Susie Burrell

‘your food, your body, your life’

VLCD’s – What are they, and how I use them with my clients

This is a sponsored post, brought to you by Bioslim.

Very Low-Calorie Diets (VLCD) has been used clinically, to induce relatively fast weight loss for many years. VLCD’s are a form of diet where meals are replaced with a formulated shake, protein bar or soup, with results shown to support weight loss of between one to three kilograms each week. With initial weight loss being a known predictor of long-term weight loss success, VLCD programs such as that of BioSlim VLCD can be an extremely effective weight loss option.

VLCD programs, such as BioSlim VLCD program, work by inducing a physiological state called ‘ketosis’. Ketosis occurs when calorie and carbohydrate intake is deficient. This means that the energy in (via food intake) is less than the daily energy expenditure (via physical movement). Here, the body shifts from burning glucose as its primary fuel to burning ketones made from fat stores. The result is relatively quick weight loss of between one and two and a half kilograms per week compared to more traditional dietary approaches, which result to slower weight loss averaging between half a kilo to one kilogram per week.

While VLCD programs sound appealing, there are some considerations to be aware of before embarking on a weight loss program like this. First, replacing three meals a day with formulated meal replacement bars, shakes and soups is not easy and is something that should only be considered by those who have a significant amount of weight to lose (i.e. for the dietary management of obesity), and when recommended and supervised by a Healthcare Professional. Indeed, it requires strong focus and determination to commit to the program, and most importantly, to stick to it for an extended period. Things get a little easier once you have achieved a state of ketosis after three to four days of your low-calorie eating plan – it’s at this point when clients generally start to see results. Still, the initial period in which the body adjusts to running off a lot fewer carbs and calories can be challenging. Headaches, cravings, and fatigue are common side effects.

In my experience, one of the key factors to be successful with a meal replacement program like BioSlim’s is to develop a supporting meal plan that you are happy to eat in the long term. With a couple of cups of low starch vegetables in addition to the three VLCD meal replacements each day is important to get you through the program. Introducing a variety of low-starch vegetables, can be in the form of low calorie salads, can be enough to keep you going in the program for several weeks or even a few months, depending on your personal weight loss goals. In the program, you have the flexibility to start your day with a black coffee and a BioSlim VLCD Bar, enjoy a salad for lunch, fill in the afternoon with a BioSlim VLCD Shake and end the day with a BioSlim VLCD soup and some stir-fried green veggies. While you are eating relatively regularly, your overall calories remain controlled to keep you in a state of ketosis. The goodness of the BioSlim VLCD program is that the products are interchangeable.

In my clinical practice, I use BioSlim VLCD in three ways. Firstly, for my clients who need and want to lose massive weight quickly, or for those who need to prepare for surgery, I recommend for them to use BioSlim VLCD  three times per day for two to four weeks to kick start their weight loss. Secondly, for my clients at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and those who have a significant amount of weight to lose (20 or more kilos), I recommend for them to use BioSlim for up to eight weeks to kick start their weight loss and feel more energised so that they are more likely to keep going with their weight loss program. And thirdly, at times, I will recommend partial meal replacement, for example, swapping a BioSlim VLCD shake, bar or soup into their meal plans to help achieve calorie control.

The best diet for any individual is one that they are happy to do and one that works within their busy lifestyle. For people who enjoy the simplicity and ease of a meal replacement program like BioSlim VLCD, it can be an extremely effective way to kick start weight loss and achieve a relatively quick weight loss. For me, the key is to work closely with a dietitian or a Healthcare Professional to develop a program and approach that is right for you.

References available on request.