just found this on another site (long thread!!)


mornin all!!
just found this on another website this poor girl was getting a right mouthfull from other people because she was folowing LL diet, why can't we be left alone to follow plans which suit us best!:) :) :)

post from handbag

Rapid Weight Loss - Is It Healthy and Does It Work?

It is important that the public not only understand the right ways to lose weight, but also equally understand the wrong ways!
There have been many FAST weight loss systems that have come and gone over years ? The Cambridge Diet and Slim Fast are two that spring to mind. "LighterLife" is the latest meal replacement diet to tempt the public. This rapid weight loss programme is intended for those people who need to lose 3 stone or more. Why 3 stone or more you may ask? Well, one simple reason is that the programme FORCES the body to break down its own tissue at such a rate (they advertise a stone a month), that anyone without enough fat and tissue on the body, really wouldn't last long on the programme at all, and of course Lighter Life wouldn't earn as much money from them!
LighterLife is a very low calorie diet. Now, there are low calorie diets and there are LOW calorie diets ? this is one of those LOW varieties if you get my drift! It provides at best 450 calories per day ? I know because I have seen the nutritional breakdown of the sachets and food bars that are used in place of 3 standard meals per day.
Aside from the issues and pitfalls (both socially and psychologically) of living on 3 sachets of synthetic nutrient powder everyday, let me explain further what this does physically and chemically inside the body.
Fast, or rapid and extreme weight loss via hypocaloric (very low calorie) feeding happens because the body rapidly loses water (due to loss of glycogen and protein, both of which contain water), as the body quickly begins to break down muscle, and then fat. It is thought that around 25% of the weight lost on a very low-calorie diet (or low-carb diet) is actually lean muscle tissue.
"So what" you may thinking?
Well, the downside is that it damages metabolism. Long-term, the metabolic rate is driven DOWN to an all-time low, as the body thinks that it is being starved, which it is! FEWER calories are burned on a daily basis, as the body tries to conserve as much energy for "survival". When calorie intake is increased (which it has to be at some point), although this lifts the metabolism again, it doesn't increase it to the same levels as before. The body fails to burn the same amount of energy (calories) as it once did, and weight gain (in the form of fat) is faster than it was before. In order to avoid this happening at its very worst, calorie intake must be increased very gradually, and at the same time, physical activity (including resistance exercise to build back lean tissue) must be increased, and maintained. There are still many people desperate to lose weight that will not except that exercise and healthy "intelligent" eating is the key to long-term successful weight loss and weight maintenance.
Paradoxically, exercising while ON a very low calorie diet is NOT healthy ? in fact it is dangerous! This is because the body is already in an acidic state (due to the use of ketone bodies as fuel ? see below), and exercising without enough carbohydrate as a fuel increases levels of acidic by-products even more. This increases the risk of metabolic acidosis ? which can lead to coma and death! SO?. Those on the LighterLife programme should be advised NOT to exercise all the time they are on this starvation diet. Their bodies are too busy breaking down their own tissue to cope with much else!
We need at least 1000 kcals/day just to maintain our normal metabolic rate and most physiological functions ? ideally 1500 kcals to ensure we are meeting all our basic nutrient requirements. Existing on such few calories and forcing the body into starvation mode, means the body must begin to break down it's own tissue for fuel, and to provide the body with the necessary amino acids (i.e. protein) for many bodily functions. By the way, the heart is a muscle, so there is a danger of losing heart muscle too on such a low calorie regimen ? which is not something anyone would knowingly want to do? especially if there is a risk of any form of heart disease in the family.
Being so low in energy (calories) is one reason that LighterLife (LL) works. But another reason for the speed of weight loss has to do with the fact that is very low in calories from carbohydrate (CHO). Remember carbs are our main source of energy. Restricting intake of carbohydrates forces the body to make and use "ketone bodies" as an energy source. Ketones are formed in the liver, mainly from fat, and transported to tissues, as well as the brain.
