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Very Low Calorie Diets

Very low calorie diets vary from less than 800 to less than 1000 calories per day. They began in ancient times when fasting was done for religious reasons as a means of purification. There were also done by witches and shamans in order to trigger hallucinations or visions. The problem is they achieved a negative nitrogen balance which causes the body to break down proteins to make sugars resulting in up to 60% weight loss from lean body tissue i.e. muscle. Adding proteins back equalizes nitrogen balance. That's what we do at our weight loss center and that's what is recommended at 

In the past there were very low-calorie diets with poor quality liquid protein from hydrolyzed collagen back in the mid-1970s. This resulted in 58 deaths! Also the Cambridge diet was a poor quality unsupervised very low-calorie diet that lead to ventricular arrhythmias. In modern times fortunately very low-calorie diets are safe if done under a doctor's care. One way we get around this is to recommend no lower than 1000 calories per day, of which at least 250 calories are protein. This is approximately 60 g of protein per day. At our weight loss clinic we recommend 80- 100 grams of protein a day to equalize nitrogen balance and decrease lean muscle/tissue loss.

Also, I always recommend 15 g of fat in one meal to contract the gallbladder therefore preventing gallstones. Typically with 1000+ calories sodium/potassium/magnesium supplementation is not needed. We actually call these diets low-calorie diet they are safer although all diets should be done under a doctor's care or blessing at least!

Typically with low-calorie diets there is not as much key tones released from fat breakdown, and less of an anorexiant/euphoric effect as with very low-calorie diets. There is also less of a decrease in metabolic rate.  Body lipids and blood lipids will improve with low-calorie diets especially if starchy carbohydrates are kept low.

We use low-calorie diets at our office practice. To keep weight off, we recommend walking, decreasing caloric intake irrespective of carbohydrates/fat or protein percentages, decreasing substances that this disinhibit us like marijuana and alcohol or trigger foods like perhaps candies.  Benefits of low-calorie diets include improving diabetes, decreasing weight related cancers, orthopedic problems and of course cosmetic problems!

All the products that are used in our weight clinic to decrease total calorie amount and increase protein thereby reducing weight and maintaining muscle/lean body tissue. Always check with your doctor before starting this or any weight loss program.

Enjoy your slimmer body!
Dr. Padla