Liquid diets have become fashionable in recent years, with celebrities swearing by them and magazines claiming you can lose shed pounds in days by consuming nothing but juices and shakes. A liquid diet limits your calorie intake because most or all meals are replaced with liquids. Various versions of the liquid diet exist. Some replace breakfast and lunch with drinks, while others do not allow any solid food whatsoever. If you stick to a liquid diet, you will lose weight, simply because you will be burning off a greater amount of calories than you are consuming.
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Work out how much weight you want to lose. Refer to the NHS height/weight chart to find out what your healthy weight range is. If losing a stone (6 kg) would make your underweight for your height, it is not advisable to make this your goal. If you do need to lose stone (6 kg) or more to bring your weight within a healthy range, a liquid diet may work for you.
Consult your doctor or dietician. Ask his advice about a liquid diet. He will confirm how much weight you should be aiming to lose.
Decide what type of liquid diet you want to follow. Some are available as do-it-yourself programmes to buy from your supermarket or chemist, while others are only available under medical supervision. Research the product before you commit to the diet. Think about how a liquid diet will affect you and your family's lives. Decide if it is a realistic option, taking into account your lifestyle, career and other commitments.
Read the instructions and recipes for your liquid diet. Check out the nutritional value of the diet plan to make sure you are going to be getting 100 percent of your daily recommended vitamins and minerals. Work out a plan for first week. Write down what you are going to be eating each day and what you need to buy.
Weigh yourself before starting the diet. Follow the diet for 7 days and weigh yourself again. Continue with the liquid diet until you have achieved your weight loss goal.
Tips and warnings
- Go for a diet that includes solid foods and liquids (such as one normal meal and two liquid meals per day). Studies have found that this type of liquid diet is more likely to lead to long term weight loss and healthy eating habits, says WebMD.
- Very low calorie liquid diets (800 calories or less per day) are likely to be lacking in the nutrients your body needs and should only be followed under medical supervision. Possible side effects of a lack of essential vitamins and minerals include exhaustion, dizziness, hair loss, digestive problems, osteoporosis and heart damage.
- Pregnant women and people with insulin dependent diabetes should never follow a liquid diet.
- Weight loss after a liquid diet can be short-lived. A severe reduction in calories causes the metabolism to slow down in order to save energy. As soon as you start to eat normally again, you are likely to put weight back on.
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