Very Low-Calorie Diet: All You Need to Know About It

Over the years, many health experts have said that avoiding calories can help with weight loss. Calories have often been seen as the culprit for many illnesses, and this has led people to become conscious of counting their calorie intake every day. 

There is actually a sufficient amount of calories we should eat every day. For women, the recommended calorie intake is 2,000, while 2,500 is the necessary amount for men, and anything above that is considered unhealthy. Despite the recommended intake, overweight and health-conscious people aim to decrease their calorie intake to the average amount. However, anything that’s not enough is considered unhealthy as well. 

For very overweight people, there are many weight loss programs in Birmingham, one of which is the very low-calorie diet (VLCD). In a VLCD, an individual must maintain a 1,000 calorie intake every day, and this program must be done consistently for 12 weeks without a break. For intermittent VLCD, it can be done with consistent intervals (every two to three days), along with a low-calorie or regular diet.

Who is VLCD for?

A very low-calorie diet is for people who are still considered overweight after practicing a healthy lifestyle and doing physical activities. Typically, an overweight individual has a BMI of 25 or more. You know that VLCD is for you if you are no longer losing weight despite various efforts. 

Keep in mind that a person who has a VLCD must sacrifice eating regular foods during the diet period. It means that they can only stick to special drinks, such as blended fruits or vegetables, soups, bars, or porridge containing milk-, soy-or egg-based protein. The diet must also strictly follow these foods to maintain the nutrient intake that the body needs while maintaining the 1000-calorie limit. 

If you are not significantly overweight but want to lose weight, you can skip this diet and choose an appropriate approach for your condition. Generally, pregnant women and children are not recommended to do the VLCD. You may also consult your local dietitian to know more about this.

What are the benefits of a VLCD?

It minimizes health risks

Take note that a VLCD is not directly for losing weight, but it merely helps minimize health issues attributed to being overweight. For example, when diagnosed early, recommending the diet in question on a patient can reduce the risks of high blood pressure, selected types of cancer, particularly breast and colon cancers, heart disease, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and hypoxemia.

It improves emotional health

In this modern era, where body-shaming is no longer tolerated, many people are still suffering from it, particularly those who are very overweight. Being an overweight individual can easily cause them to lose confidence, and this can discourage them from taking the first steps to help themselves. In a VLCD, a person can lose 3-5 pounds every week, almost double the results of other regular diets. In fact, it can help overweight people see results faster, motivating them to continue doing normal diets and more extensive exercises!

It results in long-term weight loss

Some overweight people often take desperate actions to lose weight. However, improper diet can result in unhealthy weight loss and may just work at first but bring them back to their previous weight or worse. With a VLCD, overweight people can lose up to 25% of their initial weight for the first three to six months. But if they continue to follow VLCD and support it with regular exercise, they will eventually achieve and maintain their desired weight.


Yes, calorie restriction is an excellent way to keep yourself healthy and lose weight. However, what works for someone doesn’t always work for everyone. Before undergoing any diet programs, it is always best to let a medical expert examine your condition to declare the best diet for your situation.

Get a personalized plan that works for you! Weigh to Wellness is a weight loss clinic in Birmingham, AL, with certified medical professionals who will oversee your healthy weight loss journey. We will help you achieve a healthier version of yourself, so consult our health experts today to see how we can help!

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