Liquid diets are easy, will work if adhered to, and cost no more than regular foods. That's the good news. The other side of the coin is that they stop working if you quit using the liquid supplements, you will still have cravings, and can be harmful if abused. The trick is to eliminate the bad side and focus on using the Liquid Diet to give you a jump-start in changing your eating habits.
Many manufacturers offer a diet supplement in liquid form that you can use to limit your calories and still get the nutrients and necessary vitamins and minerals. Used properly they can help you cut back on the number of calories you absorb from normal foods. If you include some portion control on meals you eat, add some basic calorie burning exercise, and slowly change your eating habits, Liquid Diets can be a great weight loss method.
Liquid Diets are often used in recovery from surgery or an illness that requires that the patient avoid normal food. These are usually temporary to allow the patient to slowly get back to normal foods and provide a short-term method to get the necessary nutrients while in recovery. Most if not all of these liquids are totally replacing normal foods rather than supplementing a normal diet.
And then there's the type of Liquid Diet that are designed to provide necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are absent from foods consumed. You often see the commercials that compare these drinks to taking vitamins and minerals in tablet form. These are add on supplements and are not intended for meal replacement.
The key to finding the right supplemental drink is to consider two important factors. One is the contents, the other is how much normal food you eat in addition to the supplement. Many of the manufacturers have diet plans in addition to just their liquid supplements. These are the type of program that would be best for losing weight rather than the medical recovery or supplemental nutrient style products.
A good dietary replacement style liquid supplement will have fiber, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. These ingredients should approximate a normal meal but with less calories. If you were on a 2100 calorie daily limit and you ate two normal meals of approximately 700 calories, you could have the liquid replacement that had 350 calories for the third meal and cut out 350 calories a day. Since it takes about 3500 calories to make a pound, you would lose about 2-3 pounds a month.
That's a good program for most people who want to lose 10-15 pounds in the next 5-6 months. The gotcha is that some liquid diets suggest a faster and more severe method, like skipping two meals and going for less than 1500 calories a day. This is too radical for most people and can cause some health issues. Most dietitians do not recommend going below 1800 calories a day for anyone on a regular basis.
Fasting for a limited time is fine for a healthy person as long as you don't over do it. If you are going to use a liquid supplement to aid in your fasting, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor. And if you take medication of any type, find out if this will impact the effectiveness or create issues if you fast. Before you start any weight loss program you need to be sure it will not have any health risks or side effects.
Liquid diets can be a great way to start losing weight but in the long run you will need to adjust your eating habits to keep from gaining any lost weight back. Don't get over ambitious, go for the long haul and use any supplement cautiously. Over doing it will only net you short term results and can even cause health problems.