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Quiet on here isn't it! - (or Sean's RTM Journey)


Making it all add up
S: 20st6lb C: 13st0lb G: 13st0lb BMI: 26.9 Loss: 7st6lb(36.36%)
Hi RTMers

I can't quite believe it has come around so quickly, but I start RTM tonight & have chicken breast defrosting at home waiting for me. LOL

I can't decide if I'm excited or nervous TBH, I guess a mix of both but I know the time is right for me - although I do feel a bit of a fraud as my BMI is much higher than everyone else on here, but my body fat% is where it needs to be so I'm happy with the decision.

Any advice you can share for the first few days reintroducing food into the routine?

No doubt loads of other questions, but I'll try & review what's on here already before bothering you all.

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Silver Member
S: 16st5lb C: 12st13lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 29.2 Loss: 3st6lb(20.96%)
Ooh, Sean - it's lovely to have another RTM'er!! It is a bit lonely on here, but the old hands will definitely check in and answer anything for you pretty quickly and won't leave you floundering.

I'm about to start week 4 on Friday and haven't got loads of experience yet. I lost 3lb first week, but stayed the same last weigh in and am expecting to stay the same or +1lb - we'll see on Thursday night and that was hard to get my head around, not losing that is! It's all good though, as I'm told constantly these days that I need to put on half a stone or so, but it doesn't bother me in the slightest, apart from getting a little boring listening to the same comments day in day out! I want to maintain where I am and there is a fear that I won't be able to, especially as I've been warned not to do any running yet, which was the plan. I have probably been eating few more calories than I should in week 3 - only allowed food mind you, but maybe I've gone and upped the cals a bit quickly, but to be honest, I'm happy with the way things are at the moment and I'm not prepared to cut back while I'm maintaining the weight.

First day I had tuna straight from the can and it was a proper anticlimax! I thought my taste would be zinging, but the tuna tasted, well, tasteless to be honest! Second day I had cold chicken, which was okay. Third day I ate king prawns with garlic and chilli, and let me warn you not to go there!! I was SO ill after that one! However, I can eat them now and often sprinkle loads of chilli or curry powder on my chicken, etc. I can also eat garlic too, and loving it!

I've had the worst stomach cramps today, but think it's the acidic fruit I've been eating, but I think I need it, so will keep going and see what happens. Best thing that I eat each day is Total 0% greek yog, with powdered sweetner, served with fruit and sugar free jelly, which you can have in week 3 I think it was that I started. Oh, dear heaven, it's blissful!!

I'm a bit addictive with the sugar free jelly, and not really worked out if this is a total problem or not, as it's unlimited and we can eat as much as we like of it, and believe me I do! I will be speaking to LLC about it though to try and see if this is a problem in my head though, as I don't want to eat addictively, but only when I'm hungry.

All in all I love RTM. However, that's not to say that I don't miss my four packs, for the taste, but also for the ease of not having to think about anything daily and knowing what I can have and not worrying because I knew the weight would continue dropping off.

But, I can't live like that forever, more's the pity!

Wish you the best of luck - I've chilled out a bit about the 'rules' and do bend them in a safe way ever so slightly, which is healthy for me to do as I'm a bit obsessive about rule following! I'm just doing the best I can and learning lots to be honest. I think that I could quite easily live on week 3 food forever though!

Look forward to hearing more about your early days and it's lovely to have you here for some more company!

