Day Four.

January 31, 2007

Oh.  My.  God.  I.  Want.  To.  Eat.

I have had a hellish day in terms of wanting to eat.  So far I haven’t, and I think now I am over the worst, but it has taken so SO much to stop myself.  I know I’m in ketosis by now, as I’m fucking freezing all the time, which is a side effect.  Unfortunately though, I don’t seem to benefit from the loss of hunger feelings you are meant to experience when in ketosis, which makes things very hard.

I have mostly been putting off eating by reading threads on minimins, only because it can be distracting.  Some of the threads are vaguely helpful, people encouraging each other, success stories, words of wisdom etc.  However, a lot of threads are about people falling off the wagon, and there is even a whole section for ‘restarters’ which doesn’t fill me with confidence.  There’s even a thread asking how many people who have restarted VLCDs have actually seen them through to completion after previously failing, and there seemed to be only 2.  I know that the success or failure of a bunch of internet strangers does not directly affect how well I cope with this, but it is hard to trust something entirely when you see so many failing.  It’s a bit like getting on a rollercoaster after watching 3 people fall off it.

The first time I did LL, I had sod all idea about it really.  I went to the classes, I bought my foodpacks, I took what my counsellor said as gospel, and stuck to it 100%, and it was so easy, the whole 9 weeks.  Since coming off it and doing Atkins, and researching various things, it is SO hard for me to stick to, because I know more than I should.  Ketosis is a result of having a very very low carbohydrate intake.  LL foodpacks are very low carb, and this is what puts you into ketosis (which allows you to lose weight quickly), not the low calorie intake.  To be in ketosis and losing weight at the same rate when doing Atkins,  you have to restrict your net carb intake to about 20g a day (net carbs is the carbs (g) minus the fibre (g) in the product).  Things like meat & poultry contain pretty much no carbs (unless you buy processed shite), and dairy very little.  This is why Atkins works, despite the fact that people eat large amounts of fatty foods.  When I did it, I existed mostly on chicken and bacon salads, low carb chocolate, bacon and eggs, german salami, and full cream in coffee.

I’m not sure how much carbohydrate there is in the LL foodpacks, I can’t find the nutritional values on the internet anywhere, and they aren’t printed on the packs.  I know you can get the nutritional values on a sheet, I had them last time, but I can’t for the life of me remember what they were.  Still, regardless of how much carboydrate is in the packs, the point is that you could add more protein to the diet without coming out of ketosis.  As the foodpacks total about 500 calories a day, and most ‘normal’ diets recommend reducing your daily intake from 2000 to 1500 calories in order to lose weight, just nibbling a chicken breast, or a piece of ham, or some bacon, would really not much affect your weight loss.

It is knowing this that makes it harder to stick to.  Plus the fact I am more cynical now than the first time I did the diet.  When I started it was £44 a week.  The company was set up by a couple of people who were desperate to lose weight quickly, conquer their food issues while doing it, and live happily ever after.  Apparently once they did this, setting up LL was merely because they wanted to share this wonderful diet with other desperate people.  Since the cost went up to £66 a week, I have lost the faith that this is a company that really want to help people, they are just grabbing as much money from desperate fatties as possible.

Another thing that would seem to confirm this point is the restrictions placed upon you during the diet.  You are allowed foodpacks, black tea or coffee, water, tablet sweetners, and that’s your lot the whole time.  However, should you find water boring, LL have 2 water flavourings you can use.  They cost £9 a tub.  They also have savoury drinks which cost about £8 for 7 sachets or something.  It’s basically boullion.

We are told not to drink soft drinks because the citric acid in them MAY knock us out of ketosis.  Last year when Coke Zero came out, I happened to read the ingredients and nutritional information.  Obviously it’s pretty much calorie free, as are most sugar free soft drinks.  It is also carbohydrate free, and indeed citric acid free.  So, I emailed LL head office to say I had found that Coke Zero had no carbs and no citric acid, and was it OK therefore, to drink it.  The replied with a no, as it MAY knock you out of ketosis.  I replied to them asking what it was that the Coke Zero contained that would affect the ketosis, and they hilariously replied with ‘we don’t know, it might be the citric acid’.

