Exante FAQs


Losing it!
S: 18st13lb C: 18st1lb G: 13st7lb Loss: 0st12lb(4.53%)
How about we collate all the vital Exante info here and ask for it to be made a sticky?

It might be useful for all the new people like me, who need answers to the how much, how long, and what can I eat, how much water questions. Etc etc etc.

If you like the idea, please add your useful info!
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Gold Member
S: 21st11lb C: 18st9lb G: 11st3lb BMI: 38.5 Loss: 3st2lb(14.43%)
Sounds a good idea, just difficult to remember all the things in one go! I'll try and give it a start:

Firstly, a link to the Exante booklet - this is what you'll get with your packs, and has the real do's/ don'ts in it. http://www.exantediet.com/solutions_PDFs/total_solution_booklet.pdf

What can I do to help before I start?
  • If you start to reduce your carb intake and increase your water intake prior to starting on packs, then it will make it an easier transition onto the packs and into ketosis - i.e. for your body to start burning it's own fat for fuel, instead of waiting for you to feed it.
  • Take some 'before' pictures, whole body and face, and perhaps side on as well. You may hate doing this bit, and may do it yourself with a camera in the mirror if you don't want anyone else to do it / see it. However, it is really helpful to have these to compare too as you go on this journey. Because the weight loss can be very quick, it's sometimes hard for our heads to realise that we've changed shape, and these pictures are really useful to help our brain keep up!
  • Measure yourself, there's a little chart in your Exante booklet. It's really motivating to see how your body has changed - and the tape measure will help you to believe it! I've lost 5 stone now, and sometimes when I look in the mirror I don't see how I've changed. Looking at the pictures and the measure tape, is helping it to sink into my slow brain!
  • Work out what your goals are, perhaps write yourself what it will mean to you to have lost the weight. I find it helpful to focus on the things I will be doing / able to do when I've achieved my goals - to help spur you on through the next steps on your journey.
  • Here's a link to a 100 day chart, to help keep you focused, give you something to mark off as you progress - thank you TripleWhopper. http://img806.imageshack.us/img806/1064/100days100percent.jpg
I'm not sure if I'll like the packs
You can always order just a few packs, or a week's worth to try it before buying a month's bumper pack. This will let you find out if you prefer shakes or soups, and if there's any that you can't stand! (Everyone's tastes are different, and all of us have different favourites)

What's it like when I start?
The first few days can be interesting, as your body has to adjust to a totally new way of feeding - getting used to the packs and coming off conventional food. It normally takes 2-3 days, possibly up to 5 for your body to get into ketosis.
In these first few days you may feel headachey and tired and you will probably feel quite hungry - your body will still be expecting food. Keep drinking the water to help your hydration, and find things to do to distract yourself - take a long bath, go to bed early with a good book, paint your nails (OK, perhaps this one isn't such a good one for the chaps!)
If you're finding it too hard, then you can supplement with some lean meat, to help this change but try and resist if you can!

How will I know when I'm in ketosis?
If you want to, you can buy ketostix (pee sticks) from the chemist so that you can check. However, once you're in ketosis, your hunger is likely to reduce, you may get a metallic taste in your mouth, your kids may tell you that you have dog breath, you may start to feel a lot colder. All lovely things :) (However, remember, this is what's helping you to achieve your goal!)

How much weight will I lose?
All we can do is give you some guide weights, as it's different for each person.
In your first week, if you've been eating normal food, you will most likely experience a larger loss - your body will first burn up all it's glycogen stores, and you'll likely lose some water - typically 4-14lbs in the first week - and men, you lucky things - are likely to lose more quickly than women of the same weight on this diet.
Once you're following the plans, Exante suggest that Total Solution will give you losses of 14lbs a month and Working Solution roughly 10lbs a month. It will vary person to person, and you'll see from the site that some people lose considerably more than that. I've been on this diet 16 weeks so far, and have lost 5 stone, doing a mixture of Total and Working Solution.

