There is a lot of hype about liquid protein diets these days. This is because they offer fast weight loss, and they also offer a quick and easy dieting solution. But are they safe? And is it the best way to lose weight?
In this article, I bring you everything you need to know about liquid protein diets – the risks, the side effects, what precautions you need to take and everything else you need to know. Let’s look at them now and then you can decide whether a liquid protein diet is the right choice for you.
What is a liquid protein diet?
Just as its name suggests a protein liquid diet is a diet that consists mainly or mostly of liquids that are high in protein. To aid weight loss these diets are usually also low in carbohydrates. You also get lots of different protein shake liquid diet types, in which whey protein and dairy are the most used proteins.
Is a liquid protein shake diet healthy?
It all depends on the ingredients of the liquid diet. To be healthy, a diet has to be well balanced, full of the minerals, vitamins and building blocks you need to build a strong and healthy body. So only drinking liquids, that mostly contain protein and very little other food groups, would not be considered healthy. But if you include fruits and vegetables as well as some carbohydrates, it may be considered as more healthy.
What are the dangers of going on a liquid protein diet plan?
Every type of fad diet will hold in a few dangers and risks that you should be aware of before undertaking that diet. Let’s look at a few of these risks that you should keep in mind when going on a high protein liquid diet:
- Adverse side-effects: A diet that is too high in protein may lead to headaches, dizziness, confusion, fatigue and nausea. This is because of the lack in carbohydrates and vitamins that is usually found in fruits that burn fat and vegetables.
- Constipation: Because of the lack of fiber in high protein liquid diets, the dieters that follow the diet can often have difficulties in passing stool.
- Loss of lean muscle mass and a decrease in your metabolism. As liquid protein diets have much less calories and less whole foods than regular meals, being on one can lead to a decrease in your metabolism. And, by restricting your calorie intake, your body may start to burn off your muscle mass, also leading to a decline in your metabolism.
- Learning of bad eating habits: A fad diet like the liquid protein diet may cause you to start depending on such crash diets. As the effect are usually only for the short term, you usually converts back to another fad diet. It is much better to go on a diet that will teach you how to eat healthy.
What precautions do you need to take before going on (and while on) such a liquid protein diet?
Before you starting any new diet, you have to follow some precautions to make sure that you don’t hurt yourself in the process. Here are 5 smart things you should do before and while you are on a liquid protein diet:
- Always consult with your doctor before undertaking any new diet or exercise program, as your doctor is the only person who will be able to tell whether or not you are healthy enough for a diet.
- Make sure you understand all the dangers involved and the side effects.
- Stay adequately hydrated while you diet – drink lots of water and herbal teas
- Don’t exercise too hard while on a restrictive calorie diet
- If you experience any adverse side effect while dieting, take a break and consider stopping if the symptoms persist.
Top 10 tips to find the best liquid protein diet
Now that you are aware of the dangers of liquid protein diet weight loss, and also the precautions you need to take when going on a liquid high protein diet, we can look at tips to help you make your diet healthier and tastier:
- The best liquid protein diet would include meal replacement shakes, as they already contain most of the nutrients and vitamins you need to stay healthy.
- Make sure to include lots of extra fruits and veggies in your shakes. You can even add extra fruit to your meal replacement shakes to make them taste better.
- You can make a delicious smoothie from beetroot and celery – it is high in vitamins and low in calories.
- Make sure that you include fiber and a form of carbohydrate in your shake in the morning and for lunch. Good fiber options include fruit, especially apples. Good carbs to try is oat bran and any low-fat, low GI breakfast cereal.
- Don’t follow a liquid protein diet for more than 4 days. You can still be on the diet for more than 4 days, but you should slowly reintroduce whole foods.
- After your initial 3 day liquid diet, try to only substitute 2 meals with a liquid meal.
- Great ideas for a liquid breakfast are smoothies: include breakfast cereal, fruits and especially berries and fat free yogurt and milk.
- Never only include protein in your liquid protein diet – it is unhealthy and can have adverse effects
- Great ideas for dinner liquid meals would be low fat soups made of soy mince and vegetables, pureed in a mixer.
- Once you have lost weight, you have to maintain it, so don’t go back to unhealthy eating ways.
A liquid protein diet can aid in realistic weight loss, if it is used correctly. The best way to use it is to include it as part of your normal eating plan. You should never substitute more than 2 meals a day with a liquid protein diet. It is very important to still get in the necessary vitamins and minerals while on such a diet, so include lots of fat burning fruits and foods that burn belly fat and make sure you include carbs and fiber with your breakfast and lunch shake.
This type of diet should never be used in the long term and you should be careful not to pick back up all of your weight when going back to your normal habits (that is what usually happens with a fad diet). Maintaining a healthy eating plan and exercising regularly will help you to maintain your weight loss.