About 13 years ago, I embarked on a slimming group plan with some work colleagues. I queued up to get my first weeks books, got home excitedly and was so confused. I felt overwhelmed before i even began. I had a plastic wheel chart thing (which to this day i still don't understand) and it turns out i needed to purchase an extra book (which I didn't have) in order to find out what foods exactly I could eat in order to not exceed my food allowance. Confused? Yup me too!
So when I created the SMLDiet, I wanted our plans to be simple to follow, straightforward in their explanations leaving you to worry about which outfits you were going to buy once you'd started on your journey.
However, as much as we have tried to make it simple for our slimmers, I am aware that there's jargon which can be a head spin so in this post, i'll explain general jargon used by Meal Replacement Plan companies.
What does TFR stand for?
TFR stands for Total Food Replacement. We call them TFR for short. Total food Replacement plans are where you consume Meal Replacements and no food what so ever. In order for your TFR plan to be suitable, your meal replacements need to contain 100% of the RDA for your essential vitamins, minerals, macro-nutrients. This can be split over 3 packs (plans with 3 packs usually contain more calories in each pack because you are consuming less packs) or they can be split over 4 packs. The SMLDiet Simple plan is considered a TFR plan and in order to get 100% of your RDA for vitamins and minerals, you would consume 4 Meal Replacement packs a day.
What does MRP stand for?
MRP means Meal Replacement plan. The SMLDiet predominantly meal replacements for weight control so we are considered a Meal Replacement plan. We have a range of weight loss plans that can help you lose weight using meal replacements.
What does VLCD stand for?
VLCD is short for Very Low Calorie Diet. The term VLCD is very popular and you'll find that most companies use this term on their websites. A VLCD is generally a weight loss plan where you consume between 600-800 calories. It's extremely similar to a TFR weight loss plan but slimmers can eat certain allowed ketogenic foods should they wish (they do not have to).
What does LCD stand for?
LCD means Low Calorie Diet. Generally speaking slimmers following an LCD plan would consume between 800-1000 calories per day. The SMLDiet Social Plan is considered an LCD weight loss plan. Slimmers use 3 of our Meal Replacements per day and have an allowed food allowance (of ketogenic foods) to help substitute that last meal replacement they would have been having if they were on our Simple Plan.
What is a foodpack / meal pack?
Most Meal Replacement plans have meal packs or foodpacks which are small sachets containing the powder. It can be a shock or some slimmers when they see their first foodpack as they may be expecting a shake already made or a meal (like a microwave meal). These packs are really convenient as you can pop them in your handbag and make as needed.
What does HP mean?
What does HP+ mean?
HP+ stands for high protein plus. These are high protein products with the added benefit of having extra vitamins and minerals that general high protein products don't have. Some products listed on our snack range are HP+ and still taste equally delicious as our meal replacements.
The world of weight loss & dieting can be confusing for slimmers. Type in how can I lose weight on a search engine and you'll find pages upon pages of solutions. However, how do you know what truly works and what's right for you?
We know that slimmers know their stuff when it comes to losing weight. We also know that you DO have the choice to go elsewhere so in a world of countless weight loss plans, why should you choose SMLDiet?
We are an honest company...
We pride ourselves in our ethics. Sure we could easily tell you that by taking our meal replacement shakes, you'll lose 3 stone in a day but the truth is you wouldn't!
We believe in building trust with our customers and one way in which we do that is by being honest with you. All information you find on our site is honest and we would NEVER make any false statements to entice you to lose weight with us. We personally strive to better ourselves as a business and we invest our time into learning more about how we can help you not only lose weight but to maintain it afterwards.
We really do care...
When we were founded by Ally back in 2012, it was important to Ally that EVERY slimmer knew they were more than just an order. Ally didn't want you to receive your order & feel all on your own. That's why, over the years, Ally has created a range of wonderful tools to help you stay motivated, on plan and feel supported. We receive a lot of emails on a weekly basis asking questions or seeking support & we LOVE receiving them! To us, it means that we have created a trusted company. A company where our slimmers know they will be heard and answered, where they trust our advice, where they know they will be treated with respect.
