Winter is coming. And Thanksgiving, plus finals, as well as Christmas. This can only mean one thing: Food coma, AKA weight gain for most college students, which is nothing to be embarrassed about. After all, with this cold weather and exam season coming up, a high of level of stress will probably occur, so hot chocolate sounds way better than a hot sweat session.
The problem, however, is what comes next. After we begin to feel our jeans a little tighter, our sweaters somewhat uncomfortable, we panic. Those extra pounds have to go. God, was that extra slice of pie necessary? But it was way too good to miss out on. After all, you only get to eat that pie Aunt Claire makes once a year.
In any case, you start to look for quick solutions to lose that extra weight before it becomes too noticeable. Consequently, the idea of sticking to a liquid diet for the next week comes to mind. After all, you feel like your body needs a cleanse after all the food that was placed in your mouth, and all the alcohol you drank.
However, is this even a good idea? Most liquid diets aim to replace solid meals during the day. Some liquid diets are all about drinking only liquids throughout the entire day, while others replace two meals, such as breakfast and dinner, with a protein shake and let you have a small healthy lunch.
But how do we even know what liquids are the best ones stick to? There are protein shakes, fruit smoothies, vegetable smoothies, teas, herbs, and whatever is the latest food fad.
As a result, this article will give you six different reasons to ditch the whole liquid diet idea altogether. Seriously, why would you even want to restrict yourself to liquids, with all this good food in the world. Yes, another diet that will probably not work for you.
Yes, liquid diets are obviously designed to make ourselves intake less calories than we usually would. Hence, we lose weight, since we are not eating as we usually would. However, these diets only let our bodies intake 800 to 1000 calories per day. When we drastically cut calories, our metabolism slows down to save energy.
This means that our bodies go into starvation mode, and will be ready to gain back the weight at any given opportunity. So great, you are losing weight with this new diet and all, but you will inevitably gain it all back once you go back to normal eating. Check out healthy alternatives to speed up your metabolism.
Liquids Diets Lack Nutrients
These diets are typically not adequate in protein. Sure, you can drink that protein shake for breakfast, but it’s not the same as the protein you would get from eating an egg for breakfast, for example. There are countless of liquids out there claiming to be the latest one, but they just don’t contain all the nutrients we need to be healthy. Consequently, this slows down the metabolism, and when we don’t have adequate protein in our body, it breaks down muscle tissue instead. Which brings us to reason number three.
The Weight You Lose is Probably Water and Muscle
As mentioned, these diets do not provide the proper nutrients, especially protein. Since proteins are responsible for building up our muscles, we lose muscle mass, not fat. Which is something you really don’t want to happen, since muscles actually help burn calories while at rest. When you finally start eating real food again, you won’t be sending those calories to your muscles to recuperate, but to your body’s fat.
Additionally, for maximum results, people will try to exercise while on these types of diets. Which will not work, since they are not eating the right supplements to rebuild muscle. Check out some ideas on how to eat for the perfect workout.
Liquid Calories are Not the Same as Regular Calories
They are simply not the same. If you drink something that has 250 calories, you will not feel as satisfied as if you ate something solid that has 250 calories. Diana Sugiuchi, a registered dietitian and nutritionist, explains that this can lead to taking in more calories and feelings of hunger even when you have had enough calories. Besides, liquid diets are based on calories and strict calorie counting is not advised for a healthy lifestyle. Check out the problem with calorie counting.
They Will Not Flush Out The Toxins
One thing that annoys the hell out of me is when I hear people saying, “I’m doing a cleanse,” or something along the lines of, “I’m detoxing my body with this new diet.” Well, surprise, because the body does not need help in getting rid of toxins. That’s why we have our kidneys and liver, since they eliminate all the toxins our body should not have. Liz Applegate, director of sports nutrition at the University of California, Davis says, “The body does not need any help in getting rid of toxins… There’s no evidence that someone is actually getting rid of harmful compounds from the body,” when they follow a liquid diet.
If you are buying the cleansing juices/smoothies from the store, expect to spend around $8 dollars per bottle. That is a hefty price tag for a juice, especially if you plan on doing this diet for more than a few days. If you plan to make them yourself, expect to spend a nice amount of money in the protein powder itself. For $8 dollars, you could get yourself a big bag of chicken to cook for a week.
Moral of the story, if you want to lose weight long-term, do not do a liquid diet. Odds are, it will last no more than a week, making you lose some weight but will gain it all back once you go back to regular eating. Ultimately, stick to a well-balanced, healthy meals and regular exercise.