What can I drink?
  • Water, water and more water - you need to drink 2-4 litres a day (Some people fill up enough 1litre or 500ml bottles at the start of the day, and just make sure they've drunk them all by the end, rather than trying to count cups / glasses through the day - little and often makes it easier to get through it all in the day.)
  • Coffee (black)
  • Tea (black)
  • Peppermint tea
  • Green Tea
  • Bouillon (There are vegetarian ones available and reduced salt options)
  • You can add tablet sweetener to drinks as well
There are a few diet drinks that you can have: (You are best sticking to ones that have malic acid, not citric acid. Depending how sensitive you are, citric acid can knock you out of ketosis - so best to stay to the ones that won't!)
  • Coke Zero
  • Dr Pepper Zero
  • Asda Diet Cola
  • Asda Diet Cherry Cola
  • Tesco strawberry flavoured water
  • Sainsburys Strawberry & Kiwi water
  • Perfectly Clear - Strawberry & Kiwi
  • Other VLCD water flavourings
(While it's important to drink sufficient water, so that you don't dehydrate, it's dangerous to drink too much water - safest not to go beyond 6l a day, and to spread the water out through the day.)

Will I be hungry?
Yes, for the first few days until you're in ketosis.
No, once you're in ketosis, your hunger will largely go (although some people do still feel hungry at times). You may find that you miss actually eating food, and you may also find that you'll start to spot some of the emotional triggers that used to lead you to food.
Over the first few weeks you'll probably find a lot of your cravings disappear altogether, or at least get a lot more manageable!
Some people find that the bars are too much to eat in one go, and split them into two smaller portions to eat. You can do the same with shakes and soups too, if you prefer to have smaller meals more frequently.

What about the side effects?
This intended to give you an idea of what you might experience. Of course, if you are worried about anything, or it seems unusual, please talk to your doctor. There are some very rare but serious side effects that you may experience, and it is always best to talk to someone who really knows! Before you start the diet, do check the medical stuff on the Exante website, as this isn't a suitable diet for everyone.
Tummy Upsets
You may well find your bowel movements start to change - you are eating totally differently, so there isn't the same stuff for your body to deal with. You will not be getting the same levels of fibre that you are likely to be having with your normal food, this can lead some people get quite constipated (drinking extra water when consuming the packs can help this). There are some remedies from the chemist that you can get to help too. If it gets too bad, you could go to Working Solution and have some of the fibrous low carb vegetables - increasing the fibre may help.
You may also experience nausea or diarrhoea instead. Make sure you drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated, and hopefully as your body adjusts to the diet it will find it's new pattern. If you're experiencing nausea, it could be that you're not having enough water when you have the packs - they are crammed full of vitamins & minerals, so if you don't have water at the same time, to help dilute it, flush it through, it can be a bit of a hit on your body that can make you feel a bit sick!
Feeling Chilly
This diet is changing your metabolism, and this can be a totally normal side effect. Wrap up warm, find a blanket, dance and wriggle, this is just temporary and once you return to food, this will sort itself out.
Dog Breath / Metallic Taste
One of the less delightful side effects that some people may encounter, usually seems to be worst in the first few days. Keep drinking the water! Brush your teeth, you could also use mouth wash, or a breath freshener spray. There are also some minty fresh strips that dissolve on your tongue. Chewing gum / mints are not recommended while on a VLCD (although I can't remember why!)
Some people suffer more from cramp on this diet. It's suggested that you drink some more water, or you can also add a little salt into one of your packs or some water.
Girlie Stuff
Your periods may change while on this diet too - although it seems to be different for everyone. Mine get lighter and much more regular. Some may find that their fertility changes, and pregnancy may be easier (take precautions if that's not what you want!) (I had to stop Lighter Life abruptly when I found out I was expecting - our beautiful daughter, the most fantastic side effect of a VLCD :D - we'd struggled with fertility for years prior to this)
Hair / Skin
If you stay on this for a while because you have a lot of weight to lose, you may find eventually that your hair growth starts to slow down or your skin may start to get quite dry. You may also find that some of your hair starts to fall out. I've now been on this 16 weeks, and I'm just starting to experience some of the hair loss. Once you return to normal food, this will resolve itself.

