Is Very Low Calorie Diet Right for You?

Mediocre people don't have the patience or discipline to accomplish long term goals, and losing weight as fast as possible with a very low calorie diet may be very tempting for them.

Nevertheless, you should be aware that expecting immediate gratification may work against you if your short term plan is not integrated in a well thought long term strategy.

Following a very low calorie diet may be a good approach for obese people who have lots of fat to lose because this would give them the motivation to stick with the program. Their weight gain was a vicious circle that has to be broken. 

When you are so deconditioned, being confident that there is a light at the end of this ugly tunnel can make the difference between giving up, or suck it up and keep going.

Hence, I strongly recommend this avenue for folks with more than 30% body fat. At this level, they don't have much to lose except unwanted adipose tissue, of course.

Most of the hormones responsible for slowing down your metabolism (such as thyroid) are correlated with how much fat you carry, so reducing calories to a minimum doesn't really pose such a big problem.

Furthermore, you don't have the ability nor the drive (you should change this attitude) to train too intensely, so you won't need too many calories for recovery anyway.

You will still hit the gym twice a week, but I don't expect you to break any power lifting records – you are big but your muscles are atrophied. And always remember: exercise itself should not be used with the explicit goal to lose weight fast because it burns only a modest amount of energy.  

Some idiots may give you strange looks, or even laugh behind your back, but you shouldn't give shit about them. So ignore their comments. If you follow my program you will be in a better shape than most people around you, so don't feel frustrated.

It's important to start your strength training program right away even if your obvious goal is to lose as much adipose tissue as possible. You will definitely need it later, and it takes a while until a habit is fully developed.

Meanwhile, you can practice the main compound exercises, learn the correct form, and get a feel of the movement – in other words, developing your neuromuscular efficiency.

Traditionally, a very low calorie diet is less than 800 calories, but this value is not written in stone, and depends mainly on your protein intake – which is set according to your activity level and target bodyweight.

Bear in mind that if your protein intake is to low, the liver may use bodily protein (muscle tissue and organs) to produce glucose, and I don't think you want that. Some crash diets disregard this simple physiological fact, and for this reason may cause health problems or even death.

In addition to protein (and a multivitamin supplement), you will need to add a source of essential fatty acids – especially omega-3. This may improve fat loss and insulin sensitivity, boost your immune system, and even fight against the diet induced depression.

The bulk of your food will consist of leafy and fibrous vegetables (those you don't like) because they contain very few calories per volume, and can be neglected – unless once in a while you like to eat a truck load of cabbage. 

So in these circumstances, an extreme reduction of carbohydrates is recommended for the simple reason that this is the only way to reduce calorie intake to a minimum, and hence lose weight rapidly. 

It's worth noting that most very low calorie diet plans are build around liquid or replacement meals, which is not an ingenious way to lose weight in the short term, and will surely screw you up in the long run.

I was never able to understand the reason behind using protein powder for weight loss. Does it make sense for you?

Having real solid foods promotes fullness, which is not a trivial detail when you eat so little. Also, this will be the foundation for your future nutrition plan.

You don't expect to follow such a deprivation diet for the rest of your life, right? So when you will get to the next stage, it will be much easier to add other foods to your diet rather than redesign it from scratch. Good luck!

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