Trouble Shooting

[asg-content-box boxcolor=”purple” boxtitle=”Detoxing Effects” boldtitle=”true” boxexpand=”true” showcontent=”false”]The Very Low Calorie (VLC) Phase is certainly a detox for most people. Most people will have stored toxins for many reasons: living in the 21st century, pollution, smoking including passive smoking, ingested chemicals, processed foods, poor diet, excess sugar and so on…

The body stores toxins it cannot process in the stored fat so when that fat is released, so are the toxins.

Most people will experience a detox so (1) what does that feel like? and (2) can it be avoided or reduced?

What does a detox feel like?

Some people report a chronic headache which is annoying but passes after a few days with little impact on their daily activities apart from feeling uncomfortable. Some people report lethargy or tiredness. Some people feel a bit shaky. Others experience irritability

Can it be avoided?

In reality, of course it cannot be avoided…. if the body needs to shed toxins, then the body will shed toxins.

Can it be reduced?

Yes, it can. The best way to reduce the effects of detoxing is to detox gradually so plan your VLC Phase in such a way to give you time to put some detoxing program into place … allow 1-3 weeks.

Here are some ideas:

  • purchase a detox kit from a health food store / chemist
  • consider our Detox Supreme ARTG listed product available (Detox Supreme has been specifically developed by us to compliment this dietary program – it will be available end 2013 from the same sources that stock our dietary formulas)
  • undertake your own DIY detox that might include:
    • cutting down then avoiding sugars
    • cutting down then avoiding carbs (bread, potato, rice, pasta, pizza)
    • avoiding fast foods
    • cutting down then avoiding alcohol
    • cutting down then avoiding soft drinks, lollies, cakes, deserts
    • increasing daily fresh water intake to 2+ litres (this is the amount that a normal body needs every day of our adult lives)
    • increasing fresh food intake: salads, fruit, vegetables, good quality foods
    • enjoying 2-3 cups good quality green tea daily
    • enjoying a couple of organic apples daily add the juice of a fresh lemon into first litre of water consumed before the day really starts
    • research your own detox ideas on the internet, library
    • talk with your naturopath, nutritionist

Certainly the people who detox prior to the program are setting themselves up for success as well as an easier time. The above DIY detox can be seen to be a sensible regimen for all of us, and it doesn’t cost much or anything in money, time or effort.[/asg-content-box]

[asg-content-box boxcolor=”purple” boxtitle=”Hunger” boldtitle=”true” boxexpand=”true” showcontent=”false”]Generally, hunger is not an issue on the Very Low Calorie (VLC) Phase for most people using our product correctly as the appetite suppressant components work well.

Sometimes what we associate as “hunger” is something else…

So is there anything we can do to prevent hunger?

What can we do if we feel hungry?

What are we feeling if we feel hungry and it is not hunger !! ?

Is there anything we can do to prevent hunger?


The loading days must be done correctly before moving onto the VLC phase. As clearly explained in Dr Simeons’ manuscript, bypassing this step comes with the increased chance of being quite hungry for the first week or more of the VLC. Feeling hungry and weak is not a good start and likely with some folk to have them abort the plan within the first few days. A correct Loading avoids this.

p.36 of Dr Simeons’ manuscript: “….It is usually at this point that a difference appears between those patients who have literally eaten to capacity during the first two days of treatment and those who have not. The former feel remarkably well; they have no hunger, nor do they feel tempted when others eat normally at the same table. They feel lighter, more clear-headed and notice a desire to move quite contrary to their previous lethargy. Those who have disregarded the advice to eat to capacity continue to have minor discomforts and do not have the same euphoric sense of well-being until about a week later. It seems that their normal fat reserves require that much more time before they are fully stocked.”

What can we do if we feel hungry?

Here are some ideas: ensure you are drinking sufficient water

  • remember 2+ litres fresh water daily add in some cups of green tea ensure your vegetable quota is sufficient
  • the vegetable amounts can be quite large as most of them are very low in calories. Cabbage, for e.g. has just 22 calories (approx) per cup of chopped cabbage, so 2-3 cups can generally still be had whilst keeping to 500 calories daily total.
  • split the snack into 2-3 smaller ones so you always have some of an apple/grissini to nibble whilst not going over your daily allowance
  • bulk up your meals with Slim Pasta or equivalent. This is a “konjac” product available as Slim Pasta from Coles and Wollies and other stores. It has next to no calories/carbs so can be had on the VLC phase as well as at any other time.
  • keep a nil calorie Aeroplane Jelly in the fridge.
  • mix up a teaspoon of psyllium husks with 1/4 tsp cinnamon then add some water so it bloats to the consistency of semolina and leave that set in the fridge so a few mouthfuls can be had when needed….ensure you drink plenty of water with it otherwise it might contribute to constipation. When had with plenty of water, it is useful fibre that can assist prevent constipation.
  • have available a xylitol mint chewing gum to chew on

What are we feeling if we feel hungry and it is not hunger !! ?