Blood levels of 2 main ketones (beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate) rise, along with the by-products acetone and acetol. You can smell acetone on the breathe of people on very low CHO diets, and it is not very pleasant! These by-products go on to make a substance called glycotoxin methylglyoxal, which consequently also rises in the body. It is THIS substance that can cause blood vessel and tissue damage ? something that has been shown in scientific studies. So those people on very low carb diets for a long time (and using ketones as energy) may well be at a far greater risk of vascular damage. This is something everyone should understand when they are considering these extreme forms of weight loss.
Now, not even the Atkins is quite as low in CHO as LL! Three LL sachets provide a mere 24g CHO a day. We need AT LEAST 140-150g carbohydrate to maintain our lean tissue and stop the body breaking down it's own tissue for energy. However, we need a lot more than this if we exercise or are active regularly. If you try and maintain an exercise programme, while eating a low carbohydrate diet, you'll find you won't get very far in terms of increased fitness and increased lean tissue. In fact you'll lose tissue as the body breaks down muscle to a) use as a potential fuel, and b) to repair the exercise-induced muscle damage. You'll only be able to sustain a certain intensity, as above a certain threshold the body can only "go up a gear" by making quick-fire energy from glycogen (carbohydrate) stores and of course if nothing is there ? you simply feel "flat", weak and unable to sustain the workload.
I'd like to move onto another important issue, which is never discussed with regard to these weight loss programmes.
The issue of calcium is something that I am concerned about. LL says it provides 900mg of calcium in 3 meal replacement sachets or bars. The first problem is the FORM of calcium used. Calcium carbonate is one of the cheaper forms of calcium, and many reputable supplement companies don't now use a lot of calcium carbonate ? at least if they do it is usually combined with a chelated form such as citrate to improve absorption. There are much more absorbable and better forms of calcium now available. We absorb about 40% calcium carbonate. Those with compromised gastrointestinal function, and especially low levels of hydrochloric acid may not even absorb that much.
The second problem or "flip-side" of the coin is that you can NEVER rely on supplementation alone to meet your daily nutrient requirements, and assume that the body will utilise these just as well as it would from food. Ironically 900mg calcium may be TOO much for the body to effectively utilise in this form, with little else to help its utilisation.
LighterLife provides NO FOOD ? but seems to think that's OK because the sachets give you all the nutrients you need!?
There is next to no fibre (see below) in a daily intake of LL food powder, and of course no phytonutrients and the array of antioxidants that we find in fresh food ? all of which have their own wonderful properties and health benefits ? many of which by the way are important for a healthy metabolism!
Calcium plays a vital role in dental health. Not only is it the main mineral constituent of teeth, it also plays a role in saliva, where it has been implicated in remineralising tooth structure after acid attack form plaque bacteria. Whether or not a lack of calcium over 6-12 months significantly effects gum and tooth health is not conclusive, but Dental Practitioner, Dr Rob Endicott had some other interesting things to say about LighterLife?
"I am not a fan of LighterLife and am interested in your comments about the problem of the calcium delivery methods in the product. The problem I have with LighterLife is the lack of chewing, allowing plaque and tarter to build up more readily, having a very direct effect on gum and tooth health, and we have seen this in practice". Mmmmm? now there's a thought!
By the way there is the small issue of fibre! There is less than half the necessary requirement for fibre in a "days nutrition" from Lighter Life. Basically bowel function shuts down after a while ? the brain doesn't get any signalling that the bowels are full! Toxins can't move out through the system so I imagine they are re-absorbed back into the bloodstream, and there is a lot more work for the kidneys to do to excrete waste from the blood. Of course the bowels don't get a good daily clean either, which is one of the major roles of fibre in the diet!
I shall leave you all with this final comment?
Lucy-Ann Prideaux MSc BSc RNutr
Registered Nutritionist
Simply Nutrition
Lucy-Ann Prideaux is a registered Nutrition based in East Sussex, England. She helps many individuals with weight problems, digestive complaints, food intolerances, and dietary-related health problems.
Hi Ive read several sites with replies that arent nice to people doing VLCD I always pipe in and stand up for the person,ivillage kept slagging LL off so I put my 2 penit worth in and I never go a reply!!
Some people just cant see that not eating can be ok and good if done this way?
I have been on LL since Feb, with a couple of month gap....and I have to say I am

