Myth busting about VLCD's? What is the truth about....

Discussion in 'Very Low Calorie Diets' started by MissyJo, 30 April 2011 Social URL.

  1. MissyJo

    MissyJo Full Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I am just embarking on stint 2 of Cambridge and I wondered what 'truth' there may be in the following utterances you hear all the time...?

    1. 'It will wreck your metabolism and you'll put it all back on and more'
    2. It wastes your muscles
    3. No-one maintains their weight afterwards without starvation

    Any perspectives, guys?xx:break_diet:
     
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  3. Divster

    Divster Banned

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    All untrue! :D HTH
     
  4. MissyJo

    MissyJo Full Member

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    Thanks lovely!! :) xx
     
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  5. possum

    possum Full Member

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    I wrote the following somewhere else about the things I've been told about VLCD, hope it's helpful.
    ----


    "VLCD are not safe"
    VLCD have been around since the 1920s, but in the 70's a number of deaths occurred in people using 'Liquid Protein Diets' which bear no resemblance to the VLCD of today. They were withdrawn from the market and since then there have been no cardiac problems attributed to VLCD. Millions of people have used VLCD and they have been studied extensively - there simply is no evidence at all that they are unsafe. There have been two high profile deaths in the UK where the media blamed VLCD. Tragic as it is when young people die, it happens. Young people can die whilst on Weight Watchers or any other diet and given the number of people on a diet at any time, it is bound to happen that people die whilst also being on a diet. Being markedly obese is risk factor for cardiac problems and in one of the cases, the woman in question had weighed 33 stone and at the time of her death was 23 stone. The inquests found no link between the deaths and the diet, but that doesn't sell newspapers. The most serious known side effect of VLCD is the possibility of developing gallstones.

    It should be noted that ketogenic diets are safely used to treat epilepsy in children (and some adults) for indefinite periods of time, although they are burning fat that they take in from their diet rather than stored fat. There have also been groups of people throughout history, such as the Inuit, who have lived on a ketogenic diet their entire life. VLCD are clinically supervised and are endorsed, with specific criteria, by the NHS (NICE Guidelines), the US government and lots of other notable health organisations.

    "VLCD cause long term health problems and mess up your metabolism"
    On the contrary, VLCD cause marked improvements in blood-pressure, bad fats circulating in the blood and insulin sensitivity very early on in the diet. There is no evidence at all the VLCD cause long term health problems and most of the things that have been suggested to me that it might cause seem to be based on the kind of pseudo-science that abounds in diet literature.

    "Losing weight slowly is healthier for you"
    Someone told me that I should take up jogging and 'just accept that it'll take 2 years to lose the weight' as that would be 'healthier'. It makes no rational sense whatsoever to suggest that being overweight for longer is healthier for you than not to be.

    "If you lose weight slowly, you'll keep it off"
    It doesn't matter how you achieve weight loss, the chances of long-term success are not very good. That is a fact. The only way to keep lost weight off is to make permanent and substantial to your life afterwards. The idea that if you lose weight slowly, you'll keep it off is based on the idea that by doing that you're more likely to make those long-term changes, but that's simply not true. My mother has been on Weight Watchers for most of the last 30 years that I can remember. There is no evidence whatsoever that slower weight loss has better long outcomes than quick weight loss and in some research VLCD had the best outcomes if they were combined with CBT and taking up a proper exercise routine.

    "No, what you should do is [this diet]"
    Different diets work for different people for different reasons. I've chosen to do a VLCD because of the CBT aspect, because removing food completely from the equation will force me to deal with things that come up without turning to food/wine in a way that more conventional diets never do and that the relatively quick weight loss will mean that exercise is easier, more enjoyable and more efficient.
     
  6. possum

    possum Full Member

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    By the way, the metabolism thing is also utter nonsense.

