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VLCD and maintenance advice

S: 16st0lb C: 14st1lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 31.8 Loss: 1st13lb(12.05%)
Hi all,

I might be posting this is the wrong forum category but would really appreciate some advice from those with lots of experience with vlcds.

I have attempted cd twice in the past, both times losing approx 4 stone and both times failing to follow the steps upwards towards maintenance. I've struggled with binge eating disorder as well and have been yo yo dieting for too many years.

I'm now attending counselling, have a nutritionist and restarted CD and am trying to approach CD for a third time with a lot more patience, self respect and self acceptance. I've read a lot of literature about vlcds but would appreciate hearing from and learning from those who have been there and done it. I have concerns about the fast regain of weight post vlcd and would like to 'arm' myself with all I can to ensure I am best prepared for going up the steps when the time comes. At risk of upsetting people, I have noticed many returners like myself and I do worry about maintenance and how it is achieved...

I'd love to hear what people think...what strategies they use, in particular people who have learnt from their experiences of vlcd and have now achieved balance in their lives and eating.
Any thoughts would be appreciated...
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Slowly but surely x
S: 14st3lb C: 12st7lb G: 9st7lb BMI: 32 Loss: 1st10lb(12.06%)
My addiction was carbs and I identified that and have yo-yo's on Atkins for two years. But I get fed up with it as meat and cheese are expensive.

Everyone has their reason to stay focussed and mine is quite simple (im sorry if you have heard it before) and its that Im not wasting £40 a week on shoving something in my mouth for a moments respite an undo the hard work.

I believe in the maintanence plan and could quite happily survive on 1500 calories a day. I find calorie counting can be fun when you think how much you can get for it, especially having denied yourself food for so long on CD.

Wat keeps me in focus after CD has finsihed will be that I never ever want to spend summers with swollen ankles, flabby arms and jackets on a hot day to cover up my wobbles plus sore thighs from them rubbing together with sweat. Ive never felt so hateful as last summer and I swear I will never put myself through that again.
S: 12st8lb C: 12st7lb G: 9st12lb BMI: 30 Loss: 0st1lb(0.57%)
I did Cambridge last year and lost nearly 5 stone, I have put 3 stone back on, but this is my own fault through bad eating habits..... the main problem being DH and my 3 boys can all eat what they like and stay slim.... I eat along with them and put the weight back on. I maintained fine for 4 months, I weighed myself often and if I had put a few lb on, I would cut back for a few days until I had lost it again, but December last year was my downfall..... I thought I could spend December chomping my way through choc bars, takeaways, eating out, Christmas goodies etc and lose it all easily in January, but I couldn't and over the year have gradually put it back on. This time I know my weaknesses, know that I can maintain as long as I follow the weighing regime and I know not to put so much weight back on before dealing with the issue again. I did work my way up the steps, I think you really need to do that.
S: 20st0lb C: 16st7lb G: 12st12lb BMI: 36.2 Loss: 3st7lb(17.5%)
Hi Contrary

I'm in a similar position as you in that I have a therapist at the moment who is helping me with this process as I have acknowledged I have addiction tendencies and was using food as a mind altering substance to "medicate" myself. My CDC is also a qualified therapist and although she is not "counselling" me as such she is a great support and I'm finding I can be as honest with her as I can with my therapist. Also both of them are former addicts them selves and therefore really understand where I am coming from when I talk about food behaviours.

The research studies about effectiveness of VLCDs has shown that they are most successful when done along side a behaviour modification programme such as formal therapy so we already have good odds working for us :D Also as you move through your therapy you'll find that you start valuing yourself more and understanding the motivations behind your behaviour; believe me that is such a release!! It's difficult to describe the sense of calm that develops (although that can feel very scary at first as it is unknown territory!).

So keep talking to your therapist and embrace the fact that these are the first steps in the development of a whole new you :D

Good luck!


Gold Member
S: 16st11.0lb C: 15st10.0lb G: 13st7.0lb BMI: 37.8 Loss: 1st1lb(6.38%)
Contrarytintagel, did you get to goal either of those times you did Cambridge before? Or did you nearly get there, but not quite?

I've got no evidence to back me up on this one, but I suspect that there might be a key issue lurking there.

