The LighterLife weight loss plans combine a very low-calorie meal replacement diet with weekly counselling. With LighterLife Total, for people with a BMI of 30 or more, you eat four food packs a day, consisting of shakes, soups, mousses or bars, and no conventional food. LighterLife Lite, for those with a BMI of 25-30, involves eating three food packs a day, plus one meal from a list of approved foods. You stay on the plans until you reach your target weight. The meal plans can lead to very rapid weight loss, and you’re advised to see your GP before starting. How long you stay on the diet depends on how much weight you have to lose.
The counselling can help you understand your relationship with food, so hopefully you can make lasting changes to keep the weight off for good. With the meal replacements, there’s no weighing or measuring, so it’s a hassle-free approach to weight loss.
Initial side effects of the diet can include bad breath, a dry mouth, tiredness, dizziness, insomnia, nausea and constipation from cutting down on carbs and fibre. Surviving on a strict diet of shakes and soups and other meal replacements isn’t much fun, and can feel socially isolating.
Rapid weight loss can be motivating, but it is unsustainable. LighterLife’s very low calorie diet and its counselling component may work for some, particularly people who have struggled to lose weight for years, have health problems as a result of their weight, and are clinically obese with a BMI of more than 30. A very low calorie diet that involves eating 1,000 calories a day or fewer should not be followed for more than 12 continuous weeks. If you are eating fewer than 600 calories a day, you should have medical supervision.