Liquid Diets and Meal Replacement Diets: Are They Good or Bad?

Does liquid diet weight loss work? Is it even a good idea? The answer is not as simple as "yes" or "no." It depends on several factors, including how liquid diet meal replacements are used and what ingredients are contained in such a meal replacement.

What Is a Liquid Diet?

This is a good question. Liquid diet weight loss can mean various things. The most extreme example is the elimination of all solid food except for water. Now, while it is possible to survive for several weeks by simply drinking water and nothing else, this is not advisable and can have serious health consequences.

Sometimes temporary, water-based diets are part of a physician-supervised treatment plan for people who are not trying to lose weight, but have undergone various medical procedures. This is an extreme measure and should only be undertaken when your doctor requires.

Fruit Juice Diets

There are also liquid diet weight loss methods that call for taking in only juices that are preferably squeezed from fresh fruits and vegetables. This can certainly be healthful, but may not meet all of one's protein requirements - and protein intake is a very important part of any dieting effort. In addition, a lot of fruit juices are high in sugar, and while also high in dietary fiber, it takes a good deal of juice to give you that ‘full feeling’. So they are often counterproductive.

Moreover, studies have shown that the high sugars in many fruit juices should not be consumed in large amounts due to the fact that they have a positive correlation with mortality.

The Ideal Use of Liquid Diet Meal Replacements

There is a psychological aspect to all of this: solid food satisfies in a way that no amount of liquid meal replacement can. One of the problems with a strictly liquid diet is that it's all-too-likely to "fall off the wagon" and suddenly give in to your overwhelming desire to head to the nearest fast food restaurant and chow down on a double-bacon cheeseburger and a large order of greasy fries. Not a good thing!

When it comes to liquid diet weight loss, it pays to be smart about it. Low carb protein shakes are an ideal supplement to a diet program that combines a reduction of caloric intake with increased physical activity. A protein shake containing fiber and fortified with necessary vitamins can be just the thing to have in the mid-afternoon and can help in keeping you from giving in to those unhealthy cravings for junk food that can come on between lunch and dinner.

Protein shakes that are low in carbohydrates can be dairy-based or soy-based. You can prepare your own with yogurt (make sure it's non-GMO and has "live and active cultures") and frozen fruit with a bit of flax seed or wheat germ; toss these into a blender and whiz it around for a minute or so, and Bob's your uncle.

On the other hand, with so many of us on a busy schedule these days, that may not be an option. Fortunately, there are some excellent commercially-prepared liquid diet meal replacements on the market today that can be very useful in helping you to achieve your weight loss goals.

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