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I spoke to a nurse yesterday...


Silver Member
S: 20st3lb C: 18st4lb G: 11st6lb BMI: 37.8 Loss: 1st13lb(9.54%)
Hi everybody!

As the title says, I spoke to a nurse yesterday, a "friend" of mine. I told her about my diet (I am not doing CD but you'll see why I post this on here) and then told her about minimins and the great weight losses you achieved:D

She didn't want to believe me that you could lose that much, in a healthy way, outside of a hospital :confused:

Then I told her that so many of you lost a lot thanks to CD and she started telling me things like it is very dangerous because it makes you lose your muscle, especially around the heart and other organs and it can lead to death :confused: But then I told her what I read on here, that the shakes have all the required protein, but no, aparently I didn't know what I was talking about :sigh:

Why are people so negative about dieting? Why would it be OK to have a quick weight loss in a hospital but not at home :confused: Why was she so aggressive? I am not doing CD, although if I could I would (health contradications at the moment), and I understand now the kind of pressure you must put up with with your diet:(, it must be really hard and I admire you even more for that.

Honestly, how can you lose muscle, and around your vital organs:confused:, if you eat protein? How come doctors let you diet if this is this dangerous? It doesn't make sense (this is what I told her, to which she answered that I was a teacher and not a nurse). I don't understand :crazy::silly:

2 things are certain, a) she scared me b) you are all very courageous to keep dieting when you have to put up with this.

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S: 14st1lb C: 8st10lb BMI: 23 Loss: 5st5lb(38.07%)
Hi Elie

It is extremely frustrating when people don't understand how the diet works but profess that it is dangerous. Perhaps next time you speak to her you want to mention my recent health check http://www.minimins.com/cambridge-diet-forum/31157-i-m-healthy-s-official.html which proves beyond doubt that not only have I lost weight, I have done it has improved my health measurably!

S: 17st4lb C: 16st11lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 43 Loss: 0st7lb(2.89%)
It can be diffcult to carry on 'keeping the faith' when people make stupid comments like that at you. I've had someone say 'oh yeah - that's the diet where your insides eat themselves isn't it' and other such savoury comments ...

But I had the foresight to research CD before I even started it. I found a European SCOOP report which is independent and so isn't biased towards any company and they had very positive things to say about VLCDs in general as a treatment of the morbidly obese. I'm more likely to believe a European report compiled by top experts in the field of obesity than I am the word of a 'nurse' who did three years in a lecture theatre learning about how to prick someone with a needle. (Not that I'm disparaging nurses - but she's hardly an expert on obesity or diet)

Armed with knowledge, I felt confident to embark upon a VLCD. ALL diets involve a little loss of muscle but the protein in a VLCD keeps this to a minimum so I don't feel at any more risk than someone on WW or SW.
As for your friend being aggressive - I have no idea why that is but sometimes you find this amongst slim people .... they slag off the overweight ad nauseum but then berate them for finding a solution that works for them personally. If someone very overweight has weight loss surgery or does a VLCD, it somehow isn't 'valid' or is regarded as cheating ... because of course, overweight people aren't allowed any short-cuts - they must do it the way slim people dictate (a pound at a time, eating sensibly) or it just doesn't count. Doing it any other way seems to 'frustrate' some slim people.

I just give critics the (hypothetical) finger! I know VLCDs are safe and, besides, it's MY body and MY life and I'll do what I have to do in MY way to lose weight!
S: 15st3lb C: 13st11lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 33.1 Loss: 1st6lb(9.39%)

Why is protein important in a VLCD (very low calorie diet)?
To help meet its energy needs, your body can use protein, either from dietary sources or from body tissues, like muscle and organs. Obviously, it’s healthier to get the energy from the protein in the diet. Without the added protein from Nutrimed Plus, your body would break down its own muscle and organ tissues. Such a breakdown can result in serious health consequences, even death. You need to take in enough dietary protein to “spare” your muscle and organs.