Our support is incredible...
Those aren't our words, they are words from our slimmers over the years. Our support comes in so many forms & we are always working hard to ensure that with SMLDiet, you get the best value possible.
How do we support you as a slimmer?
SML Support facebook group - We launched a facebook support group where slimmers (all over the world) can come together and share their successes, stories and questions when it comes to their SMLDiet journey. When you order from us, you'll automatically receive an email from us on facebook. The email will have a link where you can join. Alternatively, simply search the SMLDiet on facebook groups and you should see us pop up.
1:1 support - Our founder Ally is a counsellor specialising in disordered eating and many a time she has worked with our slimmers on a 1:1 basis. These sessions are paid for in advance and are conducted by telephone or in person (if you are close to our offices).
E-guides - With Ally's knowledge in disordered eating and counselling, Ally started releasing her E-guides in 2017. We believe in giving back to our customers that's why you'll find some available to you for free. These e-guides have been a fantastic success with many slimmers writing to us for making them available as an extra support tool.
E-courses - As well as our free E-guides, we have recently started to release our e-courses. These are paid for and range from quick 'slimshots' (as we call them). What we mean by that is that they can be completed within a week, they give you an insight into your behaviour and have activities you can complete for further self directed learning. Then we have longer e-courses available which are more in-depth and targeted at certain areas such as learning to love your body and the skin you live in.
Slimsights - Ally spends time mentoring people in her private weight management clinic and as such created a site called Slimsights. Slimsights is for people who want tailored weight loss solutions using a more holistic approach. Again, Ally's e-guides and courses are featured but Ally uses free newsletters/blog posts to help slimmers look at their behaviour around food and eating.
Weight loss challenges - throughout the year, we hold weight loss challenges. These are completely free to enter and are designed to help our slimmers feel accountable and motivated. We offer some great freebies and prizes to our slimmers and previous prizes include Jewellery from Tiffany & Co, a safari holiday, romantic weekend breaks away and other smaller prizes. Our main weight loss challenge starts in January each year so keep an eye on enrolment for that challenge.
We know you're busy and the fact that slimmers like yourself take time out to give us a 5* review on google means so much to us. We appreciate all reviews and use them as an opportunity to learn, to see how we can better ourselves as a company and also give ourselves a pat on the back when we need to.
Our products taste delicious!
We work very closely with our manufacturers to ensure we create delicious, nutritious foods for you. It's important that slimmers love the taste of our products and that's why we sometimes let our slimmers taste test our products for us before we release to the market. In fact, our products taste so good, that it's very rare that a slimmer tells us they don't like a flavour - always a good sign as there's nothing worse than diet food that tastes like cardboard.
We know our stuff...
We aren't a faceless, big corporate company, we are a relatively small, friendly and caring company and as such, we get to know our slimmers. From our slimmers who pop in for a weight in and order collection, to our slimmers over on our facebook group, they all know that they are in the hands of a company who knows their stuff when it comes to weight management. Ally (our founder) has extensive knowledge & over 10 years experience working in the weight management industry so is always looking to ensure our team are knowledgeable, in the area of weight management & VLCD plans.
We all have times of difficulty in our lives. It's part of living and some say we are defined by how we choose to handle those difficulties. I used to be one of those who would go into denial in the hope that it would just go away. However, that rarely happened.
About 5 years ago, I was going through a pretty tough time. It was difficult emotionally and I felt so alone. My weight started to soar as I started eating emotionally and I felt (as a weight management counsellor) that I had to have all the answers and be so all together. Of course like many of us do, I kept my feelings hidden inside in the hope that if I didn't acknowledge them, it would be ok. However, my husband noticed I wasn't quite myself & sat down me down. I confided in him how I felt and what was going on with me and he gave me one of his pep talks. Of course he said many things which really helped but of all the things he said to me, he said 'You got this Ally' and those 3 words became my mantra for life!
The words we tell ourselves really do make an impact...
