A diet very low in calories is basically a meal replacement diet plan that enables rapid weight loss. Participants have been known to lose up to 50 pounds in a period of 12 weeks.
Specifically speaking, the diet plan allows people to consume about 800 calories per day, versus less strict diets that allow up to 1500 calories. This is managed by replacing all food with specially formulated liquid shakes or bars. These replacements (shakes or bars) are specially formulated to ensure that the body receives all the vitamins and nutrients that are necessary for the regular functioning of the body.
Given the extreme nature of the very low calorie diet, it is not a diet regimen that is recommended to everyone. Pregnant women, children, teens and older people should stay clear of such diets due to the fact that the nutrition required for their bodies is special and unique. Adults who are not obese and looking to lose weight naturally should adopt less severe diets, and opt for an active lifestyle and exercise to gain better health.
Very low calorie diets should almost always be adopted under the supervision of a physician because the severity of the diet necessitates regular check-ups and health monitoring. Side effects include fatigue, constipation, nausea and diarrhea. These side effects are more prominent in the initial phase of the very low calorie diets and disappear after a few days. However, extremely rapid weight loss can result in high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, and therefore blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar needs to be monitored periodically.
Empirically, it has been proven that very low calorie diets can result in rapid weight loss and are probably needed for those who suffer from medical conditions due to obesity. Therefore, it is one of the natural weight loss remedies that is effective and sometimes necessary for obese people. However, it is important to note that the quick weight loss that is achieved in a few months can come back if necessary precautions are not taken. This is the reason why very low calorie diets are always accompanied by behavioral therapy, coaching in lifestyle changes required, exercise, and follow-up doctor visits. An overall change in lifestyle can help in maintaining weight that has been lost during the active phase of the diet plan.