Thin So Fast: The Weight-Loss Program Dr. Eades Used

Weight-Loss Shakes are the Easiest Way to Lose Weight QuicklyCredit:

For most individuals, a well-balanced, sensible diet plan is best. It teaches you about the benefits of eating nutrient-dense foods, balances your intake of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, and educates you about serving sizes and portion control. However, typical low-calorie diets are excruciatingly slow at taking off the pounds because they are too high in carbohydrates and too low in fats. While a standard low-carb diet can be quicker, many people practicing carbohydrate restriction ignore the role of calories in weight loss and soon find themselves stalled.

A helpful alternative to counting calories or carbohydrates is weight-loss shakes. These shakes offer an easy, fast alternative when other dietary approaches have failed. Made with high-quality protein powder, sweetener, and various flavorings, today’s weight-reduction shakes provide excellent nutritional value, and are the easiest way to lose weight quickly.

The downside to using shakes as a meal replacement is that they are strictly for weight loss. You still have to learn how to eat properly if you want to maintain your losses, and improve your health status. Dr. Michael R. Eades, author of the Protein Power Lifeplan, came up with a way that worked well for him and his patients. If you design your weight-loss program to incorporate the diet principles that he used, weight-loss shakes can work well for you too.

Thin So Fast Weight-Loss Program

Thin So Fast by Michael R. Eades, M.D.Credit: Lavender Rose

In 1989, Dr. Eades published a book called Thin So Fast. It was a protein-sparing modified fast (PSMF) that was similar to the diet that talk-show hostess Oprah Winfrey used to shed 67 pounds several years ago. At that time, Oprah embraced a product called Optifast. That program, like most liquid diet programs of the time, consisted of five protein shakes a day rather than using whole foods.

Since most protein powders back then were made of collagen, rather than the high-quality protein used today, Dr. Eades spent many hours researching a safe and effective method that would allow him to use weight-loss shakes to shed his excess pounds. As a result of that research, he developed a modified version of the Optifast plan that required less supervision. It was less restrictive and what Dr. Eades believed to be quite a bit safer.

These safety precautions included eating a low-carb dinner, and using a homemade shake recipe for his four meal replacements. The protein meal consisted of:

  • 6 ounces (cooked weight) lean meat or fish: baked, grilled or broiled
  • 1 cup loosely packed salad, with oil-and-vinegar dressing
  • 1 cup vegetables, measured raw

Occasionally, you were allowed to have 2 cups of salad or 2 cups of vegetables instead of both, but most of the time you were counseled to stick to the plan. These extra precautions insured that Dr. Eades was getting an adequate daily protein intake. After personally following this program and ridding himself of his excess body fat, he began putting many of his patients on the exact same program he had followed himself.

Only, it soon became apparent that weight-loss shakes were not a long-term option. He needed to find a more permanent solution for both himself and his patients.

PSMF Diet is a Low-Carb Diet

While all liquid protein diets offer a quick-and-easy way to lose weight, few individuals are able to maintain their fat losses. As soon as you return to regular meals, having never changed your bad eating habits, you will quickly return to your previous weight, and sometimes, you’ll even gain more.

Dr. Eades observed that a PSMF diet was actually a low-carb diet, so he used that epiphany to solve the problem of weight regain. He created a weight-maintenance program to help his patients easily maintain their new weight. As his research continued, his medical practice gradually evolved into dealing exclusively with weight loss, and specifically a low-carb diet.

The PSMF protocol outlined in Thin So Fast contained 1,000 calories. For those following that plan, daily intake would be about:

  • 64 grams of protein
  • 53 grams of fat
  • 60 grams of carbohydrate

Now, that isn’t what Dr. Eades’ low-carb diet has evolved into today. Today, the Protein Power Lifeplan is higher in protein and fat, and lower in carbohydrates. However, the principle behind the PSMF program is still valuable for those who desire an easy way to lose weight quickly. While lowering carbohydrates can help you shed an enormous amount of excess body fat, due to entering into the state of Ketosis, Dr. Eades writes that this “feat is accomplished much more quickly on the PSMF.” [1]That’s because a low-carb diet typically contains more fat and calories than a PSMF diet does.

Although most low-carb diet plans don’t require you to count calories, they still matter when it comes to how quickly you are able to shed the pounds. However, quick isn’t best if you cannot maintain those losses.

