Will drinking a protein shake for breakfast instead of eating something more substantial, like pancakes and eggs, help you lose weight? The Sonoma Diet, and others like it, has been increasingly trendy and asks dieters to replace meals with a shake, whether by a powdered mix or ready-made delivery.
However, despite what advertising will tell you, weight loss and long-term health improvements are not a guarantee. Here’s why.
Severely restricting your caloric intake can put you at risk of intense hunger and disordered eating. The Sonoma Diet can restrict your intake to nearly 1,000–1,500 calories per day, which is often a drastic cut for people. It can create an intense reaction that prompts unhealthy behavior.
Rapid weight loss, while encouraging, is typically from water weight and not fat — and scientists say it may not even be necessary. It’s often better to lose weight the old-fashioned way through a healthier, sustained diet, combined with aerobic exercise and strength training.
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Director of Communications