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Famine Mode from VLCDs

Hi All! I'm new here and this is my first post so excuse me if someone else has covered this subject before (I have looked). I weighed nearly 13st at beginning of year and 12st 8lbs when started LL in Feb. Now into 4th week and have lost 15lbs so far. Goal weight 9st 8lbs. Very happy with weight loss so far but getting jittery about the future... e.g. There are a few girls on my course who have lost with LL before but they piled it on again: Have read in number of places, including Food Doctor's books, that when you start eating again your body is in famine mode and the pure act of eating normal food, however healthy/low fat, sugar, calorie etc. means you gain back the weight you lost and more: Don't understand it fully yet (only skipped through blurb), but recovery from famine mode affected by many factors such as 'insulin triggers' which include high stress and smoking that I am unable to eradicate/reduce at this present time: After LL Foundation and reaching goal weight it is recommended that you go onto maintenance which is said to cost the same as Foundation (£66 pw+). I am finding this financial outlay prohibitiven already.

I would really welcome your views/comments/ ideas/encouragement.


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Gold Member
S: 29st0lb
why not swop to cd so much cheaper and the same method as LL just no group cbt
Hi Blodwyn - welcome to the site!

I don't know a huge amount of the science but I know enough to be able to say to you with confidence, that your body does not go into famine mode on a vlcd.

You go into a mild state of ketosis as the packs contain carbs - so it's a totally safe, healthy way to lose excess weight fast!

I lost 5 stone last year and my weight only crept up again when I KNEW I was going back to my old habits of eating junk, morning, noon and night. I totally lost the plot and have only myself to blame for putting on 2 1/2 stone.

On any diet, if you don't change your long term eating habits, you'll put the weight back on.

On any other diet, I would have not been able to control my weight gain as I would have thought that there was no way I could have got the weight back off - I would have felt hopeless (like all my other previous times of dieting had left me desolate!!).

With CD (and I started on LL so I know it's good too), I KNOW that I have the tools to shift the weight back off. Which is a brilliant feeling.

There are plenty of people who've kept the weight off after losing stacks on a vlcd - they've just been a damn sight more sensible than I was!

I know better this time - the weight will NOT go back on! hehe



Gold Member
Hiya Blodwyn
once you finish foundation, if you have more weight to loose you go into development, and then finally Management...

Lighterlife have a very structered Management programme, which lasts 12 weeks, the cost does go down as you progress further along into Management. Ie the first week you have 3 packs a day until gradually you will be off the packs and wont pay at all. Remember you're counsellor will be there with you every step of the way, guiding you through...

As with all diets, once you reach goal, if you go back to eating as you did before the weight will go back on, theres lots of peeps who have maintained their weight once they finish a vlcd, hope that reassures you...

well done on your weightloss so far :p

Keep shaking :D
Thanks. Going onto CD could be good idea to solve expense problem, but I do believe that the group dynamics on LL is helpful plus the 'counselling' - although it is rather rushed like a conveyor belt.
Thanks. Going onto CD could be good idea to solve expense problem, but I do believe that the group dynamics on LL is helpful plus the 'counselling' - although it is rather rushed like a conveyor belt.
It's a personal choice, hun. If LL is working for you, then great but CD does have a clearly defined programme of reintroducing food and you do get the support of a CDC (plus the flavours are yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol)


Thanks for replies ladies, including reassurance about not regaining weight as long as I don't return to bad food habits. Interesting to read that about CD, which is cheaper, and which I had never looked into before and presumably some of you do not rate the LL 'counselling' as being worth the extra financial outlay.....??

Does anyone have lowdown on 'Famine Mode'?: I am reading about it in Ian Marber's Food Doctor books.


You do actually go into 'famine mode' on a VLCD. By that it means your metabolism slows down to compensate for the reduction in calories, where as with a more moderate calorie restriction this does not happen as often especially if you exercise too. The metabolism is not severly effected though and on maintaince it will come back to normal (according to my LLC!).

With a VLCD your body is depleted of glycogen, as glycogen is stored with lots of water, you lose a lot of 'water weight' initally, so once you start eating again after 'famine mode', your metabolism should kick in but you can have issues with the regaining of this water weight.

The lighter life maintaince is designed so the calorie level is gradually increased. Basically the calories may still be quite low to start with so you will still be burning off 'fat', while at the same time, as carbohydrate is induced your glycogen stores slowly buildup again so you will gain back the water weight you lost initially...and your metabolism will start increasing again. So will the continued loss of fat and the gaining of water hopefully you will maintain!

Once you have regained the glycogen your calorie levels can increase until you find your real maintaince level...

Hope I haven't confused you further! :)

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