Something occurred to me about VLCD's..

Discussion in 'General Weight Loss Discussion' started by PurpleButterfly, 3 April 2009 Social URL.

  1. PurpleButterfly

    PurpleButterfly 16lb to go!

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    They're supposed to be a fast weight loss solution right? In actual fact they're not!

    Ok so taking LL as an example as it's the one I did for a while.
    In 13 weeks (14 meetings) they say you'll lose 3stone, or maybe a bit more. So that's 42lb in 14 weeks. Then you do 12 weeks of reintroducing food, taking it to 26 weeks by the time you've finished with LL program and off the diet completely..

    If you lose 2lb a week for 26 weeks, that's 52lb. That's over 10lb more, in the same amount of time.
    That's a really manageable amount to lose every week on any diet be it calorie counting, low carb, or whatever. And you don't need to put yourself through living on 500cals a day! Sounds good to me..

    Just my observation. I'm sure if you're doing it for longer and have more to lose, the averages work out more in favour of LL.
     
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  3. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    LOL. Brain been working overtime? :D

    In theory, yes. In practice though...often no :(

    In practice, most people lose about 4 stone in 3 months on a VLCD. Then most VLCDs are about 8-10 week refeed (obviously ll must be different in this respect). On cambridge, the last of those 2 weeks would be a higher calorie that most traditional diets, so we'll make it 8 weeks (as a compromise) :D

    In that last 8 weeks, they often lose more, but I'll ignore that to be kind ;)

    So that's an average of 2.8lbs a week (3 stone in 20 weeks)

    Okay...so people on other diets can lose up to 2lbs a week (rather than 2.8), more than that isn't usually recommended. BUT it doesn't usually work like that. People usually find the 1-2 stone really slow going and often lucky to lose 3lbs a month.

    Okay, others can be lucky, but I don't know anyone who has consistantly lost anything like 2.8lbs a week right down to goal.

    :p:p:p:p:p:p:p:p:p:p
     
  4. HelenG

    HelenG Member

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    Dashed good question Jeeves!
    Interesting reading - I'm attempting the 2lb a week constant with Weight Watchers and it hasn't worked out that way so far.

    Have to say I agree with both of you!
     
  5. PurpleButterfly

    PurpleButterfly 16lb to go!

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    :D ;) :p Brain working too much indeed! Fault of being a student I'm afraid.

    Ok ok. I admit I'm not well versed on other VLCD's and their times for reintroductions.. I use LL as an example, partly as in terms of market share it's supposed to be the biggest isn't it?

    What I do know is they say you lose a stone a month, on average on VLCD's. Also you have to have a minimum of 3stone to lose.

    So that's 12 weeks = 42lb on average. People who have more to lose do tend to lose more and so probably do lose about 4st in that time.
    People who have less to lose, lose less each week. (someone in my group on LL only used to lose 1-2lb a week anyway because she didn't have that much to lose).

    Plus the 10 weeks on reintroduction - you're still on the diet, whatever the given calorie requirements are. I'm talking about start to finish. Also, as I understand, it all balances out because you do lose more weight, but then you put some back on too in glycogen weight? I know that's what they say with LL, that overall your weight stays about the same on the reintroduction.

    So 42lb over 22 weeks (10 week reintro) = 1.9lb per week
    42lb over 20 weeks (8 week reintro)= 2.1lb per week.

    The effect of losing less towards the ends of the diet is the same whatever the diet is, surely?

    But regardless of the precise figures, there really isn't a great deal of difference overall, between doing it in one big burst like in a VLCD then reintroducing food, and doing it steadily like on other diets?

    ?
     
  6. HelenG

    HelenG Member

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    Dashed good question Jeeves!
    So would you say that it's a mind thing?
     
  7. ApplySomePressure

    ApplySomePressure Silver Member

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    Whether or not that would work out IF you managed to consistently lose the 2lbs a week or not a traditional diet wouldn't and hasn't worked for me. Theres a couple of reasons for that . For a start if I look at how much weight I have to lose and think that on a trad diet I would be losing 1-2lbs roughly a week (not 2 consistently think thats a good week) it's really demotivating thinking about how long i'd be on a diet at that rate.

