Saturday 30 November 2013

Very Low Calorie Diet: A Better Option to Lose Weight.

Very low calorie diet (VLCD) is a type of diet designed to help obese people lose weight effectively. The diet contains approximately 800 kcal (3300kJ) per day. When used under medical supervision, very low calorie diets are able to induce rapid weight loss.

VLCDs are nutritionally complete meals. They contain all the essential nutrients such as proteins, vitamins and minerals. They may not contain carbohydrates, which is the main source of  energy in normal meals.

Wide range of commercial products is available such as soups, shakes, bars and desserts. You can choose from different flavours. Optifast is one of such product available in the market.

Who can take very low calorie diet?

If you have obesity that means if your BMI is more than 30, your doctor may recommend a VLCD. Your dietitian will help you find a suitable product and advise about the method of taking the diet. You may be eligible for the diet program if your BMI is more than 27 and you have obesity-related complications.

How long should I be taking the special diet?

The treatment duration is generally 8 to 12 weeks. However, long course of treatment is possible under strict medical supervision. In addition, VLCDs are safe and effective when used to assist with long-term weight maintenance in either an intermittent or on-demand fashion.

How much weight loss can I achieve?

The average weight loss is 18 to 20% of your initial body weight. For example; if your body weight is 120kg, you can lose up to 24 kg. Better sustained weight reduction is one of the key features.

Benefits other than weight loss

In addition to weight loss effect, the rapid reduction in weight offered by very low calorie diet has been shown to improve blood pressure, improve glycaemic control in people with type 2 diabetes and reduce total cholesterol.

Who cannot take very low energy diet? 

This type of diet may not be suitable for following people;
  • Pregnant women
  • Breastfeeding women
  • Children under 18 years of age
  • People who had a heart attack recently
  • People with psychiatric conditions
  • Heavy alcohol drinkers
Always consult your doctor before taking any special diet.