Very Low Calorie Diets are designed for patients with a BMI over 30 (or over 27 with other medical conditions). If you're at least 30 to 40 pounds overweight, you may be a good candidate for a VLCD.
Is a VLCD safe?
Under proper medical supervision, VLCDs produce quick, significant weight loss in patients who are moderately to extremely obese. This type of diet has been in use for several decades and has been endorsed by NIH's Weight-control Information Network and the American Council on Sports Medicine.
Are there side effects to this diet?
You may experience mild, temporary side effects as your body adjusts to the program. These include greater sensitivity to cold, headaches, fruity breath, fatigue or light-headedness. Physician supervision and medical monitoring during a VLCD are important to help evaluate and manage possible side effects and changes in medication.
Who should not attempt this diet?
VLCDs are not recommended for children or for pregnant or nursing women. In addition, a VLCD may not be warranted in people who have conflicting medical conditions or are taking certain medications. Your physician can assess whether a VLCD is right for you.