Losing weight with minimal effort sounds like a dream come true, right? There many low-calorie liquid diets you can try, but we recommend undertaking these with medical supervision. A liquid diet may include nutritional drinks, smoothies or shakes. If you want to try it out, it’s important to know the implications and risks associated with it. A liquid diet can result in quick weight loss because you are controlling your calorie intake by cutting out foods. However, don’t confuse this diet with that followed by patients awaiting surgery. Read this article to learn more about the effects of a liquid diet on your weight.
What is a Liquid Diet?
A liquid diet means we get most of our calories from what we drink, primarily reductions of vegetable or fruit juice. These drinks replace our daily meals, although some only replace 1-2 meals a day and continue to eat a solid dinner and snacks. It’s very important to consult with a nutritionist before starting a liquid diet to make sure you are being safe.
Do Liquid Diets for Weight Loss Work?
A liquid diet works just like any other diet by reducing your caloric intake. However, it is possible that the results of your liquid diet may not last, especially once you start consuming solids again. This is because cutting your caloric intake slows down your metabolism to spare energy, and once you start eating normal foods again, your metabolism cannot speed up in time to burn those calories like it used to. However, many physicians recommend liquid diets to obese patients to help them lose weight quickly.
Is a Liquid Diet Really Safe?
While liquid diet drinks can contain your daily nutrient intake, a low-calorie diet has the danger of lacking the proper amount of carbs, protein, vitamins, minerals and fats. Before starting a low-calorie diet, you should consult an expert.
If you lack the important nutrients for your body, you may suffer from side effects such as fatigue, hair loss, dizziness, heart damage or gallstones. In addition, if you don’t eat whole grains, vegetables and fruits that contain the fiber you need, you may experience constipation or stomach discomfort.
Liquid Diet for Medical Purposes
There are doctors and experts who recommend liquid diets before surgical operations or medical procedures. Sometimes, they recommend it for obese patients because they need to lose weight before a weight loss surgery such as a gastric bypass. The doctors and experts supervise most of these liquid diets.
How to Start a Liquid Diet for Weight Loss
Before you start a liquid diet on your own, consult your doctor and ask what program is appropriate for your body type, weight or height. Liquid diets are not recommended for women who are nursing or pregnant, or for those suffering from diabetes.
If your doctor agrees to your diet plan, then you must consult an expert dietician, who can help you plan your drinks to ensure you are getting enough nutrients and calories. Your dietitian can also recommend vitamins or supplements to take while you are on your liquid diet program.
There are many plans you can choose from, but be sure to know their content before choosing one. You should check the nutrition facts on the labels of commercial diets, if that is what you prefer, to make sure you get the necessary minerals and vitamins.
There are also liquid diets that are not low in calories, but rather contain high amounts of fiber and protein to keep you feeling full, thus helping you lose weight. If you plan to follow a liquid diet for an extended period of time, we recommend including a solid meal once a day.
The Side Effects of Liquid Diets
Liquid diets starve your body and deny it the foods it needs. There are risks of nutritional deficiencies, muscle loss, nausea or a loss of energy because the juice overloads your body with carbohydrates and sugar but forces it to burn muscle mass.
The very low-calorie liquid diets supervised by doctors can also have serious consequences, including liver inflammation, weakened immunity, abdominal discomfort, headaches, bad breath, severe fatigue, dehydration or kidney stones.
Deficiencies in Liquid Diets
Liquid diets lack the important fatty acids that support the brain and the protein that supports the muscles. Oftentimes, when you start to eat solid food again, you regain the weight you lost, or end up gaining more weight. Consulting with your doctor can help ensure your results are healthy and sustainable.