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Episode 50: Very Low-Calorie Diet- What, Why, When??


Very Low-Calorie Diet- What, Why, When??

You are probably already aware of cutting calories for weight loss. However, have you heard of the very low-calorie diet? Dr. Richard Lindquist is back on our show once again! He is one of the directors of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. He is a trustee of the Washington State Chapter of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. He has practiced as a full-time obesity specialist for 15 years and has now transitioned to consulting. Join me as I discuss Very-Low-Calorie Diet (VLCD) as a strategy for weight loss with him.



Key Highlights:

Join me in this conversation with Dr. Richard Lindquist and get answers for:

  • What exactly is a VLCD?
  • What is the distinction between VLCD among other kinds of diets?
  • Importance of the right macronutrient composition in the VLCD?
  • What conditions should be met by patients to be capable of the VLCD?
  • Is it possible to lessen hunger in VLCD?
  • Is VLCD safe and effective?
  • What are the side effects of this diet?
  • How is VLDC implemented on meals?
  • Is it important to be under medical supervision? Or can I conduct this diet on my own?

Very-Low-Calorie Diet vs. Other Diets:

  1. Very-Low-Calorie Diet – 700-800 calories
  2. Starvation diet – 400 calories
  3. Low-Calorie Diet – Women: 1200 calories, Men: 1600-1800 calories

Essential Nutrients to Incorporate in Very-Low-Calorie Diet:

  1. Protein (1.2 g/kilo)
  2. Fats (Two essential fatty acids: linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid)
  3. Very low carbohydrates (30-50 g)

Potential Side Effects of very-low-calorie Diet:

  • Fuzzy-headed, light-headed
  • Fatigue
  • Hunger/craving in first few days

Three Factors for the Success of very-low-calorie Diet Research in DiRECT:

  1. Value of support
  2. VLCD tested on a population basis
  3. Motivator: remission of diabetes



Dr. Richard Lindquist

“You got to have protein, or you die.” “You have to have fat or you die.” 

“The trick is actually keeping the carbs as low as possible.”

“We, as human beings, have a tremendous ability to adapt to all kinds of nutritional strategies.



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