Weight loss is a very common goal.
Whether for health or appearance, many are looking for the perfect weight loss program.
One category of weight loss diets emphasizes the consumption of fluids instead of solid foods.
Some programs simply replace some foods with fluids, while others replace all solid foods with fluids. This article discusses some types of liquid diets and whether they are recommended for weight loss.
Types of Liquid Diets
Liquid diets are nutritional programs that require you to take one, most, or all of your daily calories from fluids instead of solid foods.
Although there are many liquid foods, most can be grouped into one of the following categories.
Meal Replacement Shakes
Other liquid diets include meal replacement substitutes that are used instead of solid foods. Many companies sell these shakes for weight loss purposes. Meal replacement often have a lower calorie content than regular meals. They can replace one or more meals a day.
It is designed to contain all the nutrients your body needs to function, including macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
Some weight loss programs use these liquid shakes to calculate total calorie intake for several months.
Detox diet and Cleansing
Other liquid diets include detox diets, such as cleansing, which require the consumption of certain juices or beverages that remove toxic substances from your body. Examples of these diets include Master Cleanse, prolonged fasting of water, and various juice programs.
Unlike meal replacement, these programs often rely on certain natural ingredients, such as juices from certain fruits and vegetables and other herbal ingredients.
Medically prescribed liquid diets
Clear liquid and complete liquid diets are examples of medically prescribed diets for specific health reasons.
As the name suggests, clear liquid diets can only allow the consumption of clear liquids such as water, apple juice, tea, some sports drinks and soups. These foods can be prescribed before or after certain surgeries or digestive problems.
For the same reasons, full-fledged liquid diets are prescribed, but they are less restrictive than clear liquid diets.
Liquid diets replace some or all foods and beverages. There are several classes, including diet replacement, cleansing and liquid foods, that are medically prescribed.
Liquid diets are usually very low in calories
Liquid diets usually have fewer calories than diets that consist of a solid diet.
With a liquid meal replacement, the total number of calories per day can range from 500 to 1,500.
However, these diets are often just one phase of a general weight loss program.
For example, a weight loss study in 24 obese people included a 30-day period in which participants consumed 700 calories a day from dietary supplements but no solid foods.
Over the next 150 days, the solid diet was gradually reintroduced. Daily calorie intake has gradually increased from 700 to 1,200 calories.
This program is effective in losing weight and reducing body fat from 33% to 26%.
In liquid meal replacement studies, this formula is usually used to reintroduce solid foods after following a liquid diet for one to three months.
Research has shown that both low-calorie (1,200-1,500 calories per day) and very low-calorie (500 calories per day) diets that use liquid supplements can be effective in losing weight.
While very low calorie diets can lead to greater weight loss, they can also lead to greater risks, such as an increased risk of gallstones in some individuals. It is important to note that people who participate in studies on a low-calorie liquid diet are often closely monitored by a healthcare professional.
In addition, many of these programs are not intended for long-term monitoring.
Some liquid foods do not allow solid foods and therefore may not contain all the useful nutrients found in whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables.
However, replacing one or two meals a day with a low-calorie liquid meal can be a long-term practical strategy as the equivalent of a healthy and solid diet.
Some liquid diets consist of pre-packaged meal replacements that provide 500-1500 calories a day. These diets are often just one phase of a general weight loss program that gradually replaces a solid diet.
Sometimes liquid diets are prescribed before or after a certain surgey
Although liquid diets are often associated with weight loss programs, there are other reasons why you can follow one.
For example, clear fluids are usually easily digestible and do not leave much indigestible material in your gut.
As a result, your doctor may prescribe a clean liquid diet for certain surgeries, such as colonoscopy and bariatric surgery.
It can also be prescribed after certain surgeries, such as gallbladder removal and bariatric surgery. In addition, liquid foods are recommended for those who have digestive problems, including diarrhea and vomiting.
However, some evidence suggests that solid foods left behind by small amounts of undigested materials may be better than liquid foods.
