Liquid diets for weight loss come in form of juices, soups, shakes etc in place of solid foods and they are usually home made while some are bought from stores. These liquid diets can be protein shakes, premade protein shakes and liquid meal replacements.
Liquid diets mean that all or at least most of all your food nutrients are gotten from your drinks. Some of these liquid diets are fruits, vegetables, juices, or shakes that replace your meals, and are usually eaten three or four times daily. Some liquid diets are meant to replace one or two meals, most times (breakfast and lunch) with drinks and then at night you eat solid foods.
To adopt a liquid diet for weight loss, you can replace all your meals and snacks with liquids or you can decide to do a partial liquid diet for weight loss which means that you can eat some solid foods too by having a plan. You can eat solid meals in the morning, liquid in the afternoon, and solid at night or liquid in the morning, solid in the afternoon and liquid in the night. Some factories have specific “juice cleanses” with different types you can buy. Some stores have different meal replacements to select from depending on what you intend using it for.
When embarking on a liquid diet for weight loss, you must ensure that your liquid diet contains all the nutrients your body requires for the day. It is not advisable to consume very low calorie diets of about 400-800 calories per day, without a medical supervision because it may be lacking a balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals that you need. If you lack these nutrients, it has side effects such as tiredness, hair loss, gallstones, dizziness and heart damage. Make sure to have enough fiber, and eat enough fruits and vegetables, you should also eat enough protein in your diet so as not to lose muscle.
After you must have decided on the liquid diet to take, you must know what you will be drinking. If you will be buying your diets from the store, you should check for the daily values you will get from it, usually written on the label. It is important that in whatever liquid diet for weight loss you choose, you should be getting 100% of all the vitamins and nutrients recommended by the doctor.
TYPES OF LIQUID DIETS FOR WEIGHT LOSS
There are different types of liquid diets which are usually recommended, they are:
- The liquid diet for meal replacements: this simply means the diets which fall under this category are liquids consumed in place of solid foods. Such diet can be shakes, and they are sold most times for weight loss. Shakes for meal replacements are usually lower in calories than the regular food you consume. Also, they can substitute one or more meals every day since they comprise all the nutrients your body system needs to function properly. Such nutrients are micronutrients (protein, carbs and fats). Your dietitian can use your shake intake to know how much calorie you can consume for months.
- Prescribed liquid diets by a medical practitioner: medical practitioners most times prescribe certain liquid diets for clients due to certain reasons which could be to heal properly having had surgeries or for those who have digestion problems. Most times, clear liquids and full liquids are the recommended diets. What are clear liquid diets? I am sure you have an idea,- it means liquids that are devoid of too many particles such as water, tea, sports drinks, broths and apple juice. Clear liquid diets are more restrictive than full liquid diets. Your doctor can also recommend some kind of foods that dissolve into liquid when they are at room temperature such as pudding, syrups, jell-o, popsicles and some shakes.
WHY ARE LIQUID DIETS GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS?
- Liquid diets are very low in calorie: research has it that liquid diets most times contain less calories than the number of calories contained in solid foods. The total number of calories in a liquid meal replacement diet can range from 500-1500 daily. In a weight loss study carried out, 25 obese people were participants and consumed 700 calories each day from meal replacements without eating solid foods for 30days. It was discovered that in the next 150days, their daily intake of calorie increased from 700 to 1200 calories. Why? Simply because solid foods were introduced to the participants.
This study proves that liquid diets contain less calories than solid foods which can easily be adopted for weight loss. It is good to reintroduce solid foods into your liquid meal replacement diets after you have consistently followed the liquid diet for one to three months. The study that was carried out on weight loss also shows that both low calorie and very low calorie diets with the help of liquid meal replacements can be very effective for weight loss. Low calorie here means about (1200-1500 calories per day) WHILE very low calorie means about (500calories per day).
It is important to note that those who want to participate in low calorie liquid diets should be closely monitored by medical personnel.
- Liquid diets are a convenient way to control your meal portion: when you embark on a liquid diet plan, it helps you to eat less thereby controlling the quantity of food you consume at a time. Liquid meals are usually not more than one or two glasses at a time, compared to eating a plate filled with eba or rice.
- Liquid diets provide a structure for your goal: meal replacements are usually structured, they aren’t just eaten anyhow. Following a structured meal plan helps to achieve quick weight loss than a standard nutrition program.
- Liquid diets contain the necessary nutrients that your body needs: nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, carbs, protein, fats which are gotten from the combination of different fruits and vegetables blended together.
- Liquid diets are easy on the digestive system: juices, broths and smoothies are not harsh on your digestive system, they are gentle when swallowed and they aid digestion, absorption and excretion.
- Liquid diets helps to detoxify our bodies: some studies have shown that fruits and vegetable juices are rich in antioxidants which can prevent oxidative damage.
WHAT YOU SHOULD EAT AND DRINK ON A LIQUID DIET
- Fruits and vegetable juices, including nectars and juices with pulp.
- Margarine, oil, cream, pudding, butter and custard.
- Frozen yogurt, plain ice-cream and sherbet.
- Sugar, syrups and honey
- Fruit ices and popsicles
- Soup broth (bouillon, consommé and strained cream soups, but no solids)
- Sodas, such as ginger ale and sprite
- Tea or coffee with cream or milk and sugar or honey
- Gelatin (jell-o)
LIQUID DIET FOR WEIGHT LOSS RECIPE
Here are some liquid diet recipe you can try at home instead of having to buy over the counter meal replacements.
