Your Ultimate VLCD Guide to a Very Low Calorie Diet Plan

What is a very low calorie diet? Or VLCD?

If you ask a nutritionist, you’re probably going to receive an answer much similar to the fact that it is the most perfect and effective way to lose weight in a safe and quick manner. Therefore, in the opinion of many weight loss specialists, if you stick with a very low calorie diet plan, you’re bound to lose weight very quickly.

According to a research published in “The National Center for Biotechnology Information” under International Journal of Obesity:

“Numerous clinical trials have shown VLCD to be highly effective in about 80 per cent of outpatients and give an average weight loss of 2 kg/week which is comparable to that seen in complete starvation.”


VLCD or a very low calorie diet plan has been approved by NICE, NHS, NIH and numerous medical and health organizations. Therefore, today we have decided to provide extensive information that would help you create an ultimate VLCD guide to a very low calorie diet plan.

What Does a VLCD Plan Mean?

A VLCD plan incorporates the basics of consuming not more than 1000 calories each day. As an already established fact, a pre-defined number of calories is needed to keep yourself in a state where you do not gain or lose weight. This daily calorie consumption range is 2500 calories per day for men and 2000 calories per day for women. When you start with a Very low calorie diet plan, you significantly reduce the number of calories consumed each day. As a result of this significant calorie reduction, you’re bound to lose weight very quickly.

Therefore, the gist of this explanation is:

“A very low calorie diet plan is the one in which you significantly reduce your calorie intake, in order to reduce weight in a much more rapid and advanced way as compared to any other weight loss technique.”

There are many pre-made VLCD plans that provide you with a complete list of diets. These plans also list down foods that you have to avoid while being on a VLCD plan. These plans allow you to save time counting calories with each meal that you take. You can follow a pre-made plan and it would ensure to replace 100% of your meals. Some VLCD plans also pick meals that are quite low in carbohydrates. Choosing a good VLCD plan is essential to its success, therefore in today’s post, we’re going to discuss a few plans available in the market. Apart from this, we will create a customized plan just for you. Moreover, we will discuss all the benefits and disadvantages associated with a very low calorie diet plan.

What are the Medical Implications of a Very Low Calorie Diet Plan?

The overall inclination of health care professionals towards VLCD plan have been quite encouraging in anti-obesity and weight loss circles. Many of the professionals don’t hesitate to lay down many advantages associated to it. These plans have been implied by healthcare professionals since the last 40 years. In most of the published works, VLCD plans are regarded as safe, quick and efficient way to reduce your weight significantly. However, it is highly recommended by medical experts that individuals seeking to start a very low-calorie diet plan must seek an opinion of a general physician before starting off. While starting a vlcd plan, you’re exposing yourself to any harmful chemical or substance that can have possible side effects. But still, consumption of a very low calorie diet must not be started without seeking professional opinion. It is further recommended that starting a very low calorie diet plan is not safe

  • if you are pregnant
  • if you’re breastfeeding
  • if you’re under age.

Therefore, We highly recommends that you seek expert opinion from a healthcare professional before starting your own very low calorie diet.

What are the Health Benefits of a VLCD Plan?

