An approach that may be suitable for certain individuals is a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) or sometimes referred to as Very Low Energy Diet or VLED. This weight loss approach is generally only recommended for those at a high weight related medical risk (BMI >30) or those with an obesity related medical condition where it is important for their health that weight reduction occurs quickly. VLCD’s are also commonly used prior to surgery to assist with pre-operative weight loss, reducing surgical risks.
What is a VLCD?
Very Low Calorie Diet’s use specially formulated VLCD products such as Optifast® to replace meals (or snacks). They significantly reduce calorie intake to assist with weight loss whilst ensuring your body is receiving all essential vitamins and minerals, as well as adequate protein, which prevents muscle being broken down for energy.
VLCD’s are the safest way to achieve rapid weight loss, with weekly weight losses averaging approximately 2.0kg in the first 4-6 weeks*, providing greater initial weight loss than other forms of calorie restriction.
How Does the VLCD Program Work?
The program works by restricting your body of its preferred energy source, carbohydrates. The body is then required to burn body fat for energy, ensuring weight loss. While using fat as a primary energy source your body produced ketones as a by-product, which brings on a mild form of ketosis. The benefit of ketosis is that it suppresses you appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin, which helps make it easier to follow a VLCD program.
Long Term - Keeping the weight off
VLCD is an excellent tool to use to achieve rapid weight loss, however it is not a long term solution. Long term weight control depends on the incorporation of long term changes to eating and exercise habits into your lifestyle.
While using VLCD it is important to work with a dietitian to transition from VLCD to a balanced healthy eating plan and achieve permanent lifestyle changes that will ensure the weight stays off. When used in this manner research shows weight loss can be sustained into the future.
As an Accredited OPTIFAST® VLCD™ Healthcare Professional, Jorja Barnes can tailor this approach to your individual needs and provide ongoing guidance, education and support to maximise outcomes and ensure long term sustainability
If you are interested in trying this approach, please get in contact to discuss your suitability.
*Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person.