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.
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!
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.
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.
Very Low Calorie Diets are great at helping slimmers lose weight. The weight comes off fast which helps the slimmer with their motivation levels.
However, VLCD’s aren’t for everyone. In this blog post, we will discuss VLCD’s, how they work and the side effects that some slimmers may have.
WHAT IS A VLCD?
VLCD stands for Very Low Calorie Diet. Generally a slimmer on a VLCD consumes less than 800 calories per day. A VLCD MUST ensure it gives a slimmer all of their RDA for essential vitamins and minerals or it can not be classed as a VLCD – Unfortunately, there’s weight loss plans available in the UK advertising themselves as a VLCD by using only high protein products and that can be harmful for slimmers.
Generally a VLCD is a Total Food Replacement (TFR). This means that the slimmer would get all of their nutritional requirements in the form of Meal Replacements (MRP). This can be either by eating 3 per day or 4 per day (some companies split the RDA requirement across 3 packs and others across 4 packs).
Weight loss is on average 1 stone a month. However we have to say an average as some slimmers lose more, others lose less. A lot of that weight is lost in the first week due to the body switching into ketosis (fat burning mode).
VLCD SIDE EFFECTS…
There are various side effects slimmers can expect (not every slimmer will get every side effect and some do not have any side effects at all). These side effects usually take place in the first 3 days –
headaches (known as carb withdrawal. Usually subsides once ketosis kicks in)
flu like symptoms (again usually subsides once ketosis kicks in)
constipation – this is common to slimmers on a VLCD. It can happen when our bodies don’t have enough water so our body takes water where it can (the waste inside the bowel is wet so it takes the water and dries up any waste leaving us constipated). We would say to combat this, drink plenty 2-3 litres per day. If you do suffer, please don’t put the VLCD first – your health is more important so we would say take flax seeds or dulcolax or dulco ease.
Hair loss – Now this is where it gets confusing. People say that VLCD’s make your hair fall out. They don’t but they do thin your hair because your body will stop certain processes in order to save energy whilst you are in ketosis. One of those processes is hair growth. As our hair growth has several cycles in it (the growing, the shedding etc), you will notice that your hair follicles are producing hair at a slower rate and that’s why hair can become thinner.
Feeling cold – I always say it seems like losing weight on a VLCD is easier in the summer (1 because SMLDiet has so many delicious Meal replacement shakes to choose from) but also because we naturally feel colder on a VLCD . This again is because of energy saving from our body. You may notice your hands and feet really feel the cold. Make sure you drink hot drinks, put on an extra jumper and don’t panic as it will soon go away.
VLCD’s have been used in the NHS and on weight loss plans for over 30 years. They’ve come a long way since they were first introduced. Now there’s more research, more products and more plans. Please choose your weight loss company carefully. Ensure they have the relevant experience and don’t dazzle you with words such as extreme ketosis weight loss plan or Rapid weight loss burn – they are marketing their plans like that to entice you in as lets face it, us slimmers want to shift this weight. FAST.
Make sure you choose a plan that has experience in their field. If you are looking for a plan that can support you, ensure they have qualifications or know their stuff. There’s too many companies that are hiring ordinary people who then care more about you joining ‘their team’ rather than how you can change your life!
Lastly, think very carefully about your VLCD plan. You can’t stay on it for long and before you know it, you’ll be back in the world of real food. If you go back to your old eating habits, unfortunately the weight will go back on again. However, if you think carefully about the changes you would like to make, then you are more likely to succeed with VLCD weight management. The SMLDiet has created the BALANCE PLAN – It’s a VLCD re-feed designed to help you introduce food after a VLCD & looks at the psychological factors around weight management.
This is a great question for any potential slimmer who is looking to lose weight using a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD). There are so many VLCD's to choose from, it can be a bit of a mind muddle. The definition of a VLCD is a diet that is very low in calories i.e 600 cals on average a day (yes a day). Normally a slimmer following a TRUE VLCD would have total food replacements (also known as meal replacements or foodpacks).
