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A very-low-calorie diet (vlcd) is a type of weight loss plan that restricts calorie intake to less than 800 calories per day. This type of diet is designed to promote rapid weight loss, typically under medical supervision, and is often used for individuals who are severely obese or have medical conditions related to obesity. In this article, we will explore the principles and guidelines of a vlcd, as well as its potential benefits and drawbacks.

Principles and guidelines of a vlcd

  • The principles and guidelines of a vlcd may vary depending on individual preferences and health status, but some common principles include:
  • A low-calorie intake: a vlcd restricts calorie intake to less than 800 calories per day, which is significantly lower than the average daily caloric intake for most adults.
  • A high-protein intake: a vlcd typically includes a high intake of protein, which may help to preserve muscle mass and promote satiety.
  • Medical supervision: a vlcd is typically administered under medical supervision, as it may pose risks for individuals with certain medical conditions.
  • Nutrient supplementation: a vlcd may require nutrient supplementation, such as vitamins and minerals, to prevent nutrient deficiencies.
  • Limited duration: a vlcd is typically intended for short-term use, ranging from a few weeks to several months, due to the low-calorie intake and potential risks.

Benefits of a vlcd

  • A vlcd may have several potential benefits, including:
  • Rapid weight loss: a vlcd can promote rapid weight loss, typically up to 5-10 pounds per week, which may provide motivation for individuals with severe obesity.
  • Improved metabolic function: a vlcd may improve metabolic function, such as blood sugar control and cholesterol levels, in individuals with obesity-related medical conditions.
  • Reduced risk of complications: a vlcd may reduce the risk of complications related to severe obesity, such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Drawbacks of a vlcd

  • A vlcd may also have several potential drawbacks, including:
  • Nutrient deficiencies: a vlcd may lead to nutrient deficiencies, such as vitamin and mineral deficiencies, due to the limited variety of foods and low-calorie intake.
  • Loss of muscle mass: a vlcd may lead to the loss of muscle mass, which can have negative effects on metabolic function and physical function.
  • Risk of gallstones: a vlcd may increase the risk of gallstones, due to the rapid weight loss and limited calorie intake.
  • Regain of weight: a vlcd may lead to weight regain, as rapid weight loss can lead to a decrease in metabolic rate and hunger signals.

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