#Diet – VLCD & Ketosis Explained


Like all new things, getting started on a new diet can be challenging. VLCD Plans are easier to follow after the first few days due to a metabolic reaction that occurs in your body, called ‘ketosis’. Very low calorie diets are designed to bring on a mild form of ketosis, which means your body shifts from using primarily carbohydrates to fats as an energy source. Ketones are by-products that are created when your body has to switch to fats as an energy source. It means your store of glycogen or carbohydrates has been depleted.

One of the consequences of ketosis is a decrease in appetite, which helps make it easier to follow a VLCD program.

A very low-calorie diet (VLCD) is not just any diet that is low in calories. It is a special type of diet that replaces all of your meals with prepared formulas, often in the form of liquid shakes.

A VLCD may be used for a short time to promote quick weight loss among some people who are considered to be overweight/ obese. The diet requires close care from your doctor and is usually combined with other ways to lose weight.

This fact sheet will tell you more about the risks and benefits of this type of diet. Always consult your doctor before start a  VLCD.

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.

Should I use a VLCD to lose weight?

Most people who need to lose weight should not use a VLCD. For many of them, a low-calorie diet (LCD) may work better.

VLCDs may be used to promote rapid weight loss among adults who have obesity. Health care providers must review risks and benefits on a case-by-case basis.

In general, VLCDs are not appropriate for children. In a few cases, they may be used with some adolescents who are being treated for obesity.

Not much is known about the use of VLCDs to promote weight loss among older adults. Some people over age 50 may have medical issues that may not make them good candidates for this type of diet.

The Low-calorie Diet (LCD)

An LCD limits calories, but not as much as a VLCD. A typical LCD may provide 1,000–1,200 calories/day for a woman or 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 are the health benefits of a VLCD?

A VLCD may allow you to lose about 5 pounds per week. This may lead to an average total weight loss of 44 pounds over 12 weeks. Such a weight loss can rapidly improve medical conditions linked to obesity, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

The rapid weight loss experienced by most people on a VLCD can be very motivating. Patients who participate in a VLCD program that also includes lifestyle changes may lose about 15 to 25 percent of their initial weight during the first 3 to 6 months. They may maintain a 5 percent weight loss after 4 years if they adopt a healthy eating plan and physical activity habits.

What are the health risks of a VLCD?

Doctors must monitor all VLCD patients regularly; We advise, ideally, every 2 weeks in the initial period of rapid weight loss, to be sure patients are not experiencing serious side effects.

Many patients on a VLCD for 4 to 16 weeks report minor side effects such as fatigue, constipation, nausea, or diarrhea. These conditions usually improve within a few weeks and rarely prevent patients from completing the program.

The most common serious side effect is gallstones. Gallstones, which often develop in people who are obese, especially women, may be even more commonly developed during rapid weight loss. Some medicines can prevent gallstones from forming during rapid weight loss. Your doctor can determine if these medicines are appropriate for you.

Will I regain the weight?

Although the long-term results of VLCDs vary widely, weight regain is common. To prevent weight regain, the VLCD should always be combined with other ways to lose weight and with an active follow-up program.

For most people who have obesity, the condition is long term and requires a lifetime of attention even after formal methods to treat the obesity end. You may need to commit to permanent changes of healthier eating, regular physical activity, and an improved outlook about food.

 * * SLIMBOX VLCD * * by ID

A very low calorie diet like the SLIMBOXVLCD Plan intentionally causes mild ketosis. At this level, ketosis facilitates safe weight loss and keeps important body processes working properly while getting so few calories. Whilst your body and brain usually use carbohydrates as their main energy source, during ketosis, the body burns fat and ketones are produced which supply the brain with energy. Excess ketones that your body does not use are excreted via urine and breath (thus the incidence of bad breath in some cases). Ketosis also causes you to shed excessive amounts of sodium, potassium and water, which in turn can cause dehydration, fatigue, headaches and constipation. However, your body can adjust to these changes in your electrolyte levels.

With the SLIMBOXVLCD plans and products, you can rest assured that your body is receiving all essential vitamins/ nutrients to stay healthy and adequately nourished. As the SLIMBOXVLCD Plan causes only mild ketosis, it is a very safe approach to weight loss. Before your body transitions into ketosis, you will most likely feel hungry. The hunger usually only lasts for about 3 days as your body is transitioning into ketosis. Once in a ketotic state, the ketones generated will curb hunger in most people. So being on a very low calorie diet, satisfied by fat loss and accompanied by reduced appetite, will all help in achieving your weight loss goals.

Your body will take a few days to adjust to the switch from using carbohydrates to fats as an energy source and once ketosis has set in, these symptoms should generally cease.  Should they continue please speak to your Health Care Professional.

Once ketosis has occurred on your personal SLIMBOXVLCD plan, symptoms usually pass by days 3 to 5. This is followed by an increase in energy and reduction in appetite which, through this Intensive start up, is likely to result in consistent and successful weight loss. It’s also important to know that these are typical symptoms – and you should try to stick to the program and pass through the 3 first days challenge. Of course, if you are concerned about your symptoms or if they persist, speak to your doctor.

Hang in there for a few days, and you will be reaping the rewards of your dedication in no time at all! If you are ready to take the first step to successful weight loss, join the group of happy and successful SLIMBOXVLCD dieters!


It’s important to remark that to determine if your body is undergoing ketosis (i.e. using fats as a major energy source), you can ask your nurse or doctor to measure the level of ketones in your body via a simple test. However, it is not essential to test for ketosis. Or you can purchase a pouch of ketogenic stripe tests (we will have available soon too)

Ketosis is most likely to occur when you start up SLIMBOXVLCD or deciding for 3 items per day, eg. When consuming 3 of VLCD products per day  (along at least 2 litres of water/ other allowed liquids*) you will consume an amount of carbohydrates for your body to begin Ketosis.

The advantage of ketosis is that once the initial hunger subsides, ketosis causes a reduction in appetite and this can help manage your caloric intake through the Intensive weight loss Plan. For more information, keep your eyes on the ID site www.theidrevolution.com and twitter @idrevolution.

SLIMBOXVLCD plans and products will be available from end of March 2014, exclusive to www.theidrevolution.com.