Anyone else?:confused:

? Where/when did you find this article?
i bet the person who wrote this is naturally skinny & has never been in the hell we know as being morbidly obese!
as for the dentist, i just went yesterday & he said my teeth were lovely, & being on CD i DO get to chew every 5th week.
why don't they just shut up & let us get our lives sorted how we want, we all know how the diet works, & i does work for us
(jumping off soap box now :D )
i can see where you're coming fom Olijames, you have done soooooooo well & with only 12 lbs left to go if you feel strongly about it i'm sure you could manage it some other way ( meant nicely)
i have given up analysing everything too much cos just like u i used you worry about everything.
i'm a nurse & understand what she is saying but for me nothing else was working & anyone who questions me i tell them " drastic measures are needed sometimes"
good luck with whatever you choosr to do & as you say
Before finding this site, I admit that I too was very very anti VLCDs (each and all of them).

If I'm honest, I still am when I see people wanting to lose a stone or so following one. I know that LL and CD don't officially accept such people, but we all know that the sachets can be picked up "elsewhere" than through reputable counsellors. Or indeed people can have leftovers from their main diet campaign.

I admit that I have learned a great deal since reading this site and am now a staunch supporter when it comes to people who have tried everything and this is the "last" attempt so to speak.

Atkins was mentioned in the quoted posting too - the site where I regularly posted during my weight loss, and still do today, had a huge influx of Atkins posters at the time that diet was "top of the pops". All too many relied uniquely on the induction period to lose as much as possible, lose the plot, then go back to induction... over and again... Here again, I was very anti. But a couple of posters did Atkins "properly". Lost their weight. Moved up the stages to maintenance. And now eat "normally".

Provided VLCD'ers follow the various stages through, losing the weight AND keeping it off sounds very possible to me, and there is more than one poster on this site who has done just that.

Olijames - I see you now have just 12lbs to go? Are you now on a maintenance type slow down programme?
I can't speak for whether the part about calcium is true but I think this nutritionist's post misses a vital component of the VLCD diet -- its psychological dimension.

If you want to lose weight a VLCD is seldom your first port of call. You're more likely to have tried -- and not succeeded -- at an array of other plans which are probably a marginally healthier way to lose weight.

It's most often a last resort. I can only speak for myself here, but I have needed this break to reassess the way I use food as consolation, reward, punishment and gift to myself. As a result, when I went on to the add-a-meal week simple healthy food tasted delicious and vibrant with flavour and I have hope for the first time that I won't slip back into old bad habits when I reach the end.

In addition my mental state is better because I am finally *doing something* about a problem that has bothered me all my life.

And I am getting more exercise, albeit of a gentle kind because I am no longer spending my evenings slumped in despair in front of the TV, eating a giant kebab from Honest Bob's House of Salmonella and yelling rude things at that pocket-sized Satan Gillian "totally made-up qualifications" McKeith.

If six months on a VLCD can take you down the weight scale quickly and with less scope for indulging bad habits, you can then use this as a platform for a new, healthy life, complete with regular vigorous exercise. I think the trade-off is worth it.

(also, I forgot to mention: the fibre thing? Psyllium husks and the CD bars. Excuse the TMI but my god, my bathroom is like Kansas in tornado season some days but at least I know my bowels are working)

Hope that wasn't a bit tl;dr

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I've not read it all yet....and I don't think I'm going to....she's going on about muscle tissue....what a load of twaddle. It's been proven time and time again that being on a VCLD means you will lose the same amount of muscle tissue that would would do on a normal diet........

this is making me mad...I will turn into the hulk...so no more reading for meeeee!!
only me, the thread was posted on handbag.com i think just put in cambridge diet in the search area.

People who criticise VLCDs never seem to compare the relative dangers of the diets versus the obesity that drives people to them in the first place. Anyone who is particulalry worried about lack of vitamins and minerals (as I was whilst ill) ca always take supplement while on the diet. Did she ask dental experts whether people are more at risk from the unhealthy sweet food they used to gorge on or the maybe slightly reduced calcium intake? No, of course she didn't, she wasn't out to write a balanced research piece, just try and rip to shreds something that is working for lots of people.

We all know we can take more fibre if we need to. We drink plenty of water. We know not to try and over-exercise. She doesn't take into account that nobody can go on LL or Cambridge without advice from a councellor.

