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Trying to lose weight on a VLCD - starting my journey

Disclaimers up front:
  • I am on a medically supervised VLCD.
  • No one should follow my example. This is not medical advice.
  • If you are on a VLCD, you should be monitored by your health care provider.

I'm 44 yo, male, and hit my highest weight ever about a month ago. Last month, there was a confluence of events that helped me to get motivated to make a change:
  • Someone at work commented on my weight gain in a negative (but well meant) light.
  • I had a low back strain.
  • I had difficulty bending over to clip my toe nails.
  • My apnea-hypopnea index was up near 5 despite using CPAP at optimal levels.
  • My brother lost a lot of weight.
  • My pants were too tight even though they had a stretchy, elastic waist band.

So, I got on the scale for the first time in forever to see that I was well past the 250 mark. 258 to be exact. At 5'11, that put my BMI at 36. I know BMI isn't a perfect test, but I am not a muscular individual, so it's a good measure for me.

I got motivated and made a bunch of changes:
  • Got a Fitbit and starting trying to do at least 10k steps a day
  • Got a treadmill desk to let me walk while surfing the web or doing work at home
  • Started a medically-supervised VLCD.

My VLCD uses real food, not meal replacements, but it isn't "home made". My doctor and dietician closely monitor my food log to make sure I am getting enough protein, vitamins, minerals, and nutrition. Mainly I'm eating eggs, chicken, beef, fish, lots of above ground vegetables, and a ton of water. I take a multivatmin daily, and the doctor is also prescribing me a medication to lower my risk of gallstones, which are a known risk of rapid weight loss.

This table summarizes my progress to date:


It's still very early, but here are some observations so far:
  • My appetite dropped dramatically after about two days. I didn't know if I could eat this little calories. It actually hasn't been that hard. Don't get me wrong, there are times when I wish I could eat a couple hundred more calories before going to bed at night. But by spacing out my calories and saving a couple hundred for the end of the day, it hasn't been bad.
  • My hands are freezing pretty much all the time unless I am exercising. I have to run them under hot water multiple times a day. Apparently this is another known side effect of VLCD. My feet are also very cold, but hands are on another level.
  • My energy levels are far higher than they were before VLCD. I don't want to sit or lie down as much. I do more housework. My wife can't believe that I do all the dishes, etc, now.

I know the first 5-10lbs was "water weight" (glycogen + water) and that I have a long way to go. But I'm feeling motivated and determined. Hoping to get to 170 lbs and stay there!
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Full Member
S: 16st12.6lb
Congrats on the positive start. I think its great you are able to do this on real food, I know how hard that is from experience. Good luck going forward

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