Samantha’s Low Calorie Diet journey
Could you please tell me about your experience on the programme so far? How did you hear about the programme and who referred you?
I am now 14 weeks into the programme and it has been absolutely fantastic. Fatima (my Diabetes Practitioner) was so supportive and made it feel so easy to open up and speak about anything. I was diagnosed with COVID-19 in the middle of my TDR phase, everyone was so understanding.
The total diet replacement shakes and soups were phenomenal. At first, I was dubious and thought that I couldn’t do it. It took a couple of weeks but then it all became so easy. I didn’t feel any hunger after that. I had a mix of chocolate and vanilla shakes, and I often warmed up the chocolate shake, or added ice to them. They were very filling and nutritious, and I felt no need to cheat as it felt like having a filling meal.
Everyone around me kept saying that it’s only shakes, and I couldn’t do it, but I knew what I wanted, and I proved them all wrong. I feel 100% now, I have seen amazing drops in my blood glucose levels. I feel so much healthier and full of energy, and I am so proud of myself for everything I have achieved so far. I really enjoyed my sessions with Fatima. I felt like I could talk to her openly about anything. It sometimes takes me a longer to understand a topic. She would slow down if needed without any judgement, she has helped in giving me more confidence in myself.
What challenges did you face? And how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge I had was having to live at work for 4 weeks. Whilst living and being at work, I had to be strong as everyone around me would be eating lavish foods. In reality this wasn’t as difficult as I thought because I was so motivated, and the shakes kept me full so I never felt any temptation or desire to cheat.
My other major challenge was having COVID-19 where I felt unwell, tired and didn’t want to do anything. I remained in bed as I felt tired, but I didn’t want to ruin my progress in achieving good health, so I stuck to my 4 TDR shakes. The only difference was that rather than drinking them normally, I would sip on the shakes over a longer period of time. I could also have ‘Lemsip’ to make me feel better and was happy to be able to have that.
What went well?
I thoroughly enjoyed my Wednesday calls with Fatima. I have learnt so much from her about food and nutrition and how to achieve good health in a balanced way. She kept me motivated when others wanted me to give up. It was amazing watching my blood glucose levels and weight drop massively.
The Personalised Action Plan booklet was amazing. I take information in slowly and the booklet was so good for that. I have read it over and over and it keeps me well informed and motivated.
Would you recommend the programme to others?
Definitely, 100%. It is a great way to take control of and improve your health.
Do you mind sharing your results? If so, what has the improvement been?
Since the start of my TDR sessions I have lost 16.8kg in weight, and my blood glucose levels have decreased by 4.7 (from 10.2 to 5.5). I am very happy and grateful for these changes so far and am excited to see what more lies ahead in the next phase.
What advice would you give to a Service User who is just getting started?
In order to take part in this programme successfully you need to be focused and you need to want to do it. Planning is also key, if you are also going to work, then make sure you always have your shakes in small freezer bags. Pack a spare portion in case you ever get held back at work or run late. Make sure to drink the recommended amounts of water/fluid too.
You can find out more about the NHS Low Calorie Diet here.