Nik x
Welcome Sean

Poppy is right.It is a bit uncomfortable at first having to make decisions about whatto eat and portion sizes. I was terrified of having too much and i was scared I would suddenly pick up all my old bad eating habits again.I also thought that once out of ketosis Iwoul have raging hunger which I WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO CONTROL so I probably erred on the side of caution for the first half of RTM, found a routine which suited me and stuck to it. I wasn't very adventurous and have to say I didn't introduce all the foods as per the book.
For myfirst meal Ikeptit bland and boring with cooked chicken breast which I grilled, sliced thinly when cold. I did thst because a few weeks before BL had salmon fillet for her first protein. She oved it but it was too rich and made her violently ill. I started RTM at the beginning of Jan, am just getting comfortable with it now.I love fresh salad, had lettuce by the ton at first, cool crisp and fresh. Then introduced lemon juice and black pepper which I pretty much stick to instead of dressing now.I do miss the simplicity of food packs but have beeen able to maintain and am still under my goal weight by a few pounds. I have given myself a 7lb leeway and am doing okay so far.
BL did it quite scientifically and posted her foods on here every day at first. I'm sure she'll be able to give you some good tips.
Good luck. My advice is not to get too hung up on it. Weigh once a week . Continue to go to LL classes if you can.
Hi Sean welcome to RTM, I too was very hung up on portion size and calories etc in the first few weeks, now on week 9 and trying not to worry as much, I'm sticking to the plan but not counting calories as I don't want to get hung up on the whole diet thing, I want to eat healthy and not be on a diet. You will certainly get all the support you need on here, good luck and enjoy.


Making it all add up
S: 20st6lb C: 13st0lb G: 13st0lb BMI: 26.9 Loss: 7st6lb(36.36%)
Thanks all for the advice, very useful.

I had my chicken breast yesterday (oven baked wrapped in foil). First mouthful was very enjoyable but after a few I thought it was a bit boring, in fact I didn't finish it all and threw a few pieces away - actually I'm quite proud of that as I felt full and stopped rather than clearing the plate, or saving for 'later' :)

Tonight I've just got a tin of Tuna, thanks NIk I'll not expect any taste sensation there either - looking forward to having salad tomorrow though I think that'll make all the difference.

Just a couple of quick questions though - can I have vinegar with the tuna tonight? I know it's allowed but can't work out if the protein has to be 'unadulterated' for the first 2 days or not.

Also re portion sizes, days 1&2 are 100g of protein, is this uncooked or cooked weight? My chicken was 70g cooked last night & I struggled with that, does anyone know?

Did feel a little 'strange' last night about eating and I've only been on packs for 15 weeks; goodness knows how those of you who've spent months on the diet felt! BUT having passed the first milestone with no side effects I'm a bit more confident today and it feels good to be able to tell people I'm eating again (all be it only very little).

Thanks again for all your help.
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Blonde Logic

Yes. You can.
S: 258lb C: 228lb G: 168lb BMI: 35.7 Loss: 30lb(11.63%)
Hi Sean, and congratulations! :) :)

The main thing is to approach RTM as relaxed as possible, I think. Try not to get too strung out on precise measures, etc., but do stick to the allowed lists as much as possible. I don;t think you can have vinegard yet - but you can have lemon juice.

At first, I resisted the weighing and measuring food as I wanted to do it more naturally and normally. It wasn't until I started to doubt myself that I started recording everything, and it did help calm me down and stay focused. I did that for 3 or 4 weeks or so, and have not been recording anything since then, but it helped me get a grasp on a well rounded, variety filled diet that kept the weight off. I used a site called www.sparkpeople.com It's free, and you can log all your food, and exercise, etc., to see where you are in your plan.

There is a huge learning curve in RTM, and thats what it is there for - so don't panic if you think youhave had too much, or not enough - it does start to settle down and routines are formed sort of weeks 3 to 4 if I remember.

I abstained for 36 weeks or so - so yeah - the first bite of food made every single taste bud sit up and giggle! :D :D It was great! (Though I was very very ill the first night, but only then)

I think the main thing is to stay focused, think about what youa re going to eat in advance, and be prepared. You just can't plan enough in the early days of RTM.

And don't look to far ahead - just enjoy each week as it comes. Enjoy new flavours and textures and listen to your body. I found my body told me what it wanted. Or needed. And surprisingly, it never asked for chocolate, chips, pizza, etc. It only asked for good wholesome delicious food. :)

GOod luck! You'll do great!!



