Regardless as to whether or not they are dealing with severe types of acne scars or not, everybody is always concerned about how much they weigh on the scale. The figure almost always seems to takeover even when the skin suffers from different types of hyperpigmentation. Weight issues normally take special focus both for aesthetic but also for health reasons that, sometimes, can go all the way to a matter of life or death situation.
What You Need To Know About The 800 and 900 Calorie Diet
If you're planning to lose weight, your goal will be to create a caloric or energy deficit. There are two ways that you can achieve this. The first one is by increasing your physical activity — walking 3 rounds at the park instead of just 1 or, taking up lap swimming classes after office hours instead of heading straight home. The other way is by decreasing your calorie consumption. To achieve that, you do have to count your calories. Sounds simple? Not quite.
So, before you get on the 800 and 900 Calorie Diet bandwagon, make sure that you know exactly what you’re signing up for. Listed below are the 7 basic facts about these diets that will do you good to know now before you even enlist yourself:
Fact No. 1: These are considered to be very low calorie diets (VLCD)
A woman and man need at least 2,000 and 2,500 calories per day, respectively. To lose weight, you must create a calorie deficit. Based on the recommended 1 pound per week weight loss, it means that if you are a woman, you need to obtain just 1,500 calories per day or, if you are a man, you will need to obtain 2,ooo calories per day only.
Fact No. 2: VLCDs are not for everyone
While VLCDs may seem generally safe, you should consult with a health care practitioner or a dietician before you get on one. An initial screening to determine your suitability to adopt this dieting practice in light of the following considerations is highly recommended:
- Your overall health condition. VLCDs are generally not recommended for children and young adults, and adults over the age of 65. Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or, who just delivered a child are, likewise, not advised to get on this diet.
- Your needs and targets. Just because you see a flabby stomach does not automatically make you an ideal candidate for VLCDs. These types of extreme diets are specially designed to give people who are battling with obesity a boost in reducing a significant amount of excess weight at the shortest possible time. A medical practitioner will normally advise on targets and until when you should stay on a VLCD.
- Your unique risks and opportunities. If you stand to gain more than risk more from getting on a VLCD then you should be a good candidate. People who are obese are normally at a higher risk for many types of chronic diseases, even death. In case you are suffering from obesity but remain sufficiently healthy and capable to get on a VLCD then, the benefits of getting on a VLCD will far outweigh the risks involved.
According to a position statement made by the American Dietetic Association concerning VLCDs:
Potential candidates for this program and health professionals must realize that VLCDs are not for everyone and can be harmful to persons who do not meet the following selection criteria: (a) at least 30% overweight, with a minimum body mass index of 32. (b) free from contraindicated medical conditions: pregnancy or lactation, active cancer, hepatic disease, renal failure, active cardiac dysfunction, or severe psychological disturbances. (c) committed to establishing new eating and life-style behaviors that will assist the maintenance of weight loss. (d) committed to taking the time to complete both the treatment and the maintenance components of a program.
Fact No. 3: VLCDs require the intake of special liquid formulations
VLCDs do not work like ordinary dieting programs where you simply cut back on your meals to maintain an 800 or 900 a day calorie count, and advised to make healthier food choices, practice proper food portioning, and eat meals that have been mindfully prepared to contain, for instance, less saturated fats, sodium, and fewer sugars.
On the contrary, VLCDs make use of liquid formulations that allow you to stay within your calorie threshold without sacrificing the nutrient content of your food — in this case, a diet that is based on specially formulated liquids. VLCDs, therefore, do not complement ordinary diets but, rather, replaces all food with special liquid formulas that help you meet recommended dietary requirements suited for your sex, age, height, weight, and day-to-day physical activities.
Fact No. 4: The mechanism of VLCDs for weight loss are comparable to any other weight loss diet
That is, except that these diets require significant cutbacks in calories. Here, the idea is to bring down a person’s daily calorie intake to very low levels, sufficiently low that it will not be enough for your body to sustain its basic functions. To compensate, your body taps another metabolic pathway that involves breaking down stored fats.
Based on information shared by the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute, “On a VLCD, the loss is about 75% body fat and 25% lean body mass once a minimum of 50 g of protein is provided each day”.
Fact No. 5: These diets put you at a higher risk for experiencing side effects.
VLCDs are associated with the following side effects:
- Malnutrition. In following a strict VLCD, the person undergoing the dieting regime is placed at a greater risk for malnutrition. According to a position statement made by the Dietitians in Obesity Management UK, it may not be safe to place a person under VLCD for longer than 12 to 16 weeks.
- Loss of muscle mass. “Loss of fat-free mass was higher after rapid than slow diet-induced weight loss with similar total weight loss,” according to a study presented during the European Congress on Obesity in 2014. However, whether more muscle mass is lost in rapid or slow weight loss diets remain debatable.
- High probability of rapidly regaining lost weight. This is the reason why VLCDs are generally treated as a comprehensive weight management program that includes even psychological training because being obese or overweight often go beyond hitting and maintaining ideal measures of Body Mass Index.
- Missed periods. Energy deficiency triggers your body to enter into an energy conservation mode to which your hormones, which regulate body processes, including timing your menstruation, are sensitive to. In turn, these fluctuations cause abrupt changes in your body that make you miss your periods — a condition that either always signals or leads to adverse health consequences.
- Constant feeling of fatigue. Once again, the underlying cause is energy deficiency. You have less energy to do even the most mundane things.
Fact No. 6: The supervision of a health care provider is a must if you want to try VLCD
Once you’ve been screened, your health care provider will either give you a “go” or “no go”. If you are qualified for VLCD, you should follow instructions given to you by your provider very closely and not stray. You should also make it a point to attend all scheduled appointments so that your health care provider can keep monitoring your health and your progress as you move forward with the program.
Based on a description of VLCD programs in the US by a study published on the journal, Obesity, in 2016, “VLCDs are generally used as part of a comprehensive intervention that includes medical monitoring and a program of lifestyle modification. Care is provided by a physician, often in conjunction with a dietitian, psychologist, and/or exercise physiologist.”
Fact No. 7: VLCDs require follow-ups to maintain proper weight management
According to another study also published on Obesity in 2001, “VLCD with active follow-up treatment seems to be one of the better treatment modalities related to long-term weight-maintenance success”. This conclusion was reached.
Even the American Dietetic Association recommends keeping a person on VLCD under strict monitoring by a medical team until after healthier eating patterns have been developed and that improved weight management has been achieved.
In the case of obesity, health takes premium importance and, sometimes, VLCD may open the way to a lasting solution for you to learn a more sustainable way to keep your weight within its desirable limits. Keep in mind that VLCDs are not for everyone, and it might not be for you. Most people, perhaps including yourself, are best suited to make small lifestyle tweaks here and there to reach their ideal weight. In which case, it may not be worth it for you to put yourself at risk for disadvantages associated with VLCDs.