Liquid Diets for Weight Loss: Is It an Option for You?
There are probably hundreds of different diets out there. Each one of them is set on a particular philosophy and medical reasoning to reach a certain kind of goal in one's physical and mental health. One of them is liquid diet for weight loss which can truly work as a great jump-start if done carefully and in moderation.
If you don't have any medical conditions, remember that liquid diet plans for weight loss should not be followed for more than a couple of days at a time and no more than once a week. Unless, of course, your doctor or dietitian advises you otherwise.
Types of Liquid Diets for Weight Loss
1. Clear (or Detox/Cleansing) Liquid Diet
In this type of a liquid diet you can consume only those foods and beverages that are liquid and translucent in room temperature. It's easy to digest and leaves little residue in your intestines.
During this regime you are hydrated, you get the necessary electrolytes and a minimal amount of nutrition to go through an inactive day.
This category of liquid diets is often prescribed to patients before and/or after some types of surgery. It is also a good solution in a case of digestive conditions, or when a person has trouble chewing and swallowing solid food.
This is a great way to help your digestive system to flush out those extra pounds in a form of toxins and intestinal residue. This is especially helpful in a case of chronic constipation, acne outbursts, allergic reactions to food. However, this type of diet should not be followed for more than one day or more than once a week.
It also adds a psychological and even spiritual value in that you can focus this one day on something else than food. As it is recommended to stay away from vigorous activity while you on a detox liquid diet, you can spend the day practicing meditation, do some easy stretching, focus on your writing, drawing, or playing an instrument.
What to eat:
- Carbonated water
- Flavored water
- Fruit punch
- Fruit ices without fruit pieces or milk
- Clear broth
- Clear nutritional drinks
- Black coffee
- Hard candies
- Honey and syrups
- Juices without pulp (orange, apple, grape, white cranberry)
- Lemonade without pulp
- Plain gelatin
- Clear popsicles
- Sports drinks
- Strained vegetable juice
- Tea without milk or cream
2. Full (or Meal Replacement) Liquid Diet
This is the best liquid diet for weight loss as it can be very nutritious, tasty, and filling. Full liquids will provide you with more macronutriens than clear liquids. In this type of diet, you replace all or some of your daily solid meals with a watery option, such as soups, smoothies, yogurts, and juices.
This regime is a lot easier to incorporate in your daily life, as you don't need to make your entire meal plan drinkable. Opt for a green smoothie breakfast or finish your day with a comforting bowl of veggie soup and you're part of the club.
The best thing about this sort of diet is that you feel more satisfied due to the higher content of water and fiber. It's easier to monitor your daily calorie intake and nutritional requirements. It goes easy on your digestive system too.
Perhaps most importantly, full liquid diet benefits those who are on a move or in a hurry. And it's made even more available these days as numerous health brands are offering ready-made shakes in a form of liquid or powder.
This is indeed useful, because they indicate the exact amount of macronutrients, minerals, and vitamins they contain. Just be sure to research the brands beforehand and see which ones are safe to use and which ones meet your specific needs.
Don't follow this meal plan for too long, unless you're substituting only one solid meal with a watery option.
What to eat:
- Blended soup
- Carbonated drinks
- Fruit drinks
- Punch made of fruit
- Fruit purees
- Sports drinks
- Vegetable juice
- Melted cheese
- Frozen yogurt
- Plain yogurt
- Smooth ice cream
- Ice milk
- Honey and syrup
- Nutritional shakes
It's best if you turn to the ready-made shakes or shake powders only occasionally, as their production is not as closely monitored as you'd expect. They can also lack some specific nutrients that can lead to their deficiency in your body.
In the case of clear liquid diet, your body goes through a serious detox in just that one wishy-washy day. Your digestive system gets a well-deserved rest and it's a quick fix after a guilt-inducing fiesta the day before. But too much detoxing (more than one day) can be a great drain on your health.
Eating your meals mostly or solely in a form of liquids can eventually become socially isolating. If you're not big on eating out with friends and family, this may not apply to you.
It takes a lot less time to drink up your calories than it does chewing them. When we eat solids, we may start feeling the fullness creeping into our bellies even as we dine, whereas it will take longer to start feeling satisfied after a nutritious drink. This may provoke overeating, especially if you don't monitor your intake closely.
This sort of an eating plan followed for too long can take a toll on your psychological well-being. It might seem obvious, but I need to write this down – drinking your meals is not natural. This is not how humans are constituted to take in their foods. Eventually you'll miss the variety of textures, aromas, sounds, and separate flavors that different kinds of foods have and make.