We held a live chat on social media with Dr Kelly Johnston, Head of Nutrition and Research and Rob Rona, Director of New Markets, Products and Services.
Facebook and Twitter users sent in their questions about everything from ketosis to excess skin. Here’s a summary
Q: I am really concerned about excess flesh after weight loss and the fact that you have to pay to have it removed. Is there any other way?
A: Don’t assume you will have excess skin after weight loss – it depends on the individual, and on factors like age, gender and ethnicity. Certainly you can help to avoid it by following your plan to ensure you’re getting all the nutrition you need to keep your skin in good condition. Being physically active is also important, and resistance training – like use weights or doing press-ups – will help you to tone up. And remember, sometimes it can take time for skin elasticity to settle in line with your new shape so it’s really not a given that you will have excess flesh after weight loss. If you are worried about this, or this does prove to be true, you will need to speak with your GP or another health care professional.
Q: Hey guys. I’m in a wheelchair for the moment, will it still go at a stone a month?
A: One stone a month is the average weight loss that is achieved on our VLCD programme, with some people losing a little more and some people losing a little less. Being in wheelchair in itself won’t preclude weight loss although you’ll obviously be less active than if you weren’t, which means that your overall daily energy deficit will be slightly less than a person of the same sized who is not in a wheelchair. Certainly long-term wheelchair users will have lower lean mass, especially in their legs and this can affect metabolic rate, which will drop slightly due to reduced lean mass however you say you are in a wheelchair for the moment so this won’t necessarily apply to you. Bearing in mind that if you are on a VLCD, and only consuming circa 600kcal per day, it would be impossible to not lose weight at a greater rate than standard dieting, although the exact amount will vary depending on the individual.
Q: Why do you not do gluten free recipes?
A: In some of our products, especially our bars, hydrolsed wheat gluten is used an ingredient to provide both texture and flavour. A completely gluten free alternative is more complicated and more costly to produce. Should there be significant demand for this, we would consider this.
However it is worth pointing out that all of our products are in line with the most recent EU labelling regulations. By law, we have to declare the main allergens (of which gluten is one), in the ingredients deck when they are present in the product. The ingredients deck is found on the back of our product packaging. If a product contains gluten, and not all of them do, it will be clearly emphasised and easily identifiable. It is worthwhile pointing out that you can’t label a food as gluten free, just because it doesn’t contain gluten. Rather, this type of labelling is reserved for products which would usually contain gluten, but which have been sufficiently processed so that they no longer do. So an apple, doesn’t contain gluten, but can’t be labelled as gluten-free using these rules. Gluten free pasta, will not contain gluten, but CAN be labelled as gluten free due to the processing it has undergone.
Q: LighterLife now recommends drinking water to thirst, whereas it used to be 4ltrs a day which is a major change as we were led to believe you needed to drink a good amount to help with the weight loss. In your professional opinion what’s the real recommended amount I should be drinking?
A: We advise people to drink to thirst, as various individuals feel hydrated using different amounts. Certainly, if you are not eating conventional food which provides a lot of the water that you consume over the course of a day, you will need to make sure that you drink enough to help provides headaches, dizziness and constipation. Small amounts at regular intervals during the day are certainly a good way to achieve this.
Q: Why is it that sugar free/no added sugar cordial is not allowed? I’ve compared it to the mix you sell and the nutritional info is very similar. The LL mix is ok but is a bit powdery and doesn’t mix great.
A: It’s important to maintain strong boundaries when you’re losing weight with LighterLife and one of these boundaries is to abstain from conventional food and drink other than advised when you’re on your plan. It’s often really helpful to explore any thoughts and feelings you have around boundaries with your group.
Q: I’m doing LighterLife total and I’m on my 5th week and have lost 1stone 8lb … It’s my weigh in again tonight but the last 2 weeks have been slow… Only losing 2lb a week on both weeks! The only thing that’s changed is I’ve been diagnosed with b12 def and have been having 6 loading injections over the last 3 weeks … Could this be why? Also my doctor said that I should be eating a healthy b12 rich diet instead of LL?? Can you give me any advice please? Also I have a wedding coming up and I will have to eat on this day .. What are the best foods to have to keep me in ketosis?
A: Congratulations on your weight loss so far. With regards to your diagnosis of B12 deficiency, we would always recommend that you listen to your GP. We have a dedicated medical team here at LighterLife so please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work with you and your GP to ensure you are receiving the best care possible.
With regards to your attendance at the upcoming wedding, we recommend exploring why you feel you have to eat on this day with your counsellor during group. We would advise that you plan ahead to ensure that you stay on plan and your group can be a great resource for this.
Q: Why is my weight loss so much slower than everyone else I know on LL? I’m on total, use fibre mix, drink lots of water, don’t have anything but 4 food packs and it can take a month to lose half a stone.
A: Not knowing your start weight or BMI it is difficult to comment on this. Certainly, if you are following a VLCD, which will come in at circa 600kcal per day, slightly more if you use ancillaries, you will lose appreciable amounts of weight over time. The rate of weight loss is a very individual experience and certainly if you stick with the programme, you will reach your weight loss goal.
Q: Can I ask if men suffer with water retention? I’ve lost 9 stone on Lighterlife which I’m delighted with but sometimes I can weigh myself & my weight can go up or down by anything up to 8 pounds, I read that salt can cause it especially if you do not drink enough.
A: Congratulations on your weight loss so far, you should quite rightly be delighted with this. If you are sticking to programme and drinking enough water and as long as your weekly weigh-in indicates that you are losing weight steadily and that this is continuing over time then the transient fluctuations in weight are nothing to worry about.