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If you’re going to do 800cals then why through shakes and not fresh food?

(51 Posts)
walnutwood Wed 13-Jun-18 23:24:57

If you’re going to embark upon a VLCD then why do you do it through shakes and bars instead of fresh food?

Am not VLCD bashing as I know the research evidence is coming round to the benefits of them now. But just wondering about the shake issue!

cakesonatrain Wed 13-Jun-18 23:31:08

1. Because then the shake companies can make lots of lovely money.
2. It's probably quite hard to make sure you eat a balanced 800 cals, and the shakes are like baby formula I imagine have all the proper nutrients.
3. Easier not to cheat on calories if you're only consuming a set number of prepared products.

SlightAggrandising Wed 13-Jun-18 23:34:01

It's easy. I don't have anywhere to cook but I have a nutribullet. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. You do you, I'll do me.

bawbles Wed 13-Jun-18 23:34:29

I have friends who do these plans sporadically and part of the allure is not having to buy/prepare/cook fresh food. Traditional diets such as slimming world do require much more planning and preparation time.

No one diet works for everyone so each to their own imo

walnutwood Wed 13-Jun-18 23:41:32

I repeat, I’m not bashing VLCD diets!

I’m simply wondering if it’s better to eat 800 of shakes vs 800 of fresh food. Also, don’t you miss chewing?

Wolfiefan Wed 13-Jun-18 23:44:44

Laziness?
Borderline eating disorder? (Easier not to overeat if you never start eating?)
Ignorance about nutrition?

MaudlinMews Wed 13-Jun-18 23:46:30

Some people get joy from preparing food, orhers —like me— dont and prefer the simplicity of meal replacements.

No need to weigh, measure, shop, prepare, cook, check what’s in/about to go off/available in shops/transportable etc. Just open & drink. Simple.

austenozzy Wed 13-Jun-18 23:46:43

Are macros balanced with these v low cal diets? Is exercise encouraged, and are additional calories allowed if so? I don’t know anything about them.

bawbles Wed 13-Jun-18 23:47:21

OP I think lots of the shakes are nutritionally balanced so you are getting all your essential daily nutrients

Obviously it’s much better to get these from actual food. But that’s also harder to do based on consuming such a low amount of calories so you’d have to really plan your diet to hit your macros

TooTrueToBeGood Wed 13-Jun-18 23:47:28

Possibly because proper food is rather moreish, especially when you're hungry, whereas shakes are just grim.

PatriciaBateman Wed 13-Jun-18 23:52:11

I'm sure it's far healthier to eat the fresh food, and more appetising too (which is part of the problem).

Speaking for myself, I have major addiction and emotional issues around food. The closest to 'cold turkey' I can get from it, the more successful I am at losing weight.

There's something wonderfully monotonous and clinical about whizzing up a protein shake... it's an almost not-food, safe from all the complex feelings and desires.

I'm struggling with managing a maintenance phase though, because of course no one can live without food. But the plainer, the better. I almost have to eat without mentally engaging in it at all.

Just my reasons. I'm sure other people have lots of different ones though.

WhyBeUnkind Thu 14-Jun-18 00:01:34

I do a mixture. All shakes would be grim but one for breakfast suits me. I actually really like the taste of the slim fast cafe latte. I positively enjoy it. I also make sure I only ever buy it when it's at its cheapest. Then I bulk buy.
I like shakes as they are quick and contain what I need them to contain. I don't feel like eating a breakfast in the morning but I do feel like a shake so it works for me.

I also love to prepare tasty healthy fresh food for my other meals. If I'm dieting then I make sure the meals I do eat are as tasty as possible.

LapsedHumanist Thu 14-Jun-18 00:01:37

Maybe it makes food- fuel rather food=pleasure/emotional comfort etc. So it presses a reset on your relationship with food, helps you see what else is going on rather than just nourishment.

A colleague did Lighter Life and said she’d never realised how much she used food as an emotional crutch until she had to stick to the shakes. How much she ate through boredom or loneliness or blocking anger/sadness.

When she came off them she had to relearn her whole relationship with food. She had lost about 10 stone on the shakes.

A couple of years later she’d put back on a couple of stone, so she did the shakes again to lose that and she managed to stay stable after that.

She said using the shakes just gave her a break from having to prepare food etc, and she could use the time/effort to work out what was going on with her rather than just comfort eating.

NambiBambi Thu 14-Jun-18 00:07:51

I have done the shakes diet before. Years ago there was a Boots-own one that was cheaper than Slimfast and actually tasted better. They also did a hot chocolate option which was even better as you only had to add water (rather than skimmed milk) and took longer to drink so it felt more like food.

