Liquid Diets: Good or Bad for Weight Loss?

July 28, 2011

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shakesHave you ever heard of a liquid diet and wondered if such a thing is good or bad for weight loss?


It depends. At The Center for Medical Weight Loss, we do put some patients on a medically supervised liquid diet to help them jump-start their weight loss and also to help patients with binge eating or food addiction issues ???take a break??? from food so they can step back and examine their food triggers.

However, unlike a cabbage soup or juice diet, or other fad liquid diets, a medically supervised liquid diet provides 100 percent of the nutrition ??? including protein ??? that your body needs despite the low calories it contains.

So unlike those other liquid diets, a prescription liquid diet won???t trigger the body???s starvation response and yo-yo weight gain like the other types will. Without the balanced nutrition and high protein levels a prescription liquid diet contains, a 20-pound weight loss is likely to lead to a 30-pound weight gain later on.

For people with binge eating or food addiction issues, a medically supervised liquid diet combined with behavioral counseling can help a person recognize and break the powerful food triggers that have lead to his or her weight issues and finally break free from patterns that are 20, 30, or even 40 years in the making.

Another advantage of a medically supervised liquid diet is the speed at which it works. On such a plan, a person can lose weight as rapidly as someone who has had bariatric surgery, but without the surgical risks or life-long dietary restrictions.

For example, one of my patients lost 250 pounds in thirteen months, going from 450 pounds down to 200. He not only felt and looked better, but he was also able to reduce the amount of medications he was taking from 19 down to three.

During that time we monitored his progress on a weekly basis and also worked on breaking the patterns that triggered his binge eating. Today he has successfully kept the weight off and continues to check in occasionally, especially when signs of his eating addiction start to return.

Many patients fear that they will struggle with hunger on a liquid diet, but we have found that for 80 percent of those who try them, the hunger disappears after just a few days and many say it???s almost a relief to take a break from their food addiction. For those who continue to struggle with hunger, a prescription appetite suppressant can be helpful.

If you think a prescription liquid diet may be for you, make sure to seek professional help and follow a nutritionally sound, medically supervised plan, such as that offered at The Center for Medical Weight Loss, that combines the liquid diet with behavioral counseling and support so you can break bad patterns for good.

Dr. Michael Kaplan

Founder and Chief Medical Officer

The Center for Medical Weight Loss

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