It's incredible how just 3 simple words can change your whole perspective. Those 3 words pulled me out of that hole and helped me get my power back. I was able to get my act together and over time have achieved incredible things for which I am grateful. Those 3 words made me think 'Yeah I have got this' and off I went with my cup half full ready for a new fight. Those 3 words became my own personal mantra and even now when I have moments of self doubt or self sabotage, I use them to give me a kick up the rear and get on with it. You too can use them for added strength in any situation in your life.
- Feeling doubtful about something? #YOUGOTTHIS
- Feeling that you aren't good enough or why me? #YOUGOTTHIS
- Feeling anxious about going for a promotion or a job interview? #YOUGOTTHIS
- Lacking self belief? #YOUGOTTHIS
- Finding weight loss hard and want to give up? #YOUGOTTHIS
Have you ever noticed how your mood changes based on your thinking? Your thinking can either ZAP you of your motivation OR it can give you the power to take control and achieve those goals.
Your weight loss strengthened by your thinking and the words that you choose, by your mantras and by how you talk to yourself.
Answer this for me....Who is more likely to achieve their goals. The slimmer who said 'I'll try to lose weight' or the slimmer who said ' I can and I will. Just watch me'
Words are powerful. Choose them wisely
Weight Management Counsellor - the SMLDiet
When you're on a VLCD, all you need is for the temperature to change just a bit and boy do you feel it?!
But why is it when you are on a VLCD, do you feel the cold so much and what can you do about it?
Why do I feel so cold?
When you embark on a Very Low Calorie Diet (also known as a total food replacement plan or a VLCD for short), you consume far less calories than you usually would. Due to the smaller amount of calories and carbohydrates you are consuming, your body enters a state of ketosis (this is a perfectly SAFE & NATURAL process for your body). Ketosis is where your body turns stored fat into energy to keep you functioning and that's why you lose weight so quickly on a VLCD.
Ketosis can bring some side effects. In the early stages of entering ketosis, slimmers may have a slight headache, may even feel abit of fever, feel hunger or could even feel lethargic (these symptoms vary from slimmer to slimmer & do not happen to everyone). Once you are in ketosis though, alot of slimmers notice those initial side effects start to subside. However, some side effects do remain and those are the following:
* Feeling thirstier than usual
* Strange or metallic taste in the mouth
* Feeling colder than usual (cold hands, cold feet).
Feeling colder is very common and this is because when we are in ketosis, the body naturally tries to preserve energy where it can and one thing it does is to slow certain processes down and that's why we usually feel colder with our extremities such as hands and feet really feeling it.
What can I do about feeling the cold on a VLCD?
Depending on the time of year, you may not notice the cold as much (slimmers in the summer sometimes welcome that cooler body temperature feeling) but if you are on a VLCD in Autumn or Winter, you may notice it more and here's what you can do to help yourself warm up.
Extra side note - feeling colder than usual is a good thing as it reminds you that ketosis is working for you and your body is burning those calories.
For more info on ketosis or our diet plans, head on over to www.thesmldiet.com
'OMG You look amazing. How did you lose it? A mum in the playground asks me. Obviously extremely happy at such a lovely compliment, I quickly and proudly say 'A VLCD plan'. Her smiley face drops and turns to a face of disgust. 'Be careful on plans like that. A friend of mine lost 5 stone and put it all back on again within 4 months of finishing'.
This was an actual scenario that I was faced with a few years ago. I quietly smiled at the mum who initially complimented me and accepted what she said about her friend who put the weight on again. I didn't tell her that I, in fact own a VLCD company and that our bodies aren't sponges (we won't immediately go and put all the weight on again the moment a piece of 'conventional' food touches our lips) AND in fact that to put 1lb of weight back on, means we have eaten 3,500 calories more than our bodies need for nutritional purposes. I suppose this mum was hoping i'd say something more conventional in terms of how I had lost the weight - personal trainer maybe? weight watchers or slimming world but I dared say the dreaded 4 letters and that was it - back in slimming exile I went.
The truth is that VLCD's have been around for over 30 years and I have worked in the VLCD industry for over 10 now. Sure I have seen people lose the weight and unfortunately put it back on again. Heck - even I've done that but I know that it isn't the issue with the diet. It's more of a 'eating more than I should' issue BUT I have also seen A LOT of slimmers successfully lose & maintain their weight after too.
