November 24

The Facts About Very Low Calorie Dieting

‘Calorie deficit’ is a term thrown around a lot, especially on social media, to express how un-complicated losing weight can be. Moving more and eating less is the principle said to guarantee results.

But how far does this concept take, and to what extent to keep eating less and less appropriate?

Very low calorie dieting has become a popular method to lose weight over the years, with few lasting success stories and fewer long-lasting results. We often have people getting in touch with us asking for our help and support when it comes to nutrition.

Evidence and experience show that very low calorie diets CAN work in certain circumstances with specific people – seen more often in special medical cases.

However, you’ll rarely find me or our coaches prescribe this extreme method of dieting to our clients at Lean Body Training, as it’s uncommon for us to encounter anyone that actually requires it.

The reasons why we don’t recommend these diets will now be explained.


Very low calorie diets can have negative physical, mental and emotional impacts whether weight loss is achieved or not. We come across many people who have already have a poor attitude towards food due to societal norms, the influence of social media and promotion from companies who sell diet-related products.


At Lean Body Training, we believe it is important to cultivate a positive relationship with eating and not negative ones. Therefore, our aim is always to steer our clients away from extreme diets, restrictions and weight loss potions. While we work with our clients, we educate them to make positive, health focused decisions when it comes to food, and providing self-sufficiency in the long term.


Low thermogenesis is the process of our body slowing down (especially subconsciously), where even the smallest of practical tasks seems like an effort. What happens when you undertake an extreme diet for a sustained period of time, is you will rest more than usual and move lazily to accommodate the lack of energy you’re consuming.

Suddenly your extreme calorie deficit has become much smaller if not non-existent! This is otherwise looked at – and mistaken for “slowing down of the metabolism”, when really its just the slowing down of you. Try eating enough to feel energetic and nourished – enough to keep a healthy relationship with food and better at controlling cravings. And more importantly, enough to fuel whatever activity you are required to do. This will also free-up energy to tackle that next work out!

What we recommend

Behaviour change is the one variable that has proven to sustain weight loss over a longer period of time.

Therefore, especially at the beginning – aim to make small positive changes on a daily basis, instead of drastically and suddenly driving calories down to an unsustainable level. Begin implementing simple habits such as:

  1. Drinking more water
  2. Eat more fruit and veg
  3. Manage your portion sizes
  4. Don’t solely focus on removing foods from your diet but make better and more sustainable choices that work towards your longer term goals.

Choose to sustainably look after your body rather than punish it.

Would you like to change your body shape and take your results to the next level? Get in touch about our online training services and work with one of our expert coaches today.




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