Considering what we know and feel about foods, it is somewhat out of the ordinary to go on a liquid diet plan? The truth is, it sounds scary! But on a brighter side, you may be surprised to learn that you can gain some health benefits from liquid diets plans; that is aside from the obvious weight loss benefits. In this piece, we will discuss what this type of diet is all about, its benefits, as well as the detriments.
What are Liquid Diets Plans?
This is a nutritional plan that is made of only liquid foods like the following.
There are two types of liquid diet plans, namely – clear liquid (meals that are liquid, transparent, or translucent at room temperature) and full liquid diets (meals that include other foods that are creamy, milky, pureed, and non-liquid). If you’re going on any of these plans, then you’ll need the supervision of some experts to make sure you’re not hurting your health in the process. Also, you shouldn’t stay strictly on this diet for more than 7 days at a time.
Why You May Need This Diet, What to Eat, and What Not to Eat
From a lay man’s point of view, people go on this diet because they want to lose weight, which is right. But there is more to it than just weight loss. There are some medical examinations that require that you go on liquid diet meal plans for a while in order to get the procedure and results right. This is also the case with people who are looking forward to surgery, especially if it has to do with their intestines.
It is always important to follow the diet as it is to avoid messing up your procedures, surgery, or results. This nutritional plan also serves as a post-surgery diet to help the patient recover faster from the operation. Aside from all that, this is a very suitable meal plan for people who may be having issues with swallowing and chewing. This will help you to keep up with your calorie count while you treat your swallowing/chewing problem.
In the case of difficulty with swallowing and chewing, experts emphasize the need for urgent medical attention seeing as liquid diets plans are not substantial enough to sustain one’s health for a long time.
More samples of foods you can eat on this diet include:
- Fruit juices, including nectars and juices with pulp
- Butter, margarine, oil, cream, custard, and pudding
- Plain ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sherbet
- Fruit ices and popsicles
- Sugar, honey, and syrups
- Soup broth (bouillon, consommé, and strained cream soups, but no solids)
- Sodas, such as ginger ale and Sprite
- Gelatin (Jell-O)
- Boost, Ensure, Resource, and other liquid supplements
- Tea or coffee with cream or milk and sugar or honey
If you are on a liquid diet meal plan for health reasons, your doctor or dietician may have to be stricter compared to someone who is on the plan to shed some pounds. Whatever be the case, make sure you consult with them before including the following meals in your diet.
- Cooked, refined cereals, such as cream of rice, oatmeal, grits, or farina (Cream of Wheat)
- Strained meats, like the ones in baby food
- Potatoes pureed in soup
Any food at all that is not liquid must get approval from your doctor or dietician before adding it to your diet.
The best liquid diet plan will give you a list of what to eat as well as what not to eat. The following are foods you should avoid while on this plan.
- Frozen desserts including ice cream
- Chocolate chips
- Cookie piece
- Mashed potatoes or avocado
One of the downsides of a liquid diet weight loss plan is that it will not provide your body with enough fiber to function effectively. You’ll also not get enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are essential to your body. What to do in a case like this? Find a way to supplement your meals and include those food groups that may be missing. But remember, even the supplements have to be in liquid form.
Here are some examples of how you can improve your meals to make them balanced and healthier.
- Nonfat dry milk added to your drinks
- Protein powders or liquid or powdered egg whites added to drinks
- Instant breakfast powder added to milk, puddings, custards, and milkshakes
- Strained meats (like the ones in baby food) added to broths
- Butter or margarine added to hot cereal and soups
- Sugar or syrup added to beverages
A Day’s Menu and Things to Consider Before Starting
There may be other forms of liquid nutritional strategies, but one thing all liquid diet plan for weight loss have in common is at least 5 meals per day. You can take more than that if you like, and if it is within your calorie count, but anything less than 5 meals per day may be somewhat of an issue to your health. Here is a sample menu plan for a day.
- 1 cup of hot cereal (like Cream of Wheat) thinned with whole milk
- 1/2 cup fruit juice
- 1/2 cup supplement beverage, like Boost or Ensure
- 1/2 cup custard-style yogurt
- 2 cups of soup
- 1/2 cup tomato juice
- 1 cup chocolate pudding
- 1/2 cup supplement beverage
- 1/2 cup fruit juice
- 2 cups soup
- 1/2 to 1 cup blended oatmeal thinned with milk
- 1/2 cup lemonade
- 1 cup supplement beverage
- 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
Liquid diet weight loss meal plans like the one above should be combined with vitamins and supplements for maximum health benefits, especially if you plan to go on for longer than 5 days. Your doctor would be in the best position to tell you what you really need as per your journey.
Benefits of water fasting:
- It can help with weight loss after a few days.
- Very effective in managing lower blood pressure.
- It can promote the recycling of cells, also known as autophagy. This plays a role in preventing cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart diseases, diabetes, etc.
These are great benefits, mostly stated by non-professionals. There is no proper scientific research backing these claims.
Potential dangers of water fasting:
- Dehydration, not the type that comes from not drinking water, but the type that comes from not eating food.
- Hyponatremia, aka intoxication of water.
- Binge eating as a result of calorie restriction.
- It can be detrimental to people with certain health conditions
- Dizziness, lack of focus, and fatigue as a result of calorie restriction
- Hypotension – extremely low blood pressure
- Nutrient deficiency
- Digestive issues
Looking at these disadvantages, you’ll understand why this form of dieting should not be done by just anyone at anytime they feel like. It requires a lot of supervision from an expert, and it can lead to complications if care is not taken.
If you follow the specifications of your doctor on a healthy liquid diet plan, you’re less likely to develop any adverse effects. Be sure to discuss any new developments with your doctor so that he or she will stay updated about your condition and advice you as required.