There are countless ideas and recommendations on how best to lose weight. One option that you may not be as familiar with is a very low-calorie diet or VLCD. A VLCD is generally defined as 800 calories per day or less. This level of calorie intake produces more rapid weight loss than traditional low-fat or low-carbohydrate diets. It is generally appropriate for patients who need to lose 40 pounds or more and have a BMI of 30 or greater. This level of calorie restriction is often achieved with specially formulated meal replacements to ensure adequate protein and micronutrient intake. A VLCD needs to be supervised by a clinician experienced with its use.
Very low-calorie diets often produce weight loss of 3-5 pounds per week. In addition to producing rapid weight loss, this type of diet also produces rapid improvements in blood sugar and triglyceride levels. This makes it a particularly good option for patients with diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
Two key nutritional aspects of a VLCD are moderately high protein intake and nutritional ketosis. Nutritional ketosis occurs when carbohydrate intake is restricted to a level generally below 50 grams per day. In this state the body changes from using carbohydrates such as glucose for its primary source of energy and starts using fat and ketones instead. By having adequate protein intake while restricting carbohydrates, the body is better able to preserve lean muscle mass and use fat stores for energy.
Learn more about how a very low-calorie diet can help you achieve your weight loss goals at Frazine Medical Weight Loss.