Are Liquid Diets Safe Or Effective For Weight Loss?
Including small amounts of healthy solid foods in your liquid diet is more helpful in the long run for sustaining weight reduction.
Liquid diets are not recommended for long-term weight loss
- Liquid diets are extremely low in calories
- Doctors often suggest liquid diets before or after surgeries
- There are various side effects of consuming liquid diets
Often, when one takes on to the road to fitness, taking up liquid diets or other fad diets top the list of must-dos. One reason for the popularity of liquid diets is that they are extremely low in calories. Liquid diets involve our daily intake of calories only from liquids and not solid foods. There can be various categories of liquid diets, where some of them are medically prescribed, others are meant for detox and others are focused on the daily recommended calorie intake for weight loss.
Here's a look at the different kinds of liquid diets:
1. Meal replacement liquid diets
There are some meal replacement shakes which make a good replacement for the solid foods. There are various companies which are making such shakes for people who take up liquid diets. These shakes are lower in calories than meals which include solid food, and are also rich in essential nutrients required by the body.
2. Liquid diets meant for detox and cleanse
These liquid diets require consumption of juices which help in getting rid of toxic substances in the body. This kind of diet relies on juices from fresh vegetables, fruits and other botanical ingredients. There are chances that this liquid diet doesn't suffice for the essential nutrients of the body.
3. Medically prescribed liquid diets
After your go through a major surgery or have surpassed a serious disease like chicken pox or typhoid, doctors suggest taking a clear liquid diet or full liquid diet as they are easy to digest. Clear liquid diet includes only clear liquids such as vegetable or chicken broths, apple juice, tea, and water. Full liquid diets on the other hand, are not as restrictive as clear liquid diets and include drinks like syrups or shakes.
Also read: Follow A Diet That Suits Your Body Shape: Find Out Yours
Benefits of liquid diets
1. Low in calories
Meal replacement liquid diets are extremely low in calories and include a daily intake of calories from 500 to 1700. These diets are suggested for a period of 1 to 3 months, wherein solid foods are gradually introduced after that period. Researches have shown that low calorie diets (which recommend a daily intake of 1500 calories) and very low calorie diets (which involve daily intake of 500 calories) are equally effective for weight loss. But one must be careful of not depriving themselves of essential nutrients, vitamins and proteins. People often go wrong in following liquid diets and hence they are not recommended in the long term. The practical way of following a meal replacement liquid diet is by having solid, healthy foods for one or two meals in a day.
2. Liquid diets are prescribed before or after surgeries, or after suffering from serious diseases
Apart from weight loss, liquid diets are also followed because they are easy to digest and leave no undigested material in the intestines. Doctors suggest liquid diets before or after surgeries like colonoscopies, gall bladder removal and bariatric surgery.
Also read: Quick And Easy Weight Loss With The Japanese 'Morning Banana Diet'
Disadvantages of going on a liquid diet
1. They are not good weight loss strategies
Liquid diets are not beneficial for weight loss in the long run. While they aid quicker loss of weight, the weight gain after switching to solid food diet is equally quicker. Moreover, solid foods contain some essential nutrients which are important for the healthy functioning of the body. Hence having a diet in moderation, which is simpler to follow, is helpful for sustaining your weight reduction for a long period of time.
2. Not everyone can follow liquid diets
Meal replacement liquid diets or even the detox liquid diets might not be helpful for people who feel more hungry when the consume liquids instead of a small healthy meal or a snack. What's more is that meal replacement shakes are more expensive than your healthy solid foods.
3. Side effects of liquid diets
Since most liquids are low in fiber, it is quite likely that one might get constipated when on a liquid diet. Also, liquid diets increase chances of gallstones. Increased risk of nutrient deficiencies is another possible side effect of following a liquid diet. Hence, as stated above, including small amounts of healthy foods in your diet is a good and more sustaining idea.