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What is a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD)?

A VLCD consists of a low calorie, low carbohydrate diet which stimulates ketosis, the burning of fat stores for energy. This leads to shrinkage of fat around the abdominal organs and inside the liver which can lead to potentially safer surgery. Your surgeon may ask you to go onto this type of diet for 2 or 3 weeks in order to lose weight for an operation.

Typically breakfast, lunch and dinner will be REPLACED by a VLCD shake/ soup in conjunction with non-starchy vegetables twice a day and at least 2 litres of water.

Which brand should I purchase?

There are many VLCD brands. Optifast has a favourable protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamin and mineral profile – along with excellent resources to guide you.

There are other brands such as Optislim, Tony Ferguson, Celebrity Slim etc. which can be used also. The most important thing is that the diet is adhered to and carbohydrates are avoided or else ketosis will be “switched off”.

Optifast Intensive Level will be used and information can be obtained by clicking on the button above.

The Chemist Warehouse is usually the most price savvy place to buy VLCD Shakes from and a button link can be clicked below.

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What are FODMAPs?

Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Dissacharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols.

Essentially these are sugars found in a variety of foods, that when broken down in the gut produce a lot of gas which can lead to abdominal bloating, distention, pain and increased wind.

This can be a feature of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

What foods should I avoid?

There are many foods that contain FODMAPs. Please click on the link provided to view a table with foods that are ok (green) and foods to avoid (red).

Remember, everybody is an individual and some foods to avoid you may find okay.

In order to figure out whether a food elimination improves symptoms or not, keep a food and symptom diary may be beneficial in helping you keep track of what you have eaten and whether or not gas bloating symptoms were better or worse that day.

Starting a low FODMAP Diet

The low FODMAP Diet came out of Monash University in Melbourne. It is THE MOST EFFECTIVE intervention at decreasing functional gas bloating symptoms.

Please click the following link for information on how to start yourself on a low FODMAP diet.