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Yellow Watermelon's Exante Journey

#1
I've read posts on various parts of this website for years, and now I'm doing Exante. I didn't want to join the Facebook groups, but I did want some record and interaction of what I'm doing and how I'm feeling, so here goes.

Weight at beginning: 76.6kg
Goal weight: 64kg
Height 1.65m

In 2014-5, I gained about 2 stone due to medication, and I struggled to lose it. In early 2015, I had a miscarriage, during which I ate chocolate for a week, and then I fell pregnant again. I was about 82 or 83kg at that point, which was the biggest I'd ever been. I was worried about being obese and having a baby, so my midwife referred me to Slimming World. I started it, lost a few kilos over the first few weeks, and then craving took over. So, I went back at the beginning of 2016, baby in arms, and at my heaviest ever weight - around 90kg or so.

Slimming World was great, I had to work hard at it, but the weight came off, slowly but surely. It felt like a lifestyle change rather than a diet. I was happy to be on it for life. After about six months or so, I was down to about 80kg, and I lost another 8kg by my son's first birthday. I was only 8kg off my goal, and it just stopped working. Or I stopped doing it properly. I followed the meal plans, but I probably shifted to higher calorie things here and there, and I kept eating a little too many syns. Over the past year, I've gained and lost the same 3kg, and then, since October last year, I've crept back up to 76kg.

I'm determined I'm not going to gain it all back again. I feel like my body is not my own.

I've always been resistant to meal replacement diets, as they seem so unhealthy, but looking to Exante, it has all the nutrients, and it's similar to what people undergoing surgery have to do. I've also read that, while 95% of people regain the weight they lose, it actually doesn't matter whether they lose it on a meal replacement or slowly and surely. So I'm trying this.

My BMI isn't over 30, so I'm doing a bit of a mixture. For the first 3 days, I'm having four replacement meals a day (kind of like the man plan). This is to kick start me into the programme.

After that, I'm going to do the 1200 diet, with two sachets, one snack and a proper meal.

So, that's the plan.

Day one was yesterday, and I went for a long walk just after breakfast (low sugar banana smoothie). Chalky, but a nice artificial banana flavour - can taste the fake sugar though. For lunch I had a caramel crunch bar (nice texture, but very sweet/bitter with the sweetener), then at 4pm I had a vanilla smoothie (very chalky, not much flavour). For dinner I had lemon pancakes - one at 7, one at 8, one at 9 (good amount of food, but not much to them, and that sweetener taste was in all of it). I felt pretty hungry yesterday afternoon, and had a bit of a headache. I couldn't sleep last night but that's an ongoing problem, so I took a sleeping tablet and slept soundly.

This morning, I was 900g lighter than yesterday.

I'll post the rest of day two later.
 
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Last edited:
S: 12st7lb C: 12st7lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 30 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
#2
Well done.
I do the man plan I have four pkts a day. For my evening out I add water slim noodles it makes me feel that I have a proper meal with my hubby.
Hope all goes to plan for you . Good luck x
 
#4
Thanks for the welcomes and luck!

Day four was a revelation - suddenly I wasn't hungry, I'm not headachey, and everything is tasting so good! Now on day five, as I've decided to extend a bit further with the four packs a day, to see what I can do before switching to the 1200 plan.

So far, my faves are:
- heating part of a chocolate shake for 1.5 minutes and having it as a pudding-ey hot chocolate
- heating up vanilla shake and adding a coffee shot to it to replace my morning latte (which was such an important part of my day and now still is!)
- adding a bit more water to the fajita kits to make two whole fajitas, and adding a couple of strips of pepper and cucumber for some crunch
- the strawberry yoghurt bars... so very delicious
- the dahl pot - weird texture, but it's nice to have something savoury!

I just had a coconut shake (low sugar) for breakfast /latte this morning, and I'm having a white chocolate and raspberry bar for lunch (ok, but not as good as the strawberry yoghurt one).

Yesterday, I took my daughter to the movies and had a bag of salt and vinegar protein crisps, which were weird, but it was nice to have something to munch while she had her easter eggs, then I ate a peanut butter bar while she had McDonalds (I don't usually feed her rubbish, it was her seventh birthday so I took a day off work and spoiled her rotten - unsurprisingly, she was grumpy in the afternoon from too much unhealthy food, so she had fruit and veggies galore in the evening!) I can't believe that I didn't mind not eating. These products are kind of amazing - I never would have believed that I could live on powders.

