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Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD)

Reader Reviews: Diet and Weight Loss Programs for Thyroid Patients: Pros & Cons

User Rating 5 Star Rating

By DianeAmundson

Updated July 23, 2010

Diet Programs From the Thyroid Patient Perspective

Name of the Diet/Weight Loss Program or Service: 

Very Low Calorie Diet through my HMO

When did you follow this diet/weight loss program?: 

Currently on it - started April 21, 2010



My Review 

I am having good success with the program, but it's not an easy program because as the name implies it's very low calorie (720 - 900 cals/day). You drink 5 shakes and eat 2 bars each day for the minimum 720 cals which meets all of your daily nutritional requirements and you can have extra products (pretzels, soups, sloppy joe and a pasta) I haven't tried any of the extras except the pretzels. You can also have sugar free popsicles, Jello, pudding, candy, and gum but in order to stay in ketosis you have to stay under 1000 cals/day.

I had serious stomach pain issues when I first started on thyroid replacement and I had the same issues when I started on this program - I almost quit on day 3 but I stuck it out - initially for 12 weeks which flew by and have decided to do the second 12 weeks - you can only be on the product 100% for 24 weeks then you have to transition off and back to regular food.

It's not cheap - it costs me around $14/day for product and not having any "food" can be difficult but the cravings pass - I have been out to dinner with friends and at family functions and have done just fine - I haven't eaten off the program once in the 13 weeks - I've been tempted but I just walked away from the temptation.

There is a mandatory doctor or nurse visit each week and a 1.5 hour/week class along with monthly blood tests and because it's medically supervised. Insurance may not cover all of the expense for the medical appointments.

I'm 46 and have been hypothyroid for 16 years and gained 70 lbs during the past 16 years. This is the first time in my life I've tried to lose weight on any kind of diet program and I'm not sure how things will be three months from now when I begin to transition to food but I plan to keep the weight off and the program offers long term 18 months+ of continuing support during transition and maintenance.

Did you successfully lose weight on this diet? 


How much weight did you lose so far? 


Pros for Thyroid Patients? 

It's a no brainer - very basic - eat bars and drink shakes.

The shakes are casein (milk protein - whey) and 15 grams of protein and 80 cals each and the bars are soy and 15 gms of protein and 160 cals each.

The pretzels are soy and 12 gms of protein and 120 cals/bag.

Cons for Thyroid Patients? 

Does have soy. But my endocrinologist said it should be ok - he also indicated that I might need less replacement as I lose weight.

It can be boring - they have recipes for adding additional flavors to the shakes for some variety - I just drink them as they are.

Would you recommend this to a friend? 

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