    You either have a thyroid that isn't functioning correctly or you don't. Your metabolic rate is very finely tuned by your working thyroid, so unless your thyroid has stopped working then your metabolic rate will be correct for how much food you're taking in and how much you're exercising. It changes all the time and you will not 'mess it up forever' - because that's simply not how it works. If you exercise more, your metabolic rate will increase. If you eat less, it goes down. That is all how it should be. The idea that some people have fast metabolisms and some people have slow metabolisms is a complete myth. Plenty of studies have shown that people with 'fast metabolisms' actually do a lot more activity. It's not some mystery.
     
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  7. MissyJo

    MissyJo Full Member

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    Thanks so much for such excellent and informed responses....for whatever reasons VLCD's are the ONLY thing that work for me and I needed that assurance. Marvellous.
     
  8. Surfhunny

    Surfhunny Laugh in the face of food

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    Fantastic reply Possum!! I'd rep you but I'm on my iPhone app and can't do it on here. But well done, I can't recommend VLCDs highly enough to people, especially if they have a lot to lose because the rapid losses are so motivating. The negative comments generally come from people who have no idea about how they work and why. I always tell people about ketogenic diets being used as treatment for epilepsy because it sets people's mind at rest that they are safe.
     
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  9. MissyJo

    MissyJo Full Member

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    Excellent responses both- just what I needed to check out. There is this thing that 'you'll put it all back on and more' floating around. Am keeping my CD attempt a bit quieter this time as I get sick of the need to self-justify

    Thanks for taking the time to respond- excellent
     
  10. Cerulean

    Cerulean Gold Member

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    Nope - I have calorie counting sheets to prove that my BMR remained absolutely correct for my weight/height afterwards.

    I also have the maths to prove that the only muscle lost was the muscle needed to move 8 stone of additional body weight, I lost the expected amount of fat (91lbs out of 113) I didn't need 45lbs of muscle to move me around at 10st (you'd look like The Hulk if you were over a third muscle at that weight!) so of course some of the weight I lost was muscle, I went from being 20% muscle to 23-24%, I think...from memory.

    Yes I did put weight back on but that was because I didn't resolve my emotional eating issues (So in my personal opinion I would say that the money you pay for LL "counselling"* would probably be better saved by doing CD and asking your GP to be listed for counselling after losing the weight)

    There is evidence to suggest that you do need to eat less for several months after a VLCD but I don't know enough about that to comment. What I do know is that I now know I have a diet that works. I just need to get it right at the end this time!

    *I felt bullied by my group towards the end and my counsellor was away without a locum for several weeks at the end so I have a bit of a chp on my shoulder!
     
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  11. Cerulean

    Cerulean Gold Member

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    Oh and I did put a lot back on, but always less. I have never gone all the way back.
     
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  12. Surfhunny

    Surfhunny Laugh in the face of food

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    I got to goal in Dec 2008 and maintained for 11 months with no problem I gained a stone after my OH left the following November. But I've maintained since then only gaining another stone and a half over Christmas 2010 following a big trip to the US, Christmas and a severe injury that kept me from exercising for almost 4 months. I have gained but I'm still nowhere near where I started from and both gains were the result of stresses or occasions were my normal eating patterns were disrupted.

    On Sunday I'm starting back on the diet in a bid to try and shift this extra weight. VLCDs are the only diets that work for me in the long term as the losses keep me going and abstinence means I have to deal with my problems and worries in a productive way rather than squashing them with food.

    On the other hand I do know someone who has gained all her weight and more back on, but she didn't have the right mindset. She saw the VLCD as a quick route to being slim (which it is) but didn't consider that in order to maintain she would have to significantly adjust how she eats. Her theory was that she was maintaining her weight at 21st so she'd be fine maintaining at 12st following the same eating she had before.
     
  13. MissyJo

    MissyJo Full Member

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    Fantastic responses....just what I need to be reflecting on! Thanks so much to you both.

    I went from 13.5 to 9.12 on CD 2 years ago and have blamed it for 'wrecking my metabolism' since. True, I work out a lot and eat well. I also don't drink. Also true is that I did not engage in stabilisation, gave up smoking at the same time as starting to eat again and also true is the fact that I have some hormonal regain issues.