Dinner tonight - I'm going to try one of those pizzas!

2.2kg down in four days!
 
#5
Last night's pizza was amazing -definitely satisfied the craving for bread.

Tonight I had the sweet and sour noodles - looked so gross when I cooked it but actually tasted quite yum! I'm so pleasantly surprised by everything!

The weight loss seems to have slowed, which is to be expected now the water has gone, and tomorrow is the end of the first week, and this morning I was at 2.5kg down. Not bad at all.

I'm feeling great! So much better than before I started, which seems weird. I always ate well before - maybe I was missing some nutrients before?
 
#6
Rightio, one week is down on Extante... 2.9 kg also has gone, which I'm pretty happy with. I can definitely feel the difference already.

I had a bit of a difficult day yesterday - it was my daughter's birthday party so I was surrounded by pizza, cake, and little chocolate bits and pieces. I managed not to eat any of it, but it did make me hungrier than usual, so I ended up having four meals and a snack, which is the most I've had since I started. Today I'm feeling a lot better and ready to get back into it.

In lastest tasting news, the cherry almond bar was horrid - it had that salty proteiny flavour the peanut butter one and double chocolate bars have, but there was something about the flavour that I just didn't get on with, it was kind of fake and tinny.

I also tried the porridge oats, which were just weird -not nearly enough texture. It was like eating a hot shake.

So, finally a few things I don't like after being pleasantly surprised with everything else! This morning I'm sipping on my low sugar banana smoothie and it's yum!
 
#9
It's day 9, and still feeling good. Feeling extra good today, actually! Chipper, focussed, able to concentrate really well!

Hit 3.3kg this morning, which is good. My scales measure water and my water content has gone up, which seems weird.

Yesterday I had my first toffee and raisin bar, which was ok, but not particularly toffee-or-raisin-like!

Today for lunch I'm having a chocolate coconut bar, and it could be my favourite so far (competing with the strawberry jam one). Really yummy, and the coconut flavour really masks that salty, protein taste.

I've discovered flavoured coke zeros - vanilla and cherry - don't have citric acid in them, so trying that too.
 
#10
My ketosis strips have arrived, and I'm on 'small', which is the second one along. I can't say I'm hugely surprised as I feel so good and not at all hungry or headachey, but it's nice to have it confirmed that I'm in fat burning mode.
 
#11
So... yesterday was my first real challenge on the diet. I usually work from home, but I had to drive to a client nearly three hours away yesterday, and I forgot to bring an extra food replacement, so by the time I was an hour from home (at 9pm!), I was weak with hunger, exhausted from a full-on day, and feeling blurry eyed and on the verge of tears. I drove by a Maccas (yay me) and pulled into Sainsburys, where I ignored my desperate need to eat a massive sandwich, bag of crisps, chocolate bar... and chose a poached chicken breast and some carrot sticks.

I absolutely hoovered them down, I was so hungry. Then, about 3/4 through the chicken breast, I thought - hmmm, I'm not that hungry anymore, and I stopped.

So, I'm feeling pretty darn proud of myself. After having something to eat I felt much better, and drove the last hour home without falling asleep or collapsing into sobs of self-pitying tears.

Another weird thing that seems to imply Extante is something pretty awesome is that I always get blinding headaches when I do these days away - anything over about an hour's drive, and I'm coming home barely able to see and desperate to go to sleep. Panadol doesn't make a dint in it.

Yesterday, even though I was super tired, I didn't have a headache. So weird.
 

Rea Cat

Full Member
S: 144.4kg C: 45.2kg G: 80kg BMI: 13.9 Loss: 99.2kg(68.71%)
#12
Reading the start of your journey reminds me what it was like when I first started, around this time last year. I was A LOT heavier than you are (and I still am, 7 stone down!) but it brings back how good you feel when you overcome the little obstacles.

I'm on day 3 after a 6 month break of maintaining (and the scare of putting on nearly a stone after easter) and I'm really grateful for you reminding me of all the benefits I'll feel when I just push through this for the first week. I don't suffer with any of the physical symptoms people usually have when they go into ketosis on this diet (luckily for me) but I've yet to see the increased energy, focus etc that I do remember having at the beginning! I'm at war with my psychological cravings, and reading how you did so well to drive past McDonalds and then stop when you were full is inspiring.

