Question, not criticism

heathersmilez Posts: 2,579 Member
So there is a good chance this group will get deleted since VLCD's are not encouraged by MFP but before it does I have an honest question and I will tell you I at least googled this first so there is no judgment here. For others who don't know what the Cambridge Diet is, this was a nice quick summary from wiki that made the VLCD idea very palatable despite the obvious worries - slowed metabolism, loss of muscle mass etc.

"The core of the Diet in the UK is a very-low-calorie diet (VLCD) , as low as 440 calories/day, combined with minerals, vitamins and fatty acids to reduce the loss of nutrients typical of low calorie restriction.

The diet formula is intended to imitate the weight loss properties of starvation, while providing enough protein to protect lean tissue, the right level of carbohydrate to promote a mild ketosis and eliminate a sense of hunger, and the right levels of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and essential fatty acids to maintain good health. The meals are intended to combine all necessary food groups to satisfy a body’s nutritional needs, in order to allow a person to stop craving foods and overeating."


My question/interest is what are your daily meal plans like that you are able to get as much nutrients as possible into your body with so little calories? Have you found yourself binging because you are so famished? Are you exercising? I would think regular cardio-based exercises would be next to impossible on such low cals...



  • Jain
    Jain Posts: 861 Member

    I've been on the CD twice & lost a load of weight in a very short space of time. But both times I was getting checked out by my Dr each month to make sure my health was okay. It was.

    Bear in mind I am Morbidly Obese, & nothing else had worked for me.

    I was sole sourcing, which is shakes only no food allowed. But I did take a very good quality multi vitamin, a skin/nails/hair suppliment & a fibre suppliment. Once I get past the first 3 days I was fine, not starving. And TBH the cost sure makes you focus.:laugh:

    I did go to the gym, but cardio was tough, so I just dialed back the duration & intensity. Lifting weights was not a problem.

    But the first time & had a fall while hiking, dislocated my ankle & was layed up for quite a while. & the Dr advised coming off the diet.

    The second time I got hit real bad by SAD, & the anti-depressant I was taking made weight loss just about impossible. I've now got this out of my system & am doing a modified VLCD using reputable shakes I can buy over the internet. So 3 a day + a small veggie meal in the evening after my workout.

    So far so good.
  • melinda_great
    melinda_great Posts: 33 Member
    "My question/interest is what are your daily meal plans like that you are able to get as much nutrients as possible into your body with so little calories? Have you found yourself binging because you are so famished? Are you exercising? I would think regular cardio-based exercises would be next to impossible on such low cals..."

    I am morbidly obese, and following a VLCD. The biggest thing that helps me is planning out what I'll eat in advance. If I wait until I'm hungry and just grab something, I put less thought into it, and end up eating measthat aren't as balanced and nutritionally sound as the meals I eat when I've planned in advance. I try to choose food that have a lot of bang for their buck, so to speak, and I choose a combination of foods that make up a balanced diet on any given day, as much as it's possible. I also take a multi-vitamin. I like the kids vitamins because they have a lower concentration per tablet, but tell you how many to take for an adult dose. If I take most adult multi-vitamins on a VLCD, I end up throwing up violently. With the kids vitamins, I take two a day, and I can spread that out with two different meals. It is a challenge at first, coming up with meal plans that provide your body with what it needs, but like most other things, you get better at it as you go.

    As for binging, it sometimes happens, but you find ways to cut way down on the likelihood of that. For example, I eat less in the early part of the day and more toward evening. Evening is when I'm my hungriest and am most likely to binge because I'm at home where food is readily available. I also eat fewer calories at a time, but I eat more often which makes me feel like I'm constantly eating, and I don't get as hungry at any certain point in the day. Also, with myfitnesspal, I have my food diary as viewable with a passcode, and I have a friend who has the passcode. Knowing she can see my intake for the day makes me accountable, and that motivates me to refrain from binging when I have the temptation.

    As for exercise, I haven't been lately, but when I do, I try to do less strenuous activities like walking or yoga, but in the past I've gradually worked up to where I was exercising vigorously, it just took some time to get to that level. I'm currently trying to get an exercise regimen started.

    I hope this was of some help. Best of luck!
  • heathersmilez
    heathersmilez Posts: 2,579 Member
    Thanks ladies! I'm going to keep mine at 1000-1200 cals which is still under by 200-700 cals depending on my exercise but I have found it works best for me so it’s a LCD rather than VLCD since I am a BMI of 22. I have a mid-term Wednesday night for our grad-school class so I bought these great containers and pre-made our dinner for the next 3 nights. Each meal is 350 cals and <$3.00 a serving. Chicken Stirfry, both a Rosemary Balsamic option and Spicy Peanut Satay. Pre-planning your day is definitely the way to go as was mentioned above. I've been enjoying chocolate protein smoothies for breakfast and lunch. 5-10x cheaper than Shakeology and Body By Vi plus the protein is keeping me full and no worries on nutrients, the load of veggies in my dinner more than tops me out on everything, the only thing that’s kind of low is iron, max 60% intake, hmmmm

    My photos from tonight;


    And served (photo taken from last week, had black beans and no bean sprouts in that version);

  • minaljaiswal
    minaljaiswal Posts: 1 Member
    I have done CD once in past , and lost 2 stones or more in 2 months .....this is the only thing that worked for me. Unfortunately gained around 10 kgs back due to uni which is in scotland and makes me travel a lot I end up eating wrong food.

    I did cheat once in a while on the diet and beleive that as long as you cheat only once a week its fine . This time around I have lost 5 kgs in 4 weeks with cheating , slower than last time as I have lesser to loose.

    The food that keeps me loyal to the diet is Fish fillets I get in Iceland, and occasional nandos or Tandoori Chicken. The fish is Sole fish marinated in Garlic and herb/ Lemon and herbs and is only 194 cals per fillet. I grill eat and add lettuce, cottage cheese or brocolli (grill it in the oven for 3 mins ) and sprinkle lots of lime juice for taste on it. Its really cheap £2 a pack in the frozen fish section and thats 2 days sorted. Apart frm this they also do chicken breast slices in tikka flavour or unflavoured which make a good change.Hope u find this helpful
  • Azurastar
    Azurastar Posts: 13 Member
    I am on day 11 of Cambridge diet, I am doing sole source plus. So I have my 3 shakes a day, and for supper my meal is under 300 calories. I was told no carbs for the first 2 weeks, and no exercise, or don't do anything that makes you go red in the face. I was more tired the first week, but was never hungry. This week I have energy, still not hungry, haven't cheated and am down 10lbs. My only issue, is that my time to weigh in with my distributer, changes every week, and is later in the day, so what she has down for me losing is different then what I have. I weigh myself right away in the am, and I see her in the afternoons, so our numbers are usually 2lbs off. But needless to say I am 10lbs down, and going strong!
  • aedreana
    aedreana Posts: 979 Member
    Greetings! aedreana here, brand-new to the group. I have done 400 calories per day diets many times. My most recent diet was 600-700 calories per day; I lost 10 pounds in 25 days, from 121 to 111 (I am 5' 3 1/2.") I have no use for the 1200-calories/one pound per week nonsense! I firmly believe that long slow dieting impairs metabolism. I do not exercise. I am a vegan for ethical reasons. I do not send out individual friend requests, but I accept friend requests sent my way. Please feel free to add me!