I'm bored of the packs / I don't like them all

There are some things you can do to add in a bit of variety / adapt the packs to your taste.
  • Add some coffee to the shakes, and have them hot (this even works for some people that don't like coffee!)
  • Add some cinnamon or nutmeg to the shakes
  • You can also add herbs & spices to the soups (make sure it's not mixes that have carbs in them), typically people add things like salt, pepper, chilli powder, italian seasoning, tabasco, any of the herbs really.
  • Make up the shakes with ice / crushed ice and a blender and turn it into a slushy, or a thick milkshake
  • Make up a shake quite thick and then put it in the fridge / freezer to turn it into a mousse.
  • Experiment with the amount of water you use in making up the shakes and soups, some use a lot more water, find what suits your taste.
  • You can also do some more imaginative things with them, in the microwave - but don't do this to more than 1 pack a day, as it can destroy some of the nutrients. Examples are mixing the chocolate with a little bit of water and microwaving it into a biscuity / cake thing.
  • If you find it's the shakes or the soups that you prefer, there are shakes only or soup only options that you can buy for the same price.
You may also find, over time, that your tastes change. When I started this I couldn't stand the tomato, but will now eat it! (Caution, you're not allowed to advertise / exchange packs with others on the site, there's a warning about it somewhere)

I really miss food and want to eat something
If you find the total food replacement too much, then Working Solution may be the perfect thing for you. You can have your 3 packs a day and add a low carb meal. There's another sticky with the info about ketogenic foods. Just make sure you stick to lean meat, and low carb vegetables & salad, and you will still continue to lose weight. I tend to choose day by day whether I'm going to add a meal in or not. I've also used this to be able to still go out for meals with friends, just sticking to low carb. I find pubs are usually pretty good for this as you can order things like steak & chips, and ask them to swap the chips for a green salad. However some people prefer the Total Solution method, and this is how you will get the quickest weight loss. If you like to push boundaries, then Working Solution is probably not for you either, as you will try and add in more and more things, until you're really on a low calorie diet with packs or just blow it all together.

What about a night out?

There are several options here.
  • Do something that doesn't involve food - bowling, cinema etc
  • Go out and stick to low carb food and water
  • If you want to have some alcohol, make sure you also add in some food, as alcohol mixed with just packs is a really, really bad idea. Vodka is a good choice, as it is not high in carbs, I believe gin also falls in this category. Just be really, really, really careful, and don't have too much. You can get really ill by mixing alcohol with a vlcd.
  • Or just come off it altogether for the night, enjoy your food and drink (do be careful with the alcohol, as you're body will not be used to food, let alone alcohol!) - but know that this will affect your weight loss, and you will have to go through those first few days where you are hungry, headachey and have to get back into ketosis. If you are doing this every weekend, you will be having a nightmare as you ping in and out of ketosis, and it is unlikely that you will be achieving good weight loss, and are probably better to pick a different diet that suits your lifestyle better.
I've done another VLCD, how does this one compare?
Essentially they're all the same - in that you have packs - a mixture of soups, shakes and bars as per most of the other ones. The weight losses are pretty similar between the different diets.
What's different - well, on this one there's no counselling / counsellor / group involved, or external person that's going to weigh you. If you need this, then Exante may not be the right choice for you, or you could use this forum for support (as the rest of us do!)
On Exante you have just 3 packs a day (each one is roughly 200cals), so your total intake will be 600 cals a day if you have 3 (you can have 4 if you need it). On Exante you can have bars from week one (although as with other VLCDs, just one bar per day, as they are higher in carbs)

For those that have done CD or LL, the shakes on this diet are not as sweet, and some mention that these are a bit more powdery. Some will add sweeteners to the Exante shakes. I think the Exante have a less flavoured, synthetic taste.

Those changing from Lipotrim, tend to comment that the packs are tastier on Exante than LT

Exante doesn't do any water flavourings, so if you want to use them, you will need to get them from somewhere else.

The price is the big lure that draws us to this diet though. Because there is no group / counselling etc, you are just paying for the packs. Unfortunately you only get the best price though if you buy the bumper packs (mixed, shakes or soups), if you want to choose just some of the packs, then the price is much more similar to other VLCDs.