  • Plenty of health benefits are associated with a very low calorie diet plan. Being overweight or obese is a kind of illness on its own. According to, “An estimated 160 million Americans are either obese or overweight.” Therefore, if you start over with a fitness plan and confront your obesity, it is the start towards a healthy life. Obesity is the epicenter of numerous diseases, and by starting a VLCD plan, you can get rid of all the medical conditions and the health risks, which come as an add-on to being overweight.
  • If the level of your body mass index is greater than 30, then you’re at maximum risk of developing very serious medical problems. These medical conditions include joint pain, heart problems, stroke, cancers and diabetes.
  • The main benefit of starting a very low calorie diet to reduce weight is to significantly reduce the risks that are involved with obesity. It is never too late to start off with your fitness regime. Starting off today would help you get rid of all the medical risks that you’ve already developed. It would further help you out not to develop these dangerous medical conditions in future. It is a widely believed fact in healthcare circles that significant reduction in weight allows a person to reduce the symptoms of his or her pre-existing medical conditions. The medical conditions that can get better with a significant weight loss are joints pain and diabetes.
  • Starting a VLCD plan can allow you to improve the quality of your life. Being overweight is like being stuck. Due to the involved medical conditions, an obese person is not able to consume the food of his choice due to many health risks. Therefore, significant reduction in weight, comes with its many benefits, and improvement of the quality of your life is its biggest reward.
  • All of us are ageing. However, some of us are ageing in a much more quicker fashion. Ageing comes with its many disadvantages, amongst which weakness and being more susceptible to developing serious medical conditions is the foremost. As soon as the ageing process start in a human body, the immune system starts to become weak. This in itself is a very big problem. It has been proven that significant weight loss reverses the signs of ageing. Hence making you feeling more energetic and more immune towards a number of health risks. Losing weight through a VLCD plan goes a very long way before you acquire those fats again. So, an excellent benefit of starting a very low calorie diet is to overcome the ageing process through a safe, quick and long-term process. Benefits on your pocket too!

In a VLCD, you’re bound to achieve rapid weight loss. Apart from it being a rapid, safe and long lasting process, it also goes easy on your pocket. As you are consuming a very low calorie diet each day, you won’t have to spend those bucks on the hamburgers you love at a fast food joint. This diet plan provides significant reduction in the amount of money that you spend on junk food and all the meals that you love.

How a Very Low Calorie Diet Plan Can Make Your Life Easier?

Before you start off with a VLCD, you should know that your eating patterns are not helping you. These meal consumption patterns and your physical activity were the basic culprits that bought you on the verge of being obese. A vlcd plan provides you with an opportunity to start fresh. This fresh start also gives you a chance of developing eating habits that are healthy for your well-being. Once you’ve achieved your weight loss target, you’d be able to resume consumption of contemporary food. Even after you start over with regular food, your eating habits and the eating sense that you’ve developed would help your weight loss go a very long way.

When Should You Start a Very Low Calorie Diet Plan?

A very low calorie diet plan is normally not recommended for a very long duration of time. Hence it can be started in any space where you feel you can achieve the objectives while investing a very short time. Ideal time to start vlcd are:

  • Before your holiday starts
  • Some people try it before their wedding
  • You can start for a specific reason to lose weight.
  • Any other suitable space of time when you afford to give as much attention to your health as possible.

VLCD for Obese: 800 Calorie Diet

Cutting down on those extra calories is always a good step to take. It becomes essential if you’re low on physical activity. However, reducing your calorie intake to 800 calories per day is a very big step. If you’re obese, (the level of BMI to determine obesity has to be higher than 30) then you’ve to take immediate step towards controlling your weight. If you do not take steps immediately, you might end up on the highest range of obesity, which doesn’t only come with an increased weight, but also possesses serious risks towards your well-being. As stated earlier, you can develop a number of medical conditions. And if you do not address this concern, the symptoms of these medical conditions go towards their extreme till a point of no return.

Therefore for the obese, an 800 calorie diet is essential, and the earlier you start with it, the better it is for you health. You should start doing an 800 calorie vlcd plan as soon as possible. However, the most important factor before starting this plan is to consult with your healthcare provider. As 800 calories food consumption per day is extremely low dietary intake, it comes with some risks like serious nutritional deficiency. This kind of plan must always be started under the supervision of a registered healthcare provider. During all the stages of undergoing this very low calorie diet plan, you must be in constant supervision of a medical practitioner.

What is the Weight Loss Rate in 800 Calorie Diet?

An 800 calorie VLCD comes with a guaranteed fast-paced weight loss. For example, if you were consuming 2500 calories each day before starting this very low calorie diet, then you’re reducing 1700 calories each day. This is a massive difference! Your body was accustomed to consuming a high calorie meal, however, now, you’ve consumed very low calories in the entire day. This as a result will decrease metabolism to a very low level. As a result, you’d lose your fats very quickly. If you keep up with an 800 calorie diet for a week, this means that you’ve consumed 1800*7 = 12600 less calories in an entire week.