When we embark on a new weight loss plan such as a VLCD, we are usually excited.
'This is it!' kind of thoughts enter our head and once we start losing weight on a VLCD, it's contagious. We want people to notice the weight loss (just to re-enforce that it's not in our heads). Lets face it, although embarrassing, it's kinda nice when someone goes WOW you look incredible. How did you do it? but like anything in life, when we put ourselves out there, we leave ourselves open to hurt, questioning or criticism.
So to tell or not to tell that is the question...
I'm an open book kinda person...
My hubby always tells me that I give too much about myself away. You ask me a question about myself or my life and ill gladly tell you no holds barred. So when I first embarked on LighterLife back in 2005, I was ready to tell the world and his wife about my diet plan. I would sit at my office desk (as I had a 9-5 council job back then) and I would sit there drinking my shakes. When the weekly cake round came out, I would sit there polishing my halo whilst everyone else guzzled their lemon drizzle cakes. I had willpower, I was determined and I wasn't scared to show it.
At first the compliments came - 'Ally, you've got such amazing willpower, I couldn't live on just shakes' - yup that's me, super Ally!
but then it turned. About 7 weeks and 2 stone in out came the 'Ally you're looking ill' even someone close to me said 'I think you have an eating disorder and should stop'
At first I chose to ignore it, how could I possibly look unwell when I was still medically classed as obese? but after a while when all you get is criticism over the diet and how you look, it's hard to keep your spirits up so of course, I start to believe them and that's when the self-sabotage kicked in (cue sad face).
The 'to tell' debate
The 'not to tell' debate...
Hopefully after reading this, you'll know one way or the other if you want to tell the world about your weight loss or keep it a secret.
I personally still love telling people when I lose weight and how I do it as I am so proud of the SMLDiet and I know if I put on abit of weight, it's because of me eating too much and enjoying the good life rather than the VLCD not working.
I am also grateful for all of our slimmers who share their VLCD journeys as they become our success stories. They are living proof for future slimmers that YES VLCD's & SMLDiet does work and can help you too!
I don't know about you but i'm a gal who likes her lists. Give me a pen & a notepad and i'll give you a list as long as my arm!
I make quite a ritual of it. Every night after the children have gone to bed, I sit down with the TV on in the background & I start to write down my aims for the next day. I also have a general 'Goal list' for the month - this is filled with details of projects i'd like to complete before the month is out.
Now. You're probably thinking 1 of 2 things. Either WOW this girl is organised OR this girl needs to get a life and I'd probably agree with you on both of those thoughts.
BUT after reading this, i'm sure you'll also agree that list keeping is a great way of staying on top of the day to day humdrum of reality.
I don't look at my lists as a 'TO-DO' list you see, that's way too demanding and almost makes me think if I don't manage to complete it, I'm going to get a telling off from my internal self. I like to think of these lists as my 'AIM-TO-DO' list (usually consisting of 3-5 main things i'd like to complete and several others that aren't the main focus. If I complete the main 3-5 items, then i'm one happy girl and I move onto the rest of the list but if for whatever reason I don't complete them, then I don't sweat over it and just move them onto the next days AIM-TO-DO list (but I give them higher priority).
There's several reasons why I like my lists and the main reasons are the
1. I, like you am extremely busy - I work full time, running a house with 2 children and am often driving here, there and everywhere doing errands & having meetings.
2. It helps keep me focused - These lists keep me in the loop. With so many things going on, it's easy to forget what I need to get, do or pick up. I often think of ideas for something like a blog post and by the time, I get home, I've forgotten about it and spend the rest of the night trying to remember what it was (don't you just hate that)?
3. Organisation is ESSENTIAL - How do you know the direction you are heading in, if you don't have a starting point? for me, starting a list is a great way of preparing, organising myself and setting myself up for future success. Any projects or ideas that SMLDiet come up with usually start on a list and the idea of them grows from being on that list. There's also nothing quite like getting to lunchtime and knowing that my list is already completed for that day.
OK Ally, that's all good & well but what's this got to do with a brand new month?
