Judging by its name, the Velocity Diet sounds like a dream come true for those looking to lose weight quickly.
The Velocity Diet, or “V-diet” for short, is marketed as a “rapid body transformation program.” It promises to give you a lean and muscular body more quickly than a typical diet plan, but only to those who commit to 28 days of intense dieting and workouts.
The V-diet is a low-calorie, high-protein diet. It’s designed to help you control your eating habits and lose fat. People who’ve completed the program report major weight loss of up to 20 pounds in 28 days. They also report a drastic reduction in body fat percentage. Of course, actual weight loss varies from person to person.
Low-calorie diets like the velocity diet are known for causing the number on the scale to drop. But are they healthy? Here’s the truth.
The Velocity Diet program consists of protein shakes, workout regimens, and an online community support forum. A typical day on the V-diet would involve:
- breakfast: protein shake, flameout fatty acid supplement, cold water
- lunch: protein shake, flameout fatty acid supplement, cold water
- midafternoon: protein shake, flameout fatty acid supplement, cold water
- dinner: protein shake (or a healthy solid meal once a week), flameout fatty acid supplement, cold water
- post-workout: workout recovery drink
The shakes are high in protein, but also contain some carbs and healthy fats. The protein is formulated to be digested slowly, which helps keep you feeling full longer. These specially designed shakes and supplements are available for purchase online, but at a steep price.
You’re only allowed to have one solid meal each week. The meal is something simple and low-carb. Examples include chicken or fish, brown rice, and steamed vegetables, or oatmeal with berries.
The program also involves three weightlifting workouts each week and one bodyweight exercise session.
Doctors consider a healthy rate of weight loss to be 1 to 2 pounds per week or less. If you cut your calorie intake too much, it’s hard to get the vital vitamins and nutrients you need to keep your body functioning at its best. On top of that, research suggests that eating too little can cause your metabolism to slow down. This means that when you go back to eating a normal amount of calories, you could potentially gain the weight back and then some.
Diet programs that promote weight loss of more than 2 pounds a week can also be dangerous. Apart from your body not getting a sufficient amount of vitamins and nutrients, losing weight too rapidly can lead to health problems, including:
- hair loss
- menstrual irregularities
- heart problems
The best thing about the velocity diet is its simplicity. There’s no need to cook, keep a food journal, or meticulously track your calorie intake. The V-diet’s shakes and supplements also contain a fair amount of nutrients and vitamins, making it less hard on your body than a typical “crash” or “fad” diet (such as the cabbage soup diet).
The workout regimens included in the V-diet can help you establish a long-term physical activity routine. If you stick to this plan, you’ll probably lose a good amount of weight in the short run
Any plan involving fewer calories and increased exercise is going to lead to weight loss, but that doesn’t make it healthy. Weight loss isn’t the only factor to consider when subscribing to a quick fix program like the Velocity Diet. Here are some other cons.
1. It’s difficult to keep up with
The Velocity Diet is strict. It requires a huge amount of discipline. The diet is essentially a liquid diet, consisting mostly of shakes and supplements that may not taste that great to you. The website claims that the program helps reduce cravings. But as you probably know, depriving yourself of dessert every once in a while is extremely difficult. For 28 days you can’t eat out, and probably don’t want to be in social situations centered around food or drinks. The supplements and shakes can also be expensive if you’re on a budget.
2. It’s low in calories
A low-calorie diet is a diet that includes less than 1,200 calories per day. The V-diet is a low-calorie diet. The five protein shakes and supplements add up to just over 1,000 calories per day for women, and 1,300 calories per day for men on “workout days.” On “nonworkout days,” you’re allotted only 880 calories. Keep in mind that the average person eats roughly 2,000 calories per day. Muscle mass loss is accelerated during rapid weight loss, especially when resistance training is not consistent.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) warns not to send signals to your body to conserve calories by fasting or drastically reducing your calorie intake for a long period of time. They recommend that women eat at least 1,200 calories per day while dieting and men eat at least 1,800 calories per day. ACSM says it best: “Small, sensible deficits lead to healthy, long-term weight loss.”
Research shows that people who lose weight steadily and gradually are far more successful at keeping weight off. When you lose weight rapidly, your body goes through hormonal changes that could increase your appetite for up to a year after the diet is complete.
In one study, for example, obese people who enrolled in a 10-week, low-calorie program had lower levels of the satiety hormone leptin, and higher levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, up to one year after their initial weight loss. Many of the participants regained the weight.
For this reason, it’s unlikely that the results of the Velocity Diet will stick around for long. Unless you’re very disciplined and change to an extremely healthy lifestyle once the 28-day program is complete, it’s likely that you’ll gain the weight back.
Any diet that promises rapid weight loss of over 2 pounds a week usually isn’t considered healthy, unless directed by a doctor. The Velocity Diet is really just another “crash” diet for those looking for a quick fix. It could take a toll on your mental state and energy levels, and it could slow down your metabolism, leading you to put the weight right back on again. Engaging in this type of weight loss, weight regain cycle lowers metabolism and makes it more difficult to lose weight and sustain a lower weight over time. The V-diet also lacks scientific research to support its safety and effectiveness.
Healthy weight loss isn’t about a “diet” or “program.” It’s about establishing a new lifestyle that includes ongoing changes in eating and exercise habits. If you do decide to partake in the V-diet program, it’s important that afterward you transition to a healthy lifestyle that includes a diet rich in:
- whole grains
- lean meats
- limited amounts of saturated fats and processed sugars
Engage in an exercise program on a minimum of three days per week. Remember, the best diets focus on health rather than numbers on a scale. If you’re obese or overweight, talk to your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program.