Liquid diets are often touted as a way to lose weight. And lose it quickly! People will tell you they don’t have any risks since all you’re doing is blending your food together to drink it instead of eating it.
They’re supposedly great for those who just want to get on with their everyday lives and lose weight at the same time.
Do they work?
Well, seemingly they do, but there are some major health risks linked to them. They also don’t work for the long term. Here’s all you need to know about the liquid diet fad and the risks and dangers associated with it.
Just What Is the Liquid Diet?
The liquid diet is just what it sounds. It involves opting for juices, smoothies, and milkshakes to lose weight. There are plenty of success stories out there of people who have lost the weight. They can really work, and people have lost hundreds of pounds doing them. What the success stories don’t go into is the danger that people have put their bodies under to achieve their dream weight.
Just How Did the Liquid Diet Start?
The truth is the liquid diet has been in existence longer than many health professionals would like to admit. For centuries, herbalists and practitioners suggested them. They would serve broth to help cure ailments in sick patients.
Even now, patients will be told to go on a liquid diet before having surgery. The aim is to keep food off the stomach to avoid as many surgical complications as possible.
In some cases, they can be good for the body. But in these cases, they are followed under strict medical supervision and for the sake of curing an ailment. They’re not used as a way to lose weight.
It’s only been in recent years that people have started opting for liquid diets for weight loss. These fads have come disguised as weight loss programs to help people reach their goals.
What Exactly Do People Do to Lose Weight With Liquid Diets?
The term “liquid diet” is very broad. It doesn’t just cover one diet plan, but all the plans as a whole. It’s the general term given to any diet that involves just drinking your food, instead of chewing and eating.
In some diet plans, there are the odd meals that involve real food, but the majority of meals are replaced with shakes and juices. The liquids are designed to give you the nutrients and calories that your body needs throughout the day, so you don’t lose out on your health.
Those who are fasting may refer to themselves as following a liquid diet. They will only have water during the hours that they’re fasting, or they may have shakes that they are supposed to drink to ensure they get their nutrients. There are people who fast for religious reasons, but others who fast because they believe it is better for the health.
The actual steps people take will depend on the plan they’re focusing on. In the two success stories below, you’ll briefly see how different they can be.
Are Liquid Diets Successful?
So, if people do the programs, it must mean they are successful right? Well, there are certainly plenty of liquid diet weight loss success stories out there.
Matt Dole is just one person who found success with the OPITFAST program. He was able to lose 170 lbs through a liquid diet. To make sure he kept his health in order, he did it through a dietitian and doctor. He didn’t want to starve his body but did want to make sure his cholesterol and blood pressure levels improved.
At the same time as fasting, he learned all about healthy eating. This was important for afterwards since he wouldn’t stay on the liquid diet forever. The diet just helped him speed up the weight loss process so he could get on with the maintenance part.
It wasn’t easy for Matt. He did have to stick to a rigid plan, and there were times he wondered if it was right for him. In the end, he decided that it was, and the results show that he was right.
Another liquid diet fan is Libby, who lost 80 lbs following a modified liquid diet called New Direction and Outlook. She says that all her shakes were nutritious and gave her 200 calories in just one shake. She also got 27 g of protein, 10 g of carbs and 6 g of fat while doing it. She would have to drink three shakes a day to lose the weight, and most people lose between 20 and 30 lbs in six weeks on the plan.
It’s not one of those that is easy. There are points where she felt hungry, and she had to deal with emotional pain. She needed to understand the feeling of hunger, and not just eating out of boredom. Libby learned a lot about herself, which helped her when it came to losing the weight and keep it off afterwards.
Like Matt, she didn’t do this diet without supervision. She had a nutritionist who recommended the diet to her. There are dangers to under-consuming calories, and she wanted to make sure she didn’t have to deal with them.
She does say that there is a less restrictive diet available for people who can’t stomach just liquids for months. You can follow one that involves portions of meat on a daily basis to help you get a little extra protein and feel more satisfied by the end of the day.
Why Could A Liquid Diet Be Good?
In a small number of cases, a liquid diet may be good for the body. There are times that medically they’re needed.
Some people view obesity as a medical issue. In fact, when people weigh so much that they are morbidly obese, they do need to lose a lot of weight quickly. This is when liquid diets can be beneficial. They will be diets that doctors recommend and support patients through. Patients will usually get between 500 and 800 calories while they go through the diet programs.
