Tags: diet, health, ketosis,

Added: 2009-10-04T19:07


Well, I finally finished the hard part of my diet today.

I had decided that I'd got a little tubby, and had heard about a diet called the Cambridge diet.

It's what's called a VLCD - a very low calorie diet. You eat specially formulated food, and take in 415 kcals a day - yes, that's all. This is to induce Ketosis, which is when the body converts fat cells to ketones, to keep the body supplied with energy. Ketogenesis only converts fat cells. When your body has entered Ketosis, 2 to 3 days after starting on the diet (which you know by urinating on Ketostix), you start losing weight at quite a fast rate. Over the 10ish weeks I was on this Stage One of the diet, I lost 9 kilos (19.8 lbs) - that's 7 days per kilo lost - a kilo a week. And that includes quite a big "splurge" in the middle where I scoffed junk food like there was no tomorrow.

Calums diet

The beauty of this diet is that

a:, it's been developed over decades, and used in hospitals - and the ratio of fat/carbs/protein in the packs, and the total calorific level per day has been carefully designed.

b: It's pretty cheap. You get in contact with a "counsellor", who will monitor you, and help you along, and also sell you the packs. Each pack costs £1.85 - that's £5.55 a day. You eat 3 to 4 a day, so it ended up being cheaper than my usual daily food cost (given that a main meal in the canteen where I work costs £4.15). You don't eat anything else. No nothing. No tea, no fruit-juice, no nothing.

c: Unlike other diets which may also seek to induce Ketosis - you're not left to your own dietary devices. 3 of the packs a day supply 100% of your RDA of vitamins, minerals etc.

d: There's no exercise involved. In fact, my counsellor advised me not to whilest on the Stage One.

e: You eat the packs of food, and only the packs (well, and the milkshakes and chocolate bars). This for me is the key reason this diet worked for me. If my diet involved me measuring out amounts of seeds, and steaming fish for every meal, it wouldn't have worked. I don't have the inclination to spend 45 minutes in the morning preparing food.
I knew what I could eat each day, didn't have to go shopping for 10 weeks being distracted by offers, tempted by crisps....

The downsides? There aren't many. For the first 3 days while you are entering Ketosis you'll feel a bit rough. You'll miss actually eating food. Milkshakes, and soups are all very well, but after a while, you want something "real". However, even a small squirt of lemon juice can kick you out of ketosis, so you're better off sticking to it rigidly. I even gave up putting pepper in the soups, just in case. When you're in ketosis, you'll lose weight quickly, and it's a bit of a pain to get into it, so you'll want to avoid glitches.

So, if you want to lose weight fairly quickly - without chopping off an arm - take a look at this.

posted by Calum on 2009-10-04T19:07 under

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