Making it all add up
S: 20st6lb C: 13st0lb G: 13st0lb BMI: 26.9 Loss: 7st6lb(36.36%)
Thanks BL

I'm using foodresource.co.uk which looks very similar to sparkpeople. Very good for tracking food choices and also exercise (telling me that at current intake I should still be losing 0.45lb per day - will be interesting to see next week if that's the case).

Well last night I had my tin of Tuna, with black pepper but no vinegar or lemon juice as they're not allowed until day 3. Have to say it really enjoyed it and finished the whole tin (70g), but boy did I feel full/heavy afterwards. TBH it seems really strange with food in my belly and it's definitely losing it's 'squidgness' and becoming firmer already.

I think I'm being 'relaxed' about the process and have today planned my meals for the next 7 days to ensure variety and so we can shop for what's needed later. My wife thinks I'm a bit obsessive with logging food & exercise daily (I'll try not to weigh other than on official WI day), but I've tracked the weight loss etc since day 1. I have a spreadsheet showing graphs for: weight, collar size, chest, belly, waist, BMI and Blood Pressure. (obsessive moi?)

So, tonight the plan is to walk 3 miles to next village pub & partake in a couple of pints of soda water, then walk back and prepare prawns (dry-fry with garlic then tossed in sweet chili sauce) with SALAD. Can't wait, especially to have something more than just plain protein, I've missed the soups for flavour!!

Blonde Logic

Yes. You can.
S: 258lb C: 228lb G: 168lb BMI: 35.7 Loss: 30lb(11.63%)
Sounds great Andy - I think you are in a good frame of mind for this.

Your wife is probably not used to seeing you so involved with NOT eating food, if you know what I mean, so it may come across as obsessive - and I suppose to a degree it is - but it is a necessary obsession for now.

You will get to the point where you won;t need to do that so much, so hopefully she will understand the importance and the need - this is a scary thing for us!! And its so important to really look, listen and learn.

Well done.

The shrimp sound gorgeous! May have to try that myself!




Surgically happy.
S: 23st8lb C: 10st7lb G: 11st11lb BMI: 21.1 Loss: 13st1lb(55.45%)
Welcome to RTM club Sean. First rule of RTM club, we don't talk about RTM club.

Seriously though, hope it's going well!


Making it all add up
S: 20st6lb C: 13st0lb G: 13st0lb BMI: 26.9 Loss: 7st6lb(36.36%)
Going great thanks Andy, really enjoying having some variety in the diet - although I think I may be sick of green salad by the end of the week.

BL - Prawns were awesome (although I had ~20g too much, but I'm not going to obsess about that).

Was more careful last night with chicken in garlic, tumeric, cayenne, and balti powder. Marinaded in Swiss Bullion then dry-fried. AWESOME, tingle on the tongue. My wife's already fed up with me telling her how much flavour there is in my meals, but I just can't get over the sensation of herbs & spices, and the crunch of celery..... Only down side is my stomach is 'hard', and haven't been as 'regular' as before, but I'll give it another day or so to see if the fibre in the salad does the job - lol

So, 2 good days walking so far this weekend, and planning on a couple of miles again this afternoon, with luck will lose a little more weight this week (5lbs for 7 stone total would be good and look to be on target), then want to slow/stop weight losses.

So dinner tonight is the ubiquitous green salad (with celery :) ), and smoked haddock - don't know what/if anything to have with it though, might just leave plain as been 'spicy' for last 2 days.

Loving the experience and looking forward to increasing the variety of veg next week. Just 2 more questions though please Oh great Sages:

1. When does the protein portions increase? 100g isn't very much.
2. From wk 2 I think there's snacks allowed, but I just can't see how I could eat any more often, is this a concern? Should I be trying to have the snacks regularly?

Thanks you as always & sorry to bore with food details.
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Making it all add up
S: 20st6lb C: 13st0lb G: 13st0lb BMI: 26.9 Loss: 7st6lb(36.36%)
SO, Sunday night smoked Haddock with raw Spinnach, very, very tasty. Wouldn't have especially enjoyed haddock pre LL (other than shell fish I didn't really enjoy fish), so just goes to show how taste changes on the plan. Also really great the way the fish can be flaked and mixed with the salad to give a variety of flavours.

