We would like to equip you with the skills to make healthy food choices as part of a balanced and wholesome lifestyle. This book aims to provide you with knowledge of the basics of nutrition to help you understand how to plan safe and delicious meals as part of a very low calorie diet (VLCD) approach. The first section of the book explains the basics of nutrition. Here you learn the basics of the macronutrients that provide energy and how these need to be managed to achieve a calorie restricted approach to eating. Further, you will be taught how to read food labels to guide you in selecting healthier food items. There is a section on what a VLCD entails, including the mechanism of action, benefits, phases and considerations. We also cover a vital section on mindful eating.
The second section of the book contains recipes suitable for a VLCD. Each recipe has been designed to provide 200 kcal of energy per meal. Check the recipe’s recommended serving size and ensure that you serve an appropriate portion to meet the 200 kcal goal. VLCDs are macronutrient conservative, so it is important that you consult your healthcare practitioner to ensure that you get optimal amounts of protein in your diet, according to your specific needs. At the back of the book, you will find options to ‘make your own meal’, as well as sample menus. As you move to a higher phase, you can increase your portion size or add additional dishes to meet the calorie goal for that phase. Once you feel comfortable with how they work, why not attempt to plan your own menus? After all, you will hopefully end up at a point where you feel confident with eating according to your needs.