Before surgery, a liquid diet is a must. In most cases, doctors will state that a person needs to follow a clear liquid diet, meaning they should only drink water. This helps to keep the body hydrated but also avoids anything in the stomach that can come up through the surgery. It also means there is a lower risk of complications.
Food and other liquids will leave a residue. Clear liquids, which can also include broth, don’t leave the residue in the digestive tract. They are only designed for the short term, so they give just enough calories for the few days that a person is usually on them.
If a person has a digestive tract problem, following a clear liquid diet for a day or so can be helpful. It gives the person a chance to flush out their system. Some doctors will ask that a person follows one of these diets to help get the body ready for allergy or intolerance tests.
In some cases, tea and coffee, smooth fruit juices, water ice pops and sports drinks can also be used in clear liquid diets. The term doesn’t mean liquids without any colour, but without anything mixed in them to cause residue. This can make it much easier for children who need to follow liquid diets for medical reasons or allergy tests.
Those with Crohn’s disease can also benefit from following a liquid diet the majority of the time. This will be a high-carb diet to make sure a person gets all the energy they need throughout the day. Most of the liquids will be clear ones to avoid any residue and keep the digestive tract free of elements that make it uncomfortable.
Sometimes, those with Crohn’s disease or other digestive inflammatory diseases will only need to follow the plan when they’re suffering from the symptoms. It can be a way to overcome the symptoms quickly so they can get back on a normal day of eating the next day.
If There Are Risks Why Do Doctors Prescribe Liquid Diets?
So, if liquid diets really are that harmful to the body, why are they used so much? Why have doctors prescribed them for centuries? Why do they still recommend them to patients and those with certain diseases? How can they put their patients at risk like this?
The main factor to point out in these cases is that these patients are following a supervised plan. They have a doctor there all the time to tell them if there is an issue. They’ll get their cholesterol levels checked, and make sure they’re getting enough of the much-needed nutrients.
Most of these diets are also only for the short term. They’re not designed to be followed for weeks on end, but really for a few days to cleanse the system or get ready for an operation. The few days that people do follow them won’t do the body harm; nothing like following for long periods of time.
Liquid diets are recommended for patients who can’t chew or have difficulties swallowing. They can be followed for longer periods of time, but, again, they are done under strict medical supervision. The idea is that they are better than nothing to help a person recover and get to the point where they can swallow and eat properly again. In some cases, they will be used towards the end of life to avoid the use of drips.
So, Why Do People Follow Liquid Diets for Weight Loss?
If they were always used for ailments and to help cleanse the system, why is it that they’re now followed for weight loss? When did this all start?
It is likely due to the use of them in the medical setting. People realized that those who were severely obese were able to shed the pounds, and this was a diet that could be turned into a weight loss tool for everyone. The problem was the highly nutritional plans that doctors prescribed were too expensive for the majority of people.
Commercial products were made with the medical products in mind. The difference with these plans is that they’re not designed to replace every meal. They help to supplement diets, or they will replace one or two meals and allow a person to have a full meal at the end of the day.
Many of the products have been through testing and studies. Slim Fast is just one of the liquid diet plans out there, and it has been through a study to see if it really is as effective as it is made out to be. The good news is that it is, and 76% of people who lost the weight were able to keep the majority of that weight off within the first year of maintenance. Whether they were able to keep off the weight longer than that is unknown.
What Types of Liquid Diets Can We Follow?
So, with all this about why people follow liquid diets, just what type of diets is available?
There are two main types of liquid diets: semi-liquid and full-liquid.
The semi-liquid diets will use supplements for weight loss products. Some of them tout themselves as being miracle products, helping you shed the pounds within weeks. They will involve having one meal a day, but the rest of your food is made up in the form of shakes and smoothies that you buy in stores.
You’ll need to follow a strict diet plan for your one meal a day. There are also no snacks during the day to keep your calories down to around 1,000 per day.
A full liquid diet is just as it sounds. You don’t have any meals during the day, and your body gets all the nutrients from the shakes and smoothies that you’re given. In the majority of cases, they’ll have some extra nutrients to make sure you don’t miss out detrimentally.
