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To start the Lighter Life diet?

(69 Posts)
yoyomagic Sat 23-Feb-13 22:17:14

A long post with some background!

I've struggled with my weight for YEARS! I'm in my thirties with children and am at my wits end now.

I have Poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome which makes it increasingly difficult to loose weight. With every year that passes, I seem to gain approximately 1/2 - 1 stone in weight. As many people with PCOS know, the more weight you gain, the harder it is too shift - it's a viscous cycle.

I'm not pinning all my weight gain specifically to having PCOS. I have a really sweet tooth and love chocolate! But, my overall diet is good. I'm a vegetarian, eat lots of fresh fruits and salads daily. I don't eat take always or fried food. My downfalls I guess, is chocolate/biscuits, bread and my lack of desire to exercise.

I've never done extreme dieting - I don't think I'd have coped with the lack of food. I've always opted for diets such as Slimming World and Weight Watchers in which I could eat a wide variety of food and good amounts to fulfil me. I always managed to loose around 1 stone, but would then come to a standstill, or would juggle around with a few lbs on and off over a period of weeks.

This leads to frustration, and I feel disheartened and uninspired. I end up letting the sweet stuff creep into my 'diet' and by the end of the year, it builds up gradually to the point of putting on approximately 1/2-1 stone.

I don't binge eat, or eat vast amounts of sweet treats, so I don't feel my size justifies what I eat.

As I said, I don't work out. I have found with each year that passes and the bigger I have got, I feel too lethargic to exercise. I work full time and combined with raising a young family and all that entails, I am too exhausted to work out in the evening. I am active though. I am always 'on the go' and walk most places. I definitely am slowing down though as I have become larger.

So I am basically considering a drastic weight loss plan to at least bring me into a reasonably healthy BMI. I hear a lot of stories of people who have had great (short lived) success on the LL diet, only to have gained all the weight back and more. But my way of thinking, is that If I have lost a considerable amount (I need to loose roughly 5 stone), then as my diet on the whole consist of good foods, then I should be able to maintain a healthy BMI? I truly believe it is mostly down to my PCOS that I struggle to loose weight.

Does anyone have any experience with Lighter Life? Or is anyone in or has been in a similar position that could offer advice? I can't bear another fat summer!

ChocolateTeacup Sat 23-Feb-13 22:19:59

I have done Cambridge which is very similar and kept the weight off, I constantly monitor what I eat and went to Slimming World for my last 1/4 of a stone to educate myself properly on food.

Quite simply, yes it will work and it will work quickly if you stick to it, no you wont keep the weight off if you cant train yourself not to eat junk

HollyBerryBush Sat 23-Feb-13 22:20:08

Women at work do it with regularity - they yo-yo.

As an aside, have you ever seen a picture of the woman who owns LL? Lets just say she is not a good advert for her product.

ChocolateTeacup Sat 23-Feb-13 22:20:41

It may help for a week to write down absolutely everything that passes your lips. To be more realistic in what you are eating

MunchMunch Sat 23-Feb-13 22:24:22

I've done the cambridge diet and loved it. Fast weightloss and seeing yourself shrink is amazing.

Its cheaper than LL and has the benefit of a one to one consultant. However I'm just about to start Exante - same idea but no consultant and cheaper (they have a good offer on atm until 28th Feb)

Good luck

HollyBerryBush Sat 23-Feb-13 22:25:09

I know its the DM! but its the link that rises to the top of google

But it's making millions for a woman who quite clearly doesnt use her own product and preys on the insecurities and fears of other women.

mollymawk Sat 23-Feb-13 22:25:28

Obviously it's up to you but my only experience of this diet is a family member who was on the diet for about 6 weeks and ended up in hospital on a drip etc. She had lost a fair amount of weight by then but was horribly shocked and chastened by the whole experience.

I find sugar/white flour to be very addictive BUT if I don't start eating them then I'm not sucked in to eating more. Could you try to simply totally avoid sugar/white flour first? Might be better than avoiding all food which I understand is what LL is!

HollyBerryBush Sat 23-Feb-13 22:26:42

PCOS and you are eating bread? none of my 3 friends who have PCOS eat bread, pasta or rice in any shape or form.

specialsubject Sat 23-Feb-13 22:31:06

recognising that you have PCOS - but you said yourself: ' I end up letting the sweet stuff creep into my 'diet' and by the end of the year, it builds up gradually to the point of putting on approximately 1/2-1 stone.'

you don't need to work out. You just need to move and eat less sugary stuff. As do most of us. :-)

save yourself some money.

good luck.

yoyomagic Sat 23-Feb-13 22:36:27

Thanks for you fast responses!

ChocolateTeacup I will look up the Cambridge diet. I believe over the years I am quite knowledgeable about healthy eating. However, when I don't progress as I should, I get frustrated - hence the sweet treats creeping in! I've done food diaries etc. Makes no odds, once I've lost around 1 stone in weight, nothing shifts despite eating healthily!

