Weight Loss NHS
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very low calorie without classes?


I am overweight and have just joined this link although I use a few of the others. I'm 63 and am sedentary by nature although I used to be lively and on the go a lot, but never sporty or into keep fit. I have joined the gym but dislike going alone, so if anyone lives in St Helens and wants to go to the college gym do get in touch - I'm a member there and keep meaning to go regularly but lack motivation on my own.

Some time ago I briefly took the Lighter Life diet and found it really easy as I loved the texture and taste of the milkshakes. I stopped only because I went to China for my son's wedding and then found |I couldn't be bothered going back to the meetings because I really dislike all the inane chat about things I never watch or read, also the 'educational' content which bored me stupid - I'm sorry if that sounds snobby but it just wasn't my taste. Does anyone know whether there is a very low calorie diet that is similarly balanced and safe to do without medical supervision as I'm intelligent enough to monitor my own health and see a medic every couple of months if need be for bloods, etc. I want to lose about 5stone overall but would like to lose an initial amount quickly in order to increase my activity level and motivation, but I find it really boring and difficult to count calories or eat particular meals as I lapse easily, whereas just drinking one or two flavour shakes that I really enjoyed was relatively easy after the initial two days. If anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate them. Thanks,


12 Replies

Hi Sue - perhaps a visit to your doctor first to get an overall health check might give you the motivation you need to really change your life. That's what I did - told them I wanted a full health check as I wanted to lose weight and to scare me with numbers to motivate me (high blood pressure). If you don't like counting calories etc perhaps just doing it for a month to educate yourself on portion sizes and types of food would help then at least it gives you some idea of where you need to concentrate your efforts. I used the Weight Loss Resources site just as a food diary first of all which was a real eye opener as to what I was eating and how much I was eating. The trouble with shakes and stuff is that it's not a lifestyle that has any flexibility outside of your own home as you found out when you went to China. Maybe just cutting portion sizes initially would help although without some idea of your calorie intake you're doing a lot of work without necessarily knowing if you are getting any benefit. Personally I'm not sure there is any other long term option other than an awareness of what foods and calories you need to maintain a healthy weight. Hope you find what's right for you and please stay on this site and let us know how you're doing. It's enormously helpful.



im doing herbalife which is similar to lighter life in the sense there are shakes soups protein bars etc and also supplements and fat burners, i fin it really easy to follow and you can have as little or as much support from your distributopr as you want, i signed up as a distributor which means I also get 25% off the cost of my orders although ive only got two people i sell to and theyre friends so i give them it at the same price i pay for it. its actually cheaper than the lighter life and ive found it has better flavours available. I so far have only done the herbalife and healthy eating although if you read many of my posts you will see that I am still having treats nights off drinking etc and still losing weight, although im sure if i was alot stricter and went to the gym it would be a faster weight loss, it may sound like an excuse but life at the moment is far too complicated for me to hit the gym !

im sticking with 1200 cal a day as i suffer from ibs and struggle to eat much more than that usually im sitting slightly under it, I wouldnt recommend a really low calorie diet as it can cause problems maybe not right now but further down the line.

feel free to pm me if you want more information about the herbalife it works for me and it can be pretty flexible, in an ideal world we all have time to prepare good meals eat enough fruit and veg stick to regular meals but unfortunately it doesnt always work like that, for me this is a lifestyle change but i do know many people use meal supplements as a quick fix and yes i cant argue the results but id rather use it to lose weight slowly and steadily and keep it off


also in response to reply above it isnt just restricted to your own home, i recently went for the weekend camping to rockness and took my shakes with me all i needed was water, i am struggling with milk at the minute so i prefer to make my shakes with just water and they still taste great, im also taking them away on holiday with me two meals a day is all you need to supplement with them the real choices are actually making the commitment to take them


Yes, I agree that's great too. I didn't take them to China because it was for a wedding celebration and etiquette meant we HAD to eat what we were given and so I decided to take a break but then really didn't want to return to the class and so dropped out of the dieting...


