Are Liquid Diets Effective for Weight Loss?

Is this true that Liquid Diets for Weight Loss is effective ? We get a lot of queries from our clients at BucketList Dreams asking about different liquid diets as quick fixes. Before trying out a new crash diet or fad diet or pills strategy, it is always best to understand the pros and cons of it. Read below to know our Expert opinion on this new program for weight loss.

What is the science behind liquid diets for weight loss ?

Science behind weight loss when on a liquid diet is simple-‘calorie restriction’. It is but obvious for the body to respond to low calorie diets. When your intake of calories is limited and more calories are expended in physical activities, it leads to weight loss. Liquid diets could be more effective than other solid crash diets because of satiety. Liquids are naturally more filling when compared to smaller portions of solid foods. Hence there is lesser stress of restricting portion sizes and helps in better compliancethan other crash diets.

drinking water blog insertTypes of Liquid Diet

Liquid diets can be of various types. For example, in a few strategies, only one meal is replaced by liquids. In some other, all the solid meals in a day could be replaced by liquids. Below are a few varieties that we have listed down for you:

Medically prescribed liquid diets

These are preferred before or after a surgery. Clear liquid and full liquid diets follow a surgical procedure. In clear liquids, coconut water, electrolyte solutions, strained fruit juices, clear soups only are allowed. These could also be prescribed during gastrointestinal complications like irritable bowel syndrome(IBS). Whereas, full liquid diets have minimal restrictions. These are usually prescribed once clear liquids are well tolerated without any complications. Soups, juices, porridges and all liquids are allowed. These are also sometimes used for quick weight loss.

detox blog insertDetox diets

Usually very limited liquids like certain fruit and vegetable juices are used as detox and cleansing for weight loss. These programs usually rely on natural ingredients and minimal processing. Sometimes, water fasting once a week is also used as strategies for cleansing and detox.

Meal replacements

These programs involve replacing one of the major meals with very low calorie meal replacement shakes. This is to reduce the overall calorie intake for the day and can be used long term for weight loss. Mostly these supplements contain all the essential macro and micronutrients.This program could be used for only weight loss or as a preparatory method before a weight loss surgery.

There could be a few other programs wherein after certain time of the day, only liquids are allowed. Restrictions and recommendations depend on factors like goal, medical condition, grade of obesity, nutritional status etc.

crash diet insertPossible side effects of a liquid diet

  • Any crash diet or quick fix could have side effects unlike a healthy lifestyle modification. Below are a few possible side effectsof being on a long term liquid diet for weight loss:
  • Very low calorie diets increase your risk for gall bladder stone
  • Sustainability is a big concern with crash diets. Also since crash diets do not emphasise on eating clean, one may overeat after discontinuing such diets. Excessive food cravings could be another side effect of liquid diets.
  • Extreme liquid diets which restrict solid food intake could lead to a lot of nutritional deficiencies. This is especially seen in clear liquid and detox liquid diets.
  • Clear liquid diets and cleanser liquids could lead to constipation due to absence of fibre and solid foods.
  • Water lost during crash diets can lead to reversible weight loss and excess weight gain. This is especially true if not accompanied with an exercise regimen.
  • Excessive calorie restrictions for a long term could lead to fatigue, dull skin and hair fall as a result of nutritional deficiencies.

blog insert never too late to startSummary

Weight loss has many positive outcomes like reducing the risk of diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular complications and other lifestyle related diseases. Eating right and exercising regularly is the time tested way for weight loss. If you wish to resort to a liquid diet, do it under our Expert guidance for better and safer results.

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Consultant, Nutrition