Dr Oz: Are Meal Replacement Drinks Safe? + Effective Weight Loss

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Dr Oz: Liquid Meal Replacements

Dr Oz said that investigative reporter Elisabeth Leamy recently shared with him a spike in sales of meal replacement shakes. They seem to be drawing in new people in hopes of shedding weight. The drinks have been around since at least the 1960s, but now they’re back and more popular than ever. Elisabeth shared that liquid meal replacement shake sales have gone up at least 30% in the last five years. But are they helpful or harmful?

Dr Oz: Using Meal Replacement Shakes To Lose Weight

Dr Oz: Are Meal Replacement Drinks Safe? + Effective Weight Loss

Dr Oz took a closer look at meal replacement shakes and whether they’re safe when used for weight loss. (ttrimm / flickr)

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Dr Oz wanted to find out what was really in the drinks, so he brought in a nutritionist to break down the nutritional value of the drinks. Rovenia Brock said it makes sense that people would lose weight with the drinks because of gross calorie restriction. They’re not eating as much; therefore, they lose weight.

Dr Oz talked to Joelle shared that she’s been liquid dieting for years, whenever she wants a weight loss period. She’ll use the liquid meal replacements for about a month at a time and lose 20-30 pounds. As soon as she phases into the maintenance plan, she’ll gain the weight back. Rovenia said it makes sense because if you start doing what you used to do, you start looking the way you used to look.

Dr Oz: Not All Calories Are The Same

Dr Oz explained that a lot of people love the meal replacements because of the vitamins and minerals they contain. Rovenia explained that the drinks lack vital phytonutrients that protect you against cancer and boost immunity. She said the magic is in real food. You can’t get the magic of real food, in a canned or bottled drink. She said you should forget the calories and know that your weight is regulated by a complex system that involves all kinds of factors. Nutrients don’t affect everyone in the same way.

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She said “a calorie is a calorie” is outdated, because everyone responds to different calories in different ways. Dr Oz showed a typical meal replacement shake ingredient list, and pointed out five specific words, which were all words for sugar, sweetener, and empty calories.

Dr Oz: Should You Drink Meal Replacements?

If you still want to try meal replacement shakes, Dr Oz instructed that you look for drinks that contain 10-15 grams of protein, 3-5 grams of fiber, and have no more than one meal replacement per day.

Have you tried liquid meal replacements? Did they work for you?

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