Do Liquid Diets Work?
Meal Replacement Weight Loss Diets
What is a Liquid/Meal Replacement Diet Plan?
Meal replacement or liquid supplement diets are designed to provide users with a fixed number of calories as well as all the necessary vitamins and minerals required for good dietary health. Eaten as an alternative to regular foods, liquid diet meals usually take the form of shakes or soups, or differing types of bars. Although taste can vary between brands, a liquid meal replacement plan (eg. SlimFast, Scan Diet) typically offers a convenient method of healthy weight reduction.
Used For Medically Supervised Weight Loss
Due to their convenience and nutritional value, meal replacement diets are often used by weight loss clinics to help reduce severe clinical obesity. Obese patients are typically treated with a very-low-energy diet - sometimes as low as 800 calories per day - as part of an overall obesity reduction program. These very-low-calorie medical diets are always closely supervised. Examples of such meal replacement weight loss programs include Optifast and Medifast.
Drawback of Liquid or Meal Replacement Diets
By definition, the meals and snacks in a meal replacement diet are designed as substitutes for real food. So when individual dieters return to eating regular food, they need to be able to make healthy food choices, otherwise they will inevitably experience rebound weight gain. This is why dietary and nutritional counseling is such an important feature of these meal replacement diet programs. Non-medically supervised programs do not typically offer much advice about how to choose better food options, which is one reason why these weight loss diets do not suit everyone.
When medically supervised, these liquid meal replacement plans can be very effective. However, simply eating a few calorie-controlled shakes or bars in place of normal food is not likely to help you improve your eating habits, which is essential for sustained weight loss.
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