Can Liquid Diets Help You
Safely Lose Belly Fat?
Purpose of a Liquid Diet
The word “diet” can send shivers down the spine of any food loving person (and who isn’t?), and few diets are stricter than a liquid regimen where participants replace some or all of their meals with a liquid meal. The purpose of a liquid diet is to drastically cut calories and instigate fast, dramatic weight loss. Can a couple of glasses of juice a day really melt off the pounds and keep them gone? More importantly, can anyone really survive such an austere diet?
Liquid diets continue to maintain a certain appeal to those looking for fast weight loss results. Such diets vary in methodology, calorie intake and success rates. Some diets offer meal replacements for breakfast and lunch but allow a full meal to be eaten for dinner as well as snacking throughout the day.
Fruit and vegetable juice diets claim the two-fold benefits of weight loss and detoxification. Medically supervised diets such as Medifast and OPTIFAST also incorporate liquid meal replacements within a larger dieting program.
Liquid Diet Shortcomings
Drawback 1: The drawbacks (and there are always drawbacks), however, can be significant. No matter how you count it, such a regime shaves off a significant amount of calories, which can leave a dieter feeling hungry, unsatisfied and craving physical foods. It shouldn’t be surprising that the dropout rate is very high. The idea of using a juice diet to “cleanse” or “detoxify” the system has never been proven by the medical community. Most nutritionists believe that the body is fully equipped to cleanse itself.
Drawback 2: Most liquid diets without medical supervision have not shown such promising results. Not only does the severe caloric restriction result in a high dropout rate, but weight loss may level off as the metabolic system slows to conserve energy. A slow metabolism means fast weight gain as soon as the diet is broken. Some health experts also believe that the majority of weight loss through liquid dieting is water weight, not fat.
Drawback 3: Another danger of liquid diets is the loss of essential nutrients. Juice diets may not contain adequate amounts of protein, fiber and many other important nutrients that the body needs to function properly.
What About Medically Supervised Program?
While the drawbacks of a liquid diet can be substantial, is the potential for significant weight loss worth a little discomfort? It depends. Medically supervised diets which contain liquid elements have shown some long term weight loss success in medical studies.
While liquid meal replacements are an essential part of these diets, it is important to know that such programs also offer lifestyle counseling, expert support from nutritional and medical specialists and a specific weight loss plan for participants to follow. In other words, the meal replacements are only one part of a much larger weight loss campaign. If you are ready to give one of these programs a try, be prepared to part with more than just weight. Their cost can be significant.
Even if a dieter is able to stick with such a regime for a time, the transition back to solid food is often fraught with peril. Liquid diets are not sustainable. In most cases, they are used for a period of days or weeks to initiate weight loss. Dieters are then expected to slowly switch back to solid foods. In many cases, weight lost during the liquid diet is regained as soon as solid food is reintroduced into the diet.
Are liquid diets worth the trouble? The answer is, it depends. When used properly, they can may help initiate successful and long term weight loss. This type of diet can be especially helpful to obese individuals who may have trouble engaging in an exercise routine. In all cases, a liquid diet should be supervised by a medical professional and should never be considered a permanent weight loss solution.