There are so many diets which vary according to the personal needs and requirements. Liquid diet is one of them, and has medical significance. As it can be easily understood from the title, liquid diet makes you rely completely on liquids and foods which melt at room temperature (such as the jellies and gelatine).
Liquid diet is the hydrating agent which keeps your body’s electrolytic balance maintained.
Why do people rely on liquid diets? They may be suffering from some gastrointestinal disease or they may have to take a diagnosis test, due to which the doctors advise the patient to be on a liquid diet for a few days. It may sound a little crazy and uncomfortable for the foodies, but you have to follow the rules.
Liquid diet also allows you to take some soft food items which may be in the form of the puree or the overcooked pasta. You can also go for the scrambled eggs and bananas. But, if you cannot swallow at all, the feeding tube can be used for some support.
There are four common types of liquid diets.
- Clear liquid diet
- Full liquid diet
- Lactose free liquid diet
- Low fibre liquid diet
Out of these, the clear and full liquid diets are the dominant ones. Clear liquid diet refers to the diet where you have to take the transparent liquid foods, for instance, fruit juices without pulp, bouillon, ice popsicles, gelatine, clear desserts and many more. But, let me tell you that you need to be careful about the dyes and the preservatives used in liquids. Some carbonated drinks are colourful and may look pretty, but this pretty dyed drink can turn out to be harmful for you.
Full liquid diet contains both all kinds of liquids- both clear and opaque. The consistency should be smooth and fine. We are glad to tell you that in full liquid diet, you can have milk. In clear liquid diet, you are not allowed to do so. Have milkshakes, coffee, teas and ice-creams. But, again, beware of the dyed food and keep you ice-cream plain and simple without any topping of fruits or chocolate chips. You can have fun with the dark chocolate and custard desserts. Cream soups and coconut milk is also added.
In both of the above diets, do not forget water.
Lactose free diets are subjected only to those people who have lactose issues. And, low fibre diets are suggested to those who have bowel problems and digestive issues.
Liquid diet plan
Make a plan of your liquid diet and start following it. We are here to help you in planning!
Begin your day with fruit juices. The fruit juice should be free of pulp. You can also have the cooked cereals which are combined with milk to increase the liquid content. You can add some protein powders in the morning menu, which have to be made into protein shakes. Variety will come when you let it come. Make the delicious smoothies with fruits and yoghurt. You can add a few calories by using honey to sweeten your dessert.
Lunch & Dinner-
Lunch and dinner contribute to the dominant meals of the day, but actually a breakfast is the most important meal. Anyway, you can have the soups and consommé in your lunch and dinner. Strain properly so that lumps or chunks are removed. Solids and semi solids are not allowed. However, you can have it garnished with cream or melted butter. Have protein shakes or any other drink to substitute your meal.
Lots of liquids and no solids are not happening. If you are not on a weight loss diet, then you can have the milkshakes, whipped creams, sorbets, ice-creams and the juicy bars! Make the custards with yoghurts and enjoy the meal.
Liquid diet recipes
We have been constantly telling you about what to eat and what not to eat. But, if we will not tell you some of the amazing recipes, then we shall be missing on our part to guide you at our best!
Here we have some interesting ways to prepare your liquid diet meals so that you don’t find it boring! Have the blenders, storage containers and strainers with you. You may need them here.
- Mango Coconut Smoothie
This version is dairy-free, that is, it does not have any milk product requirement. Have some mango pieces with you, which may be frozen or chilled. Have a half cup of orange juice and ¼ cup of coconut milk. Take one tablespoon of lemon juice or sweet lime. You can add honey to taste. If you have the coconut oil, then take about a tablespoon of it. As a milk substitute, you can take the cashew milk. The above mentioned ingredients need to be mixed together in a blender. You can add ice cubes to give it a frozen texture.
Garnish with mint leaves.
- Banana Blueberry Yoghurt Smoothie
Have some ice cubes and the fruits mentioned in the title of this recipe, that is, bananas, blueberries and yoghurt. You can add honey to sweeten your smoothie. Blend the ingredients altogether and serve in glasses! Taste your creation.
- Strawberry Matcha Green Tea Chia Smoothie
I shall tell you the ingredients first. Take about half a cup of orange juice and few strawberries. Get the chia seeds. In India, you can use the sabja or falooda seeds. Get the matcha green tea powder. Now, soak the seeds in orange juice for about 15 to 20 minutes. Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend. Use ice cubes as well. Thick smoothies are yummy!
- Green Tea Smoothie
This is for the beginners. Do not go on the title as other than the green tea, we are also using spinach, grapes and bananas. Take some green grapes, baby spinach, frozen banana slices and green tea. Blend all the ingredients altogether and enjoy your green liquid diet.
