A few years ago, a lovely client started SMLDiet with me. It went so well for her during the first week but on her second week she came to me and said 'Ally, I feel so ill'. I have no energy, i feel sick all the time and I just can't do this anymore'. Naturally I was shocked as no-one should feel like that on a VLCD - It certainly doesn't make sense nor does it make it easier or enjoyable for the slimmer. After a bit of investigating, she admitted she'd been skipping on her foodpacks in a bid to lose even more weight that she was hoping for.
There you go, there's the answer to why she was feeling so bad on plan!
Over the years, i have come across a few clients who try to 'bend the rules' in a bid to try and lose weight quicker but sadly it doesn't work like that and i'm going to tell you why.
meal replacement plans are there to work for you
Companies like SMLDiet work hard behind the scenes to ensure that their VLCD packs - meal replacements) contain the essentials that you need to lose weight safely. So that means that although they contain less calories and carbs, they contain essential vitamins and minerals. This is what keeps our bodies nourished and healthy whilst we lose weight. Some companies spread these vitamin requirements over 3 packs for the day, whilst companies such as the SMLDiet spread them over 4 packs.
Once they get in ketosis, some slimmers have mentioned that they struggle to finish all 4 packs some days (this is something i have personally experienced myself). So they 'miss out' on a pack. I suppose that's ok if you do it one day BUT the problem comes when slimmers do it more often. Sometimes they think well I've missed out on 1 pack and had no ill effects (in fact they may well believe it helped their weight loss that day) so they do it again.... and again and before you know it, they're starting to push the boundaries of the program. This is where the problem starts.
When were on a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD for short), we're living on the minimum calories that our bodies need in order to help us function. We naturally burn off calories anyway so it's important that we respect our bodies and the VLCD plan by having the recommended number of packs each day. If we regularly start to miss packs - starting with missing 1 maybe increasing it to missing 2 a day, then our bodies will be missing out on essential nutrients. This will leave us vulnerable to a weakened immune system, this WILL leave us feeling weak, this WILL leave us feeling tired and lacking energy and this WILL result in us failing on the plan as we'll be more likely to binge eat and put the weight back on again.
learn about body fat
When you sit down, you have a few extra rolls? you have love handles that sit nicely on your jeans? that's all body fat. Our body fat is simply energy that we haven't used yet. So when you ate too many calories over a period of time and didn't work them off, your body stored them as fat instead.
If we start to use up our stored energy, then we will start to lose our body fat. However, a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that they will lose it quicker if they starve themselves. So they miss out on foodpacks, they start exercising like crazy whilst not eating enough or not eating the right foods.
When this happens your body will go into starvation mode. This means that your metabolism will slow down and your body starts thinking 'I don't know when i'm going to get food again so i'd better store this fat'. So in essence it starts working against you. It all goes back to those cavemen days when food was pretty scarce and so the body learned to hold on to stored energy to keep us alive.
Not only that but as mentioned earlier, starving ourselves doesn't encourage healthy or respectful strategies for the future. When we lose weight, we need to come from a place of love - I am losing weight because I love my body and want to treat it respectfully. Starving ourselves in a bid to lose weight quicker doesn't come from a place of respect or self love.
So if you want to lose weight on a VLCD or meal replacement plan, PLEASE ensure you have the correct number of packs that the plan recommends for you every day.