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Drinking Your Calories

Por Lucky Barillas, Nutrition Counselor, MyDiet™ -

Many different types of beverages are being advertised as a solution to lose weight. But, what are these drinks made of that will result in weight loss? Are they healthy? What will happen if you stop taking them?

There are a large number of companies that sell a variety of beverages as "meal replacements," indicating these products are a safe and easy way to lose weight. These products contain varying amounts of carbohydrates, fat, protein and vitamins and minerals. Though some are adequately balanced with nutrients, others contain levels of protein, and vitamin and minerals that exceed what your body needs, in which case the excess amounts are excreted through the urine, or accumulated in your system. If this happened repeatedly and over time, your kidney and/or liver function could be compromised.

These types of products are very attractive to many people because of the rapid results they usually experience. The weight loss that results from drinking this type of beverage is simply a result of their very low calorie level. Liquid beverages marketed for weight loss range from 150 to 250 calories per serving. If, for example, you drink 2 of these beverages daily the calorie level is at most 500 calories; add to that a 500-calorie lunch. The total number of calories for the entire day then is 1000 calories, which is a very low amount!

Though very low-calorie diets may be warranted temporarily under certain circumstances, these types of diets must only be prescribed by a health professional, and followed under the strict guidance and supervision of a dietitian and other health professionals. 

Your body needs energy to walk, work, digest foods, and even to sleep. If the body doesn't receive enough calories from food to support these activities, it will start to store as much energy as possible by slowing down its metabolism (the rate at which calories are burned). This will actually hinder weight loss instead of stimulating it.

These beverages are not encouraged to be used as meal replacements, but would serve as a better option for a snack than grabbing a candy bar or a bag of chips.

The best way to lose weight is through a balanced diet and an  exercise plan, such as the one you can receive through the MyDiet™ program.


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