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Hello! Can I please have some advice?

Hi. I am new to VLCD's and wondered if I could possible ask for some advice. I live in Australia (originally from the UK - came here 6 months ago) and am hoping to lose about 30 kg (4 st 10). I have lost about 2 stones since my youngest was born 18 months ago just by healthy eating and breastfeeding, but I have just stopped feeding her and I would like to really hit the dieting hard and shift the extra weight so that by the time the summer comes, I can enjoy running round and swimming with the children, rather than feeling like I can't join in with them.

I am going to be doing Optifast which I can buy in the pharmacy. It is three shakes/bars/soups a day plus lots of water and two cups of low carb veg/salad every day. I have already made my veg in to soup in portions in the freezer (it is cold here in the evenings, and the thought of only eating/drinking cold all day filled me with horror!). I aim to do this for a month or so (more if I can) and then drop to two shakes and a low carb meal, then drop to one shake and so on.

I was just wondering what I can expect in the first few days? I am going to have to cook for the children and my hubby so I am going to have to be fairly strong and focussed. They eat seperately due to hubbys working hours, so it will be doubly hard in the evenings! Is there anything I can do to make the first days easier? I have already started cutting down on carbs and caffeine to try and minimise the headaches. Is there anything else I should do either before I start (starting on Thursday) or after I start.

I would really be very grateful of any advice/support you can offer. I don't have a very big support network here yet, so I am going to find this forum invaluable I think.

Many thanks,

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S: 15st1lb C: 12st0lb G: 10st5lb BMI: 28.8 Loss: 3st1lb(20.38%)
Hi Lotte

From your post it already sounds as if you are really focussed and you are planning well - one of the things I was going to suggest you do - which you are already doing - is cutting down on carbs. The reason for this is because you will suffer some withdrawals which could possibly cause headaches, tiredness etc. After the first few days (different for everyone) your body should go into ketosis (which is when your body will start burning fat for fuel), rather than stored energy.

Drink at least three litres of water to keep yourself re-hydrated.

I am sure there will be other lovely people on here to offer you advice It was a long time ago that I did this, but I wish you all the very best and please do come on here for support and advice as the people are wonderful.

Rosie xx


is loving CWP xx
S: 21st2lb C: 20st10lb G: 15st0lb BMI: 48.3 Loss: 0st6lb(2.03%)
Hi Lotte,

Well done on deciding to do something about your weight. I am doing LL at the moment and it is very hard. There are a few things that have helped me and one of the main things is to tell everyone that I am doing it. So many people are so scared to tell people as they are embarrased which I understand but I find that people are really admiring me for doing something about it. It also helps because I know that when I go out with them there is no way that I can cheat because they all know that I am on LL.

Another thing that will help is having some distractions for you when the family are eating. I know you may have to cook for them so you could either maybe plan your packs so that you are eating at the same time as them. Or even make them the food then take yourself off for a bath/walk/do your nails or something.

You are def doing the right thing by cutting your carbs down. I did the same and only had one night when I had a bit of a migraine.

Another thing would be to stick to it 100%. I am not proud but I have not and it is costing me dearly. I am not giving up though. I have started, so I will finish. I am determined not to give up after a lapse as a gain/stay the same is much better than quitting altogether and putting all the weight back on. But to be honest, the best way to do it is to just be 100% and do not let any morsel of food past your lips. You will really thank yourself in the long run.

Anyway sorry for rambling. If you need anyone to talk to feel free to PM me (I check this site every day). So good luck with your journey and keep posting. This place has been one of the things that has helped me stay with it too x x
Thank you so much for your replies. It is good to know that there is support here if I need it. There are some very inspirational people who post here, so hopefully their weight-loss successes will keep me on the straight and narrow!

Well, tomorrow is the day! My hubby doesn't start work until about 12.30pm, so I am going to send him shopping to get his meals for the week. I have already pre-made some things for the children and put them in the freezer, so I won't have to do anything more than heat things up and add veg or salad and pasta or rice. I think he plans to get ready meals so that he can cook them himself. I have my shakes and shaker ready and I have made my allowed veg (2 cups of low-carb veg/salad) into soup which is also in the freezer (it is winter here and cold in the evening so I decided soup was the way to go!). I have also got some calcium and iron that I intend to take. I have just stopped breastfeeding and thought it would be sensible to make doubly sure that I was getting enough calcium and iron.