- FRUIT SMOOTHIE: your ingredients include: Banana, 3-4 fresh strawberries, ½ cup of orange juice, ½ cup of plain yogurt, 2 teaspoons sugar(optional),3 ice-cubes.
How to prepare
- Gather all the ingredients into your osterizer
- Blend until it is smooth and make sure the ice-cubes are gone.
- Pour into a glass cup and drink immediately.
- MELON SHAKE: ingredients include: ½ cup of yogurt, ¼ cantaloupe(cut in chunks), 2 teaspoons sugar(optional), ¼ cup of milk, 3-4 ice cubes.
How to prepare
- Bring all your ingredients together
- Pour into your osterizer
- Blend until the ice cubes are no longer seen
- Serve immediately.
- BLENDER PIZZA: ingredients are: ½ cup of pizza sauce, 1 slice bread, 1 slice American cheese, small amount of diced onion, small amount of diced bell pepper, small amount of sliced olives, small amount of pepperoni slices, small of amount of parmesan cheese.
How to prepare
- Put all your ingredients together in the osterizer
- Blend until you get a smooth feel
- Microwave on high about 1 minute
- You may want to add water or milk for consistency.
- STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE SHAKE: Ingredients include: ¼ cup of cream cheese, 4-5 ripe fresh strawberries (or frozen berries), ½ cup of plain yogurt, 2 teaspoons sugar(optional), 4-5 ice cubes(fewer for thinner consistency).
How to prepare
- Bring all ingredients together
- Pour into the osterizer
- Blend until the ice-cubes are gone.
- Pour in a glass cup and serve.
- ORANGE JULIUS: Ingredients are: 12oz. frozen orange juice, 2 ½ cups of water, ½ cup of powdered milk, ½ cup of sugar, and 2teaspoons of vanilla.
How to prepare
- Pour all the ingredients into the blender
- Blend to mix
- Add 8-10 ice cubes
BENEFITS OF A LIQUID DIET FOR WEIGHT LOSS
- Liquid diets have been said to help in the weight loss process though, for a short term: liquid diets are great with weight loss because they contain less calories than solid foods. Also, liquid diets are usually very light leaving your stomach light and in turn lead to weight loss. However, only those who are determined will get the result. Liquid diets can help just for a short period of time. According to Isabel Smith, M.S,R.D.,C.D.N, dietitian nutritionist and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition. She says “sometimes people can lose a few pounds”, but they can also gain them back quickly too”. This is to buttress the fact that liquid diets are for short term, and you can gain weight quickly once you stop your liquid diet intake.
- Liquid diets low in fiber is capable of giving the digestive system the rest it requires.
- Liquid diets can be useful for those who have cancer of the esophagus, mouth or gums.
- Liquid diets can reduce stomach ulcer pain.
- Liquid diet can also help relieve those who have undergone stomach surgery.
- It can also for detoxification, such that the nutrients it contains helps cleanse the digestive tract and improves gastrointestinal health.
LIQUID DIETS WHICH ARE NOT GOOD LONG TERM WEIGHT LOSS STRATEGY
- Liquid diets that restrict you on certain drinks to take like juices, teas or other beverages are not good long term weight loss strategies.
- Liquid diets prescribed by medical personnel like the clear liquid diet or full liquid diet are not meant for long term.
These two kinds of diet are not to be taken for a long period of time. The above liquid diets are not good for long term because they restrict you from eating solid foods which contains majority of the necessary nutrients. In fact, some studies which have revealed how liquid diets are effective, also mentioned that solid foods were reintroduced after some weeks or months. The aforementioned diets are good for short term weight loss. Short term diets do not usually lead to long lasting weight loss because they will not change one’s normal eating habits. Therefore, diets that will not allow the consumption of solid foods are not recommended.
ARE LIQUID DIETS FOR EVERYONE? NO THEY ARE NOT
Liquid diets are not ideal for everyone, such that while some might have achieved their weight loss goal, with liquid diets or meal replacements, others may not. Some individuals have incorporated the liquid diets as a means of reducing their calorie intake, whereas, others may find it challenging.
-You can keep up with the liquid diet if you feel eating lower calorie liquids will allow you eat fewer calories as well as still satisfies you.
-You shouldn’t continue with the liquid diet strategy for weight loss if you feel very hungry after consuming liquid meal replacements than when you consume a snack or a small meal.
– If you are the type that eats a lot and visits restaurants for your lunch or eat high calorie foods and have some leftovers, you can reduce your calorie intake gradually by adopting the liquid diet strategy.
-On the other hand, if you typically eat a less but healthy lunch, you do not necessarily have to switch to a liquid meal diet.
However, there are specific kinds of people who shouldn’t think of adopting the liquid diet strategy, they include:
- Pregnant or Nursing women.
- Children and adolescents.
- Those who are underweight.
You should also bear in mind that commercial meal replacements shakes are usually very expensive compared to homemade solid foods. So, those who are not financially buoyant may not be able to keep up with this strategy.
SAFE LIQUID DIET FOR WEIGHT LOSS STRATEGY
This depends on the type of diet you are embarking on and the duration of the program. Here are some safe liquid diets:
- The partial liquid diet is safe; it replaces one or two solid meals per day with your liquid shakes.
- Meal replacement shakes that contains majority of the nutrient that your body needs, amongst which are: vitamins and minerals, carbs, protein, fats e.t.c
- Liquid diets prescribed by a medical practitioner or dietitian.
SOME RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH LIQUID DIETS
- It may cause you to feel light-headed or dizzy.
- You may have too few calories
- Sometimes, it can make you lack important nutrients.
- It cannot be used for long period of time; it is short term.
- After eating it, you may not feel satisfied.
- It is expensive