These full liquid diets are the most expensive and will involve medical supervision. They are the options mostly used for health reasons or for doctors to help morbidly obese patients quickly lose some of their weight.
What Are the Dangers of Following a Liquid Diet for Weight Loss?
With all that in mind, it’s time to look at those dangers of liquid diets. There’s a reason the extreme diets need to be followed under medical supervision, and there’s a reason they are done for the short term only.
Just what damage could you do to your body by following them for the long term?
You Don’t Consume Enough Calories
The main danger is the lack of calories that you will eat. Most of the extreme liquid diets will lead to consuming just around 600 calories. This isn’t enough for the body to live on, and you’ll feel tired and weak throughout the day. For many people, that feeling of being hungry and lethargic leads to poor mental health.
Even those that include a meal within the daily diet plan will only lead to around 1,000 calories being consumed in a day. Considering the average women needs to consume around 1,800 calories a day, dropping down to 1,000 calories isn’t going to be healthy. You’re still not going to get the energy that you need.
Energy levels are even worse when you throw in exercise. You run the risk of starving yourself, and your body could lower its metabolic rate. It worries that you’ll never get enough calories, so it gets to the point where you don’t need to burn as much throughout the day. This will lead to a slower weight loss.
You Won’t Gain Enough Protein
The liquid diet plans reduce the number of macronutrients you will get. In many cases, you’re getting less than 30 g of protein a day, and this just isn’t good for you. Protein is needed just to perform the basics in the way of cell function. They’re needed to help with muscle mass and blood flow.
When you reduce the number of calories you get by so much, your nails, muscles, organs, and hair won’t develop, grow, or maintain healthily. You’ll find that you feel weaker in yourself and can’t build the tone that you would love to see. In fact, the body can end up taking some of the calories from the muscles to survive, leaving you with little in the way of muscular structure around the bones.
Our immune systems are compromised without protein. The systems can’t fight off diseases effectively, and we may feel run down and full of cold on a more consistent basis. That’s not going to do much for our mental state, is it?
We then have to think about the way proteins help with the transmission of nerve signals and development of hormones. Every little normal part of our body is weakened. Nothing can function as it should because your body is trying to run on limited power. Think of it like a car that has a weak battery. It will take power from non-essential parts of the system just to keep the engine going until it runs out of juice. Then it just packs in. Other parts of the systems are compromised, and this can include some safety features.
So, really, we do need protein in our body. Much more than just the minute elements of protein found in some liquid diets—and some liquid diets off no protein at all.
You Don’t Get Enough Carbohydrates
There are lots of theories and myths surrounding carbohydrates. This macronutrient is often considered the reason people gain weight. It’s why diets like Atkins and South Beach follow a low-carb plan.
Depending on who you talk to, the diet plans have their truths behind them. It also depends on the type of carbs people get. Simple carbs break down in the body quickly, and they can lead to the release of more insulin in the body. Complex carbs break down much slower and lead to many health benefits.
In fact, carbohydrates are needed for energy. All our organs need carbs to function fully. If we don’t get enough of them, we feel lethargic and somewhere “out of it” until we give our energy levels a boost. We may suffer that hazy feeling until we eat something substantial.
Our bodies have to take energy from other parts to keep the most important elements running. This puts the whole system under strain, and it can lead to our other organs not quite working properly. Our hearts don’t have the power to beat the blood around the system, and we find ourselves far more at risk of heart disease, stroke, and death.
That being said, following a liquid diet under medical supervision isn’t going to do that much damage to your heart. That’s only because you have the support to make sure you come off the diet when you need to. The diets are just for the short term.
The issue comes when you crash diet repeatedly. It’s when you yo-yo diet, causing problems for your blood vessels and leading you to a higher risk of heart attacks and stroke.
On top of that, you’re also at a higher risk of headaches, bad breath, and diarrhoea or constipation due to the lack of carbohydrates in your body.
You Don’t Get Enough Fat
Your body needs fat. There’s no doubt about that. It needs healthy fat, but it still needs it. Fats help the body to support brain function and help with the development of cells. Without any of this, our bodies just can’t function on a day to day level. We start to suffer in memory and concentration, and our bodies can’t regenerate when cells become damaged.
