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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!

Illustrationaddict Sun 24-Feb-13 00:46:48

Limey, when you tot it up its very expensive! You could hire Gillian mckieth for a few months LL then! ;)

Not sure how herbal life compares? A friend of mine is using this in run up to her wedding

Illustrationaddict Sun 24-Feb-13 00:47:29

*blimey, not Limey, ha!

Illustrationaddict Sun 24-Feb-13 00:51:10

Bouncing beans, don't give up Hun. Try & think of each day as a fresh start, you can do it!

yoyomagic Sun 24-Feb-13 00:57:51

"ouryve* Thank you for your response - you are completely right, however, I have (for years) tried diets such as WW and SW which focus on eating a wide variety of healthy foods. The only thing I've improved on over the years, is steering clear of the companies food products and snack bars, as in the early years (on WW) I relied heavily on WW snack bars etc.

I was considering LL as I feel like I've hit a wall and quite frankly, am desperate!

Illustrationaddict Sun 24-Feb-13 01:07:57

But is WW the same as consulting a qualified dietician? What qualifications do the group leaders have? Are they qualified to give advice on diets for ladies with PCOS? If they are then yes, ignore my suggestion, but if not, they might be missing some vital information. My friend works in a hospital for her day job advising specific diets for particular conditions. Shes told me she can usually spot why people struggle with their weight by assessing their diet. Might be worth a punt?

yoyomagic Sun 24-Feb-13 01:24:26

Bouncingbeans - So sorry to hear what you have been through and what you are still going through. Good luck with your results, finger crossed it's not type 2 diabetes!

It's so tough. I've been battling with my weight for years and I honestly still don't know what route I will take now. It really helps hearing other peoples experiences and opinions. I fear I will also be in the same position in years to come.

timidviper Sun 24-Feb-13 01:29:48

My friend did LL, lost a load of weight for an important event and has since put it all back on.

Latest evidence seems to be leaning towards the fact that sugar and carbs are incredibly addictive and low carb may be a healthier way to eat. Have a look at BIWIs bootcamp threads, you might be surprised at how healthy it is and how losing the carbs really breaks the addiction to sweet suff

yoyomagic Sun 24-Feb-13 01:31:38

Illustrationaddict As far as I know, WW and SW leaders are only qualified in the field of their specific eating plan for an average 'normal' functioning person! Some leaders have knowledge of other conditions such as PCOS, but I don't think they are qualified to give advice.

I would love to have a qualified dietician summarise a food plan for me to follow (specific to my condition). Where would I go to get this? thanks.

Illustrationaddict Sun 24-Feb-13 01:43:50

Oh hun!, if you feel like you have hit rock bottom, then on a plus note, the only way is up.

Perhaps start by writing yourself a list. Work out what options you have to move forward with your diet. Research them all, and pick the one you think will work best for you. I find when you start checking things off a list you feel like youre achieving something which is really motivating.

Also maybe add some pick me ups to your list, maybe a haircut, paint your nails, buy a new top or bunch of flowers. Be kind to yourself, we often forget about ourselves when we are parenting.

ToomuchWaternotWine Sun 24-Feb-13 01:45:24

Hi, think you would have much better success with low carbing than LL.

come and join us on the low carb Bootcamp threads, take a look at some of the info on the "resources" tab on our spreadsheet (which is usually linked to in biwi s first Op post on each weeks thread) or read Dr John Briffa "escape the diet trap" book which explains the science behind LC and how it's sugar that makes us fat, not fat!

Everyone I knew who did LL pit it all back on (and often, more) quickly. We have long term low carbers who have lost the amounts you are talking about, and who have maintained easily for over a year. Several LCers report a reduction in PCOS symptoms on LC. I don't have PCOS, but my PMT is vastly reduced, my energy is better, I don't get the 4pm slump, my skin is better, and I have been able to finally come off my 10mg citalopram dose as many of my depression symptoms have disappeared since starting in October (and I am usually worse in winter, so that's a hell of an achievement for any way of eating).

