Dec 21

What is a Very Low Calorie Diet?

WomaneatingfruitA very low calorie diet (VLCD) is a physician monitored diet that is effective in achieving weight loss. VLCD requires intensive monitoring by a bariatric physician. A very calorie diet must be done with great caution and under medical supervision. The basis is 800 or less calories per day. Most healthy adults typical eat 1600 to 2000 calories per day. The diet is high in protein and low in carbs. We keep the carbs to less than 50 grams per day. Patients are seen in the office several times a month and lab work is checked every other week. The 800 calories are a carefully prepared formula that includes all the nutrients necessary for good health. If low calorie results in deficiency of certain minerals or vitamins, it may be counterproductive.

The low calorie diet has a great upside and people have been known to lose as much as 5 pounds a week on it. Generally, in losing more than one pound per week is not considered safe weight loss.

With our program we use 2 meal replacement bars, 2 protein shakes, and 1 lean meal. The bars and shakes are carefully formulated to meet nutritional needs. The meal consists of 4 oz. of a lean protein and 1 cup of vegetables. Most patients feel full since the diet is high in protein and fat.

There are some expected side effects such as fatigue, nausea and constipation as the body adjusts to the lower intake of food. Gall stones sometimes appear with low calorie diets, and is one of the reasons close supervision is required.

The cost of the program is often less than the cost of buying and preparing meals on your own. We are also here to encourage you and support your weight loss goals throughout the entire process. Once your weight loss goal has been reached, we slowly transition to a high protein, low carb regular diet.

One thing is for sure, a very low calorie diet should never be attempted without the help of a physician. The dangers are too many such as death by ventricular tachycardia that can occur with an imbalance of electrolytes in the body caused by the low number of calories. It is not as simple as you are taking in extremely few calories. Your nutritional requirements must be met and blood chemistry followed.RawDiet

One thing most people ask is if a very calorie diet is appropriate for them. It is not appropriate for children and often not appropriate for older adults. Apart from that, the decision should be made in consultation with a physician. A VLCD is a good choice for those who prefer not to have weight loss surgery such as the lap band procedure, gastric sleeve or gastric bypass. This program offers fast, safe weight loss.

Many people ask, would they not regain the weight once the very low calorie diet program is over. The answer to that is it entirely depends on you. The battle against obesity is a lifelong battle that should include an active life style, exercise and regular monitoring of all health conditions. For most people obesity is caused by simply too many calories and not enough exercise. Through this program you will be learning new eating habits and that can lead you to success weight maintenance in the future.

VLCD is very effective in getting glycemic control, which is a very big part of fighting obesity. It does increase insulin sensitivity. Most obese patients know that they are up against type 2 diabetes and one of the key benefits of very low calorie diet is that it exactly fights against that.

Dr. Christian Birkedal is a highly respected physician with offices in Ormond Beach who specializes in bariatric surgery and weight loss. Please contact us if you are interested in VLCD. Call (386) 231-3530 today to schedule a consultation.

Published by Axiom Health Care Marketing


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