For every loss of 3500 calories, an estimated weight loss of 1 pound takes place in your body. Therefore, if you reduce 12600 calories in one week, you’d reduce about 3 pounds in just one week. This is an amazing weight loss rate that can only be achieved while consuming an 800 calorie diet vlcd.

This rapid weight loss doesn’t come without a few side-effects. These side-effects of consuming very low calories each day can differ from person to person. However, if remained un-supervised, they can result into serious medical conditions. Therefore, as mentioned above, it is of utter importance that you discuss your meal plan and dietary intake with a registered medical practitioner before starting off with 800 calorie diet.

This weight loss vlcd plan cannot be done without proper supervision of a medical professional!

What are the Benefits of 800 Calorie Diet VLCD

  • For the people who are suffering from serious medical conditions due to obesity and their weight is becoming a serious risk on their well-being, an 800 calorie diet is ideal. It is ideal in a way that it can provide you with very quick results without any physical activity, hence saving you from the medical conditions that your weight has put you under.
  • Apart from serious medical conditions like heart diseases and type-2 diabetes, weight loss through a very low calorie diet can also improve fertility and respiratory problems of obese individuals.
  • More benefits of 800 calorie diet are improvements in sleep and an improved blood pressure.
  • Weight loss reduces the size of the body mainly from your hips and waist. This weight-reduction provides an individual with an increase in activity levels.
  • If you supplement very low calorie diet plan with regular exercise, it can become even more healthy and more long-lasting.

What are the Disadvantages and Risks Involved with Consuming 800 Calories Diet

  • Unsupervised consumption of 800 calories a day results in the development of severe medical condition and risks.
  • If a very low calorie diet plan is followed for a very long span of time, it can result in certain nutritional deficiencies. Nutritional deficiencies pose great risks to overall health, and can result in impaired functioning of liver and kidneys, along with weakening your bones.
  • Longer intakes of 800 calorie diet or very low calorie foods can result in a reduced rate of metabolism. Constant low metabolism rates can result in habit formation of low metabolism rate inside your body. When you start taking normal diet again, this habit of low metabolism results in indigestion. Indigestion is another cause of weight gain, which should be avoided at all costs.
  • As very low calorie diet foods contain minimum or no fats. The fat digestion process of the body is compromised. With limited or no secretion of bile, there are chances that gal-stones are developed. This however can be avoided by keeping the VLCD plan shorter with pre-defined goals.

VLCD: 1 Day Sample 800 Calories diet plan

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Breakfast Intake – 200 Calories


–          1 egg (Hard-Boiled) = 77 Calories

–          1 Slice Whole-Wheat Bread = 80 Calories

–          ½ Cup Skimmed Milk = 43 Calories

–          Total Calories Consumed = 200 Calories


–          1 Cup Skimmed Yoghurt = 153 Calories

–          1 Cup Watermelon (in Cubes) = 47 Calories

–          Total Calories Consumed = 200 Calories

Lunch Intake – 200 Calories


–          1 Chicken Sandwich (Small) (No Spread) = 200 Calories

–          Total Calories Consumed = 200 Calories


–          1 Portion Green Salad + ½ Cup Chicken (Grilled) = 70 Calories

–          1 Cup Vegetable Soup = 14 Calories

–          Crackers = 105 Calories

–          Total Calories Consumed = 200 Calories

Dinner Intake – 300 Calories


–          1 Chicken Breast (Grilled) + Sweet Potato (Baked) + ½ Cup Broccoli (Steamed) = 250 Calories

–          1 Orange (Small) OR ½ Cup Peaches OR ½ Oz. Blueberries = 50 Calories

–          Total Calories Consumed = 300 Calories

Snacks Intake – 100 Calories

You can consume the remaining calories in shape of snacks. A good 100 calorie beverage could be made from fruits like raspberries. You can also consume no-fat yoghurt, biscuits (yoghurt), nuts.

