The liquid diet is promoted as a quick way to lose weight, reduce bloating, and ease digestive problems. Juices and Smoothies: The liquid diet replaces all your meals with liquids, but is a solid diet better?
The liquid diet and its health benefits
Liquid diets promise weight loss, detoxification, and cleansing. From protein shakes to cold-pressed juices, they claim to have a solution, albeit an expensive one, to your worries and health problems. Should you try a liquid diet? It depends on your goals and how you address yourself.
A liquid diet consists only of liquids rather than solid foods . This includes homemade or store-bought smoothies and juices, homemade protein shakes, pre-made protein shakes, and store-bought liquid meal replacements. You can replace all meals and snacks with liquids or go on a partial liquid diet by also eating solid foods.
Some companies have specific cleaning juices with different phases that you can buy. Others offer a variety of liquid meal replacements to choose from based on your goals. However, these can be expensive and generally must be purchased and shipped through the mail.
Reasons to follow a liquid diet
Liquid diet for medical reasons
Some people follow a short-term liquid diet for medical reasons , such as difficulty swallowing or a bowel problem.
“It’s hard to defend a liquid diet in most cases,” says Ayla Barmmer, MS, RDN, LDN, CLT, an integrative and functional dietitian in Boston. “However, the only exception would be when treating small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which is an increasingly common condition given the widespread use of PPIs (proton pump inhibitor drugs for heartburn), chronic stress, use of antibiotics and more ”.
Not all people with SIBO have to follow a liquid diet, he notes, but if it is recommended, it should be done with the supervision of a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or dietitian.
Liquid diet for weight loss and detoxification
The most popular reasons for a liquid diet are weight loss and detoxification. Liquid meal replacements are a convenience factor – grab your shake and go. Plus, calories and portion sizes are controlled, making it easier to stay within calorie goals if you’re trying to lose weight.
Juice cleanses and detoxes have seen a surge in popularity in recent years. Fruit and vegetable juices provide a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Liquid diets have their pros and cons, regardless of the reason for doing them.
What are the rewards of a liquid diet
- Short term weight loss
- Increased nutrient intake
- Convenient portion-controlled meal option
Liquid diets can help you lose weight in the short term
“Sometimes people can lose a few pounds,” says Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, dietitian nutritionist and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition. But, “they can get them back quickly, too,” she says.
One study found that obese patients who replaced two meals a day with diet shakes lost more weight over a four-year period than those who ate calorie-controlled meals. This may be due to a lack of variety in their diets. The greater the variety of foods present, the more people tend to eat.
Liquid meal replacements also provide structure. Following a structured meal plan could lead to greater weight loss than a standard nutrition program.
Intake of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants naturally
The benefits of a juice cleanse are an increased intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants due to the amount of fruits and vegetables it takes to extract the juice.
“There are studies showing the benefits of juice in the concentration of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory mechanisms in the body,” says Rachele Pojednic, Ph.D., M.Ed., assistant professor of nutrition at Simmons College, “but generally in the presence of a healthy diet (or other solid foods).
What are the risks of a liquid diet?
- Feel dizzy.
- Very few calories
- Lack of important nutrients.
- Not sustainable in the long term
- Lack of satiety
“There are very few rewards of following a liquid diet,” says Pojednic. “You can lose a little weight in the short term due to water loss, and maybe a couple of pounds in the long term due to a massive caloric deficit. But achieving these results is not typical because the diet is so challenging and makes you feel not quite right. ”
Most people cannot last more than a few days before giving in to whatever they were restricting, leading to overeating, feeling guilty, and regaining the weight they lost.
In addition to feeling hungry, you may also be lacking important nutrients. Juices have vitamins and minerals, but they do not have fiber, fat, or protein. Drinking juice alone can lead to “debilitating headaches, overwhelming hunger and diarrhea,” Pojednic says.
After all, your body will always take care of cleaning for you.
Liquid diets could also be dangerous if you are pregnant , taking certain medications, have had a recent procedure, or have intestinal or digestive problems.
Differences in nutrient absorption
There is a difference in the way your body absorbs liquids and solids. Solids come with an additional step in the digestion process: chewing. Chewing your food increases your fullness factor. Fiber also slows down digestion, helping you stay full longer, but juices lack this key ingredient.
“The sugars (glucose and fructose) in the juice will cross the intestinal wall much more quickly without the soluble fiber present in all the fruit, because that fiber barrier will be lacking,” says Pojednic. And while you get a concentrated dose of vitamins and minerals (and sugar) from the juice, you may not be absorbing all of them. Vitamins A, D, E, and K require fat for absorption.
You can do a liquid diet yourself
However, the liquid diet, as we have already mentioned, has its advantages, which according to your own body you can carry out. You can follow a liquid diet on your own, but check with your doctor or dietitian before doing it. You want to make sure that you are getting the proper nutrients.
Not sure if a liquid diet is right for you? Talk to a dietitian, who can guide you through the pros and cons based on your goals. If you do choose to do so, choose drinks that contain protein, carbohydrates, and fat to help keep you satisfied. Swapping juices for smoothies can help. Consider having one liquid meal a day instead of all three. And don’t stay on the liquid diet for long.
” The liquid diet probably won’t do much harm if you stick to it for less than three to seven days, ” Pojednic says. ”
For now, you can try this liquid diet for a day that will help you a lot to lighten your intestine if you have it very loaded, deflate the belly and improve your digestion to give a boost to your energy, and if that were not enough, balance your acidic pH -alkaline.
One-day liquid diet
In the morning
- Drink a glass of water at the same time when you get up
- Drink a glass of hot water 10 minutes later
- Take a shot of ginger with apple / pineapple / cucumber (3 cm of ginger a cup of any of these vegetables). To the extractor.
- Vegetable juice 1 (4 celery stalks, 1 beet, 1 lemon). To the extractor.
- 2 vegetable juice (5 large spinach leaves, 2 celery stalks, 1 cucumber, 1 lemon, 1 apple). To the extractor.
In the afternoon
- Smoothie (1 apple, 1 cup of non-dairy milk, 1 stemless kale leaf, 1 tablespoon of chia seed, 1 tablespoon of honey). All blended in a blender. You can supplement this smoothie with a vegetable salad to taste, not including corn and potato.
- Vegetable juice 3 (1 cup of grapes, 1 radish, 1 lemon, 1 cucumber, 5 kale leaves). To the extractor.
In the evening
- Vegetable juice (1.5 cucumber, 1 apple, 5 chard leaves, 1/2 zucchini.
- Tea without caffeine (chamomile or linden adding a teaspoon of honey).
Avoid eating any other food that is not from the line you are eating, that is, avoid processed foods, and drink plenty of water throughout the day.