01 Sep Very Low-Calorie Diets: Can it work for me?
Starting a new diet is difficult, especially when there is so much controversy over the right way to lose weight. How do you find the right path for your weight loss? Always start by addressing the biggest problem. If your health is being adversely affected due to your size, the time to reach out for professional health help is now. When you have a lot to lose, staying motivated is key. That’s why we recommend a modified VLCD, or very low-calorie diets, with our weight loss patients who are facing health issues. Halving your daily calorie intake can seem like such a struggle, but it can be done without much bother and without major time dedication to things such as intense workouts and extensive meal prep. We prepare a personalized meal plan to help you make wise food decisions.
Calories sneak up on us when we aren’t diligent, take that croissantwich you just finished for example, do you realize that the croissant alone is 300 plus calories? And that’s not including the condiments and other contents. When you only require 1000 calories or less daily to get to your goal weight, small snacks can push you beyond your limit without feeling satisfied. The VLCD method keeps all calories accounted for in a way that makes you feel good and motivated.
Do VLCD really work?
Very low-calorie diets are only recommended for people who have a lot of weight to lose or for people who only have a short time frame to drop pounds quickly. Our VLCD method keeps you motivated because you will have rapid results. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, there is no need to keep up with a 2000 calorie diet. In fact, the suggested 2000 calorie diets are not really based off any scientific recommendation. The FDA decided to use the 2000 calorie benchmark to set a standard for required food labels. The number was taken from a self-reported USDA study on people’s daily calorie intake. The recommended daily calories should have no bearing on what and how much you eat. If you are trying to lose weight with the VLCD method you should be determining your daily calories based on a weight loss formula that takes your goal weight multiplied by the number that correlates with your activity level to give you your recommended daily calorie requirements.
Daily Calorie Formula:
- Sedentary: Goal Weight x 5
- Moderately Active: Goal Weight x 6
- Very Active: Goal Weight x 7
You can mix up how many calories you consume within a week by adding more to days you know you will require more and less on others. For example, if you work out Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays and know that you tend to be hungrier on those days, than allow yourself to eat a few hundred calories more and balance by eating a few hundred calories less the other days.
If you are worrying about what you might have heard from trendy healthstyle influencers, rest easy. Claims that restrictive calorie dieting will shut your metabolism down are based on a 1940’s study in Minnesota that kept conscientious objectors on a nutrition deficient starvation diet. The Minnesota Experiment kept 36 healthy subjects, who normally ate 3600 calories a day, on a 1600 calorie diet that was lacking in basic nutrients and protein and sent the subjects into starvation mode. By contrast, the very low-calorie method of today is designed to optimize nutritional intake to keep your from losing muscle mass and keep your metabolic rate up. In fact, our VLCD version keeps your metabolism running all day. We encourage healthy snacking throughout the day in place of full meals.
VLCDs are not for everyone, but for those who need to see rapid change this method works wonders. We hope we have helped share some insight into the VLCD world. Stay tuned for our next story on debunking VLCD myths. See you real soon!