Last night back to chicken (fry fried in spices & Worcester Sauce) and Salad with 0% dressing. Also really enjoyed but felt I wanted an extra protein portion (Chicken was only ~ 70g, but I didn't want to cook 2 fillets and have to cut one up so my own fault). I have a 2nd stick of celery chopped into salad though (rebel) and that made a difference & I was quite full enough when I finished. 1 hr walk after dinner and felt fantastic again.

Looking at intake, I'm still only just reaching 600 Kcal per day which after exercise is back down to 500, or lower at weekends which I'm not sure is enough, but I can't see how to increase without increasing the protein, or adding foods. Is this the reason why snacks are introduced in week 2?

Thanks for the advice one & all.

Blonde Logic

Yes. You can.
S: 258lb C: 228lb G: 168lb BMI: 35.7 Loss: 30lb(11.63%)
Hi Sean

Unfortunately, 100g is the reccomended portion size of protein. For any meal.

As for snacks, if you are getting enough calories, etc., without them and you don't want them by all means, I would say skip them. But, if you are light on calories, especially exercising too, maybe try and have one or two a day. Idon;t think its critical, as long as you are getting alll you need and feeling food. :)

Sorry ou had to wait so long for a reply.....RTM is hti and miss. :)

If you ever have a question and noones popping about here, feel free to drop a PM. I forget to look in here most of the time - so definately feel free so you don;t have to wait days for an answer. :)


Making it all add up
S: 20st6lb C: 13st0lb G: 13st0lb BMI: 26.9 Loss: 7st6lb(36.36%)
Thanks BL, always great to hear from you & solid advice as ever.

This is turning into something of a personal diary, so apologies to anyone who's trawled this far through, but it may just be of use to someone & I'm quite enjoying writing it. I'm sure the novelty will wear off after a while though.

So, been logging food and exercise daily at Food Focus - Permanent Weight Loss which has been telling me that after exercise I've had an average daily intake of 380 Kcal (560 Kcal before exercise), and that I should be losing between 0.4 and 0.6 lb per day based on the week 1 intake. I've been a little skeptical of this as I really feel heavier than at any time in Foundation.

So 1st RTM weigh in and I've lost 4lb in the week, which averages at 0.57lb per day and is exactly what the web site was telling me. This is great news as it gives me confidence that I can rely on it's figures for the next few weeks, actually I'm quite happy to have lost a bit more weight as that was always the plan for the 1st few weeks in RTM, before Glycogen levels return to 'normal'.

So some new and exciting foods available on week 2. Yoghurt, Fomage Fraiche, mushroom, pepper and Spring Onions (hmm). SO for my 1st meal on week 2 I had... 100g low fat cottage cheese, 50g raw spinnach, 1 stick celery and lemon juice - all on week 1 list. BUT I did add 45g of cucumber, which was a taste sensation - how sad is that, but at least something from the week 2 foods.

Tonight planning on having exactly the same meal as I need to use up the cottage cheese, but will prepare next 7 days' meal plans tonight so will make sure I add some new variety in shopping list.

Haven't yet had an allowed 'snack', just didn't have time yesterday & don't have anything in to use until tomorrow other than a stick of celery which I can't say really 'does it' for me.

Some good news though I now have the weeks 1-7 Recipe book :) so planning on making up some low fat dips and will have a couple of pots in the fridge.

In 2 minds about sugar-free jelly though. I know many people on here swear by it. I've never had an especially sweet tooth, and my LLC said yesterday that often after abstinence a lot of people's tastes change. Not that I'm worried about getting 'hooked' on a healthy dessert just not 100% sure I'm ready for it just yet. I'll decide tonight.

Anyway, that's me up to date, well done if anyone's read to the end.
I have read to the end Sean

and it sounds as if you aree doing so well. Congratulations to you, sounds like youare enjoying the zingy flavours as I do.
I've just had a salad with half a chicken breast cut up in it with lemon juice, black pepper and a couple of drops of tabasco habanero and a dollop of bio yogurt.Yum,
I can't stand dry food.


