Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Low Fat Diets & Very Low Calorie Diets

Okay rant coming on....

This is really bothering me lately, why?

Most low carbers are aware by now that low carb isn't politically correct. A lot will say it is because people don't want to give up carbs and while I think that is partly true, I do believe lowering carbohydrates like starches and sugars is becoming more trendy as time goes on. What I think is the biggest problem is fat and calories...

Yes, you're right, you won't lose fat without burning more calories then you take in but by golly that does not mean starving yourself and it does not mean eating no fat. I don't care how many carbs you are eating, severely restricting your fat intake is not healthy.

I don't know how it is in other countries, but over here in Australia we have a bunch of what I like to call fad low carb diets gaining huge popularity. Not only are these diets getting on the low carb bandwagon which in itself is not a bad thing, they are also very low in fat and calories. This is not good!

Firstly there were diets like cohens, that while low carb are almost no fat and limited protein. I have not been a big fan of this diet but this is peanuts to what is coming out now...

Now we have protein shake diets, that are really becoming popular. These diets consist of protein shakes that you buy for a pretty penny but not only that they are very low calorie, hardly any fat and replace 2 meals a day!

Are these even monitored under medical supervision? No, the closest they come to that is a particular protein shake diet (there's a few!) is sold over the counter of a particular chemist. The most popular and heavily advertised one out at the moment is known as The Tony Ferguson Diet or Tony Ferguson Shakes sold online at their website and over the counter at Terry White Chemists. We have a thread going on it here: The Tony Ferguson Diet

The most appealing thing about them seems to be that the shakes mean that there is very little preparation involved. Whilst I can understand the appeal in that, keep in mind it is this 'convenience' factor that everybody craves that got us into all this mess in the first place AKA the processed foods we know of today!

These shake diets do nothing to teach us healthy eating habits over the long term. Even if they are low carb they still keep this whole fat phobia and the belief that you need to eat very little to lose weight and this whole reliance on processed foods alive.

The worst thing is every Australian parenting forum I go to I see long threads on this diet. It seems to be very popular amongst mums who have recently had a baby and that worries me. Not only that quite a few times I have seen them talk about their husband doing it as well.

This diet is very low calorie, originally when I first looked into this diet on their website they stated:

" The program is a combination of VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet) and the ketogenic principle. VLCDs include prepared food formulas and a carbohydrate and calorie reduced diet, of approximately 800 calories per day"

Since then they have changed their wording to say 1000-1200 calories a day but other then that still being way too low I did the maths myself and I couldn't get it up to 1000 calories per day. This leads me to think, if I can't, then what calories for the day is a typical dieter who thinks less is better going to reach?

On the thread I linked to above we discussed the details of the diet as in what you can eat, what's in the shakes etc. This week I am planning on collecting up some research on this to add to the thread to back me up.


If your on this diet please don't think I am having a shot at you because of this post or what I post on my forum. It is nothing personal, I just can't sit here and not say anything in order to be politically correct or popular and not offend anyone. I don't want to offend you and I am most certainly not trying to insult you, all I want is for you to be aware of not only the pros but the cons. If after researching and weighing up the pros and cons you decide to go down this path then so be it, it is your body and if you need me for anything I'm more then happy to help.

This is just something that I cannot encourage and by not saying anything that's what I feel I'm doing. This is not a diet that should be used without caution if at all.


I have put up a page on research of the risks of very low calorie diets: Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) Research

Also due to the kimkins controversy which is also a VLCD diet I have put up a few more posts discussing the dangers of VLCDs as well, you can find all these by doing a search for kimkins on my blog: kimkins

In particular check out my two latest blog posts:


Rabbit Starvation, Sudden Death and Resting Metabolism.


Anonymous said...

Hi there from a newbie to your blog. Reading this makes me think that you are sadly catching on to the American diet system. Ugh. Miracle cures, miracle diets, miracle pills and shakes. Not good. :(

Anonymous said...

No matter how low my calories are (and never under 1300 even on my very low calorie days), I always try to keep the protein and fat as high as possible.

Sherrie said...

Hey there!

Yeah I do much better when my fat is kept high. It may be calorie dense but its the only thing that keeps me satisfied!

Olivia said...
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