    Also i'm an all or nothing kind of person and because cal counting/ww/sw types of diets all allow and to some extent encourage treats I wouldn't be able to stick to it. I would say be allowed a bag of crisps and after getting the taste probably have at least 3 bags in the day! Allowing treats gives me too much leeway to cheat so think for now anyway taking food completely out the picture is the right way for me to go. Gives me time to understand where I was going so wrong and why. Not saying I wont be eating chocolate and crisps when I get to goal but occasionally as part of a healthy diet.

    Sorry for the long reply!
     
  8. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    LOL. I have the same problem even though I'm not a student (well..not officially :D)

    is it???:eek::eek: Thought it's mother company was (cambridge). Put it down to the advertising they do :D

    Ah, but if she's only losing 1-2lbs a week on a VLCD, then she wont lose anything on a traditional plan. So it still wins in terms of speed of weight loss :D

    Yes, it does balance out :) You can't really count the water loss, but you can count the first few weeks fast loss (minus the initial water) as more fat is burnt in the early stages.

    Nope. Long complex thing about the metabolism. I could go into detail if you wish...but I'll spare you :D

    Okay, so I was playing devils advocate. If you haven't much to lose, then nah..not really. You do the diet that you can keep to. For some it will be a VLCD, others will be CC/WW/SW etc.

    For a lot of weight, it's much quicker even adding the refeed.

    And..of course, having experienced a 12 week plateau of 100% SW at one time, I found CD to be more consistant with losses :clap:

    You're right though that they less you have to lose, the closer the speed is over all.

    But. I guess, if you are dieting for a certain event (holiday etc), then you get to that goal quicker. You may well then put some on quicker because you didn't do the refeed, but you get to wear that dress or bikini for that special day or week. :sigh:

    Also, you get in a good place in terms of excess fat quicker, often putting you in a happier state sooner. Possibly :p
     
  9. PurpleButterfly

    PurpleButterfly 16lb to go!

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    ApplysomePressure. Apologies, my intention was really not to rubbish VLCD's as a way of losing weight. As far as I'm concerned it's completely horses for courses. i.e. what works for some is not going to work for others and that's absolutely fine. We're all different and that's part of what's great about being human.

    I can completely understand how it is easier to stick to psychologically for you, to know you'll be losing more each week, when you're in the losing phase of the diet. After all, I did LL myself.

    As far as whether you can lose 2lb a week on average on a normal diet, this is where my knowledge falls short. I've just posed it to the people on WLR, whether they actually get the results they aim to get each week.

    I suppose my overall point if any is that the most important thing is to finding a way of working through your problems with food on a diet that suits you. Because in the end whatever diet you do, you'll still have to work through your issues with food if you want to maintain that weight and not just put the weight back on like you did before dieting. And, in the end there's not a vast amount of difference between each diet in terms of your overall weight loss.
     
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  10. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    Oh and to add one more thing. When you get to goal on a more traditional diet, most would recommend that you gradually go up to maintenance calories over the next couple of weeks or more. So there :p:D:D
     
  11. ApplySomePressure

    ApplySomePressure Silver Member

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    I totally agree that what works for one person won't work for another. Some people need to be able to have some treats in their diet and can do that on a diet without going overboard and some people need the strictness of a vlcd for a while. As long as you're happy and able to stick to a diet that's the main thing, if a diet isn't sustainable for you then it wont work. You're right though that maintaining a weight loss is the hard part - I bet most of us on here have lost and put back on the same weight if not more countless times!
     
  12. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    You'll find they don't, unless it's changed. Don't get me wrong. I love WLR and used it for years (then again for a while to maintain), but they too have plateaus and rarely get anything like the 2lbs a week consistantly in the last few weeks towards goal.

    Not knocking it all, but the debate is about speed of loss.

    Well, it took me about 38 years of dieting the traditional way (on and off when I couldn't take it any more), and 9 months to do it with CD and that was with a couple of breaks.

    So for me, CD was about 37 years 3 months quicker. So, quicker for me :D :D
     
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  13. PurpleButterfly

    PurpleButterfly 16lb to go!

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    heheh! I like it, it takes your thoughts to interesting places sometimes! One of my goals in life is to never stop learning and pushing myself with my knowledge.

    Yeah! Think I read somewhere on this board a while ago of the actual figures. It would probably come up on a search if I was motivated enough to go look!

    Probably right. She did go on LL because she'd had enough of WW after all.

