Written on: 09/10/2010
I started lighterlife total in May and finished the foundation stage (complete abstinence) after 14 weeks. I lost 3 and a half stone and felt I didn't need to lose much more so moved to the route to management group where food is slowly reintroduced to you diet. It is still possible to lose on rtm and I'm in week 7 and have lost a stone further which was an unexpected surprise.
My overall experience of the diet has been great. Of course, it is very hard not to snack on conventional food but every week you see the results and that spurs you on even more. Indeed, it is quite expensive but you are saving a lot of money by not buying takeaways and drinking out. The only extras I bought were tobasco sauce and the odd black coffee from starbucks. The side effects are small. I really only suffered from a bit of dizziness from time to time. I did start to lose energy towards the end of the foundation stage but my day job is very physical so it more likely to do with that. Also, other people can be very critical of the diet as it is quite 'strict', however if you don't feel comfortable sharing with people the ins and outs of the process, you don't have to!
The rtm stage is very fun as you realise that your food tastes have completely changed and things you didn't particularly like before are now a welcoming change. For example, I detested fresh tomatoes and cucumber and now they are a staple part of my diet. You learn how to cook really easy simple recipes that are full of all the good stuff, low in fat, sugar, salt etc and yet still taste really good. At first it was a little stressful trying to work out what you can and can can't have on a weekly basis but if you do online shopping this really helps the process and reduces the stress.
The best thing about the diet is the support you get from you councillor and your group. Every week whether you are on food packs or not, you get weighed and discuss ways of coping with the diet, sharing experiences and undergoing cognitive behaviour therapy to establish why you ate the way you did before and what needs to be changed for the better. Overall, this diet, even though it is still early days for me really, has been the best thing I have ever done for myself. I look great, I feel great and now feel very much empowered to achieve things I was afraid to before.