I am one of those dreaded restarters. Between October 2007 and about April 2008, I lost 5 and a half stones. But - and it's a big but - even at that point, I still had another stone and a half to lose before I reached goal. Suffice to say, I didn't make it. I was so much smaller than I had been that it became easy to say, "Oh, I'll eat what I want this week and get back on Cambridge next week..." And of course, next week never came. :rolleyes:

So I always had this thing in the back of my head about having failed - even though I'd lost 5 and a half stones - if that makes sense. And that feeling of failure just intensified as I started regaining weight. I honestly think that if you can keep going to goal, it must give you a headstart (on the mindgames, at least). And if you're doing Cambridge right, you'll be working up the steps at the same time as losing the last few pounds - which must have an effect on those gremlins in your head. You can shut them up then, with, "Ha! Look, I'm eating more food but I'm still losing weight. So there!" :D

Mindgames. I've said it before, but what the hell. Losing weight and keeping it off is all about mindgames.
S: 16st0lb C: 14st1lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 31.8 Loss: 1st13lb(12.05%)
Hi all, thankyou for the many and varied responses... I did get to goal before but found eating such plain food a great struggle.... 810 = torture to me! I adored being so slim and found millions of benefits (as I knew I would) and I swore I would never again be big. But when I couldn't stand 810 etc anymore and started eating good balanced diet I gained wight dramatically quickly (I think something like a stone in 2 weeks) and continued to gain...a nasty bout of tonisllitis and depression then followed...and the rest is history. I'm in a FAR better place now. The counselling is changing all kinds of things...primarily self expression and recognition of the spectrum of feelings I experience and how to manage them. The nutritionist I am seeing also identified I am in adrenal fatigue, close to exhaustion and I'm also having testing for PCOS. Both of these could affect issues with my weight and I already have hypothyroidism.

I'm aware of far more factors...and have far more support. However I do worry as both times previously I've been adamant I'd go up the steps properly, but when the time came I struggled terribly (possibly because I dislike most of the 'allowed' foods in the climb up and the concept of allowed/not allowed is also not good for me personally) and the rebound of weight triggered my emotional/bingeing issues.

Although I was at goal...was I happy with my body at goal? Thinking about it, I still thought my legs too fat, still hated my cellulite and wobbles, even though friends and family thought if anything I was 'too thin'. Counselling is helping dramatically with self image and now I am giving thought to setting a higher goal...one where I could be healthy and try and maintain for a while, giving my body a rest before deciding whether I want to lose more or not... this is a concept previously unimaginable.

Also, this time I'm not paying great attention to pounds lost etc etc....for me the value is clothes being looser, backache lessening and success in other areas...like tackling difficult areas of my past etc without the comforting 'compress' of food to take sanctuary in.

I thought long and hard before posting because I know that when I was first on CD the very last thing I wanted to hear were any doubts...but I'd like to see it all in a clear light now and be well prepared for any difficulties ahead (or indeed celebrations). So thankyou all for responding and taking the time to think about it. Much appreciated!


Slowly but surely x
S: 14st3lb C: 12st7lb G: 9st7lb BMI: 32 Loss: 1st10lb(12.06%)
what is it about the 810 you dont like, sweets? Im on it and Im ok with it :) Im not the font of all knowledge but if you can list what you Do like, maybe a bit of mix-it-up might help.
S: 16st0lb C: 14st1lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 31.8 Loss: 1st13lb(12.05%)
Thank you that's really kind! I'll have a look in the book (not really thinking about it present, just remember hating it and struggling to find ways to erm force the food down). I'd appreciate ideas so I'm prepared for it, later on x
S: 12st8lb C: 12st7lb G: 9st12lb BMI: 30 Loss: 0st1lb(0.57%)
I didn't mind 810 either, I used to have fish with prawns cooked in foil with mushrooms and some dill.... yum yum. I would also have a chicken breast sliced open, filled with mushrooms and cooked with herbs in foil and then served with asparagus...
S: 16st0lb C: 14st1lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 31.8 Loss: 1st13lb(12.05%)
My fussy eating is the prob! Can just about stomach kiddie fish! Cod etc...prawns, mushrooms, asparagus = urgh!!!!!! Just the smell of mushrooms turns me green. Have only recently learnt to like sweetcorn and 4 yrs olds like that!
S: 20st0lb C: 16st7lb G: 12st12lb BMI: 36.2 Loss: 3st7lb(17.5%)
They say it can take up to 20 tries before you tastebuds develop for something. Maybe you'll need to Supernanny yourself and put a small bit of food you don't like on the plate with stuff you do and eat it :D


Slowly but surely x
S: 14st3lb C: 12st7lb G: 9st7lb BMI: 32 Loss: 1st10lb(12.06%)
my fave 810 dish? One turkey breast, wizzed in the wizzer chopper with 1 egg ......I do have mushrroms so you could just have something else. I also add srping onion and a sage leaf. I mold it into a small loaf shape and bake in the oven. I loves it.

Or have omlette made with a few veggies.

Or cottahe a cheese (a whole tub!) and a one egg omlette

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