundation. I was too scared to set the SMART goals in week one or two. But EVEN IF you don't think you'll ever achieve those goals, write them down. I wish I had done this because I think Foundation would have been a lot less of a rocky ride (emotionally and mentally) if I had.


Contribute to the group discussions during your LighterLife sessions. What you put in, you get out. Sometimes, I worried that I said too much during the sessions but people were glad to see someone be so honest (about their food anxieties).

Do your homework - even if your LLC doesn't set you any. The Green Foundation book has enough exercises to keep you busy during the week, between your LighterLife sessions.


Apart from walking 10,000 steps everyday, monitored by the LighterLife pedometer, I did no exercise. This was a mistake. I would not advocate doing serious cardiovascular workouts but The Bodydoctor's (http://www.bodydoctor.com) stomach plan is the business. If you start, as you mean to go on, you may be helping to prevent loose skin by ensuring that you are toning up as you move through Foundation.


LighterLife is a personal journey BUT should not be embarked alone (I don't think); there are enough people online to give you a virtual network, should you need it. Tell immediate friends and family so that they can cheer you on. Find out what works for you!

These are the blogs that I recommend for the beginner:









Some people doing LighterLife tell everyone they know! I admire that confidence. Some, like me, are so petrified that it wouldn't work that we operate on a need-to-know basis!

The best tip for awkward social situations is to say you are on a medically-supervised diet and the doctor has been very strict with you.


LighterLife may, you think, be all about the scales and your weightloss. But it's about so much more; it's about your mind. Successful dieters acknowledge that until they changed their mindset, they continued to yo-yo, losing and gaining the same weight, over and over again.

This is the one time where you can make yourself the priority and focus and it is indeed a golden time to sort out those niggling issues (or big, serious issues) that helped you to get to the weight you are at now.

Ignore the psychological issues that come up during Foundation...at your peril!


Yes, there IS a chance loose skin will appear but it isn't nearly as bad as you think, particularly if you are toning your muscles (arms, legs and tums) and moisturising regularly. The skin does take time to catch up with the diet so give yourself plenty of time after Foundation to see how things are progressing.


Clear your diary! That is one of the best things I can recommend although others may disagree. I suggest this because abstinence is hard enough without having to negotiate a social minefield. This really is YOUR time and the one and only time you will probably be able to make yourself the top priority.

Social events will always continue to happen, regardless of whether you miss them for a few months, or so.


Don't eat food that isn't on the programme, which pretty much rules out...err...everything. Don't cheat because it's true that it really is hard to get back on board, however strong you believe your motivation to succeed is. If you are aware of the pitfalls, you have almost cracked LighterLife.

Hope that helps! I am going to write one for Development now...

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