LA Weight Loss - Anyone else out there on a VLCD??




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Ellie R
05-23-2009, 06:10 AM
Just wondering if anyone else out there is doing a medically supervised VLCD, and if so, how it's working for you?

I have been going with VLCD since beginning March - aside from one little holiday break (not a break out, just not 100% strict) switching between phase 1 and 2 at the moment.

Interested to hear any feedback from others on how you are doing, or if you succeeded with it in the long run?

Let me know!


canadianwoman
05-23-2009, 07:06 AM
Do you mean a VLCarb diet or a VLCalorie diet?

Ellie R
05-23-2009, 07:08 AM
well in reality its both!

but technical name is Very Low Calorie Diet


km25
05-23-2009, 10:04 AM
I AM!! I have been been eating 500 calories/day since April 20th. One day I had 1200 calories though, and yesterday I had 1000 calories. I make sure that I get 47 g protein a day from a shake and 11 gram of fat/day from 5 macadamia nuts. The other 200 calories are "free". I may have a 0% greek fage yogurt, or an apple, or lettuce, etc. I also work out between 1 1/2 - 3 hrs six days a week. I have not decided, but I may have to up my calories by 200 because I have been very weak and fatigued lately, and have felt faint during my workouts. I am actually only doing this VLCD until mid July.
What is your plan/diet?

walking2lose
05-23-2009, 11:14 AM
I AM!! I have been been eating 500 calories/day since April 20th. One day I had 1200 calories though, and yesterday I had 1000 calories. I make sure that I get 47 g protein a day from a shake and 11 gram of fat/day from 5 macadamia nuts. The other 200 calories are "free". I may have a 0% greek fage yogurt, or an apple, or lettuce, etc. I also work out between 1 1/2 - 3 hrs six days a week. I have not decided, but I may have to up my calories by 200 because I have been very weak and fatigued lately, and have felt faint during my workouts. I am actually only doing this VLCD until mid July.
What is your plan/diet?

Hi km -- it sounds like you have an enormous amount of discipline. I'm just curious - what is the purpose for the low, low calorie plan? I thought at 500 calories a day, the body would really hold on to every bit it can. I'm sorry, but even getting protein and fat, it just doesn't sound healthy to me. Maybe you can explain...?

km25
05-23-2009, 12:22 PM
No problem. A VCLD is medically defined as a diet of 400-800 calories a day. It is usually used with obese patients, but I am doing it because I used the Harrison Benedict equation to figure out how many calories I would need to eat a day to lose 3-4 lbs a week. I just want to be a certain weight by July 4th, and I've decided to go for it. I'm actually going to the doctor in a week or two, so they can check nutrient levels in my blood, etc. Anyway, I read a bunch of medical journal articles on VCLD's, and people really will lose more weight if they take in fewer calories- if you expend more than you take in (3500 less to lose a pound, to be exact), you lose weight. When you eat little it is true that your body will expend fewer calories and lower your metabolism somewhat, but your body must still expend calories to function, so it actually cannot hold on to everything, and you will lose. And actually you will lose at a high rate. For example, since April 20th I have lose about 16-18 lbs. doing this.

babes315
05-23-2009, 12:46 PM
No problem. A VCLD is medically defined as a diet of 400-800 calories a day. It is usually used with obese patients, but I am doing it because I used the Harrison Benedict equation to figure out how many calories I would need to eat a day to lose 3-4 lbs a week. I just want to be a certain weight by July 4th, and I've decided to go for it. I'm actually going to the doctor in a week or two, so they can check nutrient levels in my blood, etc. Anyway, I read a bunch of medical journal articles on VCLD's, and people really will lose more weight if they take in fewer calories- if you expend more than you take in (3500 less to lose a pound, to be exact), you lose weight. When you eat little it is true that your body will expend fewer calories and lower your metabolism somewhat, but your body must still expend calories to function, so it actually cannot hold on to everything, and you will lose. And actually you will lose at a high rate. For example, since April 20th I have lose about 16-18 lbs. doing this.