Dr. Eades’ Original Homemade Weight-Loss Shake Recipe

Dr. Eades' Original Weight-Loss Shake Recipe Contained MilkCredit:

The Thin So Fast diet plan used four daily homemade shakes rather than five. Due to the difficulties in obtaining good-tasting, complete protein powder back then, Dr. Eades created a recipe that used instant skim milk powder as a base instead:

  • 1 envelope of non-fat dry milk powder (enough to make one quart of milk)
  • 1/4 cup protein powder (equal to 32 grams protein)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated fructose
  • 1 teaspoon No-Salt or Morton’s salt substitute (for potassium)
  • 4 to 6 cups of non-caloric liquid

This recipe has caused a great deal of confusion among low-carb dieters because milk is not generally allowed on a low-carb diet. And even if it was, it wouldn’t be non-fat milk.
Still, many people who believe in Dr. Eades have tried the recipe anyway, since that was how he corrected his own weight problem.

Many of the people that have tried this recipe have insulin resistance and other blood sugar issues. When they attempted to use the quart of milk called for in the recipe, they have experienced elevated blood sugars and other problems associated with high insulin levels.

Few had taken into account that the program was created and used before the Protein Power Lifeplan was written. Plus, Dr. Eades and his patients were moving from a standard American diet of 300 to 400 carbohydrates down to 60. They were not trying to go from a low-carb diet to a diet filled with milk-based weight-loss shakes.

Best Option for Weight-Loss Shakes Today

While the idea of consuming four protein shakes and one low-carb meal per day can be useful for those desiring to lose weight quickly, skim milk powder isn’t a good option for low-carb diets. And neither is standard fresh milk, although low-carb milk might be an acceptable option. In the comments section of a personal blog post written by Dr. Eades in 2007, a reader inquired about the doctor’s use of milk in the above recipe. To the reader, meal replacement shakes appeared to be a better option than a diet of chicken breast and salad every day.

Dr. Eades responded that at the time he created and used this recipe, the only protein powders available were used by body builders, and they tasted wretched. He only used the skim milk powder to cover up the taste of the expensive, but awful, protein powder. “Were I doing a PSMF now,” Dr. Eades writes, “I would simply use one of the good protein powders available almost everywhere.”[3]

Basic Transitional Diet Eases You Into Maintenance

In addition to a variety of whey protein powders that actually taste good today, you can also find a wealth of recipes to help you vary your shakes. Since they will make up most of your weight-loss meals, don't avoid seeking out new recipes and ideas. Keeping your shakes varied can prevent you from getting bored.

Programs that promise quick weight-loss results can easily tempt the dieter into following a diet plan that isn’t healthy. The Thin So Fast diet program is one of the easiest ways to lose weight, and according to Dr. Eades, it can still be an effective way to regain your health. The key is to make sure that you carefully move from a diet of mostly weight-loss shakes, to a healthy low-carb diet.

This can be accomplished by replacing your four shakes and a sensible low-carb dinner with a diet plan that closely resembles Atkins Induction. This transitional diet begins at 20 grams of carbohydrates per day for the first two weeks. That will take you from a low-calorie, low-carb diet designed to help you lose weight to a higher-calorie, low-carb diet specially designed to help you maintain.

After you make that initial switch, Dr. Eades has you begin to use a dependable carbohydrate counter to add an additional 20 grams of carbohydrates per day to your menus. These additions can include fruit, low-calorie breads, or any other type of food you wish. However, it’s a good idea to return foods to your diet slowly, so that you can be aware of any food sensitivities or allergies you might have.

Healthy Foods You Can Return To Your Diet During TransitionCredit:

Once you’re at the 40-gram level for about four weeks, you can increase your daily carbohydrates by another 20 grams per day. These additions continue every week or two until you reach your personal maintenance level. According to Dr. Eades,’ most people “can tolerate between 60 and 90 grams per day” on maintenance, but remember that’s a generality. “You need to fine tune your diet until you find the carbohydrate intake that allows you to maintain your weight precisely where you want it” to be.

Maintenance Warnings

However, Dr. Eades also warns that if you don’t understand that dieting is a lifelong process, even moving to a low-carb diet can backfire. There is nothing magical about reaching a particular weight. Achieving goal doesn’t automatically fix your metabolism to where you can eat anything you want. Altering your eating habits is the only way to stay thin, and that requires dedication, effort, and awareness.

But that doesn’t mean that a low-carb diet is boring or not sustainable. As the following video demonstrates, the arguments against the sustainability of a low-carb lifestyle are rather silly.

Is a Low-Carb Diet Sustainable?

People fall off the wagon, regardless of the type of diet they choose. A low-fat diet can be just as boring as any other lifestyle. It can also cost just as much as a low-carb diet does. What’s important is whether you enjoy what you’re eating, and what that particular nutritional approach can do for you. While Dr. Eades assures his readers that they can easily recover from an occasional indulgence by dropping their carbohydrate intake until they return to their goal weight, he also advises that these dietary vacations should be saved for very special occasions.

It’s vital to the success of your diet that you seek out new and interesting food ideas that fit into your low-carb lifestyle, because the best and easiest way to maintain your weight after reaching your goals is to make a low-carb diet your new way of life.