Making it all add up
S: 20st6lb C: 13st0lb G: 13st0lb BMI: 26.9 Loss: 7st6lb(36.36%)
Thanks SB, I'm the same I 'have' to have some moisture on my meals.

Actually I couldn't face the thought of the same meal for 2 nights, so I 'cheated' and had ~90g of cottage cheese but also heated up 70g of prawns with some garlic and added that. So 60g too much protein (bad boy!), but mixed on the green salad then the whole lot sprinkled with lemon juice and paprika, looked amazing mixture of reds, green and white and was a taste sensation (again).

Can't remember what I've planned for tonight, but I will walk to the next village pub for 2 pints of soda water, then back before eating. Gets exercise in and is a little more sociable (well it is Friday). Will likely also mean I don't have time for a 'snack' again today but I'll make one of the dips tomorrow and make a point of adding slightly to the intake in preparation for losing one of the foodpacks on Wednesday.

At the moment I have a shake/porridge for breakfast, Soup for lunch and a bar at 9.00 Logically in week 3 I should drop the bar and keep 2 packs, 1 meal and 1 healthy snack. Only problem is I enjoy the bar more than anything else, and can't imagine a veggie snack having the same effect in the evening. What did others do please?

I guess as fruit is available on week 3 that could be the solution, maybe a bowl with some 0% yoghurt or fromage frais (would need sweetening)?

Needs more thought, but that's one thing I know I'm good at.

Speak soon.


Silver Member
S: 16st5lb C: 12st13lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 29.2 Loss: 3st6lb(20.96%)
Sean, I have about 150g to 200g of protein at each meal, and it's doing me no harm!! I've STS last three weeks, which I'm more than happy with, as I don't want to lose any more (weird but true!). Anyway, I go more on the calories than the weight of the protein - I tend to keep the protein to no more than 200 cals.

I wouldn't stress about the protein portions - or any portions to be honest!!


Making it all add up
S: 20st6lb C: 13st0lb G: 13st0lb BMI: 26.9 Loss: 7st6lb(36.36%)
Thanks Poppy, that's the conclusion I've been coming to. At the end of the day I will need to live in the 'real world' and whilst RTM is designed to slowly reintroduce food, it's also meant as a half-way house to self controlled eating. I am an adult and must trust my own judgement; if weight starts to increase then I need to re-evaluate, but not at the moment. Cheers

Actually I thoroughly expect to continue to lose 1-2 lb. each week for the first 4 weeks on RTM, looking at choices available if I was eating like that pre LL I would have thought it was quite a 'harsh' diet and expected to be losing weight regularly. My concern though is week 5 when I can have alcohol. Now I'm not planning on overdoing it, but I do want to be able to have a drink and be in control of portions/intake without putting weight back on. Once again I will be living in the Real World, but I do see this time as a big challenge for me. Another for me to spend some time pondering, I still have a few weeks to think about it...

So, Saturday week 2 ended up as an odd day food-wise. Got up late (hooray) and didn't eat the LL porridge until 10.00 am. Had to leave at 12.00 to go to the Rugby (daughter sells programs so has to be at the ground 2 1/2 hrs before kick off), so didn't want soup beforehand and just couldn't be bothered taking anything with me. Ended up with a coffee at Coffee Republic at around 1.30, and the idiots gave me a white coffee instead of black decaf! So I had a sip before realising - that's the first milk of 2009 LOL, don't think it would have done too much damage though as quickly changed it for a black decaf.

So, after the Game, got home at 5.00pm and had LL soup as a cup-a-soup. Then dinner of 110g smoked haddock with green salad at 7.30, followed by LLBar at 9.00pm. Now that should have been plenty but I still felt hungry (had also spent ~3hrs moving furniture yesterday), so had first snack.