Hello Km, just to clarify, is your doctor supervising your weight loss, or when you go see him in a week or two, will that be the first he/she knows that you are on a VLCD?

kaplods
05-23-2009, 01:31 PM
I've been on dozens of vlcd's, and the problems I've had with them didn't arise during the diet, but afterward, and in the long term. There's some evidence (and it sure has been my experience) that vlcds can have a long-term effect in lowering metabolism. So, if you return to your pre-diet eating, you do not just return to your pre-diet weight, you gain more, because of the metabolic suppression. This means that if you gradually decrease your calories until you are at your ideal weight, you will be able to maintain that weight at a higher caloric level than if you crash dieted to that weight. You also lose a higher percentage of muscle with the fat, perhaps even with exercise (it can be difficult to determine the effect of exercise because people commonly find that they can exercise at a much lower intensity and duration on vlcd's - they also tend to sleep and rest more. Some of these effects can be so subtle that a person may not even realize that they're moving less than they did before the diet).

The effect of one vlcd on metabolism may be rather small, but the biggest problem with vlcd's is that because of the fast results, they can be so tempting they're almost addictive. When you've experienced fast weight loss, you don't want to do it the slow way. However you only learn two levels of eating, starvation and eating at your pre-diet level. When starvation becomes unbearable, people don't go back to "sensible" eating, they return to overeating. It tends to keep people on the diet yoyo rollercoaster, and the cumulative effects on metabolism start to rack up.

Metabolism does slow with age and other factors, but I have no doubt that I would have a much higher metabolism and better health if I had avoided vlcd's.

All I can say, is that if you're determined to do this, make sure it's the last time you do. If you can manage not to regain, that's absolutely wonderful, but if you find that you've regained, please resist the temptation to take the weight off again with another vlcd. The slow erosion of your metabolism just isn't worth it.

Ellie R
05-24-2009, 05:49 AM
Hey Guys,

thanks Kaplods for the advice!
I have to admit I am very attracted to the fast weightloss which happens on a VLCD, and I know the most difficult bit is going to be when I move on to a slower pace, but that's why I am doing the medically supervised thing, you get full bloods taken avery month or so to check on progress etc etc. I think otherwise, I would have done my own form of severe diet, and I am starting to be equally as concerned for my health as my appearance, whereas previous times, it was all about appearance, and I know its bad, but I have always been a big fan of the extreme diets, so this time, though extreme, at least I know I am being monitored.

What I would say though, is that I rarely feel hungry, you are allowed eat as much as you like of vegetables from the green low carb family, and a huge plate of veggies does fill you up. But I do hear you on the long term effects, that's why I will have to use all my will power to start eating and thus losing much more slowly when the time comes!!

Ellie R
05-24-2009, 06:00 AM
Hi km -- it sounds like you have an enormous amount of discipline. I'm just curious - what is the purpose for the low, low calorie plan? I thought at 500 calories a day, the body would really hold on to every bit it can. I'm sorry, but even getting protein and fat, it just doesn't sound healthy to me. Maybe you can explain...?

Hi There,

Just to explain further re a VLCD, what actually happens is that with the near absence of carbs from your diet, and the correct balance of Protein and Fat, your body goes in to Ketosis, this means that in the initial days you utilise all of your glycogen stores, and then thereafter, every time your body needs energy it has to turn to fat stores for it.

Now naturally your body doesn't do this, but tends to use carbohydrates for energy, so it takes a while to adjust, and some people experience sluggishness and tiredness as a result. The waste products of Ketones is then excreted through urine - this is nothing terribly new to a lot of people as atkins type diets work on similar principles.

I have not had a lack of energy, and have been doing fairly high intensity excercise 2 or 3 times per week also.

I think I have said this before elsewhere, but the theory behind it is that the ills perhaps associated with fast weightloss are outweighed by the benefits of actually LOSING the weight, and also that with someone with lots of weight to lose (too high a hurdle to jump) that the large numbers on the scales will be hugely motivating and help them to stick at it.
there is a lot of info about the diet on UCLA website - they have a programme.

Just to say 2 things to end, one I am under medical supervision, and I don't think this should be done any other way!

Two, i am not really advocating this method, as you guys out there doing a slow and steady 1 or 2lbs a week are excercising a lot more disciplin, and also setting yourself up to be healthier.

But, this is working for me, and i just wanted to find any others doing the diet, to see if they had stories to share??

LandonsBaby
05-24-2009, 10:49 PM
Well KM to be very honest, at 5'5" and 150lbs it sounds like you are just starving yourself because that is what you want to do. I can only go by my own experience and that is....it sucks. But hey, whatever floats you boat I guess. In the end it only resulted in me getting fatter and more unhealthy.

kaplods
05-25-2009, 12:37 AM
I find it inconceiveable that a physician would approve such a plan for someone who is not morbidly obese. In general, doctors only recommend vlcd for patients who are in a situation in which the risks to the patient without rapid weight loss outweight the risks of the vlcd itself (and there are many known risks including specific types of heart and gallbladder problems, and others that are more cosmetic than dangerous, but still disconcerting such as hair loss and skin problems).