The only areas where I think she has some valid points are the loss of muscle tissue and the time needed to return to normal metabolic rate. I'm pretty sure I have lost muscle rather than fat in some areas, I also accept that it is up to me to rebuild this. The diet plan which I want to use for stabilisation recommends that you spend 10 days per kilo lost (about 2 months per stone) gradually increasing your food intake to a normal sustainable level. This seems like a long time but I think it might well be realistic, the risk of just putting it all on again is not one I'm prepared to take.
I also find this quite concerning but and it is a major BUT, I tried everything from cabbage to just an apple a day, I have been obese since I was 12 years old and now at the age of 39 omg I said it!!!, I honestly gave everything a try and failed!!!! I was like all the others vlcd no dangerous, mad mad people, well it happened I turned mad and up to today I have lost over 5 stone. We have a huge propblem with food and the damage it is doing to us is not just short term, we chose for whatever reason to do this to ourselves and now we are turning to a drastic way to combat all the years of abuse we have done to our bodies. Please don't worry about this just think how 10 maybe 20 years or carrying around 5 or more stone can do to us!! I looked into all the side effects and boy did I want to be proved wrong any reason not to try.... Well I am experiencing hair loss and I know that I take aspartimine each day but boy is it much less that all the pop and other things I was throwing into my body, With everything there are risks in life but for us to have come here and started we all know the risks.. There is one very important thing i'm really trying to say, We will loose the excess weight and learn about ourselves in the process and hopefully we will conquor our demon Food!!! We are not going to do this for the rest of our lives its short term and as with most thngs in life this period will end and you have to choose for yourself if it is worth it.. Take a look at the gallery and tell me if the faces on there look as if they'd wished they hadn't tried...:).
Was interesting to read the comments on the threads, but it did show who had done research and who didn't. Seemed like the typical knee jerk reaction without researching facts :(
I read the comments with interest as I have not yet actually started the LL diet yet (plan to begin straight after Christmas) and I totally rejected the idea when I first heard about the diet about a year ago for many of the reasons stated in the article. BUT... I've been overweight all my adult life and am now mobidly obese, I have very bad eating habits, I binge, i eat in secret (coz then it doesn't count right?) and my blood pressure is beginning to hit the top of the normal range!! So what's healthier carrying on as I am or taking positive and short term drastic action to improve both my health and my unhealthy relationship with food or carrying on as I am?
Take it with a pinch of salt everyone - its horses for courses - we are individuals & its what works for you whether it be low fat, low carbs, Weight watchers; etc
I knew my issues with food were in my head - I needed lighter life for the counselling & abstaining from food was the minor part for me ...I have starved myself many times [one orange per day for several weeks]without nutrients from lighter life packs in my past and always regained weight!
This time [6 months] on I have lost more weight whilst back on food and I understand myself so much better.
My dentist said my teeth were so good whilst on VLCD that it was a waste of time scaling and polishing them!
I never caught colds, or other viruses and I felt so healthy!

SO in my experience I was healthy on the VLCD and also I am full of energy now and healthier than I have ever been both mentally & physically!

DO not be worried because someone posts things like this with letters after her name - its just her opinion!
Yup, I am now moving through the stages and still losing weight, I know my metabolism was low, it had to be, however I didnt one day stop SS and the next eat pizza chips and cheesecake!!!!
Working my way up is the best thing to do, ask Karion and Icemoose,both have kept weight off and follow a healthy diet after VLCD. (these two are the ones that spring to mind!)
I have read so many opinions about VLCD, how many have struggled being overweight, not many!!
BOLLOX What planet is she from muscle bulk no problem my bones are like iron my metabolic rate is faster now than it ever was I am just as strong as I was before losing the weight, which the other boys on the lifeboat will bear witness to I am also a lot fitter.
People really ought to back up the chemical analysis with testaments of those who really know the People who have done and are doing the diet. I am bloody bloody bloody angry GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
Hey J!

When I read it I actually thought she may have apoint about the slowing of the metabolism....i believed that after all ss'ing our bods are in starvation mode and therefore cling onto any solids.....please put me straight...the fact that you say your M is faster than ever is fabby....what did you do or did it just happen!
I've not read it all yet....and I don't think I'm going to....she's going on about muscle tissue....what a load of twaddle. It's been proven time and time again that being on a VCLD means you will lose the same amount of muscle tissue that would would do on a normal diet........

this is making me mad...I will turn into the hulk...so no more reading for meeeee!!

Thanx for that Coley...that's the thing that I've been worrying about.....especially the comment in the article that you could lose heart MUSCLE tissue ...:confused: :eek:

like OlliJames....I am concerned.....even though I read the full COMA report BEFORE embarking on CD......

reassurance from CDCs needed......