Dieting with Liquid Meals and Diet Bars for Weight Loss - dummies

Dieting with Liquid Meals and Diet Bars for Weight Loss

By Jane Kirby, The American Dietetic Association

Over-the-counter liquid and bar meal replacement products contain nutrients that your body needs, but these manufactured meals aren’t a good choice for long-term weight loss.

Meal replacement drinks and bars eliminate the need to count calories or worry about portion sizes, so they would seem to simplify a person’s life. Likewise, because the average dieter typically doesn’t consume enough nutrients, a meal replacement is often an improvement over the usual diet.

And if meal replacements can help people get out of habitual patterns, such as missing breakfast, drinking a can of a liquid diet or grabbing a bar on the way out the door is an easy adjustment that may prevent overeating later in the day.

However, keep in mind that if you have plenty of weight to lose, using meal replacements doesn’t ensure success. Data published by the SlimFast company in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, a well-respected scientific publication, showed that after more than two years on the program, women lost a total of 13 pounds and men lost 14 — not much weight for 116 weeks of dieting! And despite being paid $25 a week to stay on the plan, only 51 percent of the people enrolled continued on the plan for the entire span of the study.