Even with morbidly obese patients, most doctors will advice against vlcd unless there is a compelling extenuating circumstance. If you're not preparing for surgery, and have mild or no other health issues, it's unlikely that the average doctor is going to recommend vlcd's - mainly because they have a very poor success rate in relationship to the risks.

Another thing to consider when taking a doctor's advice on diet and weight loss issues, is that most doctors have little or no course work in nutrition. As I understand it, most medical schools require no nutrition coursework, and of those that do, it's most likely to be only one course. Unless it's changed very recently, coursework on bariatric (weight loss) medicine and treating morbidly obese patients also is very hit or miss - mostly electives, or tidbits of information here and there within other classes.

My doctor at least is honest, and admits he doesn't have the knowledge. When he recommended that I might find a low carb diet more successful, but warned me not to go to low, I asked him what too low was, and he admitted having no idea.

I'm not dismissing the value of doctors, but if they're not given the information, they can hardly be expected to be experts on the subject. A dietitian or diabetic counselor (even if you don't have diabetes) at least have proven training in the field.

ringmaster
05-25-2009, 01:07 AM
People lose weight rapidly on a ketogenic diet, and stay on them for a very long time. You don't have to restrict calories so low with them.


It seems all around safer to go for 1200calories and go low carb if you want to go low calorie and lose fast.

Ellie R
05-25-2009, 02:29 AM
I AM!! I have been been eating 500 calories/day since April 20th. One day I had 1200 calories though, and yesterday I had 1000 calories. I make sure that I get 47 g protein a day from a shake and 11 gram of fat/day from 5 macadamia nuts. The other 200 calories are "free". I may have a 0% greek fage yogurt, or an apple, or lettuce, etc. I also work out between 1 1/2 - 3 hrs six days a week. I have not decided, but I may have to up my calories by 200 because I have been very weak and fatigued lately, and have felt faint during my workouts. I am actually only doing this VLCD until mid July.
What is your plan/diet?


Hi Km,

I am not sure what is directed to who there, though wouldn't like to see you put off by anyone, I think that the major point here is that you are too close to goal weight to be doing such an extreme plan. But maybe, as others have suggested, you could modify it, so you would still have quicker weightloss, but you would be taking in more calories - I think if you are weak and fatigued, you probably already know that - why don't you at the very least stick to 1000 calories, and up the excercise a bit, the difference in overall weightloss is probably going to be around 4 lbs in total this way - it's not really worth feeling awful for in the interim is it?
Let me know how you get on...

In my case, I was morbidly obese at the beginning, and I am going to a specialist weight loss doctor, who prescribes lots of different diet programmes, Low GI among them - in my case after 2 consultations we settled on the VLCD -but only for an 18 week period max - which is not too far away now.

km25
05-26-2009, 09:15 PM
Hi everyone,
Ellie R - thank you for your last comment, don't worry I wasn't chased away from the page, just busy :) My weightloss has somewhat stalled.. I have only lost 1 lb in the last 2 weeks, and I assume it is because my basal metabolic rate (bmr) has slowed due to lose calories intake. This week I am doubling my exercise and increasing my calories to 800/day. If I still do not lose much weight, the following week I will increase to 1000/day for a few weeks so my body can adjust back to a higher bmr.

kaplods- I am truly sorry that in your experience, the VCLD permanently decreased your metabolism. That really stinks. The medical literature does not have conclusive evidence that VCLDs do this. In some studies metabolism has gone right back to pre-diet levels, while in others it has remained decreased for longer. Also, my doctors did not recommend me to do this, I just told them I would, and so the compromise is that they run the checks on me to make sure my health is not at risk.

thanks everyone.

kaplods
05-26-2009, 10:18 PM
I agree that the medical literature does seem to suggest that the metabolic impact of vlcd's may vary from individual to individual. Or, it may be a cumulative effect and the studies that found no effect was an artifact of testing people with limited prior experience with vlcd's (Meaning the person who has been on two vlcd's of limited duration may have a metabolism much like a person who has never been on a vlcd, while a person who has been on vlcd's dozens of times, for months at a time, may have a very different metabolism. More research, at a deeper level needs to be done.

Of course, the biggest problem with these inconsistent results, is that a person is unlikely to find out whether they're an individual who will see an impact to their metabolism from a vlcd until after it occurs.