Aren’t carbohydrates and fat also important?
Yes, both carbohydrates and fat are important in VLCD (very low calorie diet), but present at lower levels than typically seen in moderately reduced-calorie diets. A minimal amount of carbohydrates is required to make energy for your cells, which are unable to use ketones. Carbohydrates help spare protein and are also important to maintain electrolytes and fluid balance. A moderate amount of fat in a VLCD (very low calorie diet) provides essential fatty acids, which are needed for good health.
This why it is important never to miss any of your packs.



Silver Member
S: 13st5lb C: 13st5lb G: 10st7lb BMI: 31.1 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
I fully agree with RD. I too did some research on VLCD before I started, and came to the same conclusion. I'm a nurse too!:eek::D


Staff member
S: 18st2lb C: 16st1lb G: 11st2lb Loss: 2st1lb(11.42%)
This is a Summary of the Report Russiandoll is talking abut!

[FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]Reports on tasks for scientific cooperation [/FONT]​

d[FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold](click link for complete SCOOP report)[/FONT]
[FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]Click for complete [/FONT]scientific and medical data[FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]report[/FONT]​

[FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]Report of experts participating in Task 7.3[/FONT]
[FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]September 2002[/FONT]
[FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]Collection of data on products intended for use in very-low-calorie-diets[/FONT]​
[FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]Directorate-General Health and Consumer Protection
[FONT=Verdana,Bold]The report documents the extent of the problem of overweight and obesity in the EU and corrects a number of misconceptions ie. that slow, small weight loss is better maintained or that rapid weight loss is unsafe.[/FONT]
When the SCOOP Task 76.3 was first announced, the VLCD European Industry Group asked to submit a report which had been prepared by Dr John Marks (one of the members of the SCOOP committee and one of the authors of the above SCOOP document) in March 1998. The SCOOP Committee, during the first plenary meeting in Maastricht, The Netherlands on March 15th and 16th 2000 accepted this report.
A request was made by the SCOOP Committee that those sections of the report which were concerned with scientific and medical data be updated to early 2000 and submitted as a discussion paper. Subsequently a series of further papers was requested by the Committee and submitted in the years 2000 and 2001 by Drs John Marks and Jaap Schrijver..
The document which is referred to in the SCOOP Report to the EU Commission of August 2001 as Marks J and Schrijver J (2001) is the summation of all these reports from March 2000 to July 2001. This very detailed and lengthy scientific paper can be found on Dr Mark's web pages (click here) Dr Marks has, however, provided the Food Education Society with a summary analysis of the highlights of his paper with links to the supporting section of the paper for those interested in the relevant research documentation.


PREPARED BY DR's JOHN MARKS and Jaap Schrijver

(A popup window should stay open, however, if it just flashes - minimize this window while you read the excerpt.
This requires JAVA. If you are using XP and/or ie 6 browser you may have to download service pack 1 to enable java)
This report reviews over 400 published scientific and clinical studies to early 2000, undertaken on VLCDs, on over 50,000 people. Thus it is likely that VLCDs are the most widely studied of all weight reducing diets. In addition, it records the main findings in a series of audit studies undertaken during the routine use of VLCD.
The vast majority of the studies identify the compositional standards and the length of administration and this document concentrates on those papers. In almost 20,000 people, use was for more than four weeks, giving good evidence on safety of long-term use.
In addition current formula VLCDs have been used by well over 25 million people in the international community over a period of over twenty years.
In addition to this critical review of the available safety and efficacy data in clinical use, there have been a substantial number of recent experimental studies which have shown that some of the earlier research reached erroneous conclusions. This report reviews this data and highlights some important new scientific conclusions which have practical implications.
Overall conclusions
A modern nutrient-complete VLCD provides a highly effective and safe method of weight reduction. The use of VLCD has benefits on excess weight related disorders which appear to be superior to those of LCD or food based plans probably on the basis of the more rapid weight loss.
On the basis of monitored clinical experience coupled with recent body composition studies a scientifically based standard for composition and labelling can and should be established for VLCD.
In view of the undisputed need to help the very large number who need to lose weight, as many safe methods as possible should be made easily and readily available. This includes VLCDs, where the safety can be shown to be at least as good as diets in the >800kcal energy range. VLCDs should therefore be available on free sale on the same terms as diets of over 800kcals (see Commission Directive 93/5/EC).

