A liquid diet includes all those foods that turn liquid at room temperature or those which melt at body temperature. Unlike a clear liquid diet, in which people consume water, tea, and so on, a liquid diet can act as a highly nutritious diet. Aside from losing weight, the purpose of a liquid diet extends to an easy recovery from surgery or avoidance of pain while chewing and swallowing.
However, it can have the potential to result in the consumption of too few calories. So, in light of this feature, it is important to ensure that the minimum calorie intake is maintained. Your daily goal should be around 1500 calories but can be as low as 800 calories, all under the supervision of your dietitian.
Foods consumed in a liquid diet should be of Stage 1 or of baby food consistency.
Benefits of a Liquid Diet
A liquid diet can be highly beneficial, and some of these benefits are listed below:
- While it isn’t advised that one sustains a liquid diet for extended periods of time, it can prove to be highly beneficial in losing weight in the short term.
- Since a liquid diet essentially involves consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables, it comes packed with a lot more nutrients than the average diet, as there is no room for junk food.
- It allows for portion-controlled meal options, meaning that you don’t tend to overeat and gain unnecessary weight.
What to Consume on a Liquid Diet
Juices and Smoothies
1. Ginger Beetroot Juice
A ginger beetroot juice is an excellent option if you want to replenish your body’s energy levels and give it the nutrients it needs to keep you going through the day. Also, adding kale, carrots, and oranges balance out the flavors and make the juice rich in electrolytes(1) and vitamin C.
2. Carrot Orange Juice
Carrots and oranges are rich in vitamins, along with certain electrolytes. This is a great morning juice option to get you going for the rest of the day. You can also add an apple to the recipe to give it a good dose of vitamin A. As this juice is low in its total number of calories, it is a great option while looking to lose weight in a short duration of time.
[ Read: Carrots Juice Benefits ]
3. Green Smoothies
The addition of greens and vegetables in smoothies can increase the nutrient and protein intake in your liquid diet(2). For those who feel light-headed while sticking to a liquid diet, a green smoothie is a great way of upping the calorie intake.
Additionally, green smoothies are very versatile because of the wide range of ingredients available for green smoothies. A sample recipe includes bananas, apples, kale, and orange juice. With a high quotient of electrolytes, this is an excellent option to replenish your energy levels.
4. Strawberry Cucumber juice
A strawberry cucumber juice can be heaven for those warmer days when you feel the need to cool down, while also replenishing your energy levels. One example of a recipe includes strawberries, half a cucumber, apples, and carrots. This delicious recipe has a very high quotient of vitamins and electrolytes, making it an ideal energy booster.
5. Banana Protein Shake
One of the drawbacks of a liquid diet is that it can result in a lesser intake of protein. Since fruits and vegetables hardly contain any protein, it’s essential that you include some sources of protein into your daily regimen. A simple recipe with your favorite protein powder, a banana or two, and toned milk can be the perfect fix.
[ Read: Cutting Diet ]
- Clear soups such as chicken and vegetable broths are surprisingly tasty and really effective if you want to drink something more filling and warm.
- Strained and vegetable soups in the form of purees are also an option that you can consider if you want to consume liquids in the form of a soup.
- Cream-based soups are yet another delicious option. Depending on whether you make them from meat or vegetables, cream-based soups can help your body get the essential nutrients from the specific ingredients used.
Given that drinking enough fluids can be a concern, one should ideally drink in intervals of every 15 to 20 minutes.
The following is a sample of a liquid diet that you can use as a guide to all your meals:
- A cup of whole cereal with whole or toned milk
- A cup of fruit juice
[ Read: Benefits of Breakfast ]
- Half a cup of a supplement beverage
- Half a cup of chocolate pudding
- Two cups of soup
- Half a cup of tomato juice
- Half a cup of a custard pudding
- Half a cup of a supplemental beverage
- Half a cup of fruit juice
- Two cups of soup
- Half a cup of blended oatmeal with milk
- Half a cup of lemonade
[ Read: Paleo Diet Benefits ]
Risks of a Liquid Diet
Aside from having certain benefits, a liquid diet also comes with its own risks, some of which are:
- It can make you feel light-headed due to too few calories being consumed. Since a liquid diet limits the consumption of protein and other electrolytes, it can sometimes lead to you feeling light-headed.
- It isn’t sustainable in the long term, as it limits the consumption of crucial nutrients that can only be properly consumed in solid form.
- It is also comparatively expensive since it requires extra appliances and an increase in the purchase of more expensive foods such as kale, berries, and avocados, to name a few.
[ Read: GM Diet ]
Can You Go on a Liquid Diet Yourself?
It’s best to take the advice of your doctor or dietitian before you go on a liquid diet to ensure that you’re reaching your daily nutrient requirements. This diet can also prove to be dangerous if you’re pregnant or on certain medications, or even if you have intestinal or digestive issues.
A liquid diet can have its fair share of benefits in terms of weight loss, but these are only in the short term. It’s a diet that must only be introduced upon the advice of a doctor as it could lead to an insufficient intake of nutrients, or can also be harmful to your body under certain conditions. However, if followed by the book, short term results can be astounding.
1. Will a liquid diet make me feel hungry?
While it does have the potential to make you feel hungry, you can avoid this by blending solids into liquids and incorporating them into your meals.
2. For how long should I continue such a diet?
A liquid diet can result in significant weight loss and thus must only be continued till as long as is advised by your doctor.
3. What do I do if my nutrient intake isn’t as much as it should be?
Upon the advice of your doctor, you can take additional supplements to make up for the deficit.