Hi, thanks for the info but I would prefer at this stage a MUCH lower calorie intake - I know Lighter Life has been balanced so that all the necessary vitamins and minerals etc are included within the total calories of around 550 a day and I found that quite easy to stick to for the six weeks that I did it. I just don't want to go to classes each week and chatter on about dieting and tv etc, they are not my interests. Thanks for the idea though, I may have a look at herbalife. Sue


Hi Sue

I too used LL and lost three and a half stone and felt the best I've ever felt. However, it is not a long term solution and should really just be used to kick start a new healthy lifestyle. I loved the CBT and TA and talking with people who were like me...luckily I didn't seem to have any of the inane chatter you did! lol

If you want to change your life and lose weight and become healthy you need to do it for yourself and for the right reasons. Keep a journal for a week, write down how you feel and what you eat and importantly...get yourself a smaller dinner plate and bowl. I use Miss Kitty myself, I know they are for kids but they are just the right size for me. Ensure half your plate is filled with steamed, boiled or raw veg, a quarter protein (meat or fish or veggie) and the other quarter is starch/carb (potatoes, rice and veg). By using this plate, and not overfilling i.e. making a mountain on the plate, I found that I can eat more during the day but I tend to stick to between 12-1400 cals a day. I use myfitnesspal app on my phone and I swim every morning at 6 (30 lengths) then walk my two dogs separately twice a day for double the exercise, I also go to the gym but due to quite weak ankles I tend to do a lot of cycle, crosstrainer, rowing and weigts lol I listen to my music and just get on and go! lol

You will find some amazing people on here and we are all supporting each other and hopefully inspiring each other to keep going. This is not just for a week or a month...this is forever and we are all doing it.

Good luck and I hope you find someone to go to the gym with. One last piece of advice, baby steps, SMART goals, instead of thinking you have five stone to lose, think of it more as half a stone or 2lbs a week and work week by week.

Good luck x


Hi, yes that's what I want it for, to get a large amount off fairly quickly in order that I can get walking. It's great that you liked the CBT, as a psychologist and psychoanalytic therapist I really dislike CBT! It's as well we are all different. Sue


I see your logic, but losing weight rapidly is never a good thing because it's what else you could be losing too.

I am losing weight without calorie counting, but it's not rapid weight loss (the standard 1 - 2lbs) a week. I recommend the book Fat Chance by Dr Robert Lustig - it has changed my eating habits as (I think) a permanent thing and i think in the long term will be an effective thing. It's not a weight loss plan, its explain about how the body stores fat and what you should eat or not eat to prevent that, it's likely you'd lose weight by eating less of some things and more of others. That might sound obvious, but there's some real indepth stuff

The gym can be a lonely place and I'm not a fan. what I found useful was circuit training. At 37 I am sometimes the youngest by far in classes I've been to and weight/age doesn't matter. My mum sounds a similar age/weight to you and she goes to circuits for the over 50s which is a bit gentler - she's made lots of friends there and they go for a cup of tea afterwards. I also do pilates which is lovely and relaxing. i don't know anyone, but it's friendly enough and you're often too busy concentrating on the exersizes to be having a natter, but it's nice to do things like that with a group.

I have to say I'm very cynical about diets where you replace meals with milkshakes. My friend does herballife and is losing weight, but she'll eat rubbish the rest of the time. Her diet seems to consist of 2 milkshakes and pork pies and sausage rolls inbetween, yet she's still losing weight. Perhaps this is a dream diet for some.


I really dont think 500 calories is healthy for anyone at best a short term solution for people to undergo major surgery but i cant see how you can get all the nutrients you need from that at all, i lived on a diet of about 500 cals a day untill i started on here and it was because i physcally couldnt eat much more than that as i was a one meal a day person because of my ibs and over the years my body survived on those cals but yet i still put weight on, ive spent half my life fighting infections being off sick and at worst the physical illnesses have affected my mental health, since incresing my intake and yes two meals a day are in the form of shakes so im not getting the bloated soreness from actually consuming food but ive lost weight steadily 22lbs in 16 weeks my hair skin and mood has dramatically improved my skin is much clearer and brighter and im losing weight without doing any excercise, my day consists of getting up at 6 to get 3 kids ready and then driving half hour to work, mostly sitting at a desk till five half hour drive home pick kids up make dinner, always a healthy option unless its a treat then tidy up/facebook or bed im not very active. weekends i tend to have everything later breakfast lunch this is when im most likely to skip meals :( and around payday take kids out for dinner i try to eat the healthier option mcdonalds get chicken selects no fries diet drink fruit bag did anyone know adults can also substitute their fries for a fruit bag ??? well yes you can

i know i CAN stick to this longterm much to the annoyance of some of my friends who kid themselves on theyre being healthy yes do two houres swimming but dont then think its ok to have two packets of crisps and a bar of chocolate !!!


Hi, I agree absolutely, it's just that the Lighter Life diet is medically balanced and I felt really healthy on it, my hair and nails were good so clearly there was the nutrition in it that the research shows there is, but thanks for your thoughts.


I think you could achieve what you want but by watching the types of food and ensuring they are nutrient rich. Some exercise (walking is fine) doesn't need to be a gym will speed up the process and might have other benefits too.


You don't need to lose weight to start being active. I took up running last year when I had 8 stone to lose.


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