Thursday, June 4, 2015

New Direction Diet

Today, I started....

I've been careening between excitement and fear since last Friday when I had my initial consultation at Arizona Health & Wellness to see if I was a candidate for their weight program - which utilizes the New Direction Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD). The time while the labs processed gave me an opportunity to search the web for information on the New Direction VLCD. I expected a wealth of commentary - results - frustrations - blog posts. To my chagrin, the web has very little to say about the New Direction VLCD. 

So, I will have my say and maybe it will help others out there deciding if this program is for them (of course, you'll have to follow my journey - cause it is only Day 1). 

A couple of disclaimers: If you know me or you have followed my blog, you know that I have life long weight issues. I documented prior success on this blog by simply getting back to basics, counting calories and exercise. Despite the success, I find myself back here again. This time it is going to be different. I choose the New Direction Diet for a number of reasons
  • Some very persuasive neighbors who were successful
  • Last time, my weight journey became all consuming and this time I don't want this to take over my life. 
  • I need a plan where I don't have to think, just follow directions. 
  • I need people to see me every week - people I feel accountable to - to keep me going. 
  • I needed a quick shot in the arm - to get this process moving quickly, see some loss and build some confidence. 
  • I wanted a doctor involved to make sure I am healthy.
So, with that said - this plan might not be for everybody. Here's what the published material states, and I will break that down in what it means for me. From Robard, the manufacturer:

Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD)

A Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) program is a medically supervised, ketogenic weight loss program for patients who are moderately to morbidly obese. Candidates for the program have a BMI over 30 or over 27 with comorbidities, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and high cholesterol. In general, a VLCD is appropriate for women approximately 40 pounds or more overweight and men approximately 50 pounds or more overweight. Patients experience weight loss of 3-5 lbs per week. Meal replacements are utilized as the sole source of nutrition during active weight loss. Robard offers two comprehensive VLCD programs, the New Direction System® and the NutriMed®Weight Loss Program.

New Direction

The New Direction System gives medical professionals the ability to successfully treat obesity within their practice and hospitals by integrating individualized treatment services for new or existing obese patients.
  • Medically-supervised by a team of healthcare professionals led by a physician
  • A multidisciplinary program of behavior modification, nutrition education, physical activity and group support to reinforce lasting lifestyle changes
  • Nutritionally complete meal replacements replace grocery food intake for several weeks or months depending on patient’s goal
  • Health benefits typically include a reduction in comorbid conditions, including lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics, lower serum cholesterol and reduced pain in weight-bearing joints
  • Program includes medical, diabetic and bariatric protocols
  • Program includes medical, diabetic and bariatric surgery protocols
How does that translate into what Eddy is putting in her mouth? I am starting with full meal replacement. 4 "meals" a day that consists of a liquid diet - shakes for the most part. Each shake has 200 calories and a whole litany of vitamins and minerals. When you eat 4 meal replacements you get all of your daily nutrient needs (which is probably better than I was doing on real food!) in 800 calories. For my first week, I choose flavors such as chocolate, mocha, lemon pudding and cheddar & broccoli soup. I had my first shake this morning and found it so filling I had a hard time getting the whole drink down. I'm planning on putting myself on a shake schedule: 6am, 11am, 3pm, and 6pm. It's like the old slim fast plan but on steriods from what I can tell. 

What is the psychological effect of all that? Eating cannot be a crutch. It cannot be a comfort. You eat because you have to. Shocking my body back into it's caveman like design - instead of living in a world of constant feast, I will be in famine. I've got to find other sources of comfort - other things to do - rather than mindless eating. 

The program is partnered with a commitment to attend weekly educational / support meetings with a nutritionist, physical therapist and doctor. Even though I hadn't started officially, I attended my first meeting last night. I can already tell that the meetings are going to be such a huge part of this program. I feel like we're all coming back from war, some of us with bigger scars than others, and we're learning to walk again. I'm ready to strip back all the glossy hype of weight loss and get down to the basics. 

Last night's attendees were a mixed bunch - some having just started - others a month or two in - and some already in the maintenance phase. I was excited to meet a gal my age who is also just starting. I'm hoping that I found myself a diet partner! 