These come in the form of soups, shakes, bars and meals usually and in order for it to be considered a VLCD, you need to ensure these packs give you all the vitamins and minerals you need to keep your body happy & healthy. VLCD meal replacements usually contain just enough carbs to maintain your body and it's requirements whilst allowing your body to go into ketosis.
Ketosis is a natural reaction for our bodies. In fact we can enter a light state of ketosis whilst we are asleep so if anyone tells you ketosis is bad for you, please don't worry.
The SMLDiet food replacements contain at least 25% of your RDA for essential vitamins and minerals so you can do your thing knowing you're losing weight & your body will remain healthy.
I've noticed how VLCD's are taking the UK by storm. Mainly because of the fast weight loss they offer. However, VLCD's are so popular with slimmers as they take food completely out of the equation.
Whilst following your VLCD plan there will be lots of changes that you will experience. The first being to your body. The fast weight loss means that your body shape will change in front of you/others. This can cause a period of unrest whilst we get used to the new you. You'll also experience psychological changes. This is common with any slimmer following any kind of diet plan. However, it's important you recognise these changes within yourself and adjust as you need to. This is where support from your VLCD supplier is really needed. At the SMLDiet, I am a qualified counsellor and have created a range of tools to help support you with these changes and your relationship both with yourself & food. Take a look here
Please Note: there are certain medical conditions that would prevent you from embarking on a VLCD. It is extremely important to check that you are eligible to start a VLCD prior to purchasing any packs from any VLCD company.
what support will i get from my company?
Support varies from company to company. There's companies out there that really do offer great support (SMLDiet being one of them) but unfortunately there's also companies out there that offer little or no support and the only thing they offer is very cheap products.
The SMLDiet have a secret facebook group that you can only see and join through invitation or by emailing us to ask to join. We also offer free support tools such as downloads, worksheets to help keep you motivated. As a qualified weight management mentor, I offer 1:1 support sessions & for slimmers close to our offices in Buckingham, we offer free weigh in's and chats with our team.
what do meal replacements taste like?
VLCD's have come along way since they were first introduced into the UK market. The VLCD UK Manufacturers work hard to ensure their products meet all the EU regulations whilst ensuring that customers will continue to enjoy the product. Bearing in mind, this isn't like conventional food, alot of VLCD foodpacks DO taste delicious, mix up well and leave you feeling full. In fact there's alot to say for the UK VLCD manufacturers and the high quality products out there on the UK Market.
which vlcd company do i choose?
Obviously after reading this post, we hope you choose the SMLDiet. However, you need to find a company that will suit your needs. Take a look at these questions to ask yourself...
What support do you want? - you may want to be one of the slimmers who simply orders and that's it but it's completely different from the support that you need. You may find 3 weeks into your VLCD plan that boy it's tough and harder than you thought therefore a bit more support could certainly help you.
Is price an issue? - VLCD's aren't the cheapest diet product out there and there's a reason for it. A lot of research goes into the products, a lot of products goes into the product and there's insurances etc that each VLCD company needs so companies can't give them away. However, at the SML Diet we believe you get what you pay for and quality and amazing service does cost but needn't cost the earth. Unfortunately a few years ago, there were meal replacements in the market that i wouldn't have recommended and these were being sold extremely cheaply. So please do your research before choosing a company just because it's the cheapest.
Some VLCD plans may seem expensive but those plans offer intensive support. At the SML Diet, our products start from 95p which we believe is fantastic value for money and we offer continued on-going support.
will i put the weight back on?
There is a common myth around VLCD's and the fact that the moment you stop losing weight and re-eat food, you will just re-gain the weight. This isn't true. As a scientific calculation, your body needs 3500 calories more than it needs for nutritional purposes in order to gain just 1lb. A lot of VLCDcompanies have thought long and hard about their re-feed plans as they want you to be their walking, talking adverts. So if you follow the re-feed plans and ASK for support from the VLCD companies, they will be more than willing to help support you.
Lastly, having been on a VLCD before, I can vouch for how fantastic they can be. In fact VLCD's can be life changing - look at me! i now work at the SML Diet!
Wishing you all the very best for your weight loss success
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.