Losing weight is often an uphill battle, and it becomes hard to stay motivated when the numbers on the scale aren’t moving. You may exercise each day, but the key to maintaining a healthy weight and losing weight is your calorie intake. The general idea is simple: you need to consume fewer calories than you burn each day if you want to see results. There are so many weight-loss diets out there, which means it is difficult to find one that works for you and yields the results you are looking for.
It’s typical for most diet plans to take months before you start noticing the impact. That can become disheartening and people are much more likely to give up if they don’t feel there is a benefit. That’s where the very low-calorie diet, or VLCD comes in. It’s the most effective and safest way to lose weight quickly.
So, what is VLCD?
Medically, a very low-calorie diet is defined as one in which a person consumes less than 800 calories per day. To compare that to a standard caloric intake, when you’re trying to maintain your weight, you’d consume approximately 2000 calories as a woman, and 2500 calories as a man.
The significant caloric reduction allows you to lose weight very quickly. The diet involves replacing the meals you’d usually consume with specially crafted substitutes such as shakes, soups, porridge, and bars. The formula of these products include all your required daily vitamins and nutrients, so you know you aren’t missing out on anything essential.
There are also programs available that allow you to consume small meals along with your shakes. The Cambridge diet provides fewer meal-replacements but with a higher calorie count. Ideally, you should aim for more meal replacements with a lower count as they will help avoid hunger pangs or spikes in blood sugar.
Who should follow a VLCD?
The very low-calorie diet is an excellent program for almost anyone wanting to lose substantial weight quickly. Many people will decide to try a VLCD when no other weight loss programs are working for them. It is the most beneficial and useful for those who are obese or have a BMI of over 30. If obesity is becoming life-threatening, a VLCD is the best way to regain control over your weight and health.
Do medical professionals recommend a VLCD?
Both the NHS and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommend a VLCD for losing weight efficiently and safely. People have been using this diet to lose weight all over the world for over 50 years. Medical professionals advise that those who are pregnant, or breastfeeding do not participate in a VLCD program. It’s important to remember that the shakes and bars provided in a VLCD are not the same as diet products you might find at the store. It’s always recommended to choose a company who specializes in VLCD programs explicitly to guarantee you get all the vitamins and nutrients that you need.
How much weight can you lose on a VLCD?
When you stick to the diet plan and formulas given to you by the company, you can lose up to 9 kilos in a month. At the end of 3 months, it could result in total losses of up to 27 kilos. That figure is based on the recommended length of 12 weeks to follow your chosen VLCD plan. After 12 weeks, you can combine your VLCD foods with a regular or standard low-calorie diet every few days in order to maintain your weight.
The Benefits of a Very Low-Calorie Diet for Weight Loss
Benefits to your health
VLCD programs offer massive health benefits. Many who have had life-threatening obesity have used this diet to save their life. The risk of developing serious medical conditions is much higher in those who are obese. Some common conditions include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, stroke, joint pain and muscle pain. By controlling your caloric intake and investing in your health with a VLCD, you can significantly reduce those risks.
VLCDs can also help you lower gluconeogenesis, which is the way your body synthesises glucose from non-carbohydrate sources. When you lower gluconeogenesis, your body will lessen its blood sugar and reduce the number of sugars stored as fats.
A VLCD is efficient, and it works!
For those who have tried every weight-loss plan available with little to no results, a VLCD is the answer. Studies show it has a high-rate of weight-loss success for anyone who sticks to the program. Many use this diet to change their eating habits dramatically and apply those lessons to help them maintain them long term.
A VLCD is one of the most efficient ways to lose weight quickly. Within their 12-week recommended plan, you will see incredible results. You can expect much more weight loss than your typical calorie-reduced diet. They are also efficient in making your life easier. Instead of spending hours trying to figure out what you can and can’t eat, all your meal-replacements are chosen for you. You’ll receive a structured plan which lays out precisely what shakes, bars or soups to consume and when.
Another time-consuming task is meal prep. When you’re trying to stick to a regular diet or restrictive eating plans, it often takes longer to prepare meals since you’re eliminating quick options such as ready meals. When you’re on a VLCD, there is little to no prep involved. Think about all the time and energy you will save over the course of 12 weeks without having to think about or prep your meals.
You’ll save money
When you’re on a VLCD, you’ll eliminate your weekly grocery shop, ordering takeaway food and expensive dine-out meals. On top of that, you won’t be spending on little snacks throughout the day either. Over 12 weeks that can add up to astronomical savings. Not only are you getting healthy and losing weight, but you’re also saving a few pounds in the process.
Helps you switch to healthy eating habits
It’s no secret that fats, carbs and sugars are addictive. The more that you consume these substances, the more you will crave them every day. When you start a VLCD, you will have to stop eating those unhealthy foods, and while you may crave them for a while, the cravings will pass over-time.
All the shakes you consume are full of nutrients and vitamins, and your body will begin to crave those healthy substances, rather than junk food. When you finish the diet, you are more likely to stick to healthy options. This is partially because you’ve put so much work into losing the weight, but it’s also because your body is past its withdrawal stage.
Detoxifies the body
A VLCD gives you a full-body detox. You’ll be replacing solid food with liquid meal replacements that are packed full of antioxidants. Antioxidants will help to cleanse the body of free radicals which can cause damage to our cells. No free radicals mean less stress on our system and a chance for it to recover from damage.
Good for your gut
The liquid meal-replacements of a VLCD take a considerable amount of pressure off the digestion system. Your body doesn’t have to work so hard to break down food, meaning you’ll have more energy and no discomfort in your gut. As everything is already broken down in the shake, it is easy for your body to absorb. That means you’ll get more of the nutrients and vitamins that are in the shakes.
The relief on your digestion will give it the chance to reset and it will also enable your colon to cleanse itself. Giving your organs a break will allow them to function much better once you begin consuming solid foods again. You can get a lot of build-up in your colon over-time, which can lead to bowel issues like constipation. A VLCD will help move everything along and help you cleanse out all that gunk.
It’s hard to know whether you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need daily. Unless you count each calorie and track the vitamins and nutrients you get from each item of food, you can never be 100% certain. That is one of the reasons multi-vitamins have become so popular. When you’re on a VLCD, each formula you consume is full of all the vitamins and nutrients you need, so you don’t have to wonder if you’re getting them or not.
Before you begin a very low-calorie diet, it is recommended that you start reducing your carb and junk food intake a week or two in advance. It will give your body a chance to begin preparing itself, and it won’t be a shock to the system. Preparation will also ensure you stick to the program and don’t end up succumbing to your cravings a few days in. With a little bit of willpower and dedication, you’ll be on your way to a healthier body weight.