Illustrationaddict Sun 24-Feb-13 01:45:47

I will ask my friend & let you know. I think they have to be registered in a professional body?

ToomuchWaternotWine Sun 24-Feb-13 01:46:17

<waves madly at timidViper didn't see you there chuck>

Dottiespots Sun 24-Feb-13 01:50:03

Sorry if its been mentioned but one of the side affects that alot of women doing lighter life say is that they start to lose alot of hair but for most it does grow back. So in my opionion, I dont think thats healthy.

MrsSonky Sun 24-Feb-13 08:41:21

OP you could be me. I'm late 30s, veggie and 5-6st over weight. I started LL 3 weeks ago.

I have 4 food packs a day. Each pack contains 1/4 of the recommended daily vitamins and minerals you need. Hence, you have to have 4 per day (even if you don't feel hungry). And they add up to 600cals pd.

You are recommended to drink at least 2ltrs of water a day. I find I drink more. By drinking glasses throughout the day rather than glugging a ltr bottle all at once. It's the drinking large amounts at one go which can cause problems.

The first week was hard. I wasn't hungry but I did suffer from headaches - carb withdrawal. I upped my water and took painkillers. These have now passed.

Hair shedding - I haven't noticed any more than usual.

Hunger - I don't have it. Apparently it's a side effect of ketosis.

Gall stones - this can happen with any weight loss program where you loose more than 3lbs in a week.

Weekly sessions - mixed bunch in the group. Some returners, who all admit not doing the maintenance after stopping the packs. Maintenance is free and is sessions with others at your point (eating food) so can share experiences etc... There are no restrictions on the types of food you can have after. I have started to look at my relationship with food differently.

I still shop for the family, go out to restaurants (I just have black coffee and mint tea). I've 'come out' to some people, some of whom have been supportive, some not. I don't think people who are not very/over-weight realise how hard it is to shift 5-6 stone. I tried RC and just found shopping for me, working out fat % etc... exhausting and the weight loss was not quick enough for me to be motivating.

I chatted through my decision with my GP, you could if you have any specific concerns. I've lost just over a stone in 2 weeks 2 days. I'm due for my next session next week. I do notice food everywhere and to be honest it does shock me (now) how much I used to eat. Large portion sizes, snacks, lattes, puddings etc... Let's just say I am very focused now!

bellejar Sun 24-Feb-13 10:09:17

DON'T!!! I lost 3 stone and have now put back on 6. It's fine when you're on the diet but the weight just comes back on again as soon as you start eating food again. And worse, the weight comes back on again as PURE FAT, not extra muscle.

Ignore it and just give up sugar xx

ScillyCow Sun 24-Feb-13 10:13:35

I have PCOS and Insulin resistance and i feel your pain.
But DON'T do LL - it is totally not sustainable.

Come and join us on the Bootcamp (low carb) thread. Lots there who have lost 1-6 stone and kept it off. I started in January and have lost a stone already (4 to go!). Loving the way of eating and haven't felt deprived at all.

PessaryPam Sun 24-Feb-13 10:26:15

If you have the cash look at this, it worked more me.

4 years now and still OK with a normal BMI. After years of yoyo dieting.

PessaryPam Sun 24-Feb-13 10:32:03

If you do just diet Lo-carbing is the way to go from experience. I can only eat small portions and I stick to protein and green veg.

Itsaboatjack Sun 24-Feb-13 10:39:44

I did LL years ago, I lost 4 stone, and gained an eating disorder, which apparently is not unusual after doing a vlcd.

Pop over to the weight loss boards, have a look at the different diets,(for want of a better word), people are trying and see what you think may work for you. I am personally doing the 5:2 diet which is having a lot of success with a lot of people right now.

ChestyNut Sun 24-Feb-13 10:46:51

Can I just say that if you do any weight loss programme and then go back to your old eating habits you will put the weight back on. This isn't exclusive to LL or other VLCD.