    Armed with all this and 6 days into my next attempt I am committed to engaging fully in the stepped phases, to managing my carb intake after losing my weight and to being open to the fact that I may need to use a VLCD as a set of 'brakes' in the future because of my make-up.

    I dreaded stopping my running and toning work to engage in CD again but was getting no-where. I look forward to re-starting this when I can as part of the plan

    Thanks so much for your information and support- extremely valuable!!

    J
     
  14. Surfhunny

    Surfhunny Laugh in the face of food

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    I'm pretty sure I'm always going to have to keep coming back to a VLCD too hun, I firmly believe in them. I have a comfort zone, occassionally, like now, I get out of that zone so I do something about it. Im back on CD from Sunday, taking control again.

    I think the trick to avoiding massive weight gain is to have a 'cut-off weight', this is the weight where you think "Woaw there, I need to cut back again". For me this is 14st so I'm up in that zone now, need to get back into the 13s to feel more comfortable and confident and ultimately face the next challenge of getting into the 12's.

    I think if people dont have a cut off weight, and think that they can go back to their old eating habits then this is when people put all the weight and more back on. This might be me talking out of my bum, but I've talked to people who've kept the weight off, people like me who've gained a bit and people who've piled it back on!
     
  15. MissyJo

    MissyJo Full Member

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    I totally agree....just realised that this is kind of subconsciously what I have done. I had no idea till I got my old CD card out that my start weight then and now was 13.5....must be my 'arrrrrgh- sort it!!' weight. Great advice thank-you xxx
     
  16. Littlered81

    Littlered81 Full Member

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    MissyJo you sound like me! I went on CD before, and almost got to goal weight, when my marriage broke down, had to move etc. Ended up comfort eating and going right back up to panic weight! Came across my CD cards and found I had gone back up to 1lb more than I was last time! The problem for me was I convinced myself that I would sort it out, but that time didn't come, I refused to go near scales, and just bought bigger clothes! I think Surfhunny is right, if I had given myself a cut off weight, I probably wouldn't be back here.

    I do believe in VLCDs, and I do believe that I will probably continue to use some of the products to help me keep the weight off. I started on Exante, am on day 4, and I already feel so much better knowing that I am taking control of the situation and doing something about it.
     
  17. MissyJo

    MissyJo Full Member

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    Excellent, LittleRed....

    It does creep back on doesn't it? I found it so frustrating because of regular activity and membership of slimming clubs....seemed to be for me that I would go along ok but the pounds gained at special times like Christmas and holidays just wouldn't shake off....

    I think I am leaning on what I know will set the balance sheet straight now...

    We're in this together for sure :)

    J
     
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  19. Rebirth_Lozza

    Rebirth_Lozza Full Member

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    I tried slimming world for 2 months and my weight only altered +/- 3lb constantly the whole time! I just didn't get it. I appreciate that obviously it works for a lot of people but certainly not for me. Beforehand I did LL for a bit and lost 2 stone. So VLCDs it is!

    "If you do a VLCD, the weight will go straight back on and more when you finish!"
    I think people come to this conclusion because such people on a slimming/non-VLCD dieta would have had a longer period of time to adjust to the healthier eating and increase in exercise they embarked to bring about their weight loss. Whereas VLCD-ers lose the weight faster and may not have had the sufficient adjustment period to learn that a change in lifestyle is required to successfully maintain the weight. However, if VLCD-ers do encounter that learning curve, then there is no reason why they should put weight back on.
     
  20. Divster

    Divster Banned

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    At least you know that you can maintain your weight loss with sw then! ;)

    Sent from my Nexus One using MiniMins
     
  21. MissyJo

    MissyJo Full Member

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    I'm the same....SW is perfect for keeping me level but NOT losing :)
     
  22. MissyJo

    MissyJo Full Member

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    One more thing....

    I am thinking of doing SS plus at the weekend and SS Mon-Thu

    Is this being weak or a good plan do you think?

    I'd like to re-start my exercise this weekend and feel it may help

    J
     
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