At the Center for Nutrition and Preventive Medicine, we use a “multi-dimensional” approach to weight loss. In other words, we donʼt rely on just one single treatment strategy. I believe that weight loss and maintenance is too difficult to “put all your eggs in one basket”. So, for initial weight loss we use structured, aggressive diets, along with appetite and craving control methods, metabolism optimization, activity enhancement, and optimal nutrient intake in the context of individualized patient support. After more than 14 years of patient experience, Iʼm convinced this comprehensive approach is the most effective and sensible treatment plan to manage weight problems.
Most research studies, however, look at only one single treatment for a limited period of time. Since one of the weight loss diets we often utilize is the medical treatment known as the Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD), letʼs review some of the research data and commentary on this particular strategy both from our office and from the literature.
The Very Low Calorie Diet is defined by certain characteristics:
- Typically not over 800 calories per day (although in our office we often intentionally exceed this calorie limit, especially in men), with a diet relatively rich in protein.
- Includes the full compliment of recommended nutrients in adequate amounts.
- Supplied in a form that completely replaces usual food intake.
- Usually given for 12-16 weeks or longer if needed.
Letʼs first look at what the National Institutes of Health has to say about this “doctor-supervised diet” known as the VLCD…