Yes, it seems a little drastic. 800 calories, WHAT? Yes, maybe I could do it the old fashioned way - like I have previously. But I know me. I know that when life gets a little crazy - which it seems to be constantly - I go into survival mode -   easy, quick, fast and usually involves restaurants. Or I am in celebration mode - date nights, wine, cakes, food is love - I mean YOLO right? If I am going to change how my family sees food - how my kids see food - it has to start with me. I am hoping that the New Direction diet gives me the boost that I need to make a healthy change. Balance. There's that darn word again...

Ok, when's my next shake?


Jesika said...

This is crazy! I just googled 'New Direction VLCD support' and came to your page. I lost about 45lbs on my own in 2009/2010 and recently gained most of it back. I had started running and it seemed to just come off! Fast forward to now, up again and working for a hospital system that offers New Direction to employees for a pretty sweet deal. I started 3 days ago. So far so good and reading your posts from the beginning to now we're inspiring and encouraging! I have the option of one modified meal a day on VLCD. 4oz lean meat with 2 cups veg. It was my savior today! Ha!

Keep on keeping on! I'm with ya! It's always comforting to know I'm not in this boat alone!

perezes said...

I just started as well. A week and a half in and lost 7.4 at my first weight in. I have been an yo yo dieter myself and once I hit forty I would lose then gain more than when I started. I was always hungry. I, like you, love the whole " I don't have to think about it". I have a shake, three hours later have a bar three hours later have a shake three hours later have a bar and then three hours have an all high protein dinner with as much veggies I can put down. And to top it off I am never hungry and I don't crave sweets anymore. Good luck to you and all your followers.

Erin Burns said...

Thank you so much for this blog post. I am considering doing a medical weight loss program that uses New Direction meal replacements. Everything you talked about describes how I am feeling and how I have been to a T!! I look forward to reading your other posts.

Tahnya Price said...

I'm finishing up 7 weeks and I'm down 30 pounds which I am thrilled about. But my stomach is waning on me. Battling nausea every morning. Saw the doctor Monday morning, he had me stop the metformin hoping that would help, but it is only some better. I'm struggling with what to do. I see the doctor again in the morning and I know he is going to ask again if adding one meal a day should happen now. Any advice? I'm so scared I won't control that meal well enough to keep up the fast loss, I have at least 30 more pounds to go.

Unknown said...

I lost 30 lbs on new direction food and I fell in love with the chocolate pudding (as a shake). Now that I'm at a "normal" weight I'd love to use this as a breakfast replacement but I can't find it or a dupe anywhere!

Helen Varacallo said...

I, like you found very little about this diet on the internet. They must really have a great copy write on it. I work at a hospital that offers the diet. It has really worked for me so far. As I have dieted before, I have records to show past weight loss in a months time and compared it to the ND diet. Old diet 12lbs in 1 month, ND 14 lbs. Now I was surprised to see there wasn't much difference. I think the last time, I must have been starving. I never feel that way with ND. I like going to get weighted, That I don't have to run all over shopping, and how easy these meals are to prepare. No refrig needed, travel is easy. I started Oct 12, 2016 and as of today Dec 4, 2016, l have lost 21 labs. Still have 20to 25 to go, but I can make it.

Katherine Kabbabe said...

Hello everyone, I am so glad to find this blog.... I found some others but looks like people stopped writing years ago...
I started this program with my clinic on Dec 7, I am doing 2 meals replacement and one meal that is lean meats and vegetables/greens.... so far it's been really good, I am also going to the gym at least 4 times a week. As of today I have lost 9 pounds... my goal is to loose 70.... so I will keep you guys updated it about how is it going... best wishes to everyone!!!!

Spottedpony said...

I am so thrilled to find you post- was on another, and what a bunch of haters😡😡 I didn't get into it with them. Yes I just finished my 2 week 5.5 lbs downs and hope to go on. Thank you everyone on here for your insight, and the best of weight loss to you all. SPOTTEDPONY

agirlcallededdy said...

New Direction Dieters! Check our our Support Group on Facebook. I moderate pretty aggressively to keep out the spammers!

Shannon McKenzie said...

Awesome! I just started Wednesday. I will be joining.

Unknown said...

So happy to find you guys!
I have all my paperwork done & I start on Thursday.
I look for you on facebook.