Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD)
Our most successful medical weight loss program is the Very Low Calorie Diet, or VLCD. It provides a structured diet consisting of high protein, low calorie foods that are sold in our on-site GHP health food store or through our online store. Prior to starting the program, we’ll arrange appointments for you to meet with an internal medicine physician, a registered dietitian, and an exercise physiologist. The VLCD is a 24-week treatment program that is divided into three phases:
Phase One: Active Weight Loss (Weeks 1-12)
During the active-weight-loss phase, food intake is limited to 800-900 calories per day using high protein, low calorie food supplements. A variety of different food supplements can be chosen, such as oatmeal, cereal, pre-packaged meals, soups, protein bars, and hot drinks. Weekly group sessions offer behavioral intervention, nutritional education, social support, and instructions on how to increase physical activity.
This phase involves a weekly clinic visit for two hours, consisting of:
- Weigh-in and blood pressure check
- Reviewing periodic lab tests
- Physician or clinical staff visit
- 1 hour educational session with group members and group leader(s)
Phase Two: Back to Food (Weeks 13-24)
When transitioning back to food, regular foods are reintroduced and the use of the food supplements is gradually reduced. Weekly educational sessions will help you continue to gain the skills and confidence needed to maintain your weight loss. This phase involves a Back to Food class with a registered dietitian as well as weekly continued clinic visits offered in phase one.
Phase Three: Living Healthy (Week 25 and on)
Group support and education is provided for all clients who have completed the VLCD or Slim and Trim programs. Completion of the programs includes two one-on-one individual visits with a behaviorist, dietitian, or exercise physiologist. Free life-time membership in the Living Healthy program can be obtained by attending 12 group meetings per year.