So I am just about to have my last dinner for a while (it is 9.30pm here now) and am also enjoying a glass of wine!

I do have a couple of questions if anyone can help. I am not sure if I should be exercising at all? I do have a treadmill and weights and also yoga and pilates DVD's. I presume that light exercise is okay, but strenuous running, for example, would not be so good? Also, is it okay to have a couple of mugs of coffee a day, no sugar but a dash of skimmed milk? It can get quite cold in the house at the moment, and I often have a cup of coffee to help me warm up (Australian houses have next to no insulation, no heating and single-glazing!).


is loving CWP xx
S: 21st2lb C: 20st10lb G: 15st0lb BMI: 48.3 Loss: 0st6lb(2.03%)
Hi Lotte,

It seems you will be off to a flying start. So here's some answers ot your questions:

Exercise - Well it depends on if you are already doing it. I was told that if I already exercise then I can caryy on but just to lower the intensity for the first couple of weeks while my body got used to the packs. After that you can gradually raise it again. They do say though to try and stay away from cardio because your body doesn't have enough ready energy to burn. It takes the body a while (don't know how long) to convert stored energy to usable stuff. Toning excercises are great i.e yoga/pilates and that will help with excess skin too.

Coffee - Whilst on LL we can have tea or coffee with sweetner (tablet only). We are not allowed any milk as that is not part of the programme (not sure if your plan allows it). If not then adding even the tiniest bit of milk can take you out of ketosis and stop you loosing weight.

Good luck x x

PS. If you need any extra help/support just pm me although you might not be able to do until after 50 posts. You can always up your post count by doing the wordplay games.
Again, thank you for your help! I would love to be able to pm you, but I can't. I presume that I haven't made enough posts yet. Despite posting on a couple of the word games, I don't think I'll be at that point for a while!

Well, I have had my last dinner and a couple of glasses of wine (it is just past midnight here) and I have put a pint glass ready to take upstairs with me. I guess it wouldn't hurt to get a couple of pints of water down first thing while I am getting us all ready for the day. My hubby is being as supportive as ever (asleep on the sofa!). He doesn't mind me doing the diet now, to start with he thought it sounded like a bad idea, but I won him round by explaining how it works. It is just that he isn't so good at the support thing. He is working really hard at work at the moment, so I don't feel that I can ask (or moan!) too much about my weight/dieting. I just want to get on with it, which is where I think this forum will come in handy.

I have plenty to do over the next few weeks to keep me busy. We are in the middle of buying our first Aussie home, so I have started sorting through our things ready to pack them (although we only got here 6 months ago, we seem to have an extraordinary amount of belongings!). I have also just started teaching our eldest to read. However, I only have a few friends so far who, because they are new friends, I don't want to bother with my moaning about my weight. So to be honest I do feel a bit on my own.

Any other bits of advice, support or help would be very much appreciated.
So, I managed my first day :D:D! I was really good and, apart from my two cups of coffee, I have only had my shakes, water and about 3/4 of the soup I was supposed to have. I had a fairly stressful day with the children, and my hubby was working until late tonight, so I very nearly gave in and got him to go back out and get something for me, but common sense got the better of me. I reasoned that as I had managed to get to 10pm, there was no point in cheating. It is now about 11.15 and I am very much looking forwards to tomorrow. Hubby has a day off (his first in two weeks) so I have plans on having a very long soak in the tub whilst he watches the children in the morning, and then a long walk on the beach in the afternoon. I think I will find tomorrow much easier.

I just have another question. I have a bad taste in my mouth. Although I have only been on the Optifast for one day, I was reducing my carbs for a few days before. Could this mean that I am already in ketosis? The taste is sort of metallic and I can taste it even after brushing my teeth/using mouthwash.


is loving CWP xx
S: 21st2lb C: 20st10lb G: 15st0lb BMI: 48.3 Loss: 0st6lb(2.03%)
Congratulations for getting through your first day. That is a massive acheivement.

