A Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) is a diet where normal meals are replaced with drinks, soups, or bars.
The typical daily calorie intake is on or under the 800-calorie mark – however, the aim is to be as nutritionally balanced as possible.
These diets are popular because, initially, people can lose a lot of weight quickly.
However, if a VLCD isn’t done correctly, it can have negative consequences on a dieter’s health.
A VLCD is used privately and in the medical profession to bring about rapid weight loss in the heavily overweight person.
These diets should be undertaken only under medical supervision. They are typically a high fat, high protein diet that will bring about Ketosis.
This is when the body breaks down fat for energy instead of using glucose.
So, if you’re considering a journey into ketosis, think about subscribing to a service that offers low-calorie meals right at your doorstep. As long as your doctor approves it, low-calorie meal kits can be a convenient way to stick to your dietary goals without the hassle of meal prepping.
The diet is only undertaken for a short period of time (a few weeks). In some situations, the meal replacements may only be used for two meals a day – therefore bringing about slower but more manageable weight loss.
|This has been used by (apparently) over 1 million people, and is endorsed by John Hopkins University. It’s a meal replacement plan around the 800-1000 calories mark (which puts it outside the strict definition of a VLCD). It will put the body into a mild state of ketosis.
|The Cambridge Diet
|Used in the UK, this diet has an even lower daily calorie level (400-600) and is a high protein, low fat, low carb diet.
|For some patients, an 800-calorie meal plan will be prescribed.
|Medically supervised VCLD that reverses type 2 diabetes.
|This 500-calorie diet can be dangerous if not supervised by an approved clinic.
|Sacred Heart Diet
|Nutritionally deficient and very low in calories.
|Cabbage Soup Diet
|This soup-based diet lacks nutrition and is very low in calories.
|3 Day Diet
|This VLCD should only be used for 3 days, no longer.
Generally, exercise isn’t recommended while a person is on a VLCD as the calories consumed aren’t sufficient to support it.
However, some plans recommend light exercise such as walking or swimming for those with an excessive amount of weight to lose.
Initially, people following very low-calorie diets can lose a lot of weight, which keeps these diets popular.
However, it’s important to choose a VLCD that is nutritionally dense.
If a dieter wants to use a VLCD, he or she should only do so under medical supervision and if extreme weight loss is needed.
A very low calorie diet is not recommended unless under the care or a physician or medical team. It is intended for those with a considerable amount of weight to lose.
It isn’t for those with only 10-20 pounds to lose and can be especially dangerous for those dieters.