I am therefore convinced that the main reason you are told not to have soft drinks is because then you will buy more of their water flavourings.  With up to 12 people in one group alone, buying a tub at £9 each, every other week, that’s a nice extra profit on top of everything else they already get.  I find it quite horrible really that desperation is so badly exploited in this way.  It also makes doing the diet very hard.  I would like to stick to it completely, but knowing everything that I know, I have been allowing myself a dash of milk in my coffee, as the carbohydrates and calories are negligible (unless I start drinking 15 cups a day), and I have a bottle of Coke Zero in my car boot.  I haven’t touched it yet, as I haven’t fancied it, but if I do, I will have it.  Perhaps this is a mistake, I don’t know yet.

If any people on LL are reading this, I certainly would not encourage you to tinker with the diet.  It is most likely easier to get through your 100 days if you just do as you are told.  I am just very cynical, and spend too much time looking up things on the internet.  I know too much for my own good.

I may now have one more glass of water and a ciggie before bed.  A better day tomorrow, I hope.

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6 Responses to “Day Four.”

  1. debra said

    im going to join on the 12th likr what youve written

  2. Anthony said

    Hi, found your blog while googling the effects of citric acid on Ketosis. I started LL a week ago and was a bit surprised at the counsellor’s recommendation to avoid diet drinks because of the citric acid. I have previous done Atkin’s and had no trouble achieving ketosis even while gorging on diet drinks so that raised a red flag. I have found info that states *some* people have problems with citric acid and ketosis, so there is some merit in their advice, but to roundly condemn all diet drinks, even the citric acid free ones, seems a bit much.

    After doing a fair bit of research I have also concluded, as you have, that the main reason for their stance against all diet drinks is the ability to shift more water flavourings.

    I don’t like this and normally knowing this about any organization would put me off, but I have mentally committed myself to the program so I will see it through to the end, as it is to my benefit.

    Going forward I will be sure to continue questioning and confirming for myself anything that I find suspect on the program.

  3. Hi

    I too came across your blog while I was looking for info on ketosis. I’m currently doing the Cambridge Diet which I believe works on the same principle as LL.

    We’re also told not to drink coke, pepsi, and all flavoured carbonated drinks. Personally I’m addicted to pepsi My diet counsellor said that the new coke Zero can be drunk on this diet, as it doesn’t have citric acid in it – and therefore won’t take you out of ketosis.

    I hope this helps.

    (shame I don’t like the taste of coke zero! Oh well….)

  4. Tombot said

    I too found this blog, looking into the effects of citric acid and ketosis.

    I previously lost over 5 stone on the atkins diet, drinking any 0 carb drinks i could get my hands on, and i dont think it made any difference to me.

    If you think it might have some effect on you, and dont like coke Zero then you can also try Doctor Pepper Zero, as thats got no citric acid in too.

  5. Rosemarievn said

    Hi,
    very brief reply to try to help you. I am medically trained and on the cambridge diet, which is very close in content to LL, and works in the same way. I, too, fell off the bandwagon during a personal crisis, but am back on it again after tremendous difficulty.(There are many psychological reasons why it is so difficult to successfully re-establish yourself on a diet especially one such as this). The advice to stay away from citric acid is sound, and based on a physiological cycle (biochemical)in the body, where circulating energy is converted to usable energy.

    Citric acid will affect the process of ketosis: though not always knocking you out of ketosis it inhibits your body cells from recognising ketone bodies as their preferred source of energy so that the body begins to break down lean tissue to access glucose. This is bad news for all as it will diminish your muscle mass. You will still lose weight, muscle is heavy, and chances are that you will also be hungry. Even the small amounts of citric acid found in trident soft-centre gums are sufficient to cause this problem.

    Those fortunate enough to be knocked out of ketosis by citric acid, will keep away from it while on VLCDs, and preserve their muscle tissue.

    Extra protein will not affect your ketosis, but it will put your kidneys at risk and it will slow down your weight loss. As an emergency measure once or twice, or while you are trying to get into ketosis, it will do no harm.

    Hope this is helpful to you.

    ps These diets are a quick and safe way to lose weight so persuade yourself to carry on. It may be costly but we have all spent a lot more on getting ourselves in the condition we are now trying to reverse.

  6. Caroline said

    Same as many found this link while googling to find out why LL disallow diet coke. I will stay off them after the last comment as it’s hard work eating the packs without scuppering all the effort for coke light!
    I also have done Atkins over the years and know lots about the different foods etc you can have and agree with this blog – if you’re going to do it, might as well stick to the rules…….however, after a few days I have ditched the porridge pack in favour of a boiled egg ( followed later in day by 2 packs and a meal as on LL lite).

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