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This post is part of the Weigh in Wednesday Linky that I’m hosting with Emma from Sunshine and Rain. It’s a fab way to connect with other bloggers who are on their weight loss journey. So, if you’re a blogger, check out the info at the end of the post to find out how you can join in and add your own post. And if you’re not, check out the links at the end of this post for more great weight loss related content!
Rather than give you a day by day account of my week, I want to talk to you about VLCDs, or Very Low Calorie Diets. Don’t worry, I’ll still share my weigh in result at the end of the post.
VCLDs, like Exante, get a lot of press. Most of it bad, although there have been some pretty positive documentaries on TV recently. As a rule, people seem to think that VLCDs are unhealthy and unsustainable. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that you can live on a VLCD forever. You can’t. But that’s kind of the point – you’re not supposed to. Diets like Exante’s Total Solution plan are designed to be followed for a relatively short amount of time. The weight comes off quickly and seeing results like that helps keep you motivated. But no one expects you to follow that plan forever. The idea is that you move up through the plans, carefully reintroducing food to your diet to help you maintain your weightloss.
That’s the other sticking point – people assume the weight goes back on just as quickly as you lose it. And, sure – if you go back to eating the way that caused you to need to lose weight in the first place, it probably will! But if you follow the plan and reintroduce food sensibly – and, by that, I mean accepting that you can’t eat pizza and chocolate and ice cream in huge quantities every day – there’s no reason at all why you can’t keep the weight off long term. Exante (and other VLCDs like it) are no different to any other diet, in that respect. Here’s a little newsflash for you – regardless of what weight loss plan you follow, if you go back to your old bad eating habits, you will regain the weight. All weight loss plans have advice to help you maintain – Exante is no different.
As for being unhealthy, Exante’s Total Solution plan is designed to provide 100% of your nutritional needs (that’s the “total” part of Total Solution). I’d be willing to bet that I’m getting better nutrition from Exante than I do from my usual terrible diet. And, I know, in an ideal world, I’d just eat more healthily and do more exercise. It’s not like I don’t know all the things I’m supposed to do. If it was as simple as just doing those things, I wouldn’t be blogging about being overweight. It’s not like I haven’t tried every other weight loss plan there is. Exante is the only plan that really works for me. I kept the weight off last time (until I got pregnant), so I know I can do it again.
Obviously, VLCDs are not for everybody. It takes a lot of willpower to follow a meal replacement diet, for a start. Not everyone will want (or be willing) to give up regular food, even for a fairly short amount of time. And VLCDs are obviously not suitable for people with only a little bit of weight to lose. Exante’s Total Solution plan is only suitable for people with a BMI over 30. For women with a BMI over 25, or men with a BMI over 30, there’s the Man Plan, which allows a few more calories (and is not just for men), and for a 1200 calorie per day option, you can try the Flexi Solution plan.
For me, Exante’s quick results helps keep me motivated. I don’t intend to follow the Total Solution plan forever, but it won’t me any harm. My BMI is definitely over 30. After the first few days, I actually feel healthier than I do when I’m eating my usual terribly unhealthy diet, and when I’m ready to move up through the plans, Exante will help me form new, healthier habits so that I can maintain the weight I lose.
Now… about this week. I stayed the same. I am disappointed, because I wanted to have another great weight loss to share with you, but I haven’t been feeling well over the last week and that, combined with the hot weather we’ve been having, made it really hard to stick to any diet. I made the decision to eat more calories because I was feeling poorly – I needed the extra energy to deal with two toddlers while I wasn’t feeling well – so I’m glad I managed to stay the same. If nothing else, it proves that it’s possible to reintroduce food without undoing the progress you’ve already made. I’m feeling better now, so I’m back on track and will hopefully have a good weight loss to share with you next week.
Help a blogger out. What would you prefer next week? Another weight loss topic? Or a day by day account of my week?