VLCD – Very Low Calorie Diet?

Have you ever heard of the term VLCD? If you have been browsing the web for information about weight loss, you have probably encountered that term. VLCD stands for Very Low Calorie Diet. A VLCD is basically a diet with very or extremely low daily calorie intake. To be defined as one, it has to consist of less than 800 calories per day, which is very hard to reach with ordinary food, so there are a lot of companies who produces “powders” to be mixed with either water or milk, and they give you all the nutrients and minerals you need per day while keeping your calorie intake low.

You should only begin with a VLCD if your BMI is above 28.0 (check the “Tools” section to calculate your BMI) and you are ready to sacrifice your current eating habits. What is also good with a diet of that kind is that you’re completely changing your habits, you go from eating huge portions of food, up to five times a day, to just consuming some liquid goo five-six times a day depending on your sex.

You usually go on this diet for 2-3 weeks, and if you are extremely overweight or obese you are allowed to go on the diet again every other month for 2-3 weeks. Just don’t do it for more than three weeks, it is very important to not overdo it. Why? When your body gets less than a specific amount of calories per day for more then three weeks, the body starts adapting to that calorie intake (especially if it’s not solid food) and you will stop losing weight, you’ll enter something called starvation mode, a special feature evolved during the ice age, when it was hard to gather food. This can be prevented by going on the diet for 2-3 weeks as said and then slowly getting back to solid foods, and then, if you want to, after about one and a half month go on the diet again.

One of my friends was on the diet, and he was desperate to lose weight so he didn’t even take the amount he was supposed to everyday. He took three bags a day (he should have taken six) and excercised like the world was going to end, about four hours a day, and he lost a huge number of pounds in the three weeks he was on the diet. How much you might say? Thirtyfive. He lost thirtyfive, 35, yes, you read it right, 35, pounds in three weeks. However, he should have taken the six bags he was supposed to.

I myself tried the diet for three weeks, the first time you use a VLCD is called a kick-start phase, and lost 20 pounds. Without any excercise at all. But do remember that a bit of that weight loss is water loss, simply because a VLCD doesn’t contain carbohydrates and carbohydrates bind water. When you stop eating carbohydrates they’re all burnt from your body and the water weight they used to bind goes away with it too. If you go on with a carbohydrate rich diet after the VLCD you will go up a lot again. I recommend eating sallads and proteins atleast until you have reached your ideal body. When you have reached it, go on and eat carbohydrates. It won’t make a big difference.

Now, you might be wondering, how will I make it? Eating so little (actually, drinking) and not going hungry? I can’t stand it! The feeling of being hungry! Well, the first three days are the most painful. After three days of only drinking the water goo, as I call it, your body goes into something called ketosis. I will have a whole article written on it later, but a summary of what ketosis really is, is that when you are eating normally, you probably eat carbohydrates and that stores up as glycogen in the glycogen stores of your body. And that is used as a primary source of energy for your body, and when you enter ketosis by not eating any carbohydrates (or atleast keeping the intake under 100g per day) the glycogen stores will be burnt in three days. When that is gone, your body goes to the alternate source of energy, the fat. And that is what you want! Right? And when your body starts eating off the fat, you will not feel hungry anymore. How do you know you have entered ketosis? Your breath smells like acetone. That is because acetone is produced during this stage, but it is nothing dangerous.

Are you ready to lose weight and do you have a BMI of over 28.0? Why not kick-start your new weight loss phase? Besides, when you only eat those bags with water or milk, your stomach bag will shrink, and once you are done, you will not be able to eat that big piece of cake or those extra portions of food and other things that might stop your weight loss! What a great way to start your new life! It takes 21 days to form a new habit, three weeks is 21 days. So why not? Go on!

You can expect more articles in this area as it is a very interesting one, and you’ll be guided through the whole weight loss stage if you follow my blog. Please, don’t hesitate to write any comments or contact me – I will help you or write an article on the desired area.



  1. Jough Dempsey

    The real danger of a severely low-calorie diet isn’t metabolic slowdown but rather malnutrition. It’s hard to get enough of the nutrients you need every day – protein, fiber, carbs, vitamins, fat, etc. – by eating a severely calorie restricted diet. The CRON diet is one attempt to have the best of both worlds – a low-calorie but extremely high nutrition intake. The downside of CRON is that you have to be very very careful about eating for nutrients rather than pleasure or convenience. I’ve read blog posts from some CRON dieters who eat more vitamins and supplements than they do real food. Sounds like a one-way ticket to failsville if you ask me.

    1. Kevin Axellius

      Todays VLCD powders are designed to give you all the nutrients you need per day, however, if you are on a VLCD of your own, where you cook your own food, what you are saying is indeed very correct. You can’t get all the nutrients you need everyday only eating less than 800 calories per day on normal food.