Why do you think we start new years resolutions in January? What does the start of a new year really mean for you? Why do you wait until the new year to start your new years resolutions? Well for me, I like to look at each and every month (like a lot of us do in January). It's a fresh start, it's a new month that's filled with promise and hope & renewed motivation.
A new month can give us the opportunity to create our 'Weight loss' AIM-TO-DO list & give us the chance to start again. We can see our goals through fresh eyes and think it's the beginning of something new. We can mark day 1 of the month as our starting point and use it to re-focus our mind and evaluate what we want from that month.
Do you remember when you were at school & you were given a brand new exercise book to write your work in? I used to get so excited by that part of school & every time I got a new exercise book, I pledged to keep it neat & tidy. No spelling mistakes and certainly no scruffy writing. I look at new years resolutions & January in particular as my brand new exercise book. It's my time to get excited by that promise that we'll do it right BUT because the year is so long, we get lost in the humdrum of daily life. It's hard to be 100% 'perfect' for a year! BUT a month is so much more manageable. Just 30 (odd) days, and in that month so much can be achieved. Imagine this time next month, if we were to re-visit this blog post together, you could be saying to me, I did a month on SMLDiet, I dropped that dress size and now i'm going to use that blog post to focus on another fresh new month OR you could be saying to me, 'I read the blog post but didn't look at my aims & i'm still in the same place'
Which conversation would you prefer to have?
I'm hoping that when you read about my 'Aim to-do-list' that you were inspired to create your own. Why not create your own list focusing on what you need to do to drop that dress size?
Have one as your day to day focus and have one setting your aims & goals for the month.
Ally is a qualified weight management counsellor & founder of the SMLDiet. Having worked in the weight loss industry for over 10 years, Ally has personally supported thousands of slimmers to help them release their excess weight & look at weight management as their long term goal. - www.theSMLDiet.com
and getting back on again....
If you are one of those slimmers who has fallen off the wagon and can't seem to catch up with it whilst it rolls away from you, then don't worry you aren't alone!
A shocking 98% of us have had a lapse at some point in our dieting life and out of that 98%, 4 out of 5 of us beat ourselves up because of it.
I get it, I really do! A friend invites you out or those mini chocolate bars are in the snack cupboard just calling your name. We've all been there and found dieting hard at times.
The thing about VLCD dieting is that it isn't like calorie counting where if you go 100 calories over your daily intake you can think 'oh well, i'll start again tomorrow' . For us VLCD'ers, it can seem like the end of the world to us.
'oh no i've blown it, I'm probably not in ketosis now' and before you know it, we're on a merry go round of feeling pants, eating rubbish, feeling worse about eating that rubbish so we eat some more and yes I know what we all think 'I'll start afresh tomorrow'
However, even thinking I'll start again tomorrow isn't enough to stop that internal battle. That inner critic that seems to suck all of our energy and positivity away.
In fact silencing that inner critic can be hard work and mentally exhausting.
So... If you have fallen off your VLCD wagon, here's how to get back on it again.
You're only human
No-one is perfect 100% of the time. In fact, scrap that. No-one is perfect full stop!
Those celebs we see on the screens or in the mags, they really work to look like that and even those 'food and health gurus' have off days where they may not be up to working out or eating 'clean'. We all make mistakes and you know what? That's ok!
If you have had an off day and found yourself having a lapse tell yourself it's ok and move on from it. If you keep thinking about that lapse, you'll find that any motivation you did have will slowly ebb away.
You can't change what's been but you can change how you behave tomorrow.
Work out your day
We all have 24 hours in a day but we choose to spend them in different ways. When i'm on a meal replacement plan, I divide my day into time sections (abit like i do my working day actually). So for example, i have 4 packs to have in a day and i wake up at 5.30 every day so i know that at 7am (as my children eat their breakfast), I have my first pack then i have packs every 4 hours after that. It spreads them out nicely and as I like my routines, It's a great way to stick to routine and get in the habit of doing something for me.
If your routine is different, then come up with a meal pack routine that you know you will find easy and stick to. If evenings are hard for you (as they are with a lot of VLCD slimmers), then work out a routine to help you in the evenings.
