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Liquid Diet – Is It Safe To Practice A Liquid Diet for Weight Loss?

written by: Summer Banks • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 10/7/2010

If someone told you losing weight was as easy as giving up whole foods, would you take them at their word? The liquid diet may work to help the dieter lose weight but there are very real risks to this diet choice.

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    The Basics of the Liquid Diet

    The Liquid Diet has been practiced for many years in patients with extreme obesity. The diet aims at providing just the right amount of nutrition for the body to maintain life and health with a very restricted amount of calories. The Liquid Diet has been used in recent years in conjunction with preparation for and recovery from bariatric surgery.

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    The Approved Foods List

    While undertaking a liquid diet, the dieter should always follow the exact instructions of the ordering physician. This diet is not recommended for persons who want to lose five or ten pounds before that big event. The Liquid Diet approved foods list will vary based upon the situation in which the diet is being used.

    In pre and post bariatric cases, the Liquid Diet will consist of protein and meal replacement shakes in conjunction with a vigorous supplement schedule. The supplements will often include a multi-vitamin and B vitamin replacement supplement.

    In cases of severe obesity, the protein and meal replacement shakes will often be paired with other “liquids” such as sugar free Jello and low-fat, low sodium broths.

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    Does the Liquid Diet Afford Long Term Weight Loss?

    The Liquid Diet does afford long term weight loss, but in an indirect way. The Liquid Diet is aimed at helping the severely obese to reduce body weight quickly through the consumption of very small amounts of “food”. Over time and with careful monitoring, the patient will often be moved from a liquid diet to a whole foods diet. The stomach shrinkage occurring as a result of the Liquid Diet often provides an increased ability to keep the weight off for extended periods of time.

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    Scientific Proof For or Against the Liquid Diet

    According to a New York Times article, the scientific community supports the use of the Liquid Diet under care of a physician. The long term effects of the diet are often diminished in people who choose to revert back to their old eating habits within the first six months of starting the diet.