Interestingly, not drinking enough can create a sensation of hunger so make sure you get through your 2+ litres of fresh water daily. Then there is the question of emotional hunger or craving…

If you are eating good sized meals (i.e. not like a sparrow – the meals can be large enough when using the particularly low calorie vegetables like radish, celery or lettuce) and you still feel hungry, then it would seem it is not due to insufficient food….so might it be an emotional hunger or are you craving something?

Emotional eating is about eating for comfort, not hunger and the choice is usually high fat, high cal, sweet or salty. There is a lot of useful information on the internet. It is an important topic and if you suspect you eat in response to your feelings, then you might like to investigate this further.

Bach Flower Essences have an emotional eating kit.

Another option is to distract oneself from whatever the feeling is that brings this unwanted sensation of hunger – go for a walk, for eg. An even more useful tactic is to try and work out the feeling that brings it on, work backwards and try to understand yourself. What are you doing at this time? What are you thinking at this time? An understanding from this perspective can help break the cycle…. is it stress? Sadness? Frustration? Anger? Humiliation?

Cravings can occur if, having been on a high intake of sugar, alcohol or gluten (in breads) one suddenly stops that intake. There is a “withdrawal” period which may be uncomfortable if it brings with it headache or lethargy. And this can easily be the case when going onto the VLC without prior preparation. Fortunately it generally passes in a few days, and often, desire for those foods after the diet can disappear or reduce. Grapefruit is known to reduce cravings.[/asg-content-box]

[asg-content-box boxcolor=”purple” boxtitle=”Interruptions” boldtitle=”true” boxexpand=”true” showcontent=”false”]Interruptions to the program….

This refers mainly to the Very Low Calorie (VLC) phase….

This is an area which can cause confusion so it is excellent if you can plan your schedule so that your VLC phase is cordoned off in you diary so that no impossible-to-avoid social situations involving eating other than the VLC diet are scheduled. That is a Perfect World but it must be remembered that your weight loss goals, your improved health, your improved confidence, well-being, vigour and energy are unquestionably important. Please consider prioritising yourself and these aims; it is only for a short while, and whilst conceding to other people’s wishes is something we all like to do, it is a bit like saying “I am not important”. You are important, and once lighter, healthier, more confident and energetic, you will have much more to give others.

Please remember: You are important – you are very very important….to yourself, your family and loved ones.

So, You have planned etc etc but an unexpected interruption to those plans occurs. What do you do?

An unplanned business trip, a family crisis …. these things happen and you may have some notice that your VLC plan is about to be impeded.

Option 1: This is the ideal situation to find yourself in… If you have already completed about 21 days on the VLC, then move onto the Maintenance Phase (see the transition to maintenance phase information). You will find that the MP can mostly be undertaken under most circumstances – it means an avoidance of sugars and starches/carbohydrates which is the dietary regimen that many people adopt for their long-term weight maintenance anyway.

Option 2: If you have been on VLC less than 21 days and your interruption is just for a day or two, then keeping taking the formula (soft-gel or drops) and be as careful as you can with your food intake. Deviating from the VLC will more than likely stop the weight loss but you have to accept this and add a few more days to your VLC phase.

Option 3: If you have been on VLC less than 21 days and your interruption is to be less than 14 days: – stop the formula and continue the VLC for 2-3 days – then increase your calorie intake to about 800 cals by adding protein: meat, eggs, cheese, milk – providing the number of days off the formula is less than 14 days, resume the VLC diet and formula and just keep on going. This is not ideal but the weight loss will continue and you will have to add time to your VLC program (add at least the number of days that you did not take the formula)

Option 4: If you have been on VLC less than 21 days and your interruption is to be more than 14 days: – stop the formula and continue the VLC for 2-3 days – then increase your calorie intake to about 800 cals by adding protein: meat, eggs, cheese, milk, increasing slowly as you feel the need. – Once able to restart the program, you eat normally for 2-3 days (ie undertake the Loading phase whilst taking the formula) then resume the VLC diet and formula and just keep on going – basically you are starting again. Again, this is not ideal but the weight loss will continue as you undertake this new program.

What if you have no notice? ie cannot remain on VLC for 2-3 days whilst not taking the formula?