Earlier in the year, i released a free e-guide about motivation and how you can help yourself stay motivated. Those of you who downloaded the free guide will know that motivation can come in many forms. Some people like to use celebs or other slimmers as their motivation, others are motivated by a comment someone has made about them. Visuals are a great way of staying motivated - that dress you want to get into? pop it somewhere you will notice it, try it on every week and see how it's starting to fit you. Leave yourself positive affirmations in food cupboards so when you do reach for food, you find yourself filled with positivity instead.
Instant gratification lasts for that instant
Lets be honest here, how many of us agree with the fact that our need for instant gratification got us here in the first place. I know i can hold my hand up to that one. I would start to diet but food would call to me. I would cave and spend the rest of the day feeling lousy about myself.
When you are on your VLCD and find yourself craving foods, remember this....
These foods you are craving, you have probably craved before (and more than likely acted on these cravings that's why they're repeating themselves).
How did you feel last time you craved them?
What was your end behaviour? (was it that you gave into the cravings and lapsed?) if so, how did you feel after lapsing?
What would honestly happen if you gave into these cravings?
How would you feel if you gave into these cravings?
Noticing these patterns can really help you stop your thought processes before your usual behaviour kicks in.
Find the positive in everything
Have you ever noticed that when you're feeling negative, everything seems like hard work?! Before you know it, you are at a pity party and no-one else wants to come!
It's so much easier for us to be negative instead of being positive. Find the positive in everything you do. So you've just had your second foodpack? celebrate that!
You've drank your water allowance for the day? hey go you!
Start to notice those achievements as they so often get overlooked.
Get yourself a journal and at the end of each day, write down your achievements and what you are grateful for. You'll go to bed with a happy head because of it
I always know when slimmers are having a hard time on VLCD. Mainly because they go quiet in our facebook support group. This is the time though where they should be reaching out more. You should never be afraid to ask for help, say 'hey i'm having a hard time of it, any advice?' I can guarantee that someone will pop along and help you out when you least expect it and you know what? you aren't alone. There's always someone out there who may be struggling with their vlcd too. Our support group is fabulous as it's non-judgemental and our slimmers really are the best when it comes to giving advice. If you aren't on facebook, don't worry as here at the SMLDiet, we're only an email or phone call away.
'If we took a holiday. Took some time to celebrate. Just one day out of life. It would be, it would be so nice'
Now holidays are supposed to be a time of fun, time to relax and unwind. Forget about all the troubles back in reality BUT what if you get so wound up thinking about your holiday, what you are going to look like, how you're going to feel on that beach that you find yourself feeling anxious? We certainly don't want that for you. So. this blog is designed for anyone who has seen those holiday snaps and ripped them up in tears (waves frantically here), this post is designed for those who is losing weight for their holidays (again waves frantically) and this post is designed for those who book their holiday only to be consumed with thoughts of 'I need to lose weight'
So. You've booked a holiday...
and if you are anything like me (or most people out there), one of the first thoughts you had was how long you had to lose weight for this holiday . Am I right?
Thought so. Whether you have 3 weeks or 3 months to go before your holidays, It's a good time to start getting organised about what you want to achieve. Ask yourself this...
How much do I want to lose?
How much time do I have to lose it?
How much can I realistically lose?
How am I going to lose it?
These 4 questions will set you up for your holiday weight loss in no time at all.
How much do I want to lose?
Lets be realistic here. If you are going on holiday in 7 days time, you aren't going to lose 5 stone. However, you need to look at how far away your holiday is. So for example, on the SMLDiet, slimmers lose (an average of) 1 stone a month. If your holiday is 8 weeks away, you could lose about 2 stone in that time on the SMLDiet. However, if your holiday is 14 days away, you could still lose a significant amount if you put your mind to it.
How much time do I have to lose it?
Usually people have a lot of time from booking their holiday to the actual departure to try and lose weight and get prepared. However, I have a friend who randomly booked a holiday and flew out with just 5 days notice (lucky her). Look closely at how much time you have to lose your weight, draw out a chart to show a countdown of days, look at your diary for any events coming up.
