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Nutrition News: Meal Replacements for Weight Loss

Charlyn Fargo on

She tracked her calories on the free app, myfitnesspal. Dinner was often a protein, such as chicken or fish and a salad or sushi or a quinoa salad with a flat iron steak. Her goal was 64 ounces of water a day and seven or eight hours of sleep.

Now that she's reached her goal weight of 120, she continues the meal replacement once a day and continues to exercise.

She also weighs daily, another recommendation from Martin, who says research has shown daily weighing helps keep people on track.

Martin's research has found that portion controlled foods are effective at promoting weight loss and weight loss maintenance and can promote rapid weight loss without rapid weight regain.

The bottom line? Meal replacements and portion-controlled foods can be a tool in weight loss journey.

"The best predictor of long term weight loss is short term success," says Martin.

It may be just the jump-start needed.

Q and A

Q: Does lemon-lime soda count as one of the sugar-sweetened beverages we're advised to limit? Lemon-lime makes it sound a little healthier.

A: Yes, lemon-lime soda sweetened with any caloric refined sweetener (like high-fructose corn syrup or cane sugar) is a sugar-sweetened beverage and should be limited or avoided. There's a lot of observational research showing sugar-sweetened beverages are associated with metabolic diseases like heart disease, abdominal obesity and fatty liver. To help put the added sugars in soda into perspective, consider that 4 grams of sugar is about 1 teaspoon. So, the 38 grams of sugar in a 12-ounce can of lemon-lime soda equals 9 1/2 teaspoons sugar. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise limiting added sugars to less than 10 percent of daily calories. So a female needing 1,600 calories a day should limit added sugars to less than 40 grams (10 teaspoons) a day. Despite the splash of lemon-lime flavor in the product description, the drink ahs no nutritional value but about 150 calories per can. - Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter.

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