VLCD Resistance Training Benefits – Short Tao

Average Reading Time: 3 minutes

There are more and more studies popping up that show a positive effect of resistance training combined with a very low calorie diet (VLCD).

In a recent study published in the Clinical Nutrition Journal, this has been the conclusion of a 12-week long protein supplemented treatment on obese patients. The patients undergoing the resistance training (3 days a week) showed positive effects on the resting metabolism (RM) and the overall muscular function compared to the control groups.

Resistance Training Increases Metabolism

high-protein diet

Especially the effects on the RM are important in my view. A higher RM or BMR means that you burn calories while doing nothing. In the long run, this will help these patients to continue to lose sustainable weight. Of course, a caloric deficit is the key part of a fat loss diet. More muscle mass will simply make it easier to create this deficit.

Find Your Lifestyle Diet

Just because this is a low calorie diet with an increased intake of protein, it is not necessarily a ketogenic diet. On a VLCD ptorein intake should be higher. As fats are essential to the human body, you easily end up with a modified ketogenic diet. Increasing protein intake on a caloric deficit is important tough.

Furthermore, as a general rule and it always depends on the person at hand, a VLCD isn’t a diet to go with forever. That’s because the diet is very restrictive and in the case of the study, certainly below the BMR.

The study showed that if you go on such a restrictive caloric diet it is almost imperative to add resistence training to it. This way you’ll keep your BMR active, keep as much lean body mass as possible and even manage to gain weight. Doing cardio in such instances as the main exercise component is the wrong approach.

This makes it potentially difficult to maintain it over a long time. It might also be difficult to fulfil your micronutrient requirements.

That all being said, a low carb diet seems to have a positive effect on people who are mostly sedentary, no matter how many calories they eat. I, personally, lived ketogenic for almost a year. It works, I felt great most of the time. As a general diet, I personally live a low-carb diet though. That’s because my lifestyle demands more carbohydrates.

The moment I go to the gym, I opt for a targeted ketogenic or targeted carb diet. This means I have most of my carbs before and/or after my workouts. My overall carbohydrate intake is still rather low (150 to 300 g) compared to a standard Western diet (250 g and much more). So, don’t fear carbs, they have their place in a diet.

Diets are very personal. This should be taken into consideration when you create your lifestyle diet. Whenever you read content like above, question it and try to figure out how this relates to your lifestyle. Don’t just follow the next fad.


This article is part of the Short Tao series. These are posts, articles, reviews and similar content, provided to you in a short and easy to digest format. This means, I cut to the chase quickly and aim to make it as short and informative as possible. The content, especially when it comes to science, is up to date when I publish it, but times change. So, if anything you read here has been seen changes, make sure to let me know. Ultimately, this is for your entertainment and education. Comment below to share your thoughts and make sure to let your friends know of this information too – it could change lives.

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