Extremely low calorie diets such as the "Very Low Calorie Diet" VLCD are starvation diets that involve consuming 1000 calories or less per day. Let me break it down very simply, the only way to lose fat is to create a calorie deficit which means you must burn more calories than you eat. There are 2 parts to the weight loss equation which must happen simultaneously for you not just to lose weight but to also lose body fat. Your body must burn more calories than you consume and you must also eat less calories than you burn. This is what creates permanent weight loss.
The truth is extremely low calorie diets will make you lose weight in the beginning, but the problem is that they will not work for a long time. Your body is too smart to be tricked into starving itself. When you starve the body you starve your lean muscle mass which means you end up losing muscle and when this happens your metabolism will come to a screeching halt as your body starts storing all the food you eat as fat in an effort to protect itself from future starvation.
In our society today, most people overeat which means they consume more calories than necessary and nearly everyone can benefit from a reduction in the amount of food they eat. (Click here to use the calorie calculator to estimate the number of daily calories your body needs to maintain or lose weight) But reduction in calories is not enough. You actually want to eat MORE of the right foods. The problem is we eat too much of the wrong foods (junk, highly processed and devoid of nutrition) and not enough of the right foods. The right foods are whole type foods that are nutrient dense. These foods have not been processed or overly-processed. The right foods are packaged by nature and not by the factory, which means you want to eat more of the foods that you can wash and eat such as fruits and vegetables and less of the foods that come in the boxes.
Now, nutrition is just one half, you MUST exercise because those who just slash calories without exercise will not develop more lean muscle mass which you must have to keep your metabolism burning 24/7.
Here is my summary. My recommendation is don't go on starvation diets. You might lose weight in the beginning but in the end you will gain it back. The best thing is to calculate your ideal caloric intake and make sure majority of those calories are from the right foods we talked about and start on an exercise training program. This is the healthy and the right way to lose weight and keep it off permanently.
Move your Body, Move Your Life
Published On: March 27, 2008