I believe the metalic taste is ketosis. Could you buy yourself some ketostix from your pharmacist? I know you can get a tub of them for about £5 over here. What you do is you wee on the fabric bit at the end and if it turns pink then you are in ketosis. You really only need to do this at the start as if you stick to it 100% you will be more or less guaranteed to be in keotsis all the time.

It sounds like you will have a great day today. Does you HB know the ins and outs of the diet and know what support you will need? I hope so as this is a big part of helping you stay on track.

Hope you have a great day.

Speak to you soon x x
Thank you for your message!

It is now 8.20pm here and I am pleased to report that I haven't cheated at all and so I have almost managed my second day. I have just had my last shake and hubby is heating up my soup. Then I think an early night. I have found today much harder than yesterday. I feel like I could chew my own arm off, I'm that hungry! But, every time I have thought about having something to eat, I have just told myself that there is no point in cheating and that I will only be disappointed with myself if I do! I have still kept up with the water and had my two coffees.

I bought some ketostix this morning. I did one earlier, and the end of the stick turned very pale pink, rather than the buff colour, so I guess I have started to go in to ketosis. That is one of the things that has kept me going.

How dark should the colour be on the stick when you are in ketosis, or does it not matter as long as you are (and losing weight)? Does the ketosis really make you feel better, because today has been hard work, and I have felt so hungry and like giving up. I have read that you stop feeling hungry and you feel really happy when you are in ketosis.

Ah, well. Here comes my soup!


is loving CWP xx
S: 21st2lb C: 20st10lb G: 15st0lb BMI: 48.3 Loss: 0st6lb(2.03%)
Hi Lotte,

Sounds like you are well on your way. Even light pink will mean that you are in ketosis. The best colour is somewhere in the middle. If it is on the darker side then you are in ketosis but dehydrated. It means that the ketones are very concentrated so you need to drink more water. Maybe in another day or so you will start to feel that non-hungry energised feeling that full ketosis brings.

Well done for resisting. These kind of diets are not for the faint-hearted and can be the easiest but the hardest thing to do.

Keep me posted on your journey and have a good night x x


Enjoyin' my journey....
S: 18st10lb C: 15st12lb G: 12st7lb BMI: 31.9 Loss: 2st12lb(15.27%)
Hi all - nice thread, and learnt a lot about ketostix! I thought (rather foolishly I realise) that darker was better. I am currently in the middle, so presume I am where I need to be. I will definitely know to up the fluid intake if I get a darker reading.

Wishing you continued suceess Lotte. Hope you are enjoying Oz, my little sister moved to North Island NZ about 3 years ago and loves it!
Well, I seem to have found my Mojo:D:D:D! I have now (almost) completed my third day on Optifast and I am definitely in ketosis now. My ketostix say I am, and even if I didn't have any, it is pretty obvious! My mouth tastes like a camels behind (or what I imagine one would taste like - I have no actual experience of this!), my tongue is white, though strangely not furry - it is just like the colour has gone from the top. My wee smells funny too.

The best bit though is that I feel completely and utterly wonderful! My children have argued non-stop all afternoon, but I feel positive and have coped with it splendidly (considering that usually when I am on a diet I am a misery!). I even did 30 minutes fast walking on the treadmill when hubby got home from work, which is most unusual. It felt different to be exercising - it was like it was worth doing because I knew I was burning fat, rather than burning off last nights dinner if you see what I mean. I am having the odd hunger pang, but it comes, lasts for a second and is then gone, rather than rumbling on for ages.

Not eating seems to have also made me think about my diet generally. I always thought I ate a healthy diet and the correct amount. Although I am overweight, since my youngest was born 18 months ago I have lost weight slowly (about 2 stones), or maintained. However, I was making the kids some homemade pizza this afternoon and I suddenly realised that I do (did) an awful lot of picking. I used half a can of tuna, half a can of sweetcorn and half a can of pineapple. I put the remains of the cans in the fridge/bin today, but the old me would have eaten it. I topped them with grated cheese, the old me would have had a fistful of that too. When it came out of the oven I would have cut myself a slice "Just to see if it tastes okay"! They are all things that I did without even thinking, but because I couldn't do them today, I realised that I did them!

Thank you for the support you have given me so far. You are all very inspiring, and this is where I come to feel inspired if I am thinking of giving up.

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