Diet Shakes: Sipping to Slimness
How Long Can You Last on Diet Shakes?
Let's say you're losing a safe amount of weight with two diet shakes, two
snacks, and a modest dinner every day. How long can you stay on this eating
plan? Nonas says many people use the beverages for the bulk of their meals for
about three months, then maintain their weight loss for years by substituting a
meal replacement shake for one meal on most days.
Research bears that out. In a Journal of the American Dietetic
Association study published in 2001, women who lost weight on a
reduced-calorie plan that included meal replacement beverages maintained their
losses after a year by drinking at least one diet shake a day in place of a
regular meal. Their counterparts in the study, who lost weight on a
conventional low-fat diet that did not use meal replacement beverages, regained
most of their initial weight.
The Bottom Line on Diet Shakes
Diet shakes are not the magic bullet in the battle of the bulge. Used
judiciously, they can help you get started on weight loss or help you maintain
a healthier weight. "To lose weight or even to eat well while maintaining a
healthy weight, you must be a vigilante and defend against the many temptations
out there. Meal replacements shakes are easy, but they are also a lot healthier
than most other choices you could make," Nonas says.
SOURCES: Cathy Nonas, MS, RD, director of the Obesity and Diabetes Program,
North General Hospital, New York City. Hillary Wright, MEd, RD, Harvard
Vanguard Medical Associates, Boston. The Journal of the American Dietetic
Association, "Liquid Meal Replacement vs Traditional Food," March
2001, vol 101. Noakes, M. The American Society for Nutritional Sciences Journal
of Nutritio, Aug. 2004; vol 134: pp 1894-1899.