Focus on soup-and-shake weight loss plan by Dr. Sarah Schenker

The NHS has recently announced that people with type 2 diabetes will be offered the chance to try a soup-and-shake weight loss plan. There is now significant evidence from scientific studies to show that using specially formulated shakes to replace normal meals, such as breakfast and lunch, results in weight loss and can put diabetes into remission. This is particularly important during the coronavirus pandemic as both obesity and type 2 diabetes are linked to an increase in the risk of experiencing serve symptoms and complications from Covid-19.

As of 2019, Diabetes UK estimates 3.9 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and Public Health England reported that one-third of people who died in hospital from COVID-19 had diabetes. The rise of type 2 diabetes is also a major cause for concern in the UK government, as the condition costs the NHS around £8.8 billion a year in treatments – which is nine percent of the NHS annual budget. Millions more are thought to be at risk of developing the condition in the future.

The NHS scheme aims to help people lose at least 5% of their body weight in the first 8 weeks. After this, regular meals are reintroduced, with support to help the person maintain a nutritious diet and regular exercise. The programme also provides help and advice on behavioural change such as healthier shopping habits and choosing healthier options when eating out.

The positive impact of consuming meal replacement shakes was shown in a study conducted at the Centre for Diabetes and Health in Dusseldorf, Germany. Researchers asked participants to replace all three of their meals with high protein, high fibre shakes to begin with, reducing to replacing two meals a few weeks later and then to continue to replace one meal a day for a year. The results were impressive showing a marked improvement in blood sugar control and a decrease in BMI (body mass index) which is a measure of obesity.

These results have been mirrored by other studies where meal replacement shakes have been found to be effective for weight loss for a number of powerful reasons. A systematic review published in the scientific journal Diabetes Care found that compliance with, and long-term adherence to, traditional continuous daily calorie restricted weight loss diets is poor, and adherence is often affected negatively by psychological issues such as seeing food as an enemy.

A study conducted at the University of Science and Technology in Trundheim, Norway, found that motivation to stick to weight loss programmes can also be diminished by a slow rate of weight loss. Slow weight loss is a recommended feature of low calorie diet plans, whereas a meal replacement plan usually results in rapid weight loss in the first few weeks. Greater weight loss early on has also been linked to greater long-term weight loss as the shakes become a convenient tool that can be used on an ad hoc basis as needed or desired.

A review published in the BMJ compared different types of intervention for weight loss, such as surgery and various weight loss dietary plans. When it came to meal replacement products, they reported that high protein shakes improve satiety (feeling satisfied) which in turn supports appetite control and reduces hunger pangs, they also reported improvements in body composition, as well as maintaining the weight loss for longer. Compliance for consuming the shakes is high as participants report that they find meal replacement programmes easier to follow and initial adherence is aided by their simple structure and novelty, relative to an individual’s usual eating pattern.

All in all, it is safe to say that the use of high protein meal replacement shakes is an effective method for achieving significant weight loss and rapid improvement of elevated glucose and insulin levels associated with diabetes.

Liiv Nutritionally Balanced Meal Replacement Shakes are perfect for anyone looking to lose weight, supplement a healthy diet or simply give their health a boost. They are a delicious and convenient way to help you control your calorie intake and are expertly nutritionally balanced, to ensure you will be consuming the essential nutrients you need to support a busy lifestyle.

The Liiv shakes can be used as a substitute for traditional meals, dramatically reducing your calorie intake whilst still ensuring you get all the nutrients your body needs. Substituting one or two meals a day can help you reach your weight loss goal. They are great for busy schedules, if you have no time to cook or just need something healthy and convenient on-the-go. It can be tricky to make sure you consume all the nutrients you need if you are following a conventional low calorie diet. With the Liiv shakes you can be assured you’re consuming a healthy, balanced meal which will provide at least 50 percent of your daily requirement of all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay nourished, along with plenty of protein to help you feel fuller for longer, prevent cravings and regulate your appetite.


Kempf et al. (2018) Individualized Meal Replacement Therapy Improves Clinically Relevant Long-Term Glycemic Control in Poorly Controlled Type 2 Diabetes Patients. Nutrients 10(8):1022.

Dunkley AJ et al. (2014) Diabetes prevention in the real world: Effectiveness of pragmatic lifestyle interventions for the prevention of type 2 diabetes and of the impact of adherence to guideline recommendations: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabetes Care 37:922–933.

Rise MB et al. (2013) Making and maintaining lifestyle changes after participating in group based type 2 diabetes self-management educations: A qualitative study. PLoS ONE 8:e64009.

Gloy VL et al. (2013)Bariatric surgery versus non-surgical treatment for obesity: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ 347:f5934.

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