How much can I realistically lose?
The key word to remember here is the word realistically . Again, as I said earlier, you can't lose 14 stone in a day BUT no matter how little or much time you have, you can certainly make a difference to your weight, health and overall confidence for your holiday. It's important to set yourself goals and even rewards (not the food kind) along the way but remember - be kind to yourself. Remember: DON'T STARVE YOURSELF!!! There's no point in making yourself unwell to try and lose an unrealistic amount before your holidays.
How am I going to lose it?
Type in the word 'diet' on google and a gazillion websites will pop up all offering to be the holy grail of weight loss. There is a world of information out there to help you lose weight but how do you know that the weight loss plan you are going to follow is safe?
Do your research!
Look for reviews on the company, look at how active the company is on social media channels, look for the support the company offers, look at the about us page for more information on the company and the people behind the company.
You also need to look at how you want to lose weight. I have previously tried many diets and although weight watchers works brilliantly for some, for me I found it confusing. Other plans out there work incredibly well for some of my friends but for me? it's got to be VLCD - I love that the plan is simple to follow - 4 packs a day and i'm off.
I love the faster weight loss that a meal replacement plan gives me.
I love that all I need to do is drink a shake or eat a bar and that's it. No point counting, no weighing, measuring or worrying about going over on my calorie intake.
However, I know that VLCD's aren't for everyone either so you need to find a way of losing weight that's fine for you. So if a Total Food Replacement isn't right for you at the moment, then consider another plan (maybe 5:2), maybe calorie counting. You have to feel comfortable with what ever you choose and don't let anyone pressure you into their way of weight loss.
Ally is a qualified weight management counsellor & founder of the SMLDiet. Having been a size 22 at her heaviest, Ally works with slimmers to help them lose weight and to maintain it afterwards. For us at the SMLDiet, learning to change your relationship with food is the most important step in achieving healthy weight management and we do that with our FREE e-guides, our blogs and our booklets. For more information, please visit www.thesmldiet.com
It's a subject that no-one really likes to talk about. It's abit taboo, abit hush hush. However, due to slimmers often feeling too embarrassed to talk about it, they can suffer in silence and it's time to set some things straight.
Constipation can occur on a VLCD mainly because the bulk of our food has changed. It's important that you don't confuse constipation with going to the toilet less.
So what do I mean by that? well...
When we are on a VLCD, we are usually eating a lot less food. So less food in? = less waste out but constipation can be a condition that can leave us in pain, with bloated tummies and often leaving us not going to the toilet for a long time (think a week or more) and when we do go, it's often hard and we can strain.
Why does constipation occur?
Constipation usually occurs in the body when we don't have enough liquid going in. What happens is the body takes water from inside the body where it can and as our gut usually is wet, it dries out the waste leaving the bulk dry and hard. So if you are dehydrated you may find that you suffer from constipation.
It can also happen when our body is lacking in protein or fibre. If you have a fibre rich diet, you will usually find that you will be able to go to the bathroom more regularly and with ease.
If you usually suffered with constipation before you embarked on a VLCD, you may find that you will suffer with in on a VLCD so please do keep an eye on things and if you find you are in pain, please go and speak with a pharmacist or a gp. They can then prescribe something to help you.
If you find that you are suffering from constipation, try the following:
The invite falls on your doormat and suddenly it's a mad, rush panic to lose weight and find that perfect wedding GUEST dress.
Yup, wedding season is well & truly upon us. Before you get all in a tizz, read our SOS guide to surving a wedding on and after a VLCD.
Now. The most organised of brides would be planning her wedding a year ahead of the actual big day so technically, we have quite a lot of time to get 'operation weight loss' started & to lose the weight we want before the actual big day. BUT what if you are abit of a procrastinator? what if you kept meaning to get on that diet wagon but fell off at every Mcdonalds, cream cake, bbq or Monday afternoon turning?
Don't worry - we've got your back!
3 months to go...