HollyBerryBush Thank you for the link! already having second thoughts -quite shocking!

mollymawk Sorry to hear that happen to your family member. LL looking less and less appealing...

I've never been able to completely avoid sugar unfortunately. But I do cut it down drastically when on SW or WW, I already opt for wholemeal pastas, rice and bread - I prefer it.

Dogsmom Sat 23-Feb-13 22:38:04

I've done LL and lost 3 stone in 14 weeks, yes I regained it over a couple of years but it was my own fault, I overate again. There is no proof that you regain it faster than after any other diet, I've also done the same after Slimming world., there was a programme on Channel 4 the other week about Weight watchers and how unhealthy some of their own brand products are and how high the % of people who regain their weight is. If you go back to old habits then yes you'll regain it but if you stick to a sensible diet afterwards then you will easily maintain your new weight.

Last year I did Cambridge (CWP) which is exactly the same diet, just a different brand and almost half the price, LL I think is now £70 a week whereas Cambridge is about £40, it sounds a lot but it's short term, you'll lose a stone a month and don't buy anything other than the packs, I spend a LOT more when I'm eating normally when you factor in all the meals out, drinks and normal day to day food.

The difference between the 2 diets is that LL do a weekly meeting which is about an hour, it's like a course that you work through, it was enjoyable in that you do it alongside a small group of other people from start to finish but I can't say it's worth the extra cash, with CWP you just go to someones house, get weighed, measured, buy the packs and discuss anything you need to. They also have a good forum which is excellent for support, I used to go on everyday and found it so useful.

The main downside is that it's antisocial, no meals out etc if you follow the strictest plan but you can do one where you have less packs plus a small meal which obviously gives smaller losses but I liked the fast results and am impatient.

On CWP I lost almost 4 stone in 14 weeks and went from a size 18 to a 10-12, I also fell pregnant within 3 months after trying unsucessfully for 3 years and DD is due in 2 weeks smile

Lovecat Sat 23-Feb-13 22:38:44

I did it as I needed to lose 3 stone very quickly in order to have an operation.

It was very easy after day 3, like your brain just switched off from food. It really does work if you can commit to it.

However - unless you are very lucky with your "counsellor", you will learn little or nothing about your personal relationship with food - our one was very good at spouting the party line and she did have a few good tips, but mainly she followed a script and if you didn't fit that script then it really didn't change anything about the way you viewed food - our one also had an intensely annoying personality so that probably didn't help me 'get' it, either!

Consequently, although I managed to maintain a total weight loss of 4 stone for almost 2 years, 3 stone of it gradually came back on again and I'm now at SW in an attempt to educate my eating habits. Have lost a stone since November and am enjoying proper food.

One other word of warning - about 2 months after I'd finished the programme I found myself getting very, very depressed and anxious, far worse than the PND I'd had in the past, and when I had some blood tests it turned out that I was incredibly low in iron, folic acid and other minerals. Before I'd done LL I was always complimented by the Dr on my blood results! So (this is obviously a personal experience, wouldn't want to generalise) but it seemed to me that while the packs provided a certain level of vits & mins to keep you going, it wasn't enough to keep you healthy long-term and after a few months of grilled fish and steamed veg I was running on empty.

So I wouldn't really recommend it, given my experience!

yoyomagic Sat 23-Feb-13 22:39:26

HollyBerryBush NO bread, pasta or rice at all? generally I only eat wholemeal/bran of these. Is that like a general rule that I don't know about?

BonaDrag Sat 23-Feb-13 22:40:45

Please don't. It's dangerous, drastic and you will likely put it back on as such a diet is unsustainable.

I lost weight by reducing my portion sizes by half. I still ate what I wanted but less of it. Also, the couch to 5k podcast is (free) and worth checking out.

HollyBerryBush Sat 23-Feb-13 22:44:37

yoyo and potoatoes - no spuds either! they swapped spuds for yams, squash and sweet potoato.

I think they found the removal of 'white carbs' was the most effective way they found of managing their condition.

Have you looked at any of the support websites of PCOS? There are bound to be forums with people bouncing round recipes and ideas, some of which may work for you.

yoyomagic Sat 23-Feb-13 22:48:50

Dogsmom Congratulations on your pregnancy - and well done on your weight loss! Does the CWP suppress your hunger? I probably eat out a handful of times a year, so the ant sociable aspect wouldn't bother me really.

Lovecat That's what's so appealing about SW, as you can eat 'proper food', but I always come to a stand still! These quick fix diets terrify me as I know it comes with possible side affects - but I'm so desperate now. I just want a head start! Not great for you that you had low iron. Definitely worrying.

yoyomagic Sat 23-Feb-13 22:58:05

specialsubjec Thanks - but unfortunately, when I come to a standstill after avoiding lots of sugary stuff, I cave in as it feels pointless when I stop loosing weight completely.