This is the hardest scenario…

The key points here would be:

  • increase the calories by adding protein (meat, cheese, eggs, milk) and just increase gradually as needed
  • try and keep food variety to a minimum
  • avoid sugars and starches/carbohydrates (this is important)
  • once your life is more settled, consider starting a new program from Loading on.

Good luck …. we hope the above helps ….. please do not give up, you can do this. Life happens to us all but these obstacles always pass. Please do not let these temporary setbacks affect your long-term and very very important goals. [/asg-content-box]

[asg-content-box boxcolor=”purple” boxtitle=”Plateau (No Weight Loss)” boldtitle=”true” boxexpand=”true” showcontent=”false”]Inevitably there will be a day or two, or even longer, when the scales don’t show a weight loss.

Firstly: This is normal and there are explanations as to what is happening. Read, learn, understand….then stop worrying!

Secondly: check that you are following Dr Simeons’ instructions to the letter.

We will deal here with the plateau/x that are encountered by the diligent person who is doing everything according to Dr Simeon’s instructions. If the instructions are not followed, then weight loss will almost certainly stop and it will only be when you are well and truly back on track can you hope for the scales to start showing weight loss again. If the “error” was intentional, then check with yourself if this is how you want your experience to be; if the “error” was unintentional, then you will need to carefully check that you have not misunderstood any of your instructions.

Dr Simeons refers to these periods of nil weight loss as “Fluctuations in Weight Loss” He discusses four scenarios. See page 36 of his manuscript “Pounds and Inches”

  1. fat cells, once empty of their contents are temporarily filled with water whilst the body sets about the slightly longer process of reabsorbing the cell membrane. Water is heavier than fat (we already know this when we consider that oil floats on water) so for this temporary process the scales may show no change or may even show a slight increase. Once the cell membranes are broken down and reabsorbed, the retained water is flushed from the body and weight loss continues. It is so important that we understand this that I have reproduced his explanation below in blue.
  2. the “plateau” which is commonly experienced, and generally occurs towards the 3rd week of the program and lasts for 4-6 days. Whilst Dr Simeons explains that is corrects itself, he does supply the “Apple Day” technique for those who need it.
  3. “reaching a former level” can be quite unnerving as the stagnant weight loss can last 10-14 days. We think my brother experienced this under our roof on his 2nd round so I know it exists and I know that understanding and determination won over. Dr Simeons describes it as “rare” and generally does not occur in the first round. ” As quoted from Dr Simeons’ manuscript: “It is seen only in those [dieters] who during some period of their lives have maintained a certain fixed degree of obesity for ten years or more and have then at some time rapidly increased beyond that weight. When then in the course of treatment the former level is reached, it may take two weeks of no loss, in spite of [formula] and diet, before further reduction is normally resumed”.
  4. the last scenario relates to women retaining fluid during menstruation and ovulation. This naturally passes. It is unavoidable so must be understood so that it does not bring the lady dieters unnecessary stress.

Fluctuations in weight loss (from Dr Simeons’ manuscript “Pounds and Inches”) After the fourth or fifth day of dieting the daily loss of weight begins to decrease to one pound or somewhat less per day, and there is a smaller urinary output. Men often continue to lose regularly at that rate, but women are more irregular, in spite of faultless dieting. There may be no drop at all for two or three days and then a sudden loss which reestablishes the normal average. These fluctuations are entirely due to variations in the retention and elimination of water, which are more marked in women than in men. The weight registered by the scale is determined by two processes, not necessarily synchronised. Under the influence of HCG fat is being extracted from the cells, in which it is stored in the fatty tissue. When these cells are empty and therefore serve no purpose, the body breaks down the cellular structure and absorbs it, but breaking up of useless cells, connective tissue, blood vessels, etc., may lag behind the process of fat-extraction. When this happens, the body appears to replace some of the extracted fat with water which is retained for this purpose. As water is heavier than fat the scales may show no loss of weight, although sufficient fat has actually been consumed to make up for the deficit in the 500-Calorie diet. When then such tissue is finally broken down, the water is liberated and there is a sudden flood of urine and a marked loss of weight. This simple interpretation of what is really an extremely complex mechanism is the one we give those patients who want to know why it is that on certain days they do not lose, though they have committed no dietary error. Patients who have previously regularly used diuretics as a method of reducing, lose fat during the first two or three weeks of treatment which shows in their measurements, but the scale may show little or no loss because they are replacing the normal water content of their body which has been dehydrated. Diuretics should never be used for reducing.”[/asg-content-box]

[asg-content-box boxcolor=”purple” boxtitle=”Weight Gain” boldtitle=”true” boxexpand=”true” showcontent=”false”]The aim of this dietary program is usually to lose weight (some people use it as a detox, as a way of keep their chronic pain at bay) so what is going on if your horrible scales tell you your weight has increased?