Overweight and obesity are rapidly and substantially increasing problems in all European Union Member States

Excess weight has reached epidemic proportions with some 20% obese and a further 30% overweight (Section1.1)

Morbidity increases from a BMI of about 24 . The problems associated with excess weight include not only serious physical diseases, but also psychological and social ills

Excess weight is strongly correlated with increasing mortality.

The economic cost of excess weight is substantial.

The need for strict attention to prime data is high. Years of misinformation has led to a large catalogue of ex-cathedra pronouncements.
Closely monitored clinical studies in over 50,000 people, many for prolonged periods with laboratory investigations and electrocardiographic monitoring show no evidence of pathological changes as a result of the use of VLCD. This confirms the practical experience of use of VLCD in over 25 million people during more than 20 years. This section examines the lack of relevance of the "liquid protein diet" .
These studies show that products with an adequate macronutrient and micronutrient composition, with an energy content in the range 400-800kcals per day (VLCD) are at least as safe as any other weight reducing diet. The safety applies not only to those in the higher BMI range but also to those with starting BMI levels down to 25 and finishing BMI levels in the normal range (20 to 25).
Click the link for a summary of the available published data on diets under 800kcals and for the data reclassified according to energy and carbohydrate content. A full listing of these studies is given as Appendix I and a full bibliography for them is given as Appendix II.

Clinical studies demonstrate that there are a negligible number of significant adverse reactions in the studies (over 50,000 dieters) or in routine use in several millions under free sale use (Section 2.3)
Side effects of VLCD: A relatively small proportion of those taking VLCD experience side effects. The risk of side effects is greater if the dieter does not follow the directions given on the diet pack or by any adviser (particularly of strict compliance to the diet and to drink substantial quantities of water while taking the VLCD).
Clinical and electrocardiographic studies show no damage to the heart during VLCD use
Gall Stones:( Cholelithiasis) Examination of the literature shows that, with very rare exceptions, claims of increased incidence of cholelithiasis with rapid weight loss are American. The European literature is devoid of such reports and conversations with those European experts who have used VLCD extensively confirm that gallstone formation has not been a problem. Perhaps even more importantly, in those papers in which the details of the weight loss programme are recorded, the majority stem from two commercial weight loss products widely used in the USA but not in Europe.
Clinical and biochemical studies show no organ damage during weight reduction using VLCD
Bone density: It is clear that, as could be logically expected, there is a direct relationship between bone density and body weight. It is largely the strains on the bones that determines their density. That is why elephants have thick bones and orthodontists are able to move teeth. Whether weight is lost intentionally (by whatever means) or unintentionally, the bone density is reduced roughly in proportion to the loss of weight. Bone density is increased with increasing weight and reduced proportionately with weight loss.
The more rapid rate of weight loss during the use of VLCD has no additional adverse effects .
Eating Disorders: There is not one iota of data to support a causitive relationship with dieting.
There is no additional difficulty in weight maintenance after the use of VLCD
Resting Metabolic Rate: The initial reduction in resting metabolic rate (around 15%) is a physiological response to reduced food intake within the first few days of dieting and is not related directly to the actual energy intake or to the amount of weight loss. The subsequent long term reduction in the resting metabolic rate depends on the extent of the weight loss irrespective of the method and energy levels by which it is achieved
Weight cycling (yo-yo dieting) is not advised but is a feature of all dieting methods unless good weight maintenance practice is followed. Weight cycling is no greater with the use of VLCD

Continuous versus intermittent use: There is no scientific reason for short term interruption of use, indeed from the point of view of experience it is highly undesirable and de-motivating.

