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The Very Low Calorie Diet - Low, Low Calories

written by: Summer Banks • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 10/7/2010

The Very Low Calorie Diet promotes quick weight loss in obese patients and is normally in the form of bars, soups or liquid shakes. A dieter is recommended to use a VLCD diet for 3 to 6 months under strict medical supervision.

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    Very Low Calorie Diet Formulas

    The very low calorie formulas are not similar to meal supplements. They must contain correct micronutrient and vitamin levels in order for the dieters to achieve their dietary requirements. A number of physicians prescribe diets comprising foods rich in lean proteins like chicken and fish. Dieters need to consume about 800 calories each day. These formulas should be used together with other inclusive weight-loss treatments like behavioral therapy, physical activity, drug treatment and nutrition counseling.

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    Use of the VLCD

    This diet is tailored for achieving quick weight loss for dieters with a Body Mass Index of more than 30. To get the patients’ BMI, divide their mass in pounds with the height measured in inches squared then multiply by 703. All patients should undergo a comprehensive examination by a qualified health provider to ensure the diet does not worsen any existing medical conditions. The diet is not suitable for adolescents, pregnant women or children except for special treatment programs as advised by a physician. Doctors have to assess on a person-by-person basis all potential benefits and risks of quick loss of weight in aging adults and those with major medical problems or those currently taking medication. Doctors monitor and evaluate VLCD patients on a regular basis to ensure that the dieters do not experience severe side effects. This is normally every two weeks.

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    VLCD’S Health Benefits

    The very low calorie diet allows patients with moderate or extreme obesity to shed approximately 3-5 pounds each week. On average, dieters lose about 44 pounds in a period of 12 weeks. This rapid weight loss is capable of improving other obesity-related conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Dieters who participate in VLCD programs including life treatment are likely to lose almost 15 -20 percent of their original weight in the initial 3-6 months. If a physical activity habit and healthy eating arrangement is adopted, a dieter can maintain 5% loss of weight after four years. Use of VLCD and having follow-up treatment helps in increasing weight loss in dieters.