Meal Replacements Drinks Effective for Weight Maintenance

The most difficult part of any weight loss program is not losing the weight, but keeping it off. As a result, many people opt for a medication like Orlistat. Results from a new study now show that meal replacement drinks can be as effective at helping dieters maintain weight than medications. Researchers compared the benefit of using meal replacement drinks to Orlistat in two groups of people that had lost significant amounts of weight. A year after their weight loss, the group using meal replacement drinks had maintained weight even better than the group using the medication. For many people, meal replacements drinks may be an effective, simple and safe method to maintaining a healthy weight.

Meal replacement drinks have been shown to be as effective as medications for maintaining weight loss according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 

Participants followed a liquid very low calorie diet (VLCD) for 12 weeks followed by 4 weeks of re-introduction to solid food. At week 16, the subjects were randomly selected to receive either meal replacements or Orlistat (medication), both combined with a structured meal plan calculated to maintain weight loss. For one year, all subjects followed a weight management program that included topics such as lifestyle, physical activity, and nutrition. 

During the VLCD, the meal replacement group lost an average of 50.2 lbs and the Orlistat group lost an average of 49 lbs. During weight maintenance, there were no significant differences in physical activity, fruit and vegetable intake and pedometer steps between the groups. After one year, the meal replacement group had regained only 5.9 lbs and the Orlistat group had regained 6.2 lbs. 

Meal replacements and Orlistat were both effective in maintaining weight significantly below baseline levels over a year period of time. 

Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 24, No. 5, 347-353 (2005). 

For many close family and friends, I've seen the success of USANA's low glycemic, fiber rich shakes.

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