- Beet and Carrot Smoothie
In just 10 minutes with all the required ingredients, you can make this liquid diet meal for the morning! Take carrots, beetroot and sweet lime. Take some red grapes and a small slice of ginger. All these should be properly peeled and sliced into small pieces. Take about half a cup of green tea. Blend the ingredients and use ice cubes. Smoothie is incomplete without the frozen texture.
Apart from these smoothies, you can make the milkshakes. The creativity in milkshakes is exclusive and you will find the endless recipes when you surf the net!
Liquid diet for weight loss
Some people rely on liquid diets for weight loss. They may not have the time to exercise in their busy lives. Thus, they rely on controlling their calorie intake for reducing the extra weight. Liquid diets provide them the best options with quick and easy solutions. But the question arises that are they nutritive?
Obviously, in this era of globalisation, liquid diets fit the needs of the people. It promises weight loss with proper supply of nutrients. People have noticed the instant drop in their weights and find these diets efficient.
In liquid diets, you have to replace all your solid meals with opaque or clear liquids. You can buy the protein shakes which are commercially very popular. You have to mix the protein powder in milk, water or even juices. In fact, if you rely on the shakes and have them thrice or four times in a day, then you can have a low fat dinner. Concentrate on the calorie amount in your dinner. Do not exceed the limit of 600 to 700 calorie consumption in the whole day.
Best liquid diet
The best liquid diet is determined when you consider the following key points! Have a look and you will understand.
- Some commercial drinks such as Boost and Ensure give you about 250 calories per day. Consider these drinks if you like because they have relatively low costs and they are easily available. Nutrient content is good and you can make them yourself very easily.
- The liquid diet which relieves you of the digestive problems more efficiently are the best.
- The liquid diet meals should be convenient to prepare on your own and should be economic. Expensive meals are not affordable by everyone in need.
- The storage capacity of the meal should be good. You should be able to store them in refrigerator.
- The least fat content and even no fat content make the liquid diet meal the best for you.
- In liquid meals, sugar is not your companion. Use honey if you wish to sweeten your fluid. Also, not that the artificial sweeteners are also not appropriate to use.
- A liquid meal full of vitamins and nutrients is just like a box full of treasure for you. Make sure what you eat benefits your body.
- Anything which is tasty and healthy is good for you. Make sure it relieves you of all the issues.
Make sure your liquid meal fits at least any 4 or 5 of the above mentioned points.
Liquid diet results
There is a combined answer to the question “Are liquid diets healthy?”
Liquid diet has shown positive results for the digestive problem patients and those who had undergone a surgery. The diet has also proven itself as “promising” in reducing weight and obesity. The preparation methods are easy and quick, and attractive as well. You can achieve complete fitness and ensure your safe health if you are on a liquid diet. Liquid diet comes to your rescue when you wish to remain healthy and fit in your busy workaholic life.
Liquid diet gives you null calories, and you are gaining no weight. You are actually having no food during this diet and thus, your body will become calorie deficit. This helps in reducing obesity. Also, the liquid diet has essential minerals and vitamins, which provides your body the essential nutrition.
But, many controversies have been observed regarding the results. The calorie content of the liquid diets is very low or even totally absent in many recipes. You cannot rely on liquid diets forever or even for more than a week. Why? Because, your body has to do a lot of work the whole day. For carrying out the day to day activities, you need energy and corresponding to the energy requirement, you need the appropriate calorie intake. Yes, we know that the extra calories turn into fat and liquid diet prevents this accumulation of fat. But, liquid diet does not even supply the sufficient calories as well. It lacks in proteins, carbohydrates and fats, which are the macronutrients. Our body needs these nutrients in more quantity and the liquid diet keeps us devoid of them.
If you carry on with your liquid diet for more than a week, your body is going to become weak and feeble, and surely you will not like that. Potentially, liquid diet is disastrous if you are on long term use. You may experience headaches, bad breath, weakness, fatigue and constipation. The immune system loses its ability to protect you.
Thus, we suggest you that you follow what your doctor advises you and keep in mind the time period of your diet.
High protein liquid diet
If you are advised the high protein liquid diet, then you may have some strong medical reason. Either you have to undergo the bariatric surgery or you have undergone some medical operation. It is also suggested when you have to combat the obesity issues.
What all you should remember when you follow the high protein liquid diet?
- You have to take about six small meals in a day
- The food you take should be smooth and completely liquid.
- You have to sip or eat slowly. The intake should be steady and take your time to eat. Even if it takes an hour to complete the glass of smooth juice, it is okay.
