VLCD stands for “Very Low Calorie Diet”.
A VLCD is a low carbohydrate, total food replacement for the dietary management of obesity. It provides 800 calories or less per day, whilst consisting of sufficient protein, fatty acids, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals for safe and rapid weight loss.
Very low calorie diets have been shown to be very effective in the management of obesity, with weekly weight losses averaging approximately 1-2.5kg per week, providing greater initial weight loss than other forms of calorie restriction. Reducing energy (calorie) intake to less than 800 calories as well as reducing carbohydrate intake leads to a whole body shift towards fat stores being utilised as the major source of energy through a process called ketosis. This results in consistent and successful weight loss.
Weight loss achieved with VLCDs has also been associated with improvements in:
- insulin sensitivity
- blood pressure
- sleep apnoea and
- blood sugar levels in adults