Losing weight poses a dilemma for many individuals. With all the different diets and conflicting information, choosing a diet plan can be rather confusing. Consider the health benefits and risks of a liquid diet plan before attempting to lose weight using these products. According to Medical News Today, Slim Fast first began selling its packaged drinks over 25 years and and has been the subject of more than 30 published clinical trials.
Originally used for religious purposes and health remedies, the low-calorie composition of liquid diets caused weight loss in individuals who consumed only liquids. As defined by the Gale Encyclopedia of Diets, a liquid diet is one where fluid drinks replace regular meals that normally contain solid foods. A physician may prescribe and supervise a liquid diet for medical reasons, including weight loss. Over the past 20 years, modified forms of liquid diets, such as Slim Fast, have gained popularity with the public as a part of weight-loss regimens.
The Slim Fast weight loss plan includes company recommendations for consumers to include in their diet. The basic plan includes substituting two meals with shakes or meal bars and eating at least one, balanced meals each day. These solid meals should include nutritious, low-fat foods. Like many other diet plans, Slim-Fast recommends increasing your level of activity. The low-calorie shakes and meal bars may create a feeling of fullness and keep dieter’s metabolism and energy sustained throughout the day.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists some Slim Fast products in its database of contaminated weight loss products. The FDA reported the presence of sibutramine in some of the samples it tested. Sibutramine is a substance that may cause undesirable side effects in some people. The FDA warns that some individuals may experience tachycardia, high blood pressure and seizures. People who may be at a higher risk for these side effects include individuals with a history of seizures, strokes and congestive heart failure.
According to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, following a Slim Fast plan for weight loss may be an effective method of safely losing weight for some individuals. The university mentions one study conducted by the University of California, which concluded that following a 12-week program on the Slim Fast diet plan could be an effective and safe method for obese patients to take off excess pounds. Abusing the products, such as taking them for a longer period than recommended or disregarding the manufacturer’s instructions for food intake, may result in unhealthy side effects, including the formation of gallstones.
The Gale Encyclopedia of Diets concludes that Slim Fast may be a safe method for individuals to take off a few pounds or initiate weight loss but advises against continuing liquid diets beyond the manufacturer’s recommended length of time. Keeping the weight off after going completing the liquid diet may prove difficult for many individuals. Successful weight loss includes eliminating unhealthy eating habits and incorporating healthy activities into a daily routine.
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