In many circles the topic of discussion on weight reduction, centers around keeping active, eating a healthy and balanced diet, getting enough sleep, not smoking, and drinking alcohol moderately. These seem to be positive guidelines to follow and there has been some success, when you stick to it. Here BMJ study, BBC, Health, reflects on treatment of obesity with low-calorie shakes and soups:
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“Diet replacement programmes made up of low-calorie soups, shakes and regular counselling should be a recommended NHS treatment for obesity, a BMJ study says.
People on the diets lost three times more weight than those given standard dietary advice by their GP, University of Oxford researchers found.
And their risk of developing heart disease and type-2 diabetes reduced.
But experts said it would work only if eating habits were changed for good.
Prof Paul Aveyard, study author, GP and professor of behavioural medicine at the University of Oxford, said losing weight and keeping it off was hard.
“It's boring being on a normal diet and people struggle to stick to it for a year,” he said.
“But these programmes get you when your mental strength is at its highest.
“You have to concentrate effort into 12 weeks and because they eat so little, they lose a lot of weight quickly.”
Total diet replacement programmes are designed for people who are obese or seriously obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30, who have been unable to lose weight despite changes to diet and lifestyle.
They are currently only available privately – although NHS England has said it is considering the diets as part of a long-term plan for the NHS.
The programmes reduce daily calorie intake by replacing food with specially formulated drinks, soups and snacks. Milk, water and fibre supplements are also taken.
A typical daily intake might include:
- a chocolate-flavour skimmed milk and soya protein shake mix (145kcal)
- chicken-and-mushroom-flavour skimmed milk and soya protein soup mix (138kcal)
- skimmed milk and multi-wholegrain porridge mix (149kcal)
- lemon-flavour soya and milk protein bar covered in yoghurt-flavour coating (150kcal)
Stick to the diet
In this study, of 278 people from 10 GP practices in Oxfordshire, half followed the Cambridge Weight Plan programme for eight weeks – limiting intake to 810kcal per day – then re-introduced other food gradually over the next four weeks.
Image courtesy of: David Holt London
They also saw a trained counsellor every week, for 24 weeks in total, to help them stick to the diet and keep the weight off.
The other half of participants were given the usual weight management advice and support from their GP practice.
At every stage of the study, people following the diet replacement programme lost more weight.
After a year, they had lost on average 1st 9lb (10.7kg) compared with half a stone (3.1kg) for those in the usual weight loss group.
When their blood pressure and cholesterol was measured, there were also noticeable improvements.
And those with type-2 diabetes were able to radically reduce their medication, although the study found no evidence of the condition being reversed.”
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