Very Low Calorie Diet or VLCDs are extreme diets which are around 800 or less calories a day.
Gordon Heitman 46 years old weighed 464 pounds when he started his 800 calorie a day diet and with in one year he had lost 233 pounds.
This kind of a diet is only safe if it is done under medical supervision. Even then extreme calorie reduction diets can result in complications like constipation, dehydration, diarrhea, electrolyte imbalance, fatigue, gout, gallstones, high uric acid, kidney stones, leg cramps, loss of hair, loss of bone density, low blood pressure, nausea, and in some cases heart arrhythmias which can lead to cardiac arrest and death.
There are medicines that can help prevent gallstone and kidney stones. Talk to your health provider to determine if these medicines are appropriate for you.
VLCDs are not a complete solution to weight loss. Studies have shown that it is common for those that take part in VLCD to regain their weight. You must combine VLCD with a radical life style change that includes exercise, behavioral counseling, change in your social life, follow up counseling if you are going to keep your weight loss.
Weight loss can improve obesity related medical conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure but VLCDs are not any more effective than regular diets just you lose the weight faster.
Here are 3 of the most popular VLCD diet systems:
Medifast — is an easy to follow diet program which has prepackaged meal replacements. This program was developed by a physician and it has been recommended by more than 15,000 doctors since 1980. Medifast Meals are formulated with low-fat protein and fiber, and fortified with vitamins and nutrients.
Optifast — helps overweight people lose weight and in most cases keep it off over the long term. They combine the expertise of physicians, registered dietitians, and behavioral counselors with a high-quality, calorie-controlled, nutritional formula in a program.
The Cambridge Diet — is available as a range of different flavoured products including: shakes, soups, bars and porridge, all of which have the necessary vitamins and minerals and trace elements to maintain balanced nutrition and healthy weight loss.