My PCOS means I have irregular periods. This for me also means I get PMS symptoms sporadically throughout the month and go through the motions of craving sugary things (mainly chocolate) as many do just before a period (along with all the other PMS symptoms). However, I can have a period anywhere between 4-8 weeks. This 'need' for sugar is never satisfied by fruit and I feel really low and get headaches if I don't have some chocolate.

This is why the sweet treats inevitably creep in. I wish I had the will power not to.

yoyomagic Sat 23-Feb-13 23:03:06

HollyBerryBush Sounds interesting. But do you think you could clarify for me if wholemeal and bran pasta/rice/bread is also a no no? I've looked at some sites for people with PCOS, I don't feel my GP is very supportive regarding this. I sense they think I am lying about my lifestyle rather than believing that on the whole - I eat healthy.

ouryve Sat 23-Feb-13 23:11:29

LL doesn't strike me as a diet that would teach you to continually eat slim. You need to find a way of eating real food which will help you to lose the weight and then not pile it back on again. And with the money you're not spending on faddy processed food, you could be eating some really good fresh food.

twitchycurtains Sat 23-Feb-13 23:35:58

Please don't do LL, I did LL and yes the weight does come off very quickly I lost almost 4 stone in 3.5 months, but the health problems that came along with it were not worth it and I would never do another vlcd (very low calorie diet) LL market themselves as having counsellors and group counselling sessions, all very above board and responsible. My counsellor was overweight herself by 7 stone and by her own admission had tried LL at least 3 times before and was on her 4th attempt. We had work books that we worked through and videos we watched but it was nothing close to "counselling" or getting to the heart of why any of us were overweight or over eating in any meaningful or helpful way.

I followed the diet to the letter and I lost the weight, but I also developed severe constipation and at one point was drinking 3-5 litres of water a day,my blood pressure dropped, I felt constantly light headed and would get a head rush if I got up off the sofa too quickly, I was admitted into hospital after passing out in the bathroom and had to have all manner of embarrassing procedures carried out.

I also ended up with loose skin due to losing the weight so quickly. To this day I have problems with constipation and digestion etc. I ended up putting the weight back on and then some as I never addressed the real reason why I over ate and why I comfort ate. Please think again, fast weight loss isa always tempting and losing weight is difficult but there are other healthier alternatives that will allow you to lose weight without adding to or causing new health issues for you.

Noodled Sun 24-Feb-13 00:07:04

Sister has done it four times, loses three to four stones then piles it all back on the minute she starts eating proper food.

Honestly? Pcos makes it harder and for my sister too but if she had changed her eating habits (easier said than done) she would be much healthier. Her diet is decent but her portions too big I suppose. It worries me that she does this, I can't see it as healthy or helpful.

GiantTess Sun 24-Feb-13 00:25:37

Illustrationaddict Sun 24-Feb-13 00:27:16

I'm wondering if it might be worth consulting a qualified dietician? One of my best friends is a dietician and she does write personal plans for people, with a breakdown of why they should eat certain things, especially if there is a health issue. It might be that you're eating something seemingly innocent? My friends told me stories where very intelligent clients have misunderstood certain food benefits. I imagine there would be somebody who would do this locally to you? I know my friend has charged around £80 for a consultation, written up plan and follow up. Not sure how much LL or herbal life is, but I imagine you have to continue paying out for it?

twitchycurtains Sun 24-Feb-13 00:41:36

When I did it LL was £66 a week for the 'counselling' and a weeks worth of foodpacks.

Bouncingbeans Sun 24-Feb-13 00:44:23

OP, Your post could have been written by me over a decade ago. I eventually tried LL after many other failed diets, and lost 6 stone. I had already had my children, but felt so much better for the weightloss, and felt that I had truly tackled PCOS.

Through my own lack of control, marriage breakdown, depression and basically every other excuse I could use I eventually put it all back on and more. Then tried Cambridge, for the whole cycle to start again. I think I failed the diets rather the other way around.

I am now in my fifties, weighing 18 stone, in a really stressful job and about to lose my home, so again have so many reasons (excuses?) not to tackle my weight. In the past 7 months, my health has really gone downhill. I have had a persistent cough, and just feel so exhausted all the time. My eyes hurt a lot and I have constant headaches. I have been to the GP and had blood tests so waiting for results but really think I might have type 2 diabetes. When I was first diagnosed with PCOS I was warned there would be a high risk of developing it if I didnt tackle my weight. Just cant believe I didnt do anything to stop this happening to myself.

So my answer to your OP is whether or not LL is the right diet for you, please do something as my path is the easy path. I did nothing :-( Good luck with whatever choice you make. Try to focus on the end result rather than how quickly you can get there. Losing weight might not be the answer to everything but at least it is one less risk factor further down the line.

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