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NB: I’m doing a very low calorie diet (VLCD), but open your EYES, man. VLCDs are REAL. They aren’t suitable for everyone, and are (duh) EXTREME. So if you’re even thinking about thinking about doing a VLCD, you MUST first consult your GP, shaman, shawoman, chief Jedi, or whoever you’ve charged with looking after your health. Otherwise bad things, people. Bad things.
Week four dawns bright, cold and competent. My VLCD and I have reached an uneasy truce. I know to use breath spray and avoid aspirated vowels lest my ketosis-breath blisters the very skin off other people’s faces. Also, because ketosis can make you feel cold, I’ve taken to carrying a hot water bottle around, and basically wearing hiking socks to bed. Yep, halitosis and hot water bottles. COWER, MORTALS, BEFORE MY MONSTROUS SEXUAL ALLURE.
I’ve ALSO perfected the elusive VLCD food pack “latte”, using a chocolate shake, about fifteen teaspoons of instant coffee, and dramatically lowered expectations:
At work I mix up my shakes at my desk with the skill of a poisoner, and everything ticks along nicely.
Until I have one of THOSE days.
The sort of day where you’re feverishly working on something COMPLICATED and URGENT all day, but every two minutes someone hands you MORE complicated and urgent things, so you breathlessly cycle through projects that keep stacking up and, and when you finally surface with your eyesight all swimmy, nine hours have passed and all you want to do is GO TO THE FUCKING PUB.
So I do.
I allow myself the pub because I need to let off some steam, and because I know that one vodka and slimline tonic (the manliest of drinks to order at the bar) is low-calorie and won’t knock me out of ketosis (NB: Drinking when in ketosis CAN BE DANGEROUS. Your tolerance is lowered and your body is less able to process alcohol, so I’m not endorsing drinking in any way here).
And you know what? One is enough. I was slightly concerned that the slightest deviance from my plan might turn me into some gluttonous Ganesh, stuffing not only food but alcohol, drugs and cigarettes into my gaping maw of need (ref. Fifty Shades of Grey), but one drink and a nice mellow sit-down are sufficient to unknot me. Will I use this knowledge when I’m eating normally again? Will I shorten pub all-nighters to two-drink specials? Not a fucking chance. But, hey, enlightenment!
Enlightenment and steak – on my particular VLCD you have to take a “food break” every four weeks, where you add a low-carb meal to your diet for a week. This is in addition to some of the "meals" some VLCD companies provide, which look like this:
But the first of my MEAL-meals is STEAK. Medium-rare chargrilled sirloin steak with cauliflower cheese mash. It is DELICIOUS. And CHEWY. And TIME-CONSUMING. And requires a KNIFE. All things that I, after a month of milkshakes, am unused to. The different tastes and textures explode on my tongue. I forgot to take a photo at the time, so here’s a reconstruction:
As you might imagine, my weight loss this week isn’t so dramatic. I lost 2.2lbs, taking me to a lost of 13.2lbs in four weeks. Not quite the stone I was hoping to shed. But, to cheer me up, my colleague makes me this:
I end the week trepidatious – because the following weekend I will be attending my boyfriend’s family party and COMING OFF MY DIET FOR THE DAY because I’ll be meeting a bunch of them for the first time and don’t want to be remembered as Halitosis Knitwear Space Food Woman.
See you next time, and BON APPETIT.