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Is a Liquid Diet Right for You?

By on September 21, 2014
Liquid diets have become a popular diet option for celebrities – claiming to help you drop tons of weight in a short amount of time. Whether you’re thinking of doing your own liquid diet, or buying into one of the numerous liquid diet programs available, there are a few things you need to know.

What’s the Point?
Liquid diets are designed to help you lose weight. While liquid diets were originally created to help people combat obesity, they have become a quick weight loss solution for those who want to drop a few pounds. Some medical conditions are also improved by liquid diets. Crohn’s Disease, for example, makes it difficult to digest and process food. People with Crohn’s Disease have reported relief in their symptoms by switching from solid food to a liquid food diet.

Do Liquid Diets Work?
Liquid diets do help you lose weight, but any diet that limits your daily caloric intake will do the same. In most cases, the results you get from a liquid diet will not be long-term, especially if you plan to switch back to solid foods. In fact, most people gain the weight right back — especially if they don’t alter their eating habits.

Can Drinking Only Liquids Be Safe?
A liquid diet that gives you balanced nutrition and the proper amount of daily calories could technically be safe. But, unfortunately, most liquid diets do not do that. Often liquid diets operate like low-calorie diets — giving you 400 to 800 calories per day only. Also, these diets are often lacking in nutrition, which means you may notice you are more fatigued, dizzy, suffer from hair loss, etc. In extreme cases, you could receive heart damage or gallstones from excessive malnutrition.

What the Research Says At UCLA
Staff doctors conducted a study on Slim Fast products to see if they were truly effective at helping consumers lose weight short and long-term. For the most part, participants of the study lost a considerable amount of weight and kept at least 80 percent of their weight off a few years after. However, some participants gained back all or more of the weight too. But, doctors did conclude that the Slim Fast program was effective when used for 12 weeks and healthy eating habits were used after the program.

Tips for Going on a Liquid Diet
While there are many products out there that help you go on a liquid diet, they are not necessary. There are things you can do to make your own successful liquid diet at home:

• Make a batch of smoothies and store them in the fridge for the day.
• Prepare smoothie bags for the week and freeze — that way you have easy access.
• Instead of whole milk, use skim, water, soy or a milk protein.
• Don’t add a lot of sugar to your smoothies and make sure you’re monitoring the smoothie.
• Don’t forget fiber — inadequate fiber intake could lead to constipation even on a liquid diet.
• Count your calories and make sure you’re not dropping dramatically below the daily minimum.
• Avoid artificial sweeteners and stick to all natural ingredients.

Readers: What are your thoughts on liquid diets?

Resources:
www.vanderbilt.edu/AnS/psychology/health_psychology/LiquidDiets.htm
www.webmd.com/diet/liquid-diets www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20562454_7,00.html www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000206.htm

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