Adjusting to Eating After Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD)

By August 23, 2012

I recently went on a VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet) and lost weight very quickly (about 95 pounds). While I was on the plan I didn’t care about eating and actually felt good except for a “fuzzy” feeling like I wasn’t thinking as quickly as I had been.    My doctor began to be concerned and started monitoring me for anorexia – which I denied. After “proving” to everyone that I was not anorexic, I gained about 30 pounds in 8 months. I then became bulimic and confessed it to my doctor who now, I’m sure, believes I have been bulimic for years because I have digestive problems.   I’m struggling with being honest with my doctor now because I don’t like being “blamed” for a condition that already existed. I would not be considered to fit the clinical description for bulimia – for the past month I’ve only “purged” twice, so I think I have a grip on the behavior aspect.   My question is this – is there any information regarding the diet I was on, rapid weight loss and problems adjusting to living with real food again? Also, I liked being a size four – so why not just stay on the VLCD for life? – C

Dear C,

I am familiar with VLCD’s and the dangers they present. It is very common for people who lose a significant amount of weight on a VLCD to have problems adjusting to eating again. The primary concern I have about these diets is they don’t focus on healthy eating, which should be the goal of all meal plans. Many who follow specialized plans like these find themselves panicking when they start to eat again because they haven’t learned how to change their eating habits. Therefore they go back to their old way of eating.

I would encourage you to find someone that you can be honest with and talk through your issues with eating and weight. Also it would be to your benefit to find a dietitian in your area to help you plan healthy meals. Remember that a healthy diet includes all foods.

Also it’s important to not place your happiness on a clothing size. What’s important is that you feel strong and healthy. It’s important to love your body for what it can do. Hope this helps.