Tub of no-added sugar raspberry jelly & 3 tsp of low fat natural yoghurt OMG. Now I know I've been saying I'm not bothered about snacks or sweet flavours, but goodness me that sparked something! Did I want another when I finished? YOU BET I DID! But I had another back decaf instead and resisted the urge. I think I may have unexpectedly found that sweets are a trigger for me which is a huge surprise as I thought I hardly ever had them!

Actually let's look at that statement. At work we always have bowls of sweets available and biscuits when we have meetings, often last year I would have 'just one', so I guess over the course of a week that adds up. Also pre LL we used to have lunch-box sized choccie biscuits (penguin etc) in the house which I guess most nights I would eat 1-2 before going to bed (usually in kitchen on my own when waiting for the dog to come in from the garden). So whilst I would almost never eat a pudding, it's certainly not the case that I don't have at least a partially sweet tooth! Hmmm....

So, Sunday & I'm off to make the Chicken kebabs from LL recipe book for tonight & will also mix the Tzasiki dip for later .

Speak soon


Making it all add up
S: 20st6lb C: 13st0lb G: 13st0lb BMI: 26.9 Loss: 7st6lb(36.36%)
Here we are on Monday evening with mixed emotions. I actually feel really fed up, and I think that the diet is partly to blame. I'm bored with the restricted choice - now that's an odd thing to say as not once did I get bored in the 15 weeks on abstinance. I can only conclude that the notion of being 'allowed' food but only a restricted choice is what's unsettling me.

I'll come back to that in a while, but back to food choices. Sunday, had the kebab as planned, made a real mess cooking it in my pan (don't know why I didn't grill), but it was very tasty with lemon juice over the salad. I also had 1/2 raw red pepper on the salad and that was most enjoyable, in fact I think I probably ate too much as I still had my normal portion of green salad, spring onion, cucumber & celery....

Oh yes - confession time - there was some roast turkey left from the family dinner and I did take a couple of moursels to taste - not allowed, not in plan, but only literally 2 scraps then I wrapped & put in the fridge. No real harm I think and a good test of my resolve - I didn't eat much so that's a result. I have logged in my food diary though so at least I'm being honest with myself.

I also made the tzsaziki and I had 1/2 of that with celery & spring onion. Now the dip was very pleasant and I would be looking forward to the rest but honestly I'm sick of celery etc so not sure I'll bother. I may just throw it and wait a couple of weeks before trying again (or could it work with raw cauliflower - not that I'm allowed that this week...) Still had bar as well so that makes yesterday my highest calorie intake day so far at a whopping 732 KCal!!! I'm absolutely convinced I've done irreparable damage to my diet.

Today's been better (but then I'm just approaching the danger time), just had a too large portion of praws ~ 140g, 100g is just too stingy. Cooked in spices and 3 tsp of low fat yoghurt with the ubiquitous salad. Very zingy and enjoyable. OMG I so need something other than salad to eat though, even prawns are losing ther appeal (and they are 100% my favourite food).....

I'm away from home tomorrow night so hope to find a pub that will serve a plain prawn/chicken salad or I could be in trouble. More on that tomorrow.

Thanks for indulging me. :)
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Blonde Logic

Yes. You can.
S: 258lb C: 228lb G: 168lb BMI: 35.7 Loss: 30lb(11.63%)
You are doing fine Sean. It is such a nerve wracking experience - reintroducing food, etc. Nowhere near as wonderful or exciting as we anticipated, ay? At least thats how I found it after the initial day or two.

Its harder then the abstainanace, thats for sure.

But hang in there, the weeks will go fast, and your choices soon broaden quite a lot. Just keep remindeing yourself this is a temporary stage - like medicine - that is helping your body heal, and adjust back to life after abstainance.

Don;t fret too much about quantity, as long as you are not feeling stuffed, and not bloated, etc., then it is probably OK. Of course try to not pick at foods from ahead on the list, but if you do, it won;t really cause you any trouble. I can;t see that you would do any irreperable damage. Not at this stage. Its the trigger weeks you really need to use restraint.

But you are doing really well.

Hang in there!!!


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