Traditionally, when we talk about low calorie diets, we mean that the calorie intake should be anything between 800 to 1500 calories per day. This should also be supported and followed up by regular exercise without which such low calories diet may not have the right kind of results. However, for those who are either moderately obese or severely obese it is quite common to put them on a very low-calorie diet which is also known as VLCD.
More About Low Calorie Diets
To understand more about these very low calorie diets for fast weight loss, it would be pertinent to have a better knowledge about the preparation that goes behind such VLCD. These are diets which are formulas that are commercially prepared where the daily intake is pegged at 800 kcal or less. This is usually done by replacing the normal food intake that such obese people are used to.
There are several types of VLCD and one of this common diet is grapefruit diet. This is also referred to as the Hollywood diet and the basic concept here too is to place a lot of importance on the very low calorie food items. It would wrong to assume that these diets are the same as the OTC meal replacement products that are available. These over the counter diets are normally used as a replacement for the normal one or two meals per day that most of us are used to.
Let us have a look at the various objectives and benefits that one can reasonably expect from such very low calorie diet. If the diet is followed to perfection there are very good chances that a moderately obese or even severely obese person could lose anything between 1.4 to 2.3 kilograms, which equals to around 3 to 5 pounds per week. If the whole process is continued in letter and spirit, it would not be over ambitious to expect such obese persons could lose as much as 20 kilograms (44 pounds) within a period of 12 weeks. This is almost equivalent to losing three stones as it is known to old timers.
But there are many experts who are against moving straightaway to these very low calorie diets. Health specialists and experts feel that one should go in for such VLCD programs only when other normal programs have failed to deliver the right results. Even if you decide to go in for these special very low calorie diets, you have to ensure that you get at least 450 kcal for women and around 500 kcal for men.
There are some critics who feel that these VLCD programs work best in hospitals before a person goes in for an operation to correct his or her obesity problems. They do not believe that this type of very hard and demanding diet program can be sustained in the long term.
The biggest drawback with these VLCD programs is that it would be difficult to get the right nutrition by restricting oneself to these 800 kcal diets for a long period of time. Nutrition is best gotten from various food source which these very low calorie diet programs may not be able to provide.
Our conclusion is that it would be advisable to keep these VLCD programs only as a last resort. This is because of the various side effects they could bring with them. The side effects could range from fatigue to hair loss and could also lead to constipation. Some serious side effects such as irregular heartbeats and osteoporosis cannot also be ruled out.