Very Low-Calorie Diet (VLCD)
On a VLCD, you may have as few as 800 calories a day and may lose up to 3 to 5 pounds (1.5 to 2 kg) week. Most VLCDs use meal replacements, such as formulas, soups, shakes, and bars instead of regular meals. This helps ensure that you get all of the nutrients you need each day.
A VLCD is only recommended for adults who are obese and need to lose weight for health reasons. These diets are often used before weight-loss surgery. You should only use a VLCD with the help of your provider.
Low-Calorie Diet (LCD)
These diets usually allow about 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day for women and 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day for men. An LCD is a better choice than a VLCD for most people who want to lose weight quickly. But you should still be supervised by a provider. You will not lose weight as fast with an LCD, but you can lose just as much weight with a VLCD. An LCD may use a mix of meal replacements and regular food. This makes it easier to follow than a VLCD.
Meal replacement benefits
These meal replacements help with the following:
provide the body with additional high-quality protein, which is vital to preserve lean body tissue and help protect the major organs of the body.
Help the body maintain a higher metabolic rate during calorie restriction so you feel less tired, burn more fat and lose weight faster. They also provide a greater feeling of satiety and this helps control hunger.