And we’re not just looking at not getting enough fat. These liquid diets mean that we don’t get any of the important macronutrients in some cases. If we do get them, we’re just not getting enough of them. When this happens all at the same time, our bodies just can’t get through a day. Everything about us is compromised. Is it any surprise that our bodies tell use to sleep and do nothing else?
Our immune systems just don’t have the ability to fight against the viruses and infections that occur on a daily basis. The cells aren’t able to multiple to fight against infections, so we end up far more ill on a regular basis.
We Don’t Feel As Satisfied
When you drink your 200-calorie shakes, do you feel completely satisfied? Be honest with yourself. Compare it to a 200 calorie sandwich. How do you feel when you eat that?
The truth is our bodies don’t get all the responses needed to be able to feel completely satisfied after drinking meals. This isn’t the same as eating soups, where we get scents, smells and (most of the time) warmth from the liquid. In some cases, soups also have chunky bits to chew and eat. This is about drinking your meals, whether as shakes or smoothies.
Our bodies need to get the smells that come with cooking. These smells set off the responses in our systems to tell us we’re about to get food. They help to get the stomach acid working to help with the digestion and boost our hormonal responses in the brain.
Without these smells, all you’re doing is fuelling your body. You’re taking all the fun out of meals, and you run the risk of being completely unsatisfied.
This is especially the problem when you follow a liquid diet that doesn’t even involve “real” food. Those over the counter shakes just have some of the nutrients you need, and won’t give you anything substantial. At least when you create your own smoothies and shakes, you will get some of the scents from them. You’ll help yourself feel satisfied by the meal.
We’ll Feel Hungry Sooner
Let’s look at the other macronutrient we’re missing: fibre. This is needed by the body to help the digestive system. Without getting this, we will find ourselves struggling with bowel movements and can end up with more upset stomachs.
We also feel hungry. Fibre breaks down slowly in the body. In fact, it breaks down so much slower than others that it can help us feel satisfied for a long time. Think about how you feel after a bowl of porridge oats. You’re less likely to snack between meals. If you do need to snack, you can have a piece of fruit to satisfy you much better than a piece of chocolate.
With fibre, you don’t get the sudden increase in energy and the big slump that comes after it. You don’t feel as tired throughout the day, so you’re ready to tackle anything.
Now take that fibre completely out of the equation. Just think about how hungry you will feel throughout the day. This is why so many people who are both successful and unsuccessful on liquid diets for weight loss say they are hard work. You’re pushing past all those cues that you need food. You’re having to put up with constantly feeling unsatisfied and hungry.
Do you really want to put yourself through that knowing that you’re doing far more damage?
Liquid Diets Don’t Detox
Before you start saying that following the liquid diet for a short period of time can help detox the system, it’s worth pointing out that this doesn’t happen.
Okay, so this isn’t really a danger. When you mix the myth in with the other dangers above, it does contribute to the problems to your health.
Your body doesn’t need help to detox. Our bodies are amazing on their own. The liver and kidneys do all the hard work, flushing out the bad and promoting the good.
But what about all that about people with certain digestive diseases following liquid diets for a detox? Well, they’re not exactly detoxifying their bodies. They’re just helping to cleanse the digestive tract, which can see some buildup of candida (a type of yeast). These types of cleansing liquid diets are also done for a few days to help get rid of the symptoms of the digestive tract issue.
Hang on, people fast for detoxifying, don’t they? Well, yes and no. There are all sorts of reasons why people fast. One of those is for a detox, but they’re not actually necessary. Fasting doesn’t boost the body’s ability to get rid of the toxins.
Products Are Full of Other Ingredients
Think about what you’re actually going to put in your body! Before you start drinking the shakes and smoothies, what other ingredients are the companies adding in? They’re taking out calories, proteins, and carbs, but they’re telling you that they can give you the energy that your body needs. How is that possible? And how do some of them get the scents of strawberries, chocolate, and more?
Well, it all comes from calories. Most of the flavourings come from added chemicals and ingredients. They don’t offer us any benefits, but they can do us some major harm.
The next time you’re near a shake, take a look at the list of ingredients. Consider what you’re really doing to your body with them. Some products contain ingredients like lead and mercury! Why are you putting your body at risk of metal poisoning?
There are other products out there that are completely natural. We’ll get onto those in a bit, but let this be a lesson to you: always look at what you’re putting into your body.