During Loading:
This can sometimes happen but generally any increase in weight will be gone in the first day or so of the VLC phase

During VLC:
This can be naturally the result of not adhering to the program, but if you are following it to the letter, then Dr Simeons discusses reasons for this nil weight loss / weight gain. See the Plateau page.

During MP:
This can occur if you have not increased your food intake adequately after VLC (and people often are often anxious to increase what they eat). It can happen if people do not increase their protein intake on MP. Both these issues are discussed on the Over-Enthusiasm page.[/asg-content-box]

[asg-content-box boxcolor=”purple” boxtitle=”Apple Day (VLC Phase)” boldtitle=”true” boxexpand=”true” showcontent=”false”]The Apple Day is a technique that can be used during the very Low Calorie (VLC) phase when weight loss stalls.

There are two criteria:

  1. the stagnant weight loss must have been for at least FOUR DAYS, and
  2. the program must have been diligently followed with NO ERRORS

The Apple Day starts at lunch one day, and terminates just prior to lunch the following day.

Here is a diagram of the Apple Day – a picture speaks a thousand words!

Up to Six Apples can be eaten in that 24 hour period (no more). Size does not matter but you cannot have 2 small apples instead of one large one – different composition. Just enough water is consumed to satisfy a thirst but usually the Apple quenches the thirst.[/asg-content-box]

[asg-content-box boxcolor=”purple” boxtitle=”Steak Day (Maint. Phase)” boldtitle=”true” boxexpand=”true” showcontent=”false”]The Steak Day is a technique to be used if needed during the Maintenance Phase. Interestingly, it seems to have the same benefit if used any time after the program is over.

The Steak Day is to be used if the scales exceed the Target Set Weight (TSW) achieved during the Very Low Calorie (VLC) phase.

What exactly does that mean?

During the VLC phase you are weighing yourself daily and recording it.

On the last day of taking the formula, your weight is referred to as the Target Set Weight. This is the weight around which you want to hover and stabilise during the maintenance Phase (MP)

If during the MP your daily weigh-in shows that your weight is creeping up, check that you are not eating sugar, carbohydrates, starches in any form.

If your daily weigh-in displays a weight that is 0.9kg (900grams) heavier than your Target Set Weight, then do a Steak Day that day.

Some notes here:

  1. a Steak Day must be done on the day that the scales show the .9kg above TSW. Doing it the following day will be of no benefit.
  2. Remember that your weight may realistically actually hover above or below the TSW by a kilo or so. This is very common, and there are explanations. Remember that the kwy to the MP is to stabilise the weight so if that final weight stability has you sitting a kilo or so above or below your TSW, then you have achieved the MP goal – well done!

Q:¬†Why does my weight stabilise at a place other than my TSW? A: sometimes the TSW is unrealistically low because you were low in fluid level, completely emptied out in terms of bowel activity……so trying to maintain that unrealistically low weight is going to be almost impossible. Allow the weight to rise as needed remembering the goal of MP is to be stable. The other possibility is becoming “over-enthusiastic” as Dr Simeons describes, and not eating enough, in particular not eating enough protein. protein deficiency will cause people to retain fluid (ie increase their weight). If this is what you suspect (weight gain due to protein deficiency….see p53 of Dr Simeons’ manuscript “Pounds and Inches”) then follow his advice to “eat two eggs for breakfast and a huge steak for lunch and dinner followed by a large helping of cheese”. The retained fluid will be released during the night by several toilet stops and the scales will show a pleasant drop.

A: Some people have the happy experience of seeing their weight drop below their TSW before stabilising. Why is this? Again, several possibilities occurring here: on the day of recording the TSW, you may have been temporarily retaining water that is plumping out empty fat cells whilst the body works of reabsorbing the cell membrane and connective tissue etc. (Remember Dr Simeons’ reference to “Fluctuations in Weight Loss?” – the first scenario? Also, maybe you have not needed the toilet for a few days so are carrying a bit in that department. And maybe, as I have seen, adherence to the MP is done in such a balanced and healthy way that the body rejoices and drops away itself some of the excess weight it is carrying.

So what is a Steak Day?

The Steak Day occurs on the day that your weight shows an increase of over .9kg above your TSW. Here is a diagram of the Steak Day – a picture speaks a thousand words!

Dr Simeons refers to the Steak day as “Skipping a Meal” …. eat nothing for breakfast or lunch but drink plenty of water. Early evening, have a large steak with either an apple OR a raw tomato. The following day, the weight will have dropped and should be back within .9kg of the TSW.[/asg-content-box]


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