In 1988, Oprah Winfrey wheeled a cart loaded with fat onto the stage of her show. It represented the 67 lbs. that she had dropped by using a liquid protein diet, according to USA Today. By Oprah's own admission, within two days of that memorable moment, she could no longer wear the size 10 jeans that she had donned to present her diet success story. Consumers and Oprah admirers who struggle with weight control often remember the show, instead of Oprah's well-publicized weight challenges since she completed the 1988 liquid diet. Consult your physician before you attempt to lose weight on a liquid diet.
The liquid protein diet that Oprah used in 1988 was the well-known Optifast program, according to a "New York Times" article by Jane Brody. Interviews with diet specialists revealed that the calorie-reduced diet averaged 400 calories per day. She consumed no solid food during this diet. To lose the 67 lbs., Winfrey adopted this regimen for four consecutive months. Unlike early over-the-counter liquid diets that have been blamed for the death of more than 60 dieters, the Optifast diet plan that she used was medically supervised, according to Brody.
The Optifast liquid diet is a modified fast program that provides sufficient nutrients and protein to meet the minimum nutritional needs of healthy adults. The formula developed by the manufacturer ensures that the weight lost by users comes from fat instead of muscle and body tissues, according to Brody. Your participation in this plan requires frequent monitoring visits to a clinic staffed by the physicians, dietitians and behavioral therapists.
Created in 1974, the Optifast diet program relies on behavioral components and a fast diet with liquid nutritional supplementation, according to EveryDiet. The company designed the diet for people who need to lose 50 lbs. or more, or have a body mass index of 30 or greater. The company's 26-week plan most commonly used by participants includes 12 weeks of the liquid protein formula as meal replacements, followed by a six-week scheduled to gradually reintroduce solid food to your diet.
Weight maintenance is often difficult for people who use extreme diets to lose weight rapidly. Brody notes that health experts say that the discipline that you have employed to shed your pounds will be tested when you return to normal meals. You can expect your calorie deprivation to continue after the formal diet ends, with a daily limit of 1,000 to 1,200 per day. Optifast, now owned by Nestle's Switzerland, reports on its website that its dieters lose an average of 52 lbs. in 22 weeks. Although Nestle's does not cite the specifics, the company’s website notes that the weight loss is temporary for an undisclosed percentage of clients who do not make the permanent lifestyle changes required to keep maintain their post-diet weight.
- USA Today.com; Oprah Regrets Her 1988 Liquid Diet; November 2005
- “New York Times Health”; Diet That Made Oprah Winfrey Slim Demands Discipline, Specialists Say; Jane Brody; November 1988
- Every Diet: Optifast Diet
- Optifast: Optifast Proven Benefits
- Oprah.com; "O" -- The Oprah Magazine; Oprah's New Shape, How She Got It; January 2003