You Miss Out on Crucial Vitamins & Minerals
It’s not just the macronutrients you miss out on. You lose out on all the other nutrients your body needs. These include the essential minerals to support your body.
Calcium is one of the most crucial minerals your body needs. It supports the bones and teeth, and without it you’re at a higher risk of developing conditions like osteoporosis. This is already a problem for women in their older years, as the hormonal development decreases and affects the body’s abilities to absorb the nutrients.
Your body also needs iron to help boost cell function and blood flow. Without it, you’ll feel more tired throughout the day, and this can affect your mental health. We never feel out best when we just feel like we have no energy at all.
Vitamins are also essential for the body’s functions. We need vitamin C to boost our immune system and the B vitamins for the brain health. Vitamin D is needed to help with calcium absorption, and vitamin E helps to boost healing and skin health.
Without all of these minerals, our bodies are really just a poorly maintained shell. It doesn’t do everything we need, and we’re really just surviving.
Sure, there are products that supplement the vitamins and minerals, but they’re not perfect. Nothing can beat the natural products, which is why handmade smoothies can be beneficial when supplementing a healthy lifestyle.
You Don’t Keep the Weight Off in the Long-term
There are exceptions to this, but in many cases, the weight doesn’t stay off at the end of the diet. Unless following a medically supervised plan, the liquid diet don’t teach us anything about following healthy lifestyles to keep the weight off afterwards. Most people tend to go straight from the commercial products to their old lifestyles. They just gain all the weight back again, and sometimes more than that.
Even if you do learn about good lifestyle tips for a healthy diet, you could still gain the weight back. The metabolism may slow down, so you don’t need as many calories through the day. Eating a traditional healthy lifestyle plan could still lead to more calories than your body needs to consume on a daily basis.
You’ve also not actually gotten rid of the fat. By taking out the protein from your body, you break down the muscles. In most cases, that’s what you’ve really lost by following the liquid diets.
But you can just get back on the liquid diet, can’t you? Surely there isn’t a problem with yo-yo dieting.
Well, that’s where you’re wrong. Yo-yo dieting puts your body under more strain. You’re constantly depriving it of macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Are There Any Effective, Healthy, Natural Liquid Diets?
While we mentioned liquid diets or liquid diet that have no nutritional value, we’ve also considered that there are liquid diets out there that can be beneficial. There is the benefit of being able to eat real food in liquid form. This is something that some people have to do because they can’t eat in any other way, due to medical issues.
One of the options is to blend everything that you would normally eat. After all, this is the way babies get their nutrients when they’re weaning from the bottles and breast milk.
Opt For A Fruit-Based Diet
One of the best ways to get the vitamins that you need is to focus on a diet that is fruit-based. All your smoothies and shakes will be made from real fruits that you make yourself. You can make these types of smoothies yourself. All you need is a blender or smoothie maker.
The benefit of a fruit-based diet is that you know you’ll get the vitamins and the fibre. You’ll also be able to add some extra ingredients like milk or yoghurt to get some of the other minerals—like calcium—that you need. There are healthier options like almond or coconut milk to help you cut the calories down but still get the minerals.
Opt for a Vegetable-Based Diet
Another popular option is to get rid of the fruits and use vegetables instead. These can still use some extra ingredients like milk, but you get far more minerals with the vegetables. This is especially when you make predominately green smoothies that are full of kale and spinach.
Again, you can make the vegetable smoothies yourself. There are no limitations, and you can get away from all the extra harmful ingredients that the commercial products put on the market.
Opt For A Mixed Diet
Why choose between fruits and vegetables? Both offer a variety of vitamins and minerals that your body needs, so it makes sense to use them both when following a liquid diet. In fact, most health professionals will recommend that you mix them both.
When you are opting for one of these diets, you should always consider supplementing up to two of your meals with the smoothies. You’ll also need to think about other ingredients to help add some calories. Nuts, seeds, and lentils may be able to help you, depending on the type of smoothie you’re going to make.
At least once a day you will need to have a full meal. Make this a healthy option, but do make sure you have something that you can chew.
The benefit of making your own natural smoothies is that you can still get the smell-factor. You’ll get your body ready for the food, and you’ll feel much more satisfied afterwards.
Whether you top for a fruit-based, vegetable-based, or mixed-based liquid diet, you have more control. You will also find them much cheaper because you’ll already have the ingredients in many cases.
