Liquid Diets For Weight Loss – How To Find a Safe One?

What Are Liquid Diets?

liquiddietMost people have at least one friend who has been on a liquid diet. Most people who do them, swear by them. But what exactly are they and do they really work?

The basic liquid diet will control a person’s caloric intake because all their calories will be consumed in liquid form. Different liquid diets work on different principles. Some of these diets consist entirely of fluids. These can be delivered in the form of vegetable and/or fruit juices. Some are delivered in the form of shakes. These are designed to replace each of your meals and the liquids are taken between three and four times per day. Different liquid diets are your basic “do it yourself” diet, Some are sold over the counter while others are plans which are supervised by medical personnel and are usually delivered in a hospital setting with a physician overseeing the patient.

Some liquid diets only replace one or two meals per day. The meals which are replaced are usually either breakfast or lunch. These kind of diets allow the dieter to consume a healthy, well-balanced meal at dinnertime. Some of these liquid diets include protein snack bars which are eaten in between meals.

To the average overweight person, the concept of being able to lose a fair amount of weight with only a minimal amount of effort seems like a dream come true. The advertising for these kind of diets usually promise that you will be able to literally drink your way to a new, slimmer, trimmer you in no time at all. To the more discerning dieter, these claims seem just too good to be true and are usually considered with more than a pound or two of salt. As well they should be.

Okay, but do they really work?

These diets contain a very reduced number of calories. So, the principle is a simple one: if you take in fewer calories than you burn off in a given day, you will drop a few pounds. What you may soon discover, though, is this weight loss may only be temporary. As soon as you revert back to your old eating habits, you will likely regain the weight you lost and then some. By drastically reducing the number of calories you take in during a given week, your metabolism simply slows down in an effort to conserve energy. Much of the initial weight loss might in fact be water weight.

Some of these liquid diets do have a better long term track record than others. Research has shown that a liquid diet that also allows the person to consume some food has more success than those that are solely based on  liquids alone.

Are liquid diets a safe alternative?

liquid-diet-planIf you are going to go ahead and put yourself on a liquid diet you will want to make sure that you are receiving the proper balance of nutrients. A liquid diet which only gives you between 400 to 800 calories a day will most likely be significantly lacking in the proper nutrients. This type of diet should only be used under proper supervision from a physician. If your liquid diet is missing many nutrients, you are at risk for some serious side effects which can include but are not limited to gallstones, hair loss and fatigue.

Many liquid diets are also lacking in enough fiber which may cause to become seriously constipated. This will also be compounded because you will not be eating enough fruit or vegetables. As well, if you are not consuming enough protein in your diet, you may lose a fair bit of muscle mass.

How Can I Find a Safe Liquid Diet That Will Work For Me?

If you are seriously considering going on a liquid diet, first discuss this with your physician. Some people especially pregnant women or women who are lactating or a person who is an insulin-dependent diabetic should never go on a liquid diet. Once your doctor has given you the okay to pursue with a liquid diet your next question should be to ask for a referral to a registered dietician.

At your first meeting with your dietician, they will go over your diet completely with you to ensure that you will be getting enough calories and total nutrition. They might recommend that you take a multi-vitamin each day while you’re on your liquid diet.

Before you plunge headlong into your liquid diet, you should first carefully read all the labels and especially make sure that you will receiving all the daily recommended vitamins and minerals as outlined by the USDA.

You will also want to make sure that you will not regain all the weight you’ve lost once you return to eating solid food. This means that it will important to choose a diet that is not so low in calories  that it will be unsustainable and also that you choose a diet that will allow you to eat at least one meal per day. You will be much more successful if you choose a liquid diet that will teach you better, healthier eating habits along your weight loss journey.

If you are able to locate a liquid diet that allows you to include at least one meal a day in your food plan, then chances are you will have a fair bit of success with it. Just remember, though that you will need to at least modify some of your eating habits or you may very well see all the weight come back on fairly soon after you’ve resumed eating solid food.

Because food and eating are such complicated issues with multifaceted roots of dysfunction for many people, it is important to facilitate a healthy relationship with your food. Being on a liquid diet will not be end of your struggle. More likely, this path will end up being the beginning of your struggle. Whatever you choose, be courageous and don’t allow yourself to become discouraged too quickly. Weight loss is possible. Try to remember that it does take time. Rome was not built in a day, nor were all the extra pounds you’ve accumulated put on overnight.