Yes, yes, yes - exercise will definitely help. If you were exercising before you started this, then you can continue doing what you were doing. If you were doing quite a lot of exercise, you may find you need to have an extra pack on those days, to help sustain you, and keep drinking the water. If you weren't exercising before you started this diet, then you are best to wait for the first 2 weeks and let your body adjust to the packs first, and then start introducing some exercise gradually. Lots of people have had fun at various fitness classes, dance classes and the gym - just do something that appeals to you - but remember, start slowly, as you are only on 600 cals a day and let your body get used to it, and find out what you can do.

Remember to treat yourself / find ways to reward yourself as you achieve your goals. You'll have spotted mine from my picture, I buy a huge number helium balloon each time I achieve my next stone. But there are loads of non-food things you can do. One note of caution, if you have a lot of weight to lose, don't go and splash out on new shoes or rings as early treats, as is quite likely that you will lose weight from your feet and fingers too! When I first lost 5 stone I went from a size 8 to a size 7.

How long will my packs take to arrive

If you order before 1pm they'll arrive the next day.
However the courier doesnt deliver on a Saturday so if you order on Friday morning it'll be Monday before you get them

Wow, I seem to have written a book! I think I've turned into an Exante convert - I promise I don't work for them! I think this covers a lot of things that get written in all those early, 'what about exante' posts!
I'm sure others will have some bits to add too. What we could do, is if you want to add anything, put it in a comment, and then I'll edit this one, so that for new people coming to the post, it will all be up front :)
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Gold Member
S: 21st11lb C: 18st9lb G: 11st3lb BMI: 38.5 Loss: 3st2lb(14.43%)
I thought it might be good to do another section about how to transition from Exante back to real food successfully, but as I've not done that yet, I've not got anything to write, and I've not seen others post much about this either. Anyone got any good tips / info, or is it just the page from the booklet?

This is Mum2Two's diary, showing how she successfully transitioned from Exante back to food
http://www.minimins.com/exante-diari...wi-pg-7-a.html (Mum2Two's Weaning off Exante Diary *Last EVER Exante WI PG 7*)

Going to add in here the list of ketogenic foods - from Buxom Barrister's post:

Here's a partial list of just some of the foods that can be consumed on a ketogenic diet. I'll start with the '100% safe foods', the ones that shouldn't throw you out of ketosis due to having either no carbs, or trace amounts of carbs. Next I'll go to 'questionable' foods, such as hotdogs, where you must check the carb content on the package, because some hotdogs have only 1 gram of carbs per hotdog, some have seven. I'm also including a list of higher carb content foods, that can be eaten in VERY limited quantities. Finally I give a list of foods that shouldn't be eaten on a ketodiet at all.

(Note: I've tried to list every food I know, in any form, so there will be some redundancy. Foods marked with an '*' are considered healthy, we highly recommend eating them as much as possible while staying under your carb limit and staying in ketosis!)

Safe Foods (No Carbs/Trace Carbs)

Beef, Steak, Hamburger, Prime Rib, Filet Mignon, Roast Beef, Chicken*, Duck, Any Fish*, Tuna*, Salmon*, Trout*, Halibut*, Lamb, Pork, Bacon, Ham, Eggs, Shrimp, Crab, Lobster, Butter, Oils (Olive Oil*, Flaxseed oil*, etc.), Mustard, Salt, Pepper, Soy Sauce, Tea, Coffee, Heavy Cream and Nutrasweet/Equal.

Minimal Carb Foods (Limited Quantities Only, Check Carb Content!)