There are still some downsides to opting for the diets. You run the risk of consuming more calories than your body actually needs. When you drink your meals, you still won’t feel as satisfied as when you eat them. The chewing motion also helps you get the taste and will alert the body to food being on its way. You actually feel like you’ve had something.
Before you opt for liquid diets, make sure you know all about the risks and dangers involved. They’re not the miracle weight loss products many commercial companies claim them to be.
Liquid is necessary for everybody. Actually, your body can survive without solid foods. But not that long without liquid diet. We need water more than we need food. A liquid diet is such a diet should be only a short-term thing. Because it is not possible to get all nutrition from liquids. There is no harm in trying the liquid diet as it is a good source of water.
Liquid diet can be very useful for weight loss. Such diets should be under control by doctors. That also makes an easier way for technicians and doctors to view your internal tests.
Liquid diets are not so easy to follow if your body reactions are not good against it. There are two types of liquid diets. The clear liquid diet and the full liquid diet. They are both are clear. You have to stick to get liquid diet everyday.
In that page we will show you many kinds of recipes that fits for your liquid diet. We will usually show you soups, shakes, smoothies and watery vegetable meals. We guarantee you will enjoy them.
Yoghurt-Mint Soup liquid diet Recipe
This could be a very liquid diet different taste but we insist you to try it. Yoghurt is also used as an ingredient in lots of meals in Asia. And in Asia, soup is the common starter in meals. This soup recipe will be a healthy, different taste and recipe for your liquid diet plan. Especially in cold winter days, , it makes you feel good. For spicy food lovers, we suggest you to drink it with a chilli pepper liquid diet. They are the perfect combination; yoghurt, mint and chilli papers. See the recipe below and enjoy your soup!
Boil the rice in the water for 10 minutes until the rice soften very well. At this time, stir the yoghurt and flour finely. Pour the yoghurt into water and mixed them. Continue to cook on low heat. Add mint, red pepper, salt and oil or butter. The rice must be finely soft untill it finishs. Could be a very healthy and light snack or starter for your liquid diet, especially in cold winter days. Good appetite. Enjoy your liquid diet journey!
Tips for A Healthy liquid diet
The term ‘diet’ in terms of weight reduction and healthy living does not denote starvation or eating exotic foodstuffs that have a nasty taste. It means the type of food that is eaten should be healthy. It is not a momentary thing but something that should stick with you throughout your life. So you can exhale since we have that out of the way.
Healthy dieting experts may come up with different diets for different people but one thing they all agree- there is no shortcut or fast way to reduce your weight. This comes gradually because it is a change from the norm (unhealthy lifestyle) and in order to make a complete change, this must be gradual. Things like special liquid diet shakes, supplements, pills and weight patches only works for short term. Once you stop using them, the weight you shed comes back with some of his friends- extra pounds.
Some tips will be stated below and if they are followed, healthy dieting will be possible and this will result in a better, healthier you.
1. Drink lots and lots of water or consider a liquid diet- Water is not just for when you are thirsty or for cooling off after a long workout. The elements in water help in hydrating the body and dilution of some fats in the body. Taking sufficient amounts of water or liquid diet when you wake up will increase the metabolism of the body through the day as this is a way of cleaning out the system. Liquid diet makes you feel fuller. Energy liquid diet drinks should not substitute water as they do not have the same effect. If anything they add other chemicals although they can give you the needed boost of energy when you feel like not making it to the next workout program. Healthy dieting experts advise people to take as much water as possible as this will detox the body and smoothen out the skin in addition to assisting in weight loss.
2. Eat more- Try the liquid diet. This may seem outlandish. Here you are trying to lose weight and we tell you to eat more food? You need to note that we mean have more liquid diet food rich in protein and fiber as this reduces the body’s craving for snacks in between meals. You may even want to do a liquid diet. Since you have reduced on carb intake, having food that is filling will help in your quest for healthy dieting.
3. You should be in motion in liquid diet this means that you have regularly exercise and have a liquid diet. Liquid diet will help those who have jobs where they are in front of the computer. Simple exercises like brisk walking, mild jogging and swimming that get your heart rate will greatly help. Engaging in a sport that you enjoy will be the best way to get those extra pounds off.