At the SML Diet, we regularly receive emails from our customers seeking support or guidance. Yesterday I received an email that really hit home with me.
Our customer (we'll call her client X) said
'I lost 2 stone with SML but lost interest and stopped doing it. I have tried on several occasions to get back on it but I can't get my head around it. Do you have any tips?'
The reason why this hit home is because I have been in exactly the same position as client X and this is what I found out about myself when this happened...
This usually happens to slimmers who have been on a VLCD plan before. Lets face it, the first time you embark on a VLCD plan, it's pretty amazing. You are surprised you are able to just eat sachets of powder, you feel invincible and part of an elite club (especially when people tell you 'i couldn't do that'). You see the weight coming off quickly and the compliments start coming at you. Yup it's pretty special the first time round.
However, the 2nd, 3rd or more time round it's a different mindset. Firstly, a lot of slimmers subconsciously enter this new attempt at VLCD with a 'failures mindset'. They are pretty peeved off that they are having to do a VLCD again (especially after that whole speech of 'never going to be this fat again' that they did when they did their first VLCD). So they start off their new attempt at VLCD on a negative note.
There may be subconscious anger, resentment and shame at having to be on a VLCD again, having to admit that they have put some weight back on.
It's also important to remember that no-one truly wants to be on a VLCD plan. We would much rather be losing weight by eating fruit, protein, carbs etc but that didn't work for us before because of whatever reason..
Behaviour plays a HUGE part in our ability to complete a VLCD plan. The more we try, the more we are likely to rebel. We often come into a VLCD plan thinking we are going to be deprived. That's why the night before we start, alot of us have an eat-a-thon where we want to eat foods that aren't 'allowed' on a VLCD plan. If you are starting your plan feeling deprived of food, then it just won't work for you. That mindset needs to go. The packs are a means to an end and that feeling can be changed.
Believe it or not, you are better nourished on a VLCD than you would be eating conventional food! Our packs contain at lest 25% RDA for essential vitamins and minerals and micro-nutrients, sure they look like space food but you know what? you don't need to feel deprived. VLCD's have changed so much since I did my first one back in 2005.
When I did my first VLCD, I had about 8 flavours to choose from (tops) and the bars were just gross. Nowadays, SMLDiet has crisps, high protein foods such as rice pudding, biscuits etc so you ARE eating conventional food, it's just that you are choosing to view it as anything but!
Sometimes we can't get our head back into our VLCD plan because our head is too much in the world of 'real food' and by that I mean, you are obsessed with food. Thinking about it when you wake up, planning your meals for the day (even if you aren't hungry). When we are in the world of 'real food', we just can't allow a VLCD plan to be successful for us. Then comes the behaviour of the more you try, the more you rebel, the more you feel like a failure. It becomes like that roundabout of emotions that you just can't get off.
Our thoughts are SO POWERFUL. They have the ability to help or hinder us. Ok. Lets do a mental potential exercise here. I DON'T want you to think about your lounge. Please DON'T think about your sofa, your curtains, the colour of your lounge walls. I certainly DON'T want you to imagine how your furniture is laid out.
I bet you totally thought about your lounge didn't you? well the same goes with VLCD's. If you start your VLCD feeling deprived, like you don't really want to do this, then you will more than likely start thinking about food, the taste of a certain trigger etc and before you know it, you are eating off plan.
MAKE THAT SWITCH.
Believe it or not, you have a choice whether to continue on your VLCD. Every time you start to feel hungry or it's time for another pack you can choose to go and eat food or eat your foodpack that CHOICE is yours.
However, IF and I say this with a heavy heart. IF you just can't get your head around it, then maybe the time isn't right for you to be on a full food replacement plan.
The problem with us slimmers is that we are all or nothing. We are either on Total food replacement or we've completely lost it and there's a slimmers shaped hole in the door!
We don't stop to think ok, I can start off by having 1 pack and food then gradually increase it. The great thing about Meal Replacement plans is that they can be adapted. If you don't mind about the not going into ketosis thing (which lets face it, if we can't manage a day, then we generally aren't getting into ketosis so it doesn't matter anyway), then you can really make this work for you.
I'm personally not doing a VLCD at the moment. However, I am using the packs to complement my lifestyle. So usually during the week, I have a pack for my tea as I get to sit down quite late. Then at the weekends, I don't have packs at all.
Have a think about how you could make a VLCD work for you. I'd love to know your thoughts on this
Ally is a leading weight management counsellor and the founder of the SML Diet. Over the past 9 years, Ally has personally support hundreds of clients on a 1:1 and group basis. If you would like support from the SMLDiet, please email us at email@example.com and a member of our team will respond. If we use your email as a support tool for others, we will not mention your name and will not feature the whole email (we will take relevant parts to help show how we can support)
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.