Broccoli*, Spinach*, Lettuce*, Cabbage*, Bok Choy*, Kale*, Asparagus*, Mustard Greens*, Mushrooms*, Cucumbers*, Pickles*, Celery*, Green Beans*, Brussel Sprouts*, Cauliflower*, Artichokes*, Peppers* (Red, Green, Jalapeno, Habanero), Onions*, Sprouts (bean, alfalfa, etc.)*, Radicchio and endive, Herbs - parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary, thyme etc, Radishes*, Sea Vegetables (Nori, etc)*, Jicama*, Avocado*, Asparagus*, Green Beans and Wax Beans*, Broccoli*, Summer Squash, Zuchinni*, Scallions or green onions*, Bamboo Shoots*, Leeks*, Brussels Sprouts*, Snow Peas (pods)*, Tomatoes*, Eggplant*, Tomatillos*, Artichokes*, Fennel*, Okra*, Spaghetti Squash*, Celery Root (Celeriac)*, Turnip*, Water Chestnuts*, Pumpkin*, Nuts, Flaxseeds*, Cheeses, Salami, Pastrami, Hot Dogs, Sausages, Ribs (watch out for the sauce!), Buffalo Wings, Liverwurst, Oysters, Abalone, Protein Powders, Sugar Free Jello, Salad Dressings (some), some Wines.

Higher Carb Foods (Very Limited Quantities!)

Grapefruit*, Lemons*, Limes*, Strawberries*, Olives*, Rasberries*, Blackberries*, Kiwis*, plums*, oranges*, pears*, pineapple*

Foods that are NOT appropriate.

Beer, Mixed drinks, Bread, Milk, Pasta, Grains, Cereal, Rice, Potatoes, Corn, Carrots, Peas, Candy, Cake, Cheesecake, biscuits, Donuts, Fruit Juices, High Carb Fruits (Apricots, grapes, Bananas, Peaches, Nectarines, cherries, Pomegranates, Mangos, Figs, Dried Fruit, such as dates, raisins, dried apricots, and prunes etc.), Pastries, Non-Diet Soft Drinks, Rolls, Bagels, Popcorn, Battered Foods (Fried Chicken, etc.), Gravy, Honey, Sugar, chocolate and Corn Syrup.

Notes: Diet Soft Drinks, such as Diet Coke, Diet 7-Up, and Diet Pepsi can usually be consumed in large quantities, but the citric acid content in these drinks can throw some people out of ketosis. Be sure to check in your individual case if this happens. Hard liquor, such as scotch, vodka, etc can be consumed because they have virtually no carbs. Wine actually makes a nice ketogenic alcoholic drink, as most wines have only 1-6 grams of carbs per glass, the sweeter the wine, the more carbs. Beer is usually very high in carbs, having 10-15 grams per glass. Watch out though, when you're in ketosis your blood sugar will be very low, and the alcohol will have a more pronounced effect.
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Full Member
S: 12st12lb C: 11st2lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 26.8 Loss: 1st10lb(13.33%)
Wow, brilliant post Cybill. :)


Gold Member
S: 15st7lb C: 9st12lb G: 9st0lb BMI: 22.3 Loss: 5st9lb(36.41%)
Wowza long post lol but totally fab!!! :)


Full Member
S: 14st5lb C: 14st5lb G: 10st10lb BMI: 32.4 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
thats a great post, thanks for taking the time. its really helpful for a newbie like me


Gold Member
S: 18st2lb C: 14st0lb G: 9st7lb BMI: 34.7 Loss: 4st2lb(22.83%)
First of all - thank you so much for such an informative post. It's so good to have a real world guide...

I thought it might be good to do another section about how to transition from Exante back to real food successfully, but as I've not done that yet, I've not got anything to write, and I've not seen others post much about this either. Anyone got any good tips / info, or is it just the page from the booklet?

I'd also be interested in the transition back to real food with success over and above what's in the booklet (again for me learning from other's real life experiences is so much more useful to me).

WOW - again - THANK YOU! :flowers:


Losing it!
S: 18st13lb C: 18st1lb G: 13st7lb Loss: 0st12lb(4.53%)

To mix your shakes and soups you can buy a shaker with ball whisk from Ebay from around 99p. These are available on the high street and supermarket for around £4. These are great for when you're out and about.

I use a stick blender to do my shakes and soups, though some people don't like their soups as frothy as a blender will make it!
Other people use mini-blenders and coffee froth-ers to mix.

If you have a machine that will crush ice, you can add it to your shake and it will make it really luxurious and crunchy. (And you will crave crunchy eventually!)