In group studies in which there is good compliance, the rate of weight loss depends upon the energy level of the diet (Section 2.6).
The weight maintenance results with VLCD are as good, if not better than with the use of other methods of dieting Weight cycling:(Yo-Yo dieting): Weight cycling does not lead to increased fat stores, reduced metabolic rate, and less effective weight loss with each cycle as was previously suggested
The only way to achieve long-term weight maintenance is by a fundamental change in lifestyle. The long-term results achieved by weight reduction by VLCD are at least as good as with those other non-invasive methods

Since liquid protein diets (LPD) were discontinued, there have been no further deaths identified since 1977/1978. Nevertheless the information relating to LPD is re-examined and is shown to have no relevance to current VLCD. (Section 2.3.1 &2.2)
Body Composition Changes associated with dieting. Virtually all of the resistance to the use of VLCD has centered on the allegation that VLCD might cause excessive loss of lean body mass in comparison with other diets.

A vast amount of modern research has been dedicated to determining whether these concerns were warrented. It has been proved that there is no excessive loss of body lean, however for those interested in the scientific detective story resulting in understanding the reasons why the concerns were misguided, the next sections will prove illustrative.

Although many older studies used Kjeldall nitrogen determinations for estimating protein changes, the technique requires unusually great attention to detail to achieve reliability. Conclusions from studies without validation controls (rarely used) should be avoided .
A thorough examination of body composition estimation has indicated that there was substantial lack of reliability and reproducibility in most of the methods that have been used for weight loss studies.
With the exception of neutron activation, which is expensive and not widely available, all the body composition methods are indirect estimates. The estimate is influenced by variation in formulae which are used for converting the observation as recorded to the body composition estimate

Physiological variations also can profoundly alter the results.

In consequence it is inappropriate to compare data derived by different techniques in the same chart

The most widely used reasonably reliable indirect technique is hydrodensitometry and unless otherwise stated we have concentrated on data derived by this technique.

Unrecognised analytical variation may explain the erroneous conclusions of Forbes on compositional changes during weight loss

The Keys (1950) Minnesota study, often quoted as confirming that fat free mass (FFM) loss is greater in individuals with less fat is irrelevant down to the lowest level (about BMI 20) at which dieting is justified.

The loss of lean body mass (protein) is inherent and necessary with any weight loss, regardless of energy intake, because weight gained is not 100% fat. There is no proportionately greater lean body mass loss with VLCD providing over 40g high quality protein per day than with LCD.

Re-examination of the old data and further new observations support the view proposed by Garrow and others in the 1970s, that at all pre-dieting BMI levels between about 60 and 20, FFM represents about 25% of the weight loss (range about 20-30% probably depending on genetic factors). This is true for any energy value diets containing appropriate macronutrient levels including VLCD

Loss of lean body mass is inherent in any weight loss, which implies an obligatory nitrogen loss during weight loss. Hence excess nitrogen loss is only relevant if it is greater than the obligatory loss. At daily intake levels of 40-50g protein in the diet, loss in excess of that which is obligatory is unusual.

There is no clinical or valid experimental evidence which indicates that carbohydrate levels above those currently available and widely studied, i.e. about 40-45g per day (representing about 90% of the available clinical data) have any merit.

Continuous use of VLCD to the desired weight is preferable to intermittent dieting for both physiological and psychological reasons, and has no disadvantages
On the basis of the extensive amount of data reviewed the following compositional criteria are proposed which would provide the following minimum daily intake:
Protein: 50g per day with a minimum nutritional quality as defined by WHO/FAO (FAO, 1991)

Carbohydrate: A minimum available carbohydrate intake of 45g per day

Fat: A minimum of 7g neutral fat per day which would provide not less than 3g linoleic acid and 0.5g linolenic acid with a linoleic/linolenic acid ratio between 5 and 15

Micronutrients: Internationally agreed levels should be adopted.

Fibre: The fibre recommendation should allow for soluble fibres to be used. The minimum should be 10g per day. The available component of this should be included in the carbohydrate figure.