If you are totally committed to a lifetime change of eating habits then LL IMO is a fantastic way to loose a significant amount of weight quickly. But you must attend the counselling sessions and management modules to assist you in maintaining.
They use CBT in the sessions.

You may find that your PCOS symptoms improve with the weight loss as insulin resistance should be reduced once you are at a healthy BMI.

If your at that stage where you've tried everything and your weight is affecting you then I say give it a go.

Good luck thanks

melbie Sun 24-Feb-13 10:50:59

I did and it changed everything. I agree it is not a long term solution- it is not meant to be. It is about going cold turkey on food and getting you to the weight you want while at the same time giving you the skills that mean you might not put it back on afterwards and addressing the underlying reasons. The groups are supportive and the weight loss is quick which means you keep going.

I found it the easiest diet I had ever done, and was not hungry at all and less tempted by food than you can imagine. It was incredibly easy to stick to. I think it is great if you have tried the other diets and have just not stuck to them.

BUT- afterwards you need to make sure you change your ways or obviously you will put the weight back on. I found the time away from food changed my relationship with it and let me do this. I no longer emotionally eat. I eat when I am hungry. It is amazing the difference it makes! But then any diet is like that- unless you make some sort of permanent change of course the weight will go back on.

FurryDogMother Sun 24-Feb-13 10:54:25

Another low carber here - 60 lbs off since last August, and still going strong. I'd advise against LL or the Cambridge Diet because they don't help you change your eating patterns for life, they're quick-fixes which put your body under immense strain and are not sustainable.

Being a vegetarian makes low carbing a little more of a challenge, but still possible so long as you like eggs, cheese, maybe tofu? I don't see it as a diet, really, it's a permanent change in the way I eat, and the reason I can say this is because it's enjoyable, I don't feel at all deprived and I'm not continually fighting hunger or cravings.

The 5:2 diet seems another sensible and sustainable way to lose weight - low carbing isn't for everyone, but the key is to find something you enjoy and can see as a permanent change, not something you do for a few weeks then yo-yo back to where you started (or beyond!). Good luck!

VenusStarr Sun 24-Feb-13 11:41:50

Why not try writing down the foods you eat in a food diary (as someone else has suggested) and then try to set yourself achievable goals. Such as only having chocolate on 5 days, then 4 then 3 so eventually chocolate isnt a norm for you. Also think about increasing your physical activity, so going for a 10 minute walk on 3 days and build this up to 4 days, 5 etc then increase the amount of time you walk. Just doing small amounts of activity will help. It sounds like you need to make some lifestyle changes, but if you can build up to these changes you're more likely to stick to the changes. Diets like lighter life give people quick results but from what I understand from that diet it is dangerous and of course people lose weight but when they start to eat normally they haven't made any lifestyle changes so the weight goes back on and you get stuck in a vicious cycle. If you are an emotional water, perhaps examining your emotional relationship with food would help. Find something that gives you a similar effect to lift your mood. If you google Northumberland Tyne and Wear Self help, they have some self help booklets and there is one looking at food, that might be a good start to take control of your diet.

VenusStarr Sun 24-Feb-13 11:42:43

Emotional eater, sorry!

uggmum Sun 24-Feb-13 11:57:37

I have struggled with my weight for years. I have always had a really sweet tooth. I can eat sweet stuff endlessly and never be full. As a result I became very overweight.

I tried all diets, ww, slimming world (put 6 pounds on in the 1st week). I thought I had no willpower.

I then tried the Dukan Diet, (effectively low carb). This really worked for me. I lost 4 stone and I was never hungry. My sweet tooth was turned off.

I am believer that most diets do work but it is a case of finding one that works for you and we are all different. I have a few friends who have had great success with LL and Cambridge. You do lose the weight really quickly and it spurs you on.

You may find that a low carb diet might suit you better as you can eat fairly normally with a few adjustments. I don't specifically follow 'Dukan' these days but I maintain my weight with low carb.

They are some great low carb bootcamp threads and people are having great success. You could pop over and have a look to see if it would suit you. There are simple rules to follow and plenty of people to help you out.

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