How to do a VLCD at Home?

How to Plan Your Own 800 Calorie Diet VLCD at Home?

If you consult with a nutritionist to setup an 800 calorie diet vlcd for you, he will make sure to add as much nutrition as possible on each calorie. if you want to know how to do a VLCD at home, you need to take care of the nutrition that you are consuming in your vlcd meals. This can also be done by having a look at some of the most famous VLCD plans, which are discussed in this post as well.

Whenever, you start a VLCD at home and create your own DIY very low calorie diet plan, make sure that the below things are not left untouched:

  1. The food that you choose has to be low on calories and high on nutrition
  2. Your diet must incorporate fresh vegetables and fresh fruits
  3. You have to keep a check on fats and carbohydrates and fats, there should be no fats or carbohydrates present in the plan.

Once again, we are stressing the need that even if you do a VLCD at home, a very low calorie diet plan must be created under the supervision of a registered medical practitioner. No matter for how much duration you want to follow this plan, an advice of a healthcare professional is essential. If you ignore some of the important, most nutritious and healthy foods, then there’s a chance that you can develop dehydration, and fatigue along with a serious nutritional deficiency.

What are the Side Effects of 800 Calorie VLCD?

There are a number of side effects along with the disadvantages mentioned above, these have to be taken into very serious consideration:

  • Metabolic process in a human body is designed in a way to prevent starvation. When you consume a very low calorie diet, the calories start to burn at a very low metabolic rate. This lower metabolic rate is equal to the quantity of calories burned while you’re resting. This can cause a feeling of loss of energy.
  • Taking a very low calorie diet can also result in a foggy or confused state of mind. Due to very low energy level, you can end up feeling very weak physically and mentally. This type of feeling can compromise decision making process and also reduce physical activity.
  • Physical exercises and workout often require a healthy diet to supplement your tiresome routine. On the other hand, stating a VLCD plan doesn’t allow much exercise. As the amount of nutritious intake is quite low, there is no room for physical exertion. This could also be stated as an advantage, as a DIY very low calorie diet plan doesn’t require any sort of physical exercise or workout, it is self-sufficient. However, maintaining a healthy workout routine is also essential to maintain a healthy life.
  • Weight loss achieved through a VLCD plan sometimes ends up weakening your muscle mass. A significant loosening and weakening of muscles is seen in many people who follow an 800 calorie diet routine.

To sum it up, these very low calorie diet plans are not a long term solution to lose weight. They should be applied for the smallest possible timeframe with already set goals. Under the supervision of a doctor, once these goals are achieved, one should get back to normal dietary routine. After that you can create a fitness plan through proper workout to maintain your health.

Which VLCD Plans are Recommended?

A few recommended very low calorie diet plans that have been used extensively with good results are mentioned below:

  • Optifast
  • Medifast
  • Alternate Day Diet
  • Protein Sparing Modified Fast Plan

Which VLCD Programs are Not Recommended?

Similarly, a few very low calorie diet plans do not provide enough nutrients to the body and end up creating a nutritional deficiency. These programs are mentioned below.

  • HCG Dietary Plan
  • Cabbage Soup VLCD Plan
  • Grapefruit VLCD Diet
  • Master Cleanse Plan


If you’re suffering from obesity, a very low calorie diet plan is your best option to get quick weight loss results. These plans are easy and don’t require you to workout along with following a diet chart. The advantages are numerous and the results are long-lasting. However, there are a few side-effect or risks involved with VLCD plans. Proper research and help of a registered medical practitioner are essentials to reduce the risks involved with starting a vlcd program. Along with all this, do remember that these plans are very difficult to follow. They require utmost dedication from you for a small span of time. Therefore, make sure that you’re up for it right from the start.

VLCD plans would definitely help you lose a lot of weight in a very quick process. Doing all the research is necessary. Do make sure to keep in contact with your doctor throughout your plan.

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Happy Weight Loss!

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