, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 863–870 | Cite as

Safety and efficacy of a multiphase dietetic protocol with meal replacements including a step with very low calorie diet

  • Sabrina Basciani
  • Daniela Costantini
  • Savina Contini
  • Agnese Persichetti
  • Mikiko Watanabe
  • Stefania Mariani
  • Carla Lubrano
  • Giovanni Spera
  • Andrea Lenzi
  • Lucio Gnessi
Original Article


To investigate safety, compliance, and efficacy, on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors of a multiphasic dietary intervention based on meal replacements, including a period of very low calorie diet (VLCD) in a population of obese patients. Anthropometric parameters, blood tests (including insulin), dual-energy-X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and questionnaires for the assessment of safety and compliance before and after (phase I) a 30-day VLCD, 700 kcal/day, normoproteic, 50 g/day carbohydrate, four meal replacements; (phase II) a 30-day low calorie diet (LCD), 820 kcal/day, three meal replacements plus a protein plate; (phase III) 60-day LCD, 1,100 kcal/day, two meal replacements plus two protein plates and reintroduction of small amounts of carbohydrates; (phase IV) 60-day hypocaloric balanced diet (HBD), 1,200 kcal/day, one meal replacement, two protein plates and the reintroduction of carbohydrates. 24 patients (17 females, 7 males, mean BMI 33.8 ± 3.2 kg/m2, mean age 35.1 ± 10.2 years) completed the study. The average weight loss was 15.4 ± 6.7 %, with a significant reduction of fat mass (from 32.8 ± 4.7 to 26.1 ± 6.3 % p < 0.05) and a relative increase of lean mass (from 61.9 ± 4.8 to 67.1 ± 5.9 % p < 0.05). An improvement of metabolic parameters and no variations of the liver and kidney functions were found. A high safety profile and an excellent dietary compliance were seen. The VLCD dietary program and the replacement dietary system described here is an effective, safe, and well-tolerated treatment for weight control.


Safety Efficacy Diet Very low calorie 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabrina Basciani
    • 1
  • Daniela Costantini
    • 1
  • Savina Contini
    • 1
  • Agnese Persichetti
    • 1
  • Mikiko Watanabe
    • 1
  • Stefania Mariani
    • 1
  • Carla Lubrano
    • 1
  • Giovanni Spera
    • 1
  • Andrea Lenzi
    • 1
  • Lucio Gnessi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental MedicineSection of Medical Pathophysiology Food Science and Endocrinology, Sapienza University of Rome La SapienzaRomeItaly

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