You'll be there before you know it!
 
#13
Thanks, Rea Cat! I've recently started again after losing about 35 pounds after my last baby. I did that through slimming world but managed to maintain that loss for the past year until the scales starting creeping up again. It is frightening when you've worked so hard for the losses to see those numbers start to climb - but exante has been a revelation. We can do it!!

How fantastic that you maintained for 6 months so far - that's awesome. My biggest fear is that I'll be horrendously starving when I go off this - my body does tend to fight back. Hang in there- I hope your ketosis kicks in soon.

I'm still feeling good, and I had another long trip without headaches. It is really making me wonder if I've been lacking something in my diet which, given I normally live on vegetables, lean meat and fruit (and chocolate and wine), I'm not sure what key nutrients I'm missing!!

I've had a few challenges in the last two days - yesterday I succumbed to the piles of chocolate in my loft and ate two macadamia nuts covered in chocolate that I'd received for easter. Goodness they were delicious, but I suppose it's telling that I went up 100g this morning. Could that be connected?! I guess I should tell myself that it was two - not twenty, so that's gotta count for something!

Today I'm with my aunt and so it's the first time I've really had to eat since I started nearly two weeks ago. I had salad and some smoked salmon, avoided the bread, soup, pasties, etc, but still am a bit worried about losing ketosis. I'm so close to cracking into the next kilo bracket!
 
#14
It's day 13, and suddenly things are no longer seeming so rosy. I've been hungry all morning, and so I tested with one of my ketosis strips and I'm not registering at all.

Is it really possible that the salad and meat I had yesterday pushed me out of kesosis? It seems crazy as I had no carbs, and the calories would not have been more than the usual meal replacement.

Any ideas?

I hadn't drunk that much water this morning, but I'll test a bit later and see if anything changes. I can't bear the thought of going back to square one and coping with three days of exhaustion, hunger, headaches and an inability to concentrate!
 
#15
Ok...have just tried again (having not been freaking out all day, no, not me...) and it's trace again. So that's good.

Feel a bit blah today. Think it might be TTOTM, but my goodness I am thinking more about food than I have so far.
 

Rea Cat

Full Member
S: 144.4kg C: 45.2kg G: 80kg BMI: 13.9 Loss: 99.2kg(68.71%)
#16
Don't be disheartened by ketosis strips - I threw mine away. They measure the ketones that you're not using - the ones that the body is expelling. If you're producing them and using them efficiently, you'll only have trace amounts in urine. Don't get hung up on it - if you know you haven't had hidden carbs, don't worry about it and just keep on going.

Also - in terms of your chocolate 'moment' - don't worry about it. I think we have to put these things into perspective. Before dieting, a binge would have been a lot worse. We just have to congratulate ourselves on not shovelling in a whole pizza or falling face first into a vat of liquid chocolate and hoovering our way out... Forget it, and move on. It could have been worse.

And if you do knock yourself our of ketosis, it's never as bad getting back in. It happens quicker and easier. Take it from someone who routinely throws themselves off the wagon face first.

TOTM can be an absolute bugger on this diet too. it bloats us, makes us retain water, makes it SO HARD TO CARRY ON!! I'm currently suffering through it, so i had a keto weekend. Off exante altogether, and I just had keto foods. I've managed to circumnavigate the hunger and the cravings altogether doing that and i've lost 2kg since friday (though bear in mind i'm a lot heavier than you - i've only just today pushed under 100kg!). It's always worth having a look at what might keep you in ketosis but off plan, should the 'need to feed' strike!

Keep on going. You're smashing this.
 
#17
Thank you so much for the support and encouragement, Rea Cat! I am finding the TTOTM is pushing me down quite a bit just now, so the boost is appreciated! :)

That's great to know that it is easier than the first time to get back onto ketosis. I have just today realised that on Thursday, I have a cooking course that my husband bought me for Christmas. It's... afternoon tea. As in, pastries, tarts, biscuits, and a glass of prosecco. Sheesh, talk about a challenge!

Anyway, it sounds like you're going great guns yourself! I've never done a keto diet before, but it sounds like a good plan for the cravings issue. I am finding the extante bars particularly good lately - I save a bit of my daytime one to have as pudding after dinner, as it feels like a treat (especially as the uber salty meals are starting to pall a little).
 
