Very Low-Calorie Diet

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There are many ways to lose weight, but the most common concept is a type of low-calorie diet allowing 800-1,500 calories per day. Encouraged by regular physical exercise, this traditional weight loss method has significant results. But, in some cases, regular weight loss plan is not enough and people are looking for more extreme methods. Very Low-Calorie Diet (VLCD) is the short-term diet mainly for severely obese people. VLCDs usually are commercially prepared VLCD meal replacement shakes of less than 800 calories of daily intake. Unlike with over-the-counter meal replacement, VLCD replaces all usually eaten food. However, there are some ways to eat a lot of the same low-calorie foods (grapefruit diet / Hollywood Diet), but that is more difficult way to be on VLCD.

VLCDs are very effective and to talk in numbers, severely obese people can loos about 44 pounds for 12 weeks (averagely 3-5 pounds a week). Significant weight loss in this case positively effects medical conditions related to obesity: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. VLCD together with physical exercise and behavioral therapy might increase weight loss and help with keeping it off for longer term. Behavioral therapy is useful in recognizing the causes of overeating and that way it can help people to consciously change those behaviors. Without this therapy and exercise, VLCD won’t be effective in the long-term maintenance of the reduced weight.

Very Low-Calorie Diets are safe, but only for people with BMI greater than 30 (their medical complication result from their obesity) and under proper supervision. Doctors should decide whether this diet is appropriate for the patient or not. However, VLCDs are not recommended for adolescents, children, people above 50, pregnant and breastfeeding women. The side effects such as constipation, fatigue, diarrhea or nausea usually improve after a few weeks and therefore they rarely stop people in completing the VLCD. More serious side effect is gallstone formation developing during rapid weight loss.

Although VLCDs have significant results, it is good to repeat that no diet will be effective in long-term, unless a person changes lifestyle completely.

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