No need to panic just yet. In 3 months on a VLCD plan like the SMLDiet, you can easily lose 2-3 stone and that's a HUGE difference to make you feel more confident in the wedding pics, in your dress and when you're bustin some moves on the dance floor. Slimmers lose on average 1 stone a month on a VLCD plan such as the SMLDiet simple plan. So if you have 1,2 or even 4 stone to lose, now is the time to get started and really focused.
2 months to go....
Ok. So you really need to start buckling down and thinking about what you want to achieve. Is that takeaway really going to help you fit into that dress you've been eyeing up? You may think 'oh but i'll start again tomorrow' but tomorrow it'll be another takeaway, another missed opportunity to drop that dress size.
CREATE A GOAL CHART...
I recommend you drawing up a goal chart. Get those pens & pencils out and show us your inner picasso. Draw a table with boxes to represent how many days there are until that special occasion. At the end of it I.E Day 0, write down the weight or size you want to be, write down special treats you are going to give yourself for hitting milestones along the way.
Every day, look at this goal chart, cross off the days gone by so you can see how long you have left to hit that target. Write down targets that you hope to achieve so you can give yourself a challenge. So by day 21, you want to hit a weight loss of XXXlbs/kilo. Don't forget to give yourself (NON-FOOD) treats along the way. Again, it gives you something to work towards and lets face it, we all love pressies right?!
1 month to go....
1 month, that's 4 weeks (not long but long enough to make a difference still). So, at this stage we're realistically looking at a weight loss of a stone or so. However, 1 stone = 1 dress size so you can still make an impact to your weight loss and feel super slim on the dance floor. Now. If you didn't heed my warning about the 2 month mark, you really need to think about getting your slim on and getting down to work.
The simple plan is a great plan to go on to help you lose weight - it's a Total food replacement diet plan and the weight loss results are great** However, if the idea of only having soups, shakes or bars fills you with dread, then consider our Social Plan. You still have our social plan to consider. That's 3 of our meal replacements per day (enabling you to get vitamins and minerals to keep your body happy & healthy) plus a small meal from an allowed food allowance. It really is time now to keep your eyes on the prize and that prize being how you'll feel at that wedding knowing you gave it your all and dropped that dress size! #YOUGOTTHIS
7 DAYS TO GO...
I'm going to level with you. It may be too late to drop 2 dress sizes BUT slimmers have noticed significant results with our Simple plan even in just 7 days. In 7 days, you can reduce the water that's retained on your body which can leave your tummy looking flatter.
If you haven't already tried them, we have some fab appetite suppressants (which i swear by for keeping me full and stopping the snacking). They're so easy to use. you simply make them into a drink and drink it leaving you feeling fuller within 20 mins.
We also have some pineapple fat burners which again you make into a drink. They have a tropical Pineapple taste and they help speed up the rate in which your body burns fat. If you were to use these along with a low calorie diet (doesn't have to be just with our weight loss plans), then i'm confident you'll lose weight and feel better about yourself in time for the event.
The big day's finally here...
If you are on a VLCD and you attend a wedding still on your VLCD, then i take my hat off to you - that's some extra special kind of dedication there but i know what you're thinking 'What am I going to do'? don't panic - This part's for you!
Hopefully you would've had a chance to look at the menu and make your meal choices in advance. The standard staples at weddings are meat dishes which is fine as that's protein. It's when you start adding the sauces, carbs and drinkipoos that is when ketosis can go flying out the window.
If you are able to, still continue your routine as normal as possible. Consider following the social plan that day and make sure you stick to your guns! Have a shake for your breakfast as usual then when you sit down to the wedding breakfast, consider what you eat carefully. Try to avoid the following:
Breads, pastas, potatoes, alcohol (yes i know sorry), desserts, fruits.
When everyone is tucking into their desserts, why not have a snack bar or take yourself away from what's going on. Alternatively, you can sit there strong and proud polishing that halo knowing it'll all be worth it in the end.
More importantly, don't feel overwhelmed it's just 1 day and if you do decide to give the plan a break for that 1 day, ensure you are strict with yourself and get back on that diet the following day.
The SMLDiet is a leading weight loss plan in the UK. Specialising in VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diets), TFR (Total Food Replacement products and meal replacements.