S: 12st7lb C: 12st7lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 30 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
#18
I've read posts on various parts of this website for years, and now I'm doing Exante. I didn't want to join the Facebook groups, but I did want some record and interaction of what I'm doing and how I'm feeling, so here goes.

Weight at beginning: 76.6kg
Goal weight: 64kg
Height 1.65m

In 2014-5, I gained about 2 stone due to medication, and I struggled to lose it. In early 2015, I had a miscarriage, during which I ate chocolate for a week, and then I fell pregnant again. I was about 82 or 83kg at that point, which was the biggest I'd ever been. I was worried about being obese and having a baby, so my midwife referred me to Slimming World. I started it, lost a few kilos over the first few weeks, and then craving took over. So, I went back at the beginning of 2016, baby in arms, and at my heaviest ever weight - around 90kg or so.

Slimming World was great, I had to work hard at it, but the weight came off, slowly but surely. It felt like a lifestyle change rather than a diet. I was happy to be on it for life. After about six months or so, I was down to about 80kg, and I lost another 8kg by my son's first birthday. I was only 8kg off my goal, and it just stopped working. Or I stopped doing it properly. I followed the meal plans, but I probably shifted to higher calorie things here and there, and I kept eating a little too many syns. Over the past year, I've gained and lost the same 3kg, and then, since October last year, I've crept back up to 76kg.

I'm determined I'm not going to gain it all back again. I feel like my body is not my own.

I've always been resistant to meal replacement diets, as they seem so unhealthy, but looking to Exante, it has all the nutrients, and it's similar to what people undergoing surgery have to do. I've also read that, while 95% of people regain the weight they lose, it actually doesn't matter whether they lose it on a meal replacement or slowly and surely. So I'm trying this.

My BMI isn't over 30, so I'm doing a bit of a mixture. For the first 3 days, I'm having four replacement meals a day (kind of like the man plan). This is to kick start me into the programme.

After that, I'm going to do the 1200 diet, with two sachets, one snack and a proper meal.

So, that's the plan.

Day one was yesterday, and I went for a long walk just after breakfast (low sugar banana smoothie). Chalky, but a nice artificial banana flavour - can taste the fake sugar though. For lunch I had a caramel crunch bar (nice texture, but very sweet/bitter with the sweetener), then at 4pm I had a vanilla smoothie (very chalky, not much flavour). For dinner I had lemon pancakes - one at 7, one at 8, one at 9 (good amount of food, but not much to them, and that sweetener taste was in all of it). I felt pretty hungry yesterday afternoon, and had a bit of a headache. I couldn't sleep last night but that's an ongoing problem, so I took a sleeping tablet and slept soundly.

This morning, I was 900g lighter than yesterday.

I'll post the rest of day two later.
How u getting on.?
 
#19
Hi Les - really well, thanks!

As of this morning, I'm 4.3kg down, it's about day 15 I think, and I'm feeling good. Yesterday I was obsessing a bit about food - I wasn't hungry, just wanted to eat, but I think it was hormonal.

Just had a revelation - low sugar banana smoothie with a dash of espresso blended together. I love the slightly childish taste of the banana smoothie usually, but adding the coffee softens that and makes it a little more grown up.

Last night I also discovered that popping the peanut butter bar in the microwave for a minute or so makes it taste so sweet and gooey. I'd saved a little of my day time one for a pudding after my sweet and sour noodles (by far the best meal - especially with a dash of soy and some chilli) and it was so good.

I had to do another order with Exante yesterday as, although I have shakes and meals coming out my ears, I was running low on bars. I'm looking forward to getting some of my favourites in, like chocolate coconut and strawberry jam and yoghurt!!

I kind of can't believe I intended to do this for 3-4 days and I'm into my third week already.
 

Rea Cat

Full Member
S: 144.4kg C: 45.2kg G: 80kg BMI: 13.9 Loss: 99.2kg(68.71%)
#20
It's strange how once you find your vibe for it it becomes really easy, isn't it? I'm made up for you that you're doing well!

At the moment I'm off the exante and I've switched to just eating low calorie Keto, because due to hormones exante really wasn't cutting it for me. It's remarkable that I'm having the same kinds of losses (to be seen if it continues) as I would on exante, and I'm watching this space. The moment it slows down I'll potentially be hopping back on the exante bandwagon though, because it does really simplify things!

I feel i'm missing out by hating coconut - everyone raves about the choc coconut bars!!
 


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