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Re-feeding

Before you start you re-feed plan it is important to be aware of the way a ketogenic diet works in respect of weight loss and weight gain and the part glycogen plays in this process.

Everyone loves the results of a VLCD ketogenic diet, you can achieve fast results, suppressed appetite, and regular weight loss. However, it is common for people to panic when the time comes for taking a break or coming off of a VLCD for fear of gaining weight. There is nothing to be afraid of and we want to start by putting your mind at rest and explaining the process, and why the weight gain you will have during this time is not a bad thing!

When on a VLCD you are typically consuming in the region of 40-70g of carbohydrates per day.  This level of carbohydrates will force the body into a state of ketosis due to the body not having enough glycogen to use as its main fuel source and switches to using fat for energy. The breakdown of fats in this process results in three different molecules called 'ketones' two of which: acetoacetate and ß-hydroxybutyrate can be used as energy by the body and the third acetone which can't be used by the body and is excreted in the urine, and also through the process of breathing (hence the bad breath).

Glycogen is a branched chain of glucose molecules made by and stored in the liver and also stored in the muscle cells to provide the body with an energy source that can be used quickly. Glycogen is stored in the muscle in a one to three ratio, 1g of glycogen to 3g of Water. The approximate amount of glycogen the body can hold is said to be 50-100g in the liver and 400g in the muscle cell. Based on holding 400g of glycogen in the muscle we can estimate that 400g would hold with it 1200g of water. Combined would give 1600g + the additional glycogen in the liver would amount to 1700g (1.7kg or nearly 4lb).

When you started your VLCD your body had to use up all of your carbohydrate from the bloodstream as well as all of the glycogen stored in the liver and muscle, which we now know could account to around 4lb in weight loss that is not fat. So, when you come off any VLCD programme that involves ketosis you can expect to regain this 4lb of weight because as soon as you start to eat carbohydrates they will convert to glycogen and be stored back into the muscle along with the water. Remember 1g of glycogen stores in the muscle with 3g of water. After long periods of ketosis your body can also 'super-compensate' the reloading of carbohydrates and take in more than your body needs. Super-compensation would be a temporary phase and would regulate itself within a couple of days at most but initially could account for an extra 2lb in glycogen/water weight gain.

So remembering that this weight you will regain is not fat weight you can allow yourself not to be concerned about gaining approximately 4-6lb in the first week of re-feeding. If you gain more than 4lb this would generally be lost within the next week naturally.

The glycogen and water weight you regain has a positive effect on the metabolism due to occupying muscle cell area and increasing the amount of calories your body burns each day, so this weight gain is certainly a healthy one!

So hopefully you are now not afraid of gaining a few pounds once you come off your VLCD. If the weight on the scales is more important than how you look in the mirror (eg: you have to weigh 10st or life will not be worth living!), then we suggest you lose around 4 to 6lb more than your intended goal weight, this will allow you to still be at goal weight once re-feeding is complete.

Important information:

  • Do not drink alcohol until re-feed is complete.
  • Do not stop re-feed prematurely.
  • Do not eat after 8:00pm.
  • Do not eat sweets or chocolates.
  • If you get stuck or have any problems contact us for support do not quit.

Throughout the re-feed and beyond you should continue to aim at drinking 2.5 to 3 litres of water per day, (this includes the fluid in your shakes/meals & tea/coffee).  

If you have lost less than 3st (42lb) then follow the 7 day re-feed, if you have lost over 3st follow the 10 day re-feed (for 10 day plan day 3 is repeated 3 times and day 4 repeated twice).  

7/10 Day Re-feed:

Please note all weights for cooked products are 'after cooking'

Allowance of 150ml Skimmed Milk is also allowed each day in addition to the milk listed below.

Day 1:

Breakfast: Any Slim & Save VLCD pack
Lunch: Any Slim & Save VLCD pack
Dinner: 150g of chicken, turkey, white fish fillet, salmon, tuna or quorn
100g of vegetables from the Slim & Save vegetable list
100g of carrots or peas (or 50g each)
Snack: 1 small piece of fruit

Day 2:

Breakfast: 1 serving of porridge oats ~or~ 30g Special K ~or~ 1 Shredded Wheat
180ml skimmed milk
NO SUGAR
Lunch: Any Slim & Save VLCD pack
Dinner: 150g of chicken, turkey, white fish fillet, salmon, tuna or quorn
100g of vegetables from the Slim & Save vegetable list
100g of carrots or peas (or 50g each)
Snack: 1 small piece of fruit

Day 3: ~ (Also Day 4 & 5 for 10 day plan)

Breakfast: 1 serving of porridge oats ~or~ 30g Special K ~or~ 1 Shredded Wheat
180ml skimmed milk
NO SUGAR
Lunch: Any Slim & Save VLCD pack
Dinner: 150g of chicken, turkey, white fish fillet, salmon, tuna or quorn
100g of vegetables from the Slim & Save vegetable list
150g of new potatoes
Snack: 1 small piece of fruit or low fat yoghurt


