Lose Weight With Shakes: How Effective Are Formula Diets?

Whether Slim Fast, Almased, or Yokebe: losing weight with shakes promises rapid weight loss. But are drinkable meals suitable for permanent weight loss?

What is weight loss shakes?

The principle of losing weight with shakes is very simple: the shakes, which consist largely of protein, replace one or more meals a day. That is why they are often referred to as protein shakes or protein diets. Doctors and nutritionists also call this form of nutrition a formula diet. The proteins are supposed to counteract the loss of muscles when losing weight and prevent the much-feared yo-yo effect.

The weight loss shake usually comes as a powder and is mixed with water or milk. Sometimes a little oil can be added. The diet shakes are now available in a wide variety of flavors and there are numerous other recipes for the powder on the Internet. However, all weight loss shakes have one thing in common: They should never be taken for more than three weeks without medical advice.

There are good reasons for it. Because during a formula diet, the calorie intake is drastically reduced. And the body is only supplied with a limited number of nutrients. This can lead to deficiency symptoms with long-term use.

How does losing weight with shakes work?

Protein shakes for weight loss can be bought ready-made as a powder. They are dissolved in water or milk and then ingested. In Germany, diet shakes are subject to the Diet Ordinance and must therefore contain a minimum number of calories per meal, as well as vitamins, calcium, and iron.

Weight loss shakes are often only taken for a few days. In individual cases, however, the formula diet can also run for several weeks. In addition, other ready-made diet foods such as biscuits or soups are allowed. This depends on the individual diet plan. The rule is to replace one or more main meals with drinks.

Are the shakes good for losing weight?

Weight loss shakes can lead to significant weight loss in the first few uses. This is due to the small number of calories that are fed into the body. The pounds tumble in no time. The formula diet has its roots in medicine. It is intended for severely overweight people to lose weight quickly before surgery.

However, long-term studies show that most dieters cannot maintain the weight they have lost for a long. The risk of a yo-yo effect is great with weight loss shakes. Only one in five manages to lose weight permanently with the formula diet. A long-term effect can only take place together with a change in diet.

Who is weight loss shakes suitable for?

Weight loss shakes are particularly suitable for people who are very overweight (over a BMI of 30) and people who want to lose a few kilos quickly, but who otherwise eat a healthy and balanced diet. People with deficiency symptoms, as well as people with heart disease or heart disease, should not follow a formula diet.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of weight loss shakes?

Losing weight with shakes ensures rapid weight reduction within a few days or weeks. The resulting sense of achievement can, for example, motivate people to adopt a healthier lifestyle and diet.

A major disadvantage, however, is the yo-yo effect. If you don’t change your diet sustainably, you won’t enjoy the lost pounds for long. On the other hand, powders that have just been bought are often mixed with sugar and other preservatives. If you want to avoid this, use homemade smoothies or shakes to lose weight.

Other disadvantages of formula diets:

  • The lack of variety: Although there are now enough different offers, hearty shakes in particular are rare.
    Because of the low fiber intake, formula diets can also lead to constipation.
  • The price of the powder goes on the wallet in the long run. They often cost a multiple of a normal meal.
  • You mustn’t forget one thing: Without a healthy and sustainable change in diet, the shakes won’t do much in the long term. So if you want to lose weight quickly, only to then switch back to your usual diet, the yo-yo effect will inevitably set in.

Our tip: Before starting a formula diet, create a nutrition plan for the time afterward so that losing weight with shakes is a success.

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Written by Florentina Lewis

Hello! My name is Florentina, and I'm a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a background in teaching, recipe development, and coaching. I'm passionate about creating evidence-based content to empower and educate people to live healthier lifestyles. Having been trained in nutrition and holistic wellness, I use a sustainable approach toward health & wellness, using food as medicine to help my clients achieve that balance they are looking for. With my high expertise in nutrition, I can create customized meal plans that fit a specific diet (low-carb, keto, Mediterranean, dairy-free, etc.) and target (losing weight, building muscle mass). I am also a recipe creator and reviewer.

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