New Directions VLCD- Ten Facts to Know Before You Start

I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions, which is why I’ve waited a few months to share my newest journey with you. I made a difficult choice to participate in a medically supervised weight loss program with my doctor.

In December, at a check-up, I found out I had a morbidly obese BMI, and I’d always thought of myself as just curvy. It was a bit of a shock to me to read my check out paperwork and find out this news. I thought I was doing great; I’d maintained the same weight for a year. But, I’d secured a morbidly obese BMI for a year, and that’s not something I wanted to keep doing.

The day after Christmas, I attended the required orientation for the New Directions Very Low-Calorie Diet (VLCD) program. After the orientation, I was still very concerned about whether the program was a fit for my lifestyle. I searched the Internet, Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest for more information. I found very little information on the Internet that I found useful to my journey. If this diet works as well as everyone says, then there should be more information available.

I went forward with the medical screenings, blood-tests and required doctor screa ening. A month and a half after my orientation meeting, I was joining the program and reluctantly learning to love protein shakes in my Wonder Woman cup.  My first week was awful, but I got through it. Losing 4 pounds motivated me to keep pushing through.

Photo courtesy of BlenderBottle.


Ten Facts to Know Before You Start New Directions VLCD Program

  1. The program is a meal replacement diet during the reducing stage. You will work with a dietician throughout the whole program, and as you exit the reducing stage, you’ll have support as you introduce “real” food back into your diet.
  2. The program is balanced. So even though you are eating meal replacements, you are getting all of the nutrients you need.
  3. You’ll purchase all of your supplements from the clinic during your weekly visits.
  4. You can purchase variety packs, and the variety packs will help you determine which products fit your taste buds.
  5. You are required to have weekly medical visits and attend one class a week with a registered dietician. At my clinic, you can attend class via webinar.
  6. You’ll NEED BlenderCups. Seriously, if you don’t, have a, blender cup you won’t be able to mix your supplements correctly. And, cute Blender Cups are challenging to find. I do love my WonderWoman cup, check it out HERE.
  7. While the literature refers to the diet as a liquid diet, but that’s not the full story. The program comes with a cookbook that allows you to “cook” with the supplements. You can “cook” the supplements into brownies, pancakes, biscuits, and chips.  I originally planned to wait to “cook” until the first month, but I only last a few days!
  8. Your first week will be the worst, don’t give up. It takes time to adjust to the change and find the meal replacements that you find enjoyable. The tomato soup made me very sick but I liked the vanilla pudding after the second try.
  9. Watch and read all the materials you can find on the New Directions program before you join. Being as informed as possible is important.
  10. The program is costly; you’ll spend $100 a week on the supplements. Your monthly expenses come to around $500 when you add in medical visits and blood tests. Plan your budget.

You’ll need a support system to make it though; I couldn’t have done it without my family and Jerad. If you start the program, please let me know. I’m happy to answer any of your questions.

Update: Four months later, I’m down 30lbs and 7″ off my waist!


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Amanda is a native of Richmond, VA. She enjoys writing, blogging, traveling, shopping, and spending time with friends and family.

7 thoughts on “New Directions VLCD- Ten Facts to Know Before You Start”

  1. So I came across your blog (it has been hard to find people who have embarked on this journey) I am just now in the phase that my doctor came me some options to try and the ones I have gotten taste like trash..:( Tortilla Sous, Almond Chocolate Bar…… not a fan) I am glad that I can cook these options. I have read the information that says ” If you like to chew your food this is not the program for you” Do you have any tips or tricks?

    1. I felt the same way when I started! I will be transparent and tell you, that I only stuck with the program for 6 months. I struggled to make the required appointments/labs and work full-time.

      I did lose 40lbs during my time in the program and I kept it off for awhile. I’m six months postpartum and could use to hop on the program again.

      Do not, no matter what anyone tells you… buy the soups. They are awful and tomato basil is the worst. I stuck to puddings. I loved the vanilla. I’d add extracts to it to change the flavors… I also loved the peanut protein bar and chocolate mint one. Quest protein bars are also great to pick up when you are stuck without your other food.

      I also flavored my water with natural lemon packets. I hope you do awesome! Stick with it, it will change your relationship with food.

      1. I hate the soups!! I’m on day two and went to purchase more shakes because the soups are clumpy and don’t mix well. Any flavors you recommend?

        1. I hated them too! Best advice, don’t buy them again. 🙂

          I stuck to the puddings. You can use the vanilla pudding as a base and add seasonings (pumpkin, etc) to change the flavor. I loved to make some pumpkin spice pudding. I also liked the chocolate and salted caramel pudding. I also liked the bars.

          Good luck! I did lose 40 lbs when I did the program.. it works.

      2. I may be more desperate than either one of you, but my reaction to the program is a bit different. I just started this week (this is day 3), and I too, am skeptical about things that cost as much as this. I have noticed that the program that I am enrolled in does not have the “advanced” formulas, but they do have the “natural” formulas.

        I actually like the tortilla and the creamy chicken soup. It is nice to have a hot choice throughout the day. I start the day with a bar, followed by the shake, then the soup, and then pudding. It is enough of a mix. I know that they are not supposed to taste like my comfort foods. There are other foods that are on the Robards website that my center does not carry. I will definitely ask about them.

        I am taking this “out-of-the-box” step because I have gained so much weight that I, a former athlete, cannot walk to my car without deep breathing.

        I have been cautioned about the rapid weight loss, etc. I guess if a person really hates the food, they could follow the LCD and only replace one or two meals a day. I did not want that choice. I need to get the EXTRA EXTRA weight off, and I just was not doing it on my own.

        I need this to work, and maybe after the first 60-100 pounds, I will be in a position to handle my choices and make them with enthusiasm rather than thinking I am depriving myself or am bored with the selection of foods that I can eat. So now, onto the instant nutrition, that is actually keeping me full. I will let you know in a month or so. I do appreciate your post. It is nice to hear a real person’s point of view!

    2. Hi there
      I am on my first day of New Direction VLCD but it’s my second ‘go around’ and I know it works from previous experience. I found new ways to enliven the foods by a simple google search: eg, cheese/broccoli soup can be made into little ‘savory cakes’ and baked…yummy; chocolate beverage can be made into a ‘soufflé’ etc. I learned the most important thing is to ensure you drink the requisite amount of water….essential to success, and helps you feel sated. I don’t feel hungry with this plan and it works. Good Luck and best wishes

      1. I just stared this plan. I have the recipe book and some recipes are great — some not so much. How do you make the savory cakes? Any other recipes you have found that you really like?

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