My doctor wants me to go on a diet consisting of several meal replacement shakes per day, is this a good idea?
Absolutely not, in fact it's probably one of the worst ways to "diet". Not to mention your doctor is the last person that you should be going to for diet & nutrition advice.
First of all the human body is built to digest food, in order for a person to be healthy and have a normal metabolism they must eat wholesome, solid foods, not shakes. The word "diet" is a big problem in society today, the whole notion of going on a diet should be dismissed all together. People that go on diets to lose weight will never experience permanent weight loss, it's physically impossible. Instead it results in a yo-yo dieting syndrome where you lose weight, then regain it within the year, and end up in a viscous cycle of losing and gaining weight. Ultimately you end up with more fat than when you started.
Let me explain briefly, when you starve your body yes you will lose weight, however most of it will be muscle and water weight with only a small percentage being actual fat. In this process your body will go into "starvation mode" in which all bodily functions are slowed down. So, with the loss of muscle (which burns calories 24/7) and the body in starvation mode your metabolism is slowed to a minimum to support the body. Eventually you will start eating normal again because a person can only starve themselves for so long, and your body will store every calorie it can to ensure that the next time it's restricted from food it will have energy reserves. Within a few months you will have regained all fat, you will have less muscle, your metabolism will be slower and you will feel defeated.
What needs to be done is a permanent change in one's eating habits. A sound diet of real food preferably 5-6 small meals per day low in saturated fats and refined sugars, with quality protein and carbohydrates. Along with a work-out program consisting of weight training and cardio. You will increase you metabolism, increase muscle mass, lose body fat and have all of the energy you need for training.
That is the recipe for ultimate fat loss success!
That was just a short overview of why a "doctor recommended" diet of shakes is an extremely bad choice. For more information please read thru our diet & nutrition article section and visit our forums: IronMagazine Forums