A low calorie diet means reducing the intake of calories in order to lose weight. Calories provide the energy to allow our bodies to function. If calorie intake is reduced, the body will use and burn fat cells to replace the energy that the body needs (All Info About, n. d. ). Burning of the fat cells will then allow a person to lose weight. Is it different from a very low calorie diet (VLCD)? A very low calorie diet, on the other hand, is a “doctor-supervised diet that typically uses commercially prepared formulas to promote rapid weight loss in patients who are obese” (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2008).
The formulas are made sure that they contain the appropriate levels of nutrients that the patients need for their diets. These formulas are also taken to replace not just one or two days of meals but up to several weeks or months worth of meals. Does a person need medical supervision while trying either of these approaches? Individuals who are interested in trying these diets need to be medically supervised to ensure that they are receiving the proper amount of nutrients and vitamins that their bodies need.
If not, they might worsen their health condition and end up developing complications due to unknown and underlying diseases and illnesses. Even the low calorie diet, which only requires a person to lower his or her calorie intake, needs to be supervised by a health care provider to make sure that the patient does not risks his or her health due to dangerously low levels of calories and fats. Who are the candidates for either of these diets? People who feel that they need to lose weight because their weight is becoming a problem to their overall health should undergo these diets.
More particularly, “patients with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 and significant co-morbidities” (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2008) are the ideal candidates for the very low calorie diet. These are the people who need to be supervised by a professional because of medical conditions including obesity or hypertension, which can be affected by the very low calorie diet. What are the potential benefits of such an eating plan?
The very low calorie diet can allow a person to rapidly lose weight, which can greatly improve other medical conditions that the patient may have. This rapid weight loss will increase the likelihood that the patient will be motivated and continue to want to lose weight and have a healthy lifestyle in the future. Are there potential risks? Very low calorie diets present minor side effects, usually at the start of the program, which might be because the patient is still in the process of getting used to the diet.
However, a serious side effect, gallstone formation, is noted but this is common to overweight people who lose weight too fast. Is this a long term plan? The diets can only work in the long run if the patients are willing to change their lifestyle and eating habits. The diets are not enough and cannot be relied on alone. Patients need to change their behavior and attitude towards their health and nutrition, as well as to become more physically active. What is the ultimate goal for a person who is on a LCD or a VLCD plan?
The ultimate goal for a person who is on a LCD or a VLCD plan is to lose weight and improve his or her lifestyle such that there is no or minimal weight regain in the future. What are some of the challenges in maintaining healthful eating habits while adhering to either of these diets? It is difficult for many people to change their eating habits and not crave for their favorite foods. They will also have a hard time disciplining themselves when it comes to physical activity. However, the most difficult challenge here is to avoid weight regain in the future.
References All Info About. “Low Calorie Diets. ” (n. d. ) Retrieved April 18, 2009, from http://dietsnutrition. allinfoabout. com/features/lowcal. html National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. “Lower Calorie, Lower Fat Alternative Foods. ” (n. d. ). Retrieved April 18, 2009, from http://www. nhlbi. nih. gov/health/public/heart/obesity/lose_wt/lcal_fat. htm National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. “Very Low Calorie Diets. ” (August 2008). Retrieved April 18, 2009, from http://win. niddk. nih. gov/publications/low_calorie. htm