The Low-calorie Diet (LCD)
A typical LCD may provide 1,000–1,200 calories/day for a woman 1,200–1,600 calories/day for a man
The number of calories may be adjusted based on your age, weight, and how active you are. An LCD usually consists of regular foods, but could also include meal replacements.
As a result, you may find this type of diet much easier to follow than a VLCD. In the long term, LCDs have been found to lead to the same amount of weight loss as VLCDs.
What is a VLCD?
A VLCD is a special diet that provides up to 800 calories per day. VLCDs use commercial formulas,
usually liquid shakes, soups, or bars, which replace all your regular meals. These formulas are not the
same as the meal replacements you can find at grocery stores or pharmacies, which are meant to
replace one or two meals a day.
Depending on a number of factors, healthy adults need different amounts of calories to meet their
daily energy needs. A standard amount is about 2,000 calories. VLCDs provide far fewer calories
than most people need to maintain a healthy weight. This type of diet is used to promote quick
weight loss, often as a way to jump-start an obesity treatment program.
VLCD formulas are designed to provide all of the nutrients you need while helping you lose weight
quickly. However, this type of diet should only be used for a short time—usually about 12 weeks.
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