Energy: The energy value per se has no direct relevance and provided minimum macronutrient levels are defined the energy value is equal to that provided by these essential nutrients.
There is substantial medical and scientific justification for modern nutrient complete formula diets with an energy value less than 800kcals per day (VLCD)

There is recent convincing evidence that the rapidity of weight loss confers additional positive health benefits independent of the weight loss in, for example, non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and hypertension.

The precautions for VLCD use should be those which apply to any method for losing weight.
Those with defined medical conditions, those dieting for prolonged periods and those receiving prescription drugs should seek medical advice and/or supervision – following the same advice as those using LCD.

As with any weight loss diet, medical supervision is only necessary if there are medical complications.
Having studied the draft of the SCOOP Report on VLCD the authors of the discussion paper (Marks and Schrijver) drew attention to some inconsistencies and contraindications within the SCOOP Report.


Silver Member
S: 20st3lb C: 18st4lb G: 11st6lb BMI: 37.8 Loss: 1st13lb(9.54%)
Thanks Mini for this very enligthening reply! I shall show her that, or rather send it to her :p

Porgeous, this is amazing. You are like a role model to me!!!! And many others I am sure. What an inspiration!

Russian Doll, as usual, you are spot on, I totally agree.

As soon as I am healthy enough, I will ask my GP to "let me do" CD :D

I knew it couldn't be that dangerous, otherwise it wouldn't be so widely used!!!!;) Some of the medicine prescribed by GPs are much more dangerous, and nobody cares :confused:
Thanks for all this info - I will digest it after my soup. I feel just great and have more energy now too.

S: 18st11lb C: 12st4lb G: 11st7lb BMI: 27.8 Loss: 6st7lb(34.6%)
Wow! What fantastic information everyone's already posted. Hopefully, that should answer any questions anyone has about whether or not VLCDs are healthy (even from so-called health 'professionals' :)).

I have two local GPs registered with me as clients who say that not only did they choose CD as they know it to be a safe and healthy way to lose weight, but they also recommend VLCDs to their own overweight patients as they believe it to be one of the best weightloss programs around.

Nuff said? :D
I think being overweight is far more dangerous than CD. One thing I think - with society now sueing for every stubbed toe surely if CD WAS dangerous somebody would by now have been made extremely ill by CD and sued the company?
For goodness sake the EU wants to ban some vitamin supplements unless you can get a prescription for them - if CD really was that bad surely the EU would ban it too.

Being 7 stone overweight when I started dieting the idea of losing 1-2lbs a week was really off putting. I mean it would take over a year to lose the weight like that. Not to say that slow weight loss isn't right for some people as it clearly is. BUT for ME personally I wanted a way of getting it off fast. CD is that way for me and the way I feel mentally and emotionally on it means I would defend anyone's right to do it as long as it would not be detrimental to their health. I feel like I have found the solution for me and would be very upset if a nurse or doctor told me it was bad for me.


Silver Member
S: 14st5lb C: 13st7lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 28.7 Loss: 0st12lb(5.97%)
I am a nurse too! A senior psychiatric nurse and i know how very mentally ill people can become from being overweight, how it can ruin their whole life. I also have a dodgy heart. I ALSO know that i feel at my optimum physically and mentally when i am doing the CD and losing weight on it.
At a local doctors surgery they have actually put up a big notice saying that their dieticians do not recommend VLC diets and that there is no point in asking any of the doctors to sign any forms because they will not do so.

My last message sounds like I agree with them. I certainly do not. But it is so frustrating because my own GP also will not sign any form.

I am therefore having to go it alone, and it is not easy. I am buying bars from the internet and using two a day plus a meal of around 300 calories. The bars have 12g protein and 20g carbs each and 240 calories. I try and keep the 300 calorie meal to mainly a protein with a small undressed salad. I have also found that it is easier for me to halve the bars and have half at 3 hourly intervals. Drinking minimum 2 litres but more like 3 of water. I hope that is sufficient.

I am reading all your messages as they are very helpful to me.



Full Member
My last message sounds like I agree with them. I certainly do not. But it is so frustrating because my own GP also will not sign any form.