One reason I used it was I was in very old college halls with no fridges, kitchen or scales and the dinners available were unhealthy. A shake was obviously easier to make and it was easier to ensure you ate the right number of calories.

The other reason was I have suffered from disordered eating for years and this allowed me to avoid binging and to easily lose a lot of weight...

walnutwood Thu 14-Jun-18 00:09:14

Some very interesting posts here about food as fuel vs food as an emotional crutch. I hadn’t considered that but it does make sense.

It reminds me of that thing about how if you need to give up cigarettes or alcohol then it’s easy because you don’t have to have them to survive. You can just walk away from them. But we do need food to survive so it can be very hard to reduce the overeating. You can’t walk away from food.

CurlyWurlyTwirly Thu 14-Jun-18 00:13:41

Even on a diet, I would prefer to cook / prepare food.
I love to cook and I would rather put fresh plant based lo cal foods in my body rather than chemicals, however nutritionally balanced.

DN4GeekinDerby Thu 14-Jun-18 01:27:48

It's very difficult, on so few calories, to have a nutritionally balanced diet with typical food. Also, while they can be designed to be filling, shakes and bars take up less stomach space which for those suffering appetite issues can be important. Like, I can drink a shake and not feel hungry but it doesn't as much pressure on my stomach as a meal (which, for me, can feel heavy/a bit ill for over 4 hours later if it's an average to big meal).

I'm not sure on VLCD for weight loss purposes, I have no experience with that, but a lot of science and products like shake meal replacements originated partially to help those with difficulty eating, chronic low appetite, and other medical issues. They're often recommended for people with chronic illnesses or those going through cancer treatments which can kill appetite. Like other things designed for medical needs or disabilities, there is a push for it to be a broader commercial both for-profit and it brings in the funds needed to research better ways of doing things. I find it interesting how very similar products with a twist of marketing promote very different thing.

Personally, when I've been more dependent on them (I currently am on one a day though that may increase if I can't maintain my weight as I've debatably dropped too much)...I can't recall missing chewing but in general, I don't think about food much, I thankfully live with other people who do that. I imagine some would find that difficult though, what little research I've seen on it for weight loss does suggest it works best with guidance and/or counseling which might help people cope with it better during that time. I find their growing popularity for weight loss interesting, as I said, when I've regularly resisted using very similar products for weight maintenance/gain even when I know I feel better using them when I can't eat well because there is that thought that I should be doing this with real food. I have to remind myself that that's optimal and a good goal, I have to build from where I am at which is better with the shakes.

DisneylandDreams Thu 14-Jun-18 02:23:55

How well would you be able to ensure that you got a full RDA of ALL your vitamins and minerals eating 800 calories in food, and that you didn't go hungry in between meals?
DH and I lost 4 stone each on a VLCD, and felt better than we do on 'food'. It wasn't particularly difficult - very convenient when you're juggling jobs, children, house, and very difficult to cheat when you know you're allowed 4 packs a day, and that's that - no having to think about what you're going to eat or when, portable, and aside socialising issues, (it's very difficult to meet people for drinks/eating when you have to bring your own!) we found the whole thing very positive.

wolfywynnie Thu 14-Jun-18 02:37:46

I'm just about to start a VLCD consisting of three meal replacement shakes per day, all with a tablespoon of peanut butter whizzed in with them. In total I'll probably end up at 900 calories per day.
The reason I chose this besides the fast weightloss, is that I don't want to cook, plan or think about my food and so shakes take all that away. They're quick, simple, filling and tasty and I won't have to worry about nutrients.

mrbob Thu 14-Jun-18 02:48:41

Puts you into ketosis too so MUCH easier to stick to. And like going cold turkey on food which is easier than cutting down. Then in the mean time can sort out the psychological stuff behind it smile

TheBlessedCheesemaker Thu 14-Jun-18 02:56:29

You need to aim for 60g of protein per day as a nutritional minimum, so if you weren’t using shakes you might have to stir whey into whatever you were eating instead. Shakes hide the whey much better.

MillieAndObi Thu 14-Jun-18 06:59:54

Is it the Cambridge shakes that were used on that crash diet programme recently - the ones used in the clinical trials for 800 cals a day?

bawbles Thu 14-Jun-18 07:47:23

Millie I heard about that programme from my friend who does Cambridge. She gets on well with the plan

MillieAndObi Thu 14-Jun-18 07:50:08

Thanks bawbles

tigercub50 Thu 14-Jun-18 07:50:27

Giving up alcohol is not easy!

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