You may find it useful to fill a number of bottles with your daily water, so that when you get to the end of them you know you've drunk it all - saves having to remember how much you've had. Water cold seems to go down easier, so maybe keep them refrigerated.

It's handy to have a .5ltr or 1ltr water bottle for out and about, it means I'm not tempted to buy something inappropriate when I'm thirsty.


Plod, plod, plod.....
S: 14st7lb C: 14st7lb G: 11st7lb BMI: 32.8 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
Such a useful post cybill, thankyou.


Plod, plod, plod.....
S: 14st7lb C: 14st7lb G: 11st7lb BMI: 32.8 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
Does anyone know if Exante do lactose free things please?


Gold Member
S: 21st11lb C: 18st9lb G: 11st3lb BMI: 38.5 Loss: 3st2lb(14.43%)
I'm pretty sure all their packs are based on milk proteins, so unlikely that they have any lactose free products, but you could always email them, they'll be able to answer you for definite.

Blue Butterfly

Gold Member
I thought it might be good to do another section about how to transition from Exante back to real food successfully, but as I've not done that yet, I've not got anything to write, and I've not seen others post much about this either. Anyone got any good tips / info, or is it just the page from the booklet?

I would LOVE there to be a sticky on this. I know I have a long way to go until I am at goal and back on real food but it's nice to do research before I have to do something!

Well done on your long, informative post though cybill.


Full Member
S: 18st1lb C: 12st13lb G: 12st0lb BMI: 26.7 Loss: 5st2lb(28.46%)
Advice on Re-Feed to "normal" food......I did this on Lipotrim and still lost weight during re-feed week - and it breaks your body back into carbs without gaining a huge amount of water.

Once re-feed starts you can have milk in tea / coffee and can drink regular diet drinks again. Avoid fruit juices (simple sugars) until the end of the week and continue to drink plenty of water.

Day 1 - Have Two Exante packs today and one meal as follows:
4-6 ozs of skinless chicken or white fish fillet. This can be steamed, microwaved or cooked with a little water in a non-stick pan. Season with salt and pepper. Moderate serving of salad (small breakfast bowl) with lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions peppers dressed with a little lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Alternatively you can have 2 heaped tablesppons (NO MORE) of some cooked green veg. You may NOT have bread or pasta until Day 4.

Day 2:Two Exante meals and 2 meals as described for Day 1

Day 3: Same as Day 2 but you may also have (at one meal only) an 8oz potato, boiled mashed or baked with no fat. You may top with some skimmed milk, plain yogurt of very low fat fromage frais and a sprinkle of herbs:

Day 4 - Day 7: Have one Exante for your breakfast plus
-up to 3 samll servings of fruit
-up to 2 slices of bread OR 1 pita Or 1 roll OR 1 bagel
-any veg you want except Avocado, 1-2 tablespoons per meal
-any of the skimmed milk products
-fish fillet / 6oz chicken or turkey or one tin of tuna in water
-lean meat with all visible fat trimmed off
-low fat recipies prepared with low fat sauces (low fat bolognese)
-medium baking potato or 6 small new potatoes or one serving of instant mash

The day's 4-7 schedule can be continued for several weeks - especially if you have lost a lot of weight.

Example menu for Days 4-7
Breakfast: Exante
Lunch: Fish fillet, serving of potatoes, carrots, 2 tablespoons of broccoli, low fat yogurt or sandwich with tuna and salad.
Dinner: 4-6ozs chicken (no skin), jacket potatoe, salad. Fruit or low fat desert
Snack: 1 or 2 pieces of fruit(evening if approriate)

Hope this helps.....


Full Member
S: 17st10lb C: 16st2lb G: 10st0lb Loss: 1st8lb(8.87%)
wow brilliant! printed it out!


Why Be Normal?
S: 192lb C: 192lb G: 138lb BMI: 33 Loss: 0lb(0%)


Full Member
S: 30st5lb C: 29st2lb G: 18st7lb BMI: 46 Loss: 1st3lb(4%)
this is really really helpful.