Back to VLCD from Atkins


New Member
Hi all,
This is my first post as I'm new to minimins!

I started Exante VLCD on 5th Jan and managed to lose just under a stone (6kg) in 3 weeks, which brought me down to 64kg. Since then, spent a few days slowly phasing myself and I did a week and a half of Dukan (induction phase) and lost another 1.5kgs, however my body didn't agree with the protein overload and I was finding it difficult getting all of the lovely nutrients that my body needs - my body was weeping for vitamins. Also, oat bran is probably one of the worst things I've ever put in my mouth - it seemed to turn everything thick, stodgy and dry :|
As a result, I transitioned (in the same way as I would have to phase 2 of Dukan) into Atkins induction which I've been doing for the past 3 weeks. Also in these past 3 weeks I've significantly increased my level of exercise: I'm walking the dog every day, attend a one hour barre class once a week and hit the weights at the gym twice a week. In the past 3 weeks I've lost absolutely nothing. I've also been keeping track of measurements as I know that muscle weighs more than fat and all that, but there has been zero movement on my tape measure either.

I'm enjoying the fact that I get to have lots of lovely veggies every day but there's absolutely no way in hell that I can eat the amount of fat that my 'macros' require.
When I first moved over to Atkins I was consistently under 20g carbs each day, but my protein was around 80-100g and fat 50-60g. I was advised that in order for the ketosis to be effective I needed to lower my protein intake and increase my fat intake - but there's only so much butter and bacon I can eat!
I've always considered myself to eat fairly healthily (meals containing large quantities of veggies and lean meats) and I can't get past the amount of fat required. I would literally find myself every evening checking my food log, realising I need to eat more fat and then eating a load of cheese to try and get my macros up. I don't enjoy really fatty meats, and I prefer grilled or roasted food to fried. I know it's not dangerous, but a part of me wonders if it's psychologically healthy to incentivise this amount of fat consumption when I don't intend on being on induction for the rest of my life - at some point I will phase carbs back in (even if it's only the wholegrain ones!) and being in the habit of butter-slathering everything at that point may cause me to balloon! Also, I can't deal with the lack of sweet things in Atkins. I know you can add sweeteners and small amounts of low-carb cocoa powder but every morning I crave my porridge and honey and can't shake the cravings for chocolate BARS (whipped cream and cocoa is not appeasing me).

Anyway, the point is that I'm not getting along with Atkins.

I'm considering going back to my old faithful Exante, but this time instead of doing total solution (600 cals on meal replacements), trying out it's flexi solution counterpart (2 meal replacements, 1 low-cal home cooked meal and a snack totalling 1200 cals). I figure that this way I get to have my veggies but not the excessive amount of fat that's ruining my skin and making me feel sick! I also get to have a variant of porridge every morning (hello, golden syrup meal replacement oats!) and if anyone has tried their meal replacement cookies and cream bar - you'll know what heaven tastes like.

My only concern here is carbs. The dreaded carbs.

I've been loyal to my low-carb pledge; consistently under 20g. Exante products have around 20g of carbs EACH (still don't quite understand how they can class themselves as a 'ketosis diet') - so if I'm doing flexi solution I'll be consuming around 40g of carbs per day from the 2 prescribed meal replacements alone - NOT including my home-cooked low cal meal and snack. The exam question is this: will I experience weight gain if I transition???? I'm aware that I'll have to phase down fat first if I'm increasing carbs and I plan on spending around a week actioning this transition. I've stayed constant at 62kg for the past 3 weeks (+/- a couple of pounds around my lady time) and haven't gained at any point since I started my mission in Jan and DO NOT want to gain anything back. Also, will I be able to sustain enough energy for exercise using Exante flexi??? (I'm not engaging in any cardio, more so LISS and strength training). I also think this may potentially be easier to phase off of when I'm at my target weight - slowly replacing one of the 2 meal replacements until I'm only on one a day, and then coming off completely.

Sorry about the lengthy post - have been weighing pros and cons for a little while now whilst enduring with Atkins to see if it's just a teething phase but I am determined now to see results again.

ALTERNATIVELY, if there are any suggestions as to what I can/should be doing, these would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to try anything that departs too far from the foods that I would normally consume on a daily basis (porridge, eggs, veggies, lean meats, yoghurt).
Thanks Emmeline:)

My typical day consists of:

Breakfast: 2 eggs (preferably poached, or scrambled with butter if I'm trying to reach my daily fat target) with either 2 slices of Turkey bacon or 2 heck italia chicken chipolatas and maybe some grilled mushroom or tomato.

Lunch: some roasted or grilled pepper and chicken with some homemade salsa (tomato, onion, chilli, lime juice, coriander, white wine Vinegar), home made guacamole (1/2 Avocado, lime juice, salt, chilli), tbsp sour cream and lettuce - this is essentially a kind of fajita bowl and is my go to lunch!

Dinner: grilled fish fillet (usually salmon or hake) with roasted veggies usually including asparagus, broccoil and garlic with a bit or parmersan.

Snacks: a few olives or a babybel. Occasionally I might let myself have 1 square of lindt 90% dark chocolate as this only has 1.4g of carbs per square and low sugar.

I use the app 'lose it!' Which is super helpful in logging food - it has a massive database of different brands and foods and creates a nice little piece chart for you to show how many of your calories you get from what and shows your weekly trends :)
Thanks .. that is very helpful although I see you are someone who likes doing fancy things for lunch in particular. I could go with the breakfast and dinner ideas and a handful of Brazil nuts for supper .. that's something to start with.
I read about the Lindt chocolate before so I will be trying that .. I find it really yummy!
My son-in-law is a rep for that company and when I stayed with them the spare room was piled to the ceiling with the Lindt Easter bunnies .. talk about temptation :innocent0001:
Carbs are a limit. Protein is a requirement. Fat is for satisfaction (hunger) - not required to hit.