I am therefore having to go it alone, and it is not easy. I am buying bars from the internet and using two a day plus a meal of around 300 calories. The bars have 12g protein and 20g carbs each and 240 calories. I try and keep the 300 calorie meal to mainly a protein with a small undressed salad. I have also found that it is easier for me to halve the bars and have half at 3 hourly intervals. Drinking minimum 2 litres but more like 3 of water. I hope that is sufficient.

I am reading all your messages as they are very helpful to me.

What bars do you use? How do you find your weight loss doing it that way?
Lillian, could you go to a different clinic who might be more accomodating. It seems very unfair that they dont do it on a case by case basis.

Do you need your doctors permission due to health issues / medication or are you over 40 bmi? You would think they would want to assist people get back to a healthy weight.


Back to it!
S: 14st4lb C: 11st0lb G: 9st10lb BMI: 25.6 Loss: 3st4lb(23%)
My last message sounds like I agree with them. I certainly do not. But it is so frustrating because my own GP also will not sign any form.

I am therefore having to go it alone, and it is not easy. I am buying bars from the internet and using two a day plus a meal of around 300 calories. The bars have 12g protein and 20g carbs each and 240 calories. I try and keep the 300 calorie meal to mainly a protein with a small undressed salad. I have also found that it is easier for me to halve the bars and have half at 3 hourly intervals. Drinking minimum 2 litres but more like 3 of water. I hope that is sufficient.

I am reading all your messages as they are very helpful to me.

Hi Lilian

I am doing W8 - which doesn't require sign off from your GP unless there are answers on your medical questionnaire which are cause for concern. Maybe you should talk to a W8 consultant and go over the medical questionnaire with them - if you have no major health probs (heart disease, clinical depression, diabetes, certain medications etc ) I expect you will be accepted. Even if there is no consultant near you to visit, you can be assigned a consultant who will offer support over the phone and email. They post you your packs. There are various plans available, maybe check the website out or post on the W8 (Weight-Matters) forum as there are some consultants who post too.

Hope this helps. But as Hedgehog says find another doctor who is willing to support you in your quest to be healthy. Would they rather your health suffered by being overweight - I really don't understand their attitude. Good on you for trying to sort things out yourself - but you will find it easier I'm sure with some support

best wishes

Carol x


Full Member
I'm a nurse too (mostly practice nursing Sister in GP surgery but lasy 3 yrs doing Occupational health)and i'm on CD. I reckon I was very unhealthy at 5 stone overweight. I didn't get much stick for being overweight and was urged to have a bit of cake etc. As soon as I said I was trying CD the office staff were horrible to me, didn't agree with it, bad for my health blah, blah. I found this very unsupportive. I don't ever talk about it now, never tell anyone. I don't feel I should have to justify improving my health. I know 2 docs and a medical secretary on CD.

I think it's great and I think more should be done by the government to help us lose the weight they are constantly going on about. In General practice they have targets to reduce disease in the population, but they don't want to see the solution. If I had any other ailment I would be treated - obesity treatment is a diet sheet and come back in 2 weeks.

Lillian - please try to see a new GP or if you are a hospital out patient try to ask your hospital doc to sign your form. The diet is cheaper from a CDC and ebay have stopped letting the diet get listed.
Good luck.



Silver Member
S: 17st11lb C: 16st9lb G: 11st5lb BMI: 36.5 Loss: 1st2lb(6.43%)
Hi Lillian

As others have said you may not need your GP to sign to do CD. The 810 plan is only a LCD as opposed to a VLCD. There is also the 1000 plan.

I'll try and get you some more information.



Back to it!
S: 14st4lb C: 11st0lb G: 9st10lb BMI: 25.6 Loss: 3st4lb(23%)
My W8 consultant is also a registered nurse - and has lost 5 stone on VLCDs.

Carol x


Silver Member
S: 18st1lb C: 18st1lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 43.4 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
This really annoys me too - I mean, it was developed by a doctor, doctors recommend it, you doctor needs ti be informed about it. They'd stop it surely if it wasn't healthy or recommended.

Don't listen hun!

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