    Ooooh no I'd love to hear that! I know that the old thought was that when you dieted over a long period of time it slows down your metabolism. But then I read that that can happen, but only when you're over starving yourself and the body turns to muscle to carbs to be able to get its energy. And 1lb of muscle burns 50cals a day I heard, which is an extra 300cals a week. Which over a long period of time will have a knock on effect.
    So, I heard as long as you keep up your protein (so the body doesn't need to go to your muscle to lose), and do some strength/toning training as well as cardio, your metabolism maintains?

    Absolutely! I'm 100% for finding the right diet that suits your own needs.

    Yes, I guess it has to be more, because there's no way it can plateau for any length of time whilst on such a harsh diet as the VLCDs.

    Yeah... although as I said it's horses for courses really. And a lot of people say it also messes with their head when they lose the weight that quickly.. Suddenly they don't recognise the person in the mirror any more! And that's a scary and difficult thing.
     
  14. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    Mine too. Though I wish I had felt that way when I was at school :eek:

    Every diet slows your metabolism. Admittedly, with a VLCD it slows a bit more, though it does reach a point where the slow down stops and it's always above what you consume on a VLCD.

    Snipping a great bit cos I'm in a rush :(

    More strength/toning than cardio. There's a good chance that metabolism will go down further and more loss of lean mass if you cardio too much on a VLCD.

    Nope. It would defy the law of Thermodynamics.

    Very true. There are cons.

    Hey...and thanks PB for the interesting debate. Love this sort of thread and it's so nice when we can discuss without anyone getting nasty with it.

    Will be back later. Have to rush off. (Big coffee, peppered cashews, dried apricots, cranberries and some white chocolate coated raisins await me :D) Need to concentrate on them :D
     
  15. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    Well, if you starve yourself (so you aren’t taking in anything), your body will turn to fatty acids for energy. The more fat you have on you, the more fat it will take in relation to lean mass. So if you are very overweight, it’ll take about 90% of your energy requirements from fat. If you are only a few pounds overweight, or not overweight at all, it’ll only take about 75% from any fat....think that's the number...close anyway :D

    Unfortunately, the body can’t get all it’s energy from fat and needs to turn to the liver for where glucose can be made. One of the things needed for the production of this glucose is amino acids and amino acids come from protein. [​IMG]

    Of course, if you are starving yourself, you don’t get protein and since there is no storage facility for protein it will turn to your muscles to break down the protein there to get the amino acids for the liver to make glucose.

    BTW, with ketosis, the body will use ketones instead for energy to lower the need for it to break down lean, but obviously, if you are eating too little or get too many carbs in relation to protein, ketosis just wont happen, so the muscles just have to go i'm afraid:wave_cry:

    But, if that starving person is given more protein, those organs that need that glucose, will use dietary protein before protein from muscles :clap: Cool eh.[​IMG] So for diets such as Cambridge, research went into getting the correct balance for carbs, fat, protein to spare as much lean as possible.

    So, taking all of the above (which I hope is correct as it’s come from memory [​IMG] ), the leaner the person is, the more protein they would need to spare lean mass as the body will take a smaller amount from fatty acids

    Phew. Think that’s it for now :D
     
  16. Serena A

    Serena A Can't think of a title

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    Sorry to jump in on the thread, but thanks for the above explanation KD. I knew it was dangerous to do a VLCD under a BMI of 25 but never really understood why - now I sort of get it...ish :D

    Hahaha same here, that's kinda how I explained it when I was asked last week to share my experiences with a group at the CD centre I go to...that I'd been on my dieting journey for 18 years and 6 months since the day I counted my very first calorie, but that it was the 6 months on CD that finally got me to target!
     
  17. Taz

    Taz Spam Hunter

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    Oooh can I join in?!

    I agree, it's definately horses for courses and I think everyone will naturally defend the plan that worked for them. I could never do a VLCD for a number of reasons. One is my lifestyle, I work out 8-10 hours per week and I need fuel for that. Another is I would be much bigger than when I started if I had tried a VLCD!

    And as for diet - what diet? I am following a healthy lifestyle, this is the way I will eat for life now. I am not on a diet but my choices now are different. I have never felt healthier! I never have to say no to social events, I can still enjoy all the things I like and it costs much less than my previous diet did.

    There is a plan out there for everyone, the hardest thing is finding the one that suits you. All I will say on the VLCD vs Food debate is, we all have to eat eventually so we will ALL be going through maintenence
     
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