The Dangers of Liquid Diets
There are a lot of people who look for those quick fixes when it comes to weight loss. I’ve tried them and I did lose weight with some of them.
Then I gained all that weight back…and more!
There’s a reason why the title of this blog is “Lose Weight and Keep It Off.” I want to not just help you lose your weight, but keep it off forever. It’s something I know is possible (as long as you don’t get pregnant…) but it means that I need to share the bad faddy diets to help you avoid them.
Liquid diets are one of those fad diets that I see a lot of people following. And there are so many more cropping up each day!
I’m not talking about the cleanses that you use for a couple of days to give you a kickstart. Some of them can be good for you, although the jury is still out on the long term benefits/side effects. Right now I’m talking about the liquid diets for weight loss. Those diets that you follow to lose tens of pounds within a few weeks.
You may hear of them as juice diets (Juice Plus, anyone?) or cleansing diets that are designed for long term use. Whatever name they have, they’re all the same.
There are dangers of liquid diets that you need to be aware of, especially if you follow them for too long.
You Miss Out on Food Groups
Most of the liquid diets tend to be fruits and vegetables purified. You get plenty of vitamins and minerals, but what about the proteins? In some cases, you’re juicing the fruits instead of blending them, so you also get rid of the fiber.
Your body needs everything. You need to make sure you get all your food groups—and at the recommended amounts.
Protein is the building block for your muscles, tendons, skin, and other parts of the body. You need to strengthen your base to work your way up.
You Could Cut Down Calories Too Much
Think about the amount of calories you get from these juice diets. Do they not tell you? Well, they should and if they don’t then it’s a red flag.
Many of the liquid diets reduce your calories considerably. While you want to create a calorie deficit, you don’t want to create a large one for too long. The odd day isn’t going to do you much harm and kickstarting your weight loss for a couple of days with a cleanse won’t hinder your efforts. The problem comes when you stick to a small number of calories.
You need to work out how many calories your body actually burns. Mine is actually around the 1,700 mark. From there, I know I need to eat fewer than 1,700 to lose weight.
But to lose a healthy amount of weight, there’s no need to cut down the daily calorie intake by more than 500. So, I need to eat around 1,200 calories a day. This is a recommended level, because it ensures your body gets enough to work through a day. And this amount should help me lose up to 2lbs a week.
Cutting down lower than this will make me tired, make it harder to exercise, will slow my metabolism down (when done on a long-term basis), and will lead to me losing muscle mass and not just fat.
You’re More Likely to Give Up
Be honest with yourself. When you hear about those strict liquid diets, do you really want to follow them?
Of course not!
They’re regimented and cut out all your favorite things. All you start thinking about is when the diet will be over and when you can have a cheat day. In fact, even celebrities that say they follow these liquid diets struggle and give into cheat days. They just tend to have people in their ear telling them to stick with it more than we do.
We’re more likely to give up a diet if it’s too strict and regimented. And then we go on a binge and start to gain all the weight back!
You Won’t Learn Maintenance
These liquid diets are for losing the weight. They do nothing to help you keep it off in the long run.
This leads to a lot of yo-yo dieting, which is bad for your mind and your body. Constantly gaining weight, losing it, and gaining it again will just lead to your metabolism struggling. Your body doesn’t know what you’re going to do next.
The juice diets don’t teach you what to do after them. You’re likely to go straight back into your old habits, so you gain the weight and more. There are studies that show the metabolism slows down because of them, so when they go back to eating what they used to, they are consuming far too many calories compared to what the body needs now. They gain a lot more weight than they originally lost.
One thing that I now ask is that people follow a healthy eating plan. It took time to gain the weight, so it is going to take time to lose it too. It will come off, but slowly is so much better and healthier for you.