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Is A Liquid Diet Right For You?

W.L. Meyers | September 20th, 2012

For people looking for quick and easy weight loss solutions, it may be tempting to jump right into a liquid diet without properly assessing whether such a diet is right for your needs. Many people achieve short-term success with liquid diets; however, there are serious health risks involved with starting a liquid diet, or any type of diet in general.

A liquid diet may be dangerous

A liquid diet may be an effective way to limit your caloric intake, but the real danger lies in the fact that many liquid diets lack the nutrients that your body needs in order to remain fueled and healthy. Even juice-based and shake-based plans that purport to provide the nutrients you need for daily living may not provide enough fuel, and may leave you with health side effects such as malnutrition, headaches and fatigue.

Dr. Michael Kaplan, founder of The Center for Medical Weight Loss, says liquid diets may be used “as a tool to break current habits such as the cycle of food addiction and to promote lifestyle changes.”

For many people, rather than staying on a liquid diet for a prolonged period of time, it may be more beneficial to supplement a healthy meal plan with liquid substances in order to help create a feeling of fullness and suppress one’s appetite. In any case, a physician-assisted weight loss program like the one offered by The Center for Medical Weight Loss can help you determine whether such a diet is right for you.

People who use liquid diets also risk the lowering of metabolism, as the body slows down in order to conserve energy if it is lacking essential nutrients. Also, the near-starvation techniques associated with some liquid diets may cause people to binge eat after a prolonged period of liquid dieting, which may counteract the effects of the liquid diet.

Is it a true liquid diet? Medifast, Optifast, grapefruit diet …

Though some plans that are considered “liquid diets” consist only of liquids, which may include water as well as shakes and juices for nutrients, many such diets recommend at least one protein-based or vegetable-based meal per day.

Programs like Medifast, Slimfast and Optifast include prepared foods as part of the plan at some point, though Optifast in particular requires a lengthy time period in which individuals ingest only liquids, then later offers additional phases in which people can eat solid foods. On the other hand, Medifast requires dieters to eat six meals per day, with five of them in liquid form, which dieters can order directly from Medifast.

Other diets, such as the grapefruit diet, are not liquid diets but require a dieter to ingest a substantial amount of liquids throughout the course of the diet in order to achieve success. Many doctors recommend consuming liquids such as water and juice while dieting to help achieve the sensation of feeling full, in order to help prevent unhealthy eating practices.

The HCG diet is not a liquid diet, but may suggest liquid supplements in order to help the dieter drastically reduce caloric intake, which may be extremely dangerous.

A physician-assisted program can show you the best diet to lose weight

Prior to starting any diet, it is important to speak to a doctor about the potential risks and benefits of the endeavors. People who lose weight successfully often do so through a doctor-assisted program.

The physician-directed weight loss program at The Center for Medical Weight Loss offers support and planning services tailored to suit your individual needs, in order to help show you the best way to lose weight.  According to a study by the American Journal of Medicine, such physician-assisted weight loss programs result in an average weight loss of 11.1% of total body fat, with nearly 100% of patients keeping the weight off for more than one year.

Anyone seeking more information about effective liquid diets or other weight loss program may wish to contact the Center, which has more than 450 locations across the United States. Special offers are available to first time customers.