A very low calorie diet (VLCD) is designed to completely replace usual food intake. We use this programme called SlimFast, which is nutritionally balanced to ensure your body gets the essential protein, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and fatty acids. The programme is easy to follow; you don ‘t have to worry about counting calories or restricting your food intake. However, due to the severe restriction and potential side effects, this VCLD should not be followed for periods greater than advised by your dietician. You could expect to lose 1.5-2.5kg per week when strictly following this diet.
Calories per day: approximately 900 kcal.
Breakfast: SlimFast shake
Morning snack: SlimFast shake or SlimFast meal replacement bar
Lunch: SlimFast shake
Dinner: SlimFast shake
– Drink at least 2L of non-calorific liquid per day in addition to liquid consumed with the SlimFast – any sugar free soft drinks, tea/coffee (no milk or sugar).
– The bars should be limited to only 1 on this meal plan.
– You should choose only the milkshake drinks, not the smoothies.
Additional daily allowance:
Soups: stock cubes, low calorie Cup-a-soup, miso soup.
Miscellaneous: artificial sweetener, sugar free mints, diet or sugar free jelly.
Calorie free liquids: water, tea (black), diet soft drinks, low sugar squash, mineral water.
Avoid all other soups, sugar in drinks, fruit juice, caffeine and alcohol.
You might experience side effects for the first few days. These are linked with your body getting used to less food and nutrition. Most of the problems will disappear after a few days and can be helped by drinking plenty of fluids.
Unpleasant side effects may occur as your body is burning fat instead of carbohydrates. This results in the body producing ketones which can cause bad breath, tiredness, headaches, mild dizziness and nausea. These should get better as the diet progresses.
You may find it helps to brush your teeth more frequently and use a mouthwash.
Constipation may also occur as a result of reducing the amount of typically high-fibre foods taken in the diet. Ensure you drink 2L of fluids and if the problem persists you can take liquid senna or lactulose available from the chemist.