Rapid weight loss has long been the desire of most dieters and a liquid diet certainly promises that.
However there are many misconceptions about this form of dieting. Misconceptions that can lead to health risks if proper measures are not taken at the outset and strict guidelines not followed.
Before outlining the major benefits, and also pitfalls, of following a liquid diet it is best to fully explain what a liquid diet actually is.
What is a Liquid Diet
A liquid diet plan can range from a full liquid based diet such as juicing for health and weight loss to a mixed one with both liquid and simple solid or semi-solid foods (such as ice cream).
The following Wikipedia quote gives an ample and concise explanation of the basic concept.
“A liquid diet is a diet that mostly consists of liquids, or soft foods that melt at room temperature (such as gelatin and ice cream). A liquid diet usually helps provide sufficient hydration, helps maintain electrolyte balance, and is often prescribed for people when solid food diets are not recommended, such as for people who suffer with gastrointestinal illness or damage, or before or after certain types of medical tests or surgeries involving the mouth or the digestive tract.” [Source: Wikipedia]
As you can see it is fairly straight forward. Simpy substitute food with a low calorie beverage.
May people use a juicer to create there own liquid diet while others use blenders. Read our article Pros and Cons of Juicing vs Blending to see how this works.
Weight Loss & Other Benefits of a Liquid Diet
Obviously abstaining from solid foods and only drinking low calorie beverages will lead to weight loss. As long as you don’t drink fizzy pop or high calorie sugary smoothie type drinks you will dramatically reduce your calorie intake while following this diet.
The huge reduction of calories that comes with following this type of diet can lead to very rapid and visible weight loss without the need to exercise.
Of course if a liquid diet is used in conjunction with exercise the results can be dramatic.
One of the best, and mostly unreported, benefits of following a liquid based dietary plan is that, for the duration of your diet, you almost entirely eliminate carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates can be much more damaging to your weight loss efforts than the consumption of fat. When dieters reduce their calorie intake and eliminate most of the fat from their diet yet still do not lose weight, nine times out of ten the culprit is the hidden carbohydrates in their meals.
So reducing your carbohydrate intake will have a very marked effect on your weight loss efforts also.
Another benefit of using a beverage based approach to weight loss is that liquids fill up the stomach quickly and seriously reduce hunger pangs almost instantaneously. Water has been used as part of almost every diet in existence due to that very fact.
Clean liquids (i.e. not fizzy pop or smoothies) also purge the system of impurities and act as a natural detox.
Although the weight loss benefits of following a full liquid diet are terrific there are some annoyances and even possible health risks that you should be aware of before deciding to embark on this form of weight loss.
Liquid Diet Recipes
Following this type of diet is just plain boring!
The basic premise is to avoid solid foods a much as possible and to consume all your calories, vitamins and minerals through some form of drink.
The Hollywood diet drink is a perfect example of this approach to weight loss.
This all sounds good in theory but everyone reading this post knows that eating food is often about much more than just giving the body sustenance. Food is fun and the pleasure of eating is usually the reason why we gain weight in the first place.
Therefore for any food lover staying on track with this kind of diet can be difficult. Eating, or in this case drinking, the same meals everyday can become tedious and a real challenge to even the most strong-willed of dieters.
Although there are quite a few different liquid diet weight loss plans available most of them vary from each other only slightly. After all there is only so many liquid diet recipes you can create when you have such limited food resources to choose from.
One of the best ways to avoid the boredom of a liquid diet, while also experiencing amazing health benefits and a full detox, is to create your own drinks by juicing raw vegetables and fruits.
Another popular approach is a liquid protein diet. Basically this is just using a protein shake as a meal or mixing your own from a body building protein supplement. Many bodybuilders use a liquid protein diet during the “cutting” phase of their training just before a competition or coming into the summer months when they desire a leaner look.
If decide not to use pre-made beverages and/or do not want to follow the guidelines for juicing but instead wish to follow your own recipes it is important to fully research the methods you plan to adopt to ensure your body is getting at least the bare minimum of its nutritional needs met on a daily basis.
There are real health risks involved with crash diets and the liquid diet is no exception.
The Disadvantages & Dangers of Following a Liquid Diet Plan
The obvious disadvantage of following a liquid diet is the lack of variety in your meal plans.
It may sound easy to do but just sustaining yourself on beverages is often more difficult for people than they initially believed it would be.
It goes without saying that a huge percentage (if not all) people who need to lose weight are people who like food. So, eliminating food entirely from their diet often proves to be a huge struggle for liquid dieters. This is the reason for the huge success of diets based on foods that burn fat such as the cabbage soup diet – although these diets can be just as boring over time!
By far the biggest danger of following any type of crash diet is the risk it poses to your health if done incorrectly.
Your body, and brain, require a certain amount of specific nutrients every day in order to function properly, repair damage and maintain good health. When you deprive your body of these much needed nutrients ill health can rapidly follow.
It is all too easy for an inexperienced (or even experienced) dieter to cut down on their food intake so dramatically that they cut out their basic nutritional needs.
You must be especially careful not to do this if you decide to structure your own liquid diet weight loss plan as most beverages already have reduced nutrients.
Although with a little research you can certainly find foods from which you can create your own customized liquid diet recipes that cover your daily nutritional needs it is strongly recommended that you follow a healthy clinically proven liquid diet plan to ensure you are doing it right.
You will need either a blender or a juicer.
Alternatively many people opt for the pre-made alternatives as they are packed with the correct nutritional needs of the average person.
These can be expensive however and some of them even feel like you’ve launched an attack on your taste buds. Not at all pleasant.
Although a protein liquid diet is a good alternative to store bought weight loss shakes I have personally found juicing to be the best form of liquid diet as the recipes are varied (as varied as they can be of course), tasty and each one can be altered to suit an individual’s taste and preference.