- Have at least 8 cups of fluid so that your body stays hydrated.
- Sip the sugar free fluids which are not carbonated.
- No caffeine is allowed.
- Don’t go for the sugar free hard candies or alcohol.
What should be your meals in this high protein liquid diet?
- Take the soups which are free of fat content or may contain about 1-2% of fats. Use fat free cream or milk, and always strain the soups before you sip.
- Do not use flavoured protein powders. Go for the healthy, simple and plain powders. Mix them up in water, milk or juice.
- Use soymilk which is plain or of vanilla flavour
- You can have yoghurt with very low fat and do not use an artificial sweetener with it.
- Do not use fruit slices in decorating your meals or dry fruits. Remember, no solids!
Full liquid diet foods
I must say that in a full liquid diet, you have some liberty to eat opaque liquids. And, in the rest of the manner, it is similar to clear liquid diet. You can consume milk and some vegetable juices in full liquid diet. Pureed soups and soft cooked cereals are also allowed when liquid content is increased with milk or water.
These are low in calories and you can use some sweeteners as well.
What all is allowed in this diet?
- Fruits and vegetables juices are allowed. But, they should be without the chunks and solid pieces.
- You can have milk but make sure that the fat content is very low.
- Use soymilk or almond milk. You can also have cashew milk.
- Yoghurt without fruit pieces, chocolate chips or artificial sweeteners.
- Melted cheese! (You may feel delighted to read this one. Are you?)
- Honey is allowed
- Coffee and tea can be made with low fat milk
- Soft drinks and sports drinks are preferable
- Water and just lots of water!
- Broth, bouillon or consommé
- Creamed soup
- Ice-cream without any fruit punch or chocolate chips
- Frozen yoghurts and slush
Liquid diet before surgery
Why do the doctors tell you to take a liquid diet? The pre-operative liquid diet can be because of individual reasons. When the patient has to go for the weight loss surgery, then the liquid diet is taken in order to reduce the complications during surgery. The time of operation and recovery is reduced, and the patient shows better and faster results. It also reduces the post operative risks and helps the patient to understand his/her post operative requirements.
There are certain standards set for the liquid diet before the surgery. Here we have a sample which is standardised based on survey. You should preferably follow the one prescribed by your doctor. If not, you can follow this one!
- Almost 5 shakes in a day.
- Proper amount of water, of about 80 ounces on average.
- 800 calories per day intake
When you will begin with the liquid diet, the initial days may make you feel starving and hungriest in the world. Your body will now slowly understand the deficiency of calories and will cut down its own fat and proteins to supply the energy for the day to day activities. The blood sugar becomes stable now and you get gradually adapted.
There are a few side effects of the liquid diet as well. Dizziness, headache, fatigue and bowel changes are some common ones. If you feel something unusual, consult your doctor.
- Smooth shakes should be taken.
- Add small ice cubes
- Increase sweetness with sugar free syrups
- Decrease sweetness by adding water
- Eat the desserts frozen
- Have certain control bars regarding the meal you take and ingredients you choose
How much weight can you lose on a liquid diet?
The capacity of your body to lose weight by using the liquid diet is determined by the mechanisms going on in your body and their speed. As we said earlier that if you go on a liquid diet for a longer period of time, then you are going to get affected up to much extent. Your health will degrade and you may be the victim of malnutrition.
In a liquid diet, the basic principle about calories is that you are consuming almost negligible calories. This means that you are not adding any calories to your body. With this process occurring at one side, another process occurs simultaneously. The extra calories you already have are getting burnt in order to supply energy for your work.
There is no specific data on the amount of calories you should consume daily on a liquid diet. But, on average estimates, we can say that you should take about 800 calories at least in a day.
Counting days and having a check on your weight daily will not make your weight go down. You have to be a little strict towards yourself and follow a proper liquid diet plan. You are losing a major part of your extra fat by doing this. We wish you luck!
Liquid diet shakes
Many commercial products come under the category of protein shakes. They are easy to make and healthy to have. Such shakes have the capacity to replace the meals, and provide you a liquid diet. They are successful in giving positive results in weight loss and surgery conditions.
The liquid diets are not sufficient to fulfil our hunger. The protein shakes replace this hunger and cause the rapid weight loss. Proper nourishment comes in expensive packets, but the eating habits get controlled. The patient does not feel the urge to eat anything else and no compulsive feeling is experienced.
Make sure that your protein shake carries enough calories to make the limit of a day, which is 800 calories. In average, only about 50 grams of protein is required in a liquid diet by an adult. Vitamins, minerals and the fibre content should also be taken care of.
Always consult a specialist before beginning with your liquid diet. You are going to take an important step. Good luck!