Day 4: ~ (Also Day 6 & 7 for 10 day plan)

Breakfast: 1 serving of porridge oats ~or~ 30g Special K ~or~ 1 Shredded Wheat
180ml skimmed milk
1 TSP of sugar if required
Lunch: Any Slim & Save VLCD pack
Dinner: 150g of chicken, turkey, white fish fillet, salmon, tuna or quorn
100g of vegetables from the Slim & Save vegetable list
150g of jacket potato or 150g boiled rice
Snack: 1 small piece of fruit or low fat yoghurt


Day 5: ~ (Also Day 8 for 10 day plan)

Breakfast: 1 serving of porridge oats ~or~ 30g Special K ~or~ 1 Shredded Wheat
180ml skimmed milk
1 level teaspoon of sugar if required
Morning snack 1 small piece of fruit
Lunch: Any Slim & Save VLCD pack
Dinner: 150g of chicken, turkey, white fish fillet, salmon, tuna or quorn
100g of vegetables from the Slim & Save vegetable list
150g of jacket potato or 150g boiled rice
Snack: 1 small piece of fruit orl low fat yoghurt


Day 6: ~ (Also Day 9 for 10 day plan)

Breakfast: 1 serving of porridge oats ~or~ 30g Special K ~or~ 1 Shredded Wheat
180ml semi-skimmed milk (or skimmed if preferred)
1 level teaspoon of sugar if required
Morning snack 1 small piece of fruit
Lunch: 3 slices of Weight Watchers or Nimble bread
210g baked beans
1 small piece of fruit
Dinner: 150g of lean beef or pork steak, chicken, turkey, white fish fillet, salmon, tuna or quorn
100g of vegetables from the Slim & Save vegetable list
150g of jacket potato or 150g boiled rice
Snack: 1 small piece of fruit or low fat yoghurt


Day 7: ~ (Also Day 10 for 10 day plan)

Breakfast: 30g of any cereal
180ml semi-skimmed milk (or skimmed if preferred)
1 level teaspoon of sugar if required
Morning snack 1 small piece of fruit
Lunch: 3 slices of Weight Watchers or Nimble bread
Small covering of low fat spread
2 slices of cooked meat ~or~ 70g tuna/salmon ~or~ 40g of hard cheese + any salad
1 small piece of fruit
Dinner: 150g of Lean beef or pork steak, chicken, turkey, white fish fillet, salmon, tuna or quorn
100g of vegetables from the Slim & Save vegetable list
150g of jacket potato or 150g boiled rice
Snack: 1 small piece of fruit or low fat yoghurt

Maintaining your weight loss:

To get to the stage of re-feeding you have done really well.  Congratulations on your success.  You will have made a lot of sacrifices, changes to your diet and eating habits to get these results, but now the hard work begins! We don't want you to have done all of this for nothing, we want you to reap the benefits of your labour and keep the weight off.

Many millions of people are overweight not because they eat excessively but because their metabolism is slow and as a result they do not burn up all of the calories that they eat. Weight loss is a very simple process, you must burn up more energy (or the same) than you consume. If you consume 1500 calories per day and your body only burns 1300 calories you have a daily excess of 200 calories.

200 Calories per day for 365 days in a year = 73,000 kCal

Putting that into perspective, that is the equivalent of two slices of dry toast or three Digestive biscuits a day.

Given that 1lb of Fat is equal to 3,500 kCal you would gain: 20.8lb (almost 1½st) in only 12 months!

So you need to be aware that your weight loss efforts are not just to lose the weight. If you want to maintain your great results you need to look after your diet and your body or the weight will just creep back on and put you right back where you started.

Tips to maintaining your weight:

As you gained weight over a period of time there may have been bad habits that contributed to your weight gain that you can avoid in future:  

  • Eating too late at night
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Too much alcohol
  • Eating crisps or sweets
  • Takeaways and junk food
  • Extra snacking
  • Large meal portions

Some ideas to add to your plan that may be helpful:  

  • Choose fruit as a treat rather than chocolate/sweets
  • Always eat at the table and be aware of meal times
  • Avoid refined white bread and pasta
  • Try to do at least 20 minutes exercise every day
  • Get at least 8 hours sleep
  • Never buy bigger clothes, if they do not fit you need to lose weight!

Beyond re-feed: The best way to achieve a successful maintenance programme is by keeping a food log and counting calories. With this method you are able to assess your weight loss/gain against the amount of calories you are eating.


If weight is gained:

  • Gain 0lb - keep calories the same
  • Gain 1lb - reduce daily calories by 200
  • Gain 2lb - reduce daily calories by 400
  • Gain over 2lb - replace 1 meal with a VLCD pack each day.

If weight is lost:

  • Loss 1lb - increase daily calories by 100
  • Loss 2lb - increase daily calories by 200
  • Loss over 2lb - increase daily calories by 400

 

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If you have any questions about this re-feed plan or maintenance please contact us.




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