What are VLCDs?
Over the years I’ve tried most diets and weight loss plans, and have often come back to VLCDs (very low calorie diets) when I have needed a quick weight loss (usually for a particular occasion or event). The majority of VLCDs are meal replacement programmes, although some do allow some meals (mainly vegetables and protein in the form of chicken breast or Quorn). Your choices are somewhat limited and VLCDs do have some side effects, which you may or may not encounter yourself, however if you stick to the plan you WILL lose weight, but which VLCD diet is best?
The One to One Diet (formerly Cambridge)
The One to One Diet from Cambridge Weight Plan (which is what it was previously known by) is one of the most well known VLCDs around. You can search on the website to find a local consultant and that is what sets The One to One Diet apart from other VLCDs – the one to one consultant lead support. There is no standing up weighing in front of a group, there is no sitting and listening to a group talk or other members’ feedback, it is just you and the consultant. Typically you will meet with your consultant once a week, however many of the consultants have social media pages or groups to connect with other customers and where they will share top tips, motivational content and pictures.
You can only buy the One to One products from a consultant, and they do tend to be more expensive than you will find by other VLCDs online, but you are paying the premium for that online support. There is a choice of shakes, bars, soups, meal products and more, and the higher levels of the plan do involve introducing vegetables and protein. Your consultant will advice which is best for you.
Shake That Weight
Shake that Weight are an online alternative to programmes such as Cambridge. You can buy the products as and when you like, with no checking in with a consultant required. They claim that their products are cheaper, less calories, less carbs than Cambridge and the programme involves no check in with a consultant.
If you are on a budget then Shake That Weight is a more financially friendly choice, and there is even information on the website about using the products as part of a 5:2 diet which is incredibly popular.
They also offer a wide range of products including bars, cereals, ready meals, soups porridges and shakes as well as offering protein products such as protein bars and snacks. They also offer a loyalty scheme which is great and can save you more money and they share resources and tips on social media.
Exante is another remote VLCD where you can order the products online for delivery to home or work. Per product they seem to be slightly more expensive than Shake That Weight, however they do offer voucher codes, refer a friend promotions and student discount.
They have an app which has discounts and information about new products as well as tips and tricks, so it is a sort of electrical consultant. They also have juice meal replacements which they claim is a world first, and they also have an extensive product range.
I find their website quite hard to navigate in that to find out about the programme you have to give your email address and sign up to get the free ebook. I am sure this would put a lot of people off. My eBook never even came through.
Other Popular VLCDs
- Slim & Save
- Lighter Life
So which VLCD diet is best?
I’m often asked which VLCD diet is best, however I think ultimately it comes down to what you are looking for. If you need the one to one support of a consultant then the One to One diet is absolutely where you should start. If you feel that you can manage without a consultant, and are on a budget, then any of the online plans should work for you.
With regards to products, you are going to find it easier to stick to a plan if you like the products and enjoy consuming them, and much as I could recommend a load of products from various plans that I like, you might have completely different taste preferences to me, and so the best thing to do is try them out. Get a couple of each flavour and see how you get on.
If you are going to try out a VLCD, a couple of things you will need are:
- A shaker – for on the go shakes, a plastic container with a metal ‘mixer’ in it.
- A thermos flask – if you are going to be making soups on the go, or making them to consume later (not all plans advise this so please double check) then a thermos flask or insulated cup is ideal.
- A blender – for making those shakes at home, mixed up with ice, a shaker is essential!
A VLCD is a very low calorie diet, suitable for losing weight quickly using a meal replacement programme.
This depends on what you rank as most importance. Some involve having a consultant to meet with you 1 to 1 (The One to One Diet) and others are cheaper but involve you going it alone (such as Shake That Weight).
Flavours and product range will also affect your decision.