Liquid diets are used for even greater weight loss. Your doctor may prescribe a liquid diet before or after certain surgeries or if you have certain digestive problems.
Replacing certain foods with fluids can help with weight loss
Many studies have been conducted on programs that replace some or all foods with liquid dietary supplements. An eight-year study of more than 8,000 obese people looked at whether liquid dietary supplements promote weight loss and weight maintenance.
The program consisted of a 12-week period in which participants consumed only 800 calories per day from liquid dietary supplements.
After a weight loss period, participants were prescribed a weight maintenance program, which gradually returned to a solid diet.
After one year, women lost an average of 43 pounds (19.6 kg), while men lost 57 pounds (26 kg).
Although these results are surprising, it is important to note that participants underwent an intensive program under medical supervision. Another study involving more than 9,000 overweight and obese adults examined the effects of a 500-calorie liquid formula on weight loss.
The liquid formula is the only source of calories for 6-10 weeks, followed by 9 months of weight loss.
After one year, those who used liquid nutrition lost 25 pounds (11.4 kg), which is more than those who ate solid food. However, it was probably because they ate fewer calories than a group of solid foods.
Research that directly compares low-calorie diets, which consist of any food or fluid, has found that both diets are equally effective when they have the same number of calories.
Replacing some or all of these foods with liquid dietary supplements can promote weight loss. However, this is due to reduced calorie intake. Food and fluid based diets are just as effective as high calorie diets.
Other liquid diets may not be good weight loss strategies
Liquid diets that allow you to drink only certain juices, teas or other beverages are not a good strategy for long-term weight loss.
Solid foods contain many essential nutrients. Therefore, it is not recommended to stay on a diet consisting of liquids alone in the long term.
Even in studies showing impressive results from liquid meal replacements, solid foods were reintroduced after several weeks or months.
Medically prescribed liquid diets like the clear liquid diet or full liquid diet are not meant to be followed in the long term.
Similarly, cleanse and detox programs may involve periods during which only certain juice mixtures are consumed for days or weeks.
For example, the Cleanse consists of 3–10 days of only consuming a special beverage made of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water, etc. Drinking this drink instead of eating can reduce your calorie intake, but 3-10 days of low calorie intake will not do much in terms of long-term weight loss if you then return to a normal diet.
Short-term low-calorie diets can quickly reduce your weight loss due to the loss of carbohydrates and water that are normally stored in your liver and muscles.
Therefore, most of the weight you lose on these short liquid diets may not be due to fat loss.
If you continue your normal diet, you will probably regain most or all of the weight you lost by replenishing your carbohydrates and water. Short-term crash diets usually do not lead to permanent weight loss because they do not change your permanent eating habits.
For these reasons, overly strict diets that do not allow a solid diet are usually not recommended.
A more appropriate goal is to adopt simple strategies that you can use every day for a long time, rather than quick short-term solutions that do not live up to their promise.
Diets that contain only juices or special drinks are not a good strategy in the long run. These programs can lead to rapid weight loss, but are unlikely to lead to permanent fat loss. A better strategy is to focus on sustainable, long-term dietary changes. Liquid diets are not for everyone. Although in some it is possible to find success
Liquid diets are not for everyone
While it is possible to succeed with some liquid diets, such as those that use nutritional supplements, these programs are not good for everyone.
Some people may find that replacing some solid foods with liquid substitutes is a practical way to reduce calorie intake.
However, some people find this way of eating challenging.
If you know that replacing low-calorie fluids with solid foods can help you eat fewer calories while feeling satisfied, this can be a useful weight loss strategy.
However, if you feel more hungry when you drink liquid meal substitutes than a snack or a small meal, this strategy may not be right for you. For example, you may want to consider replacing a regular lunch with a liquid meal replacement.
If you usually go out to eat or have high-calorie leftovers from yesterday's dinner, you can reduce your calorie intake by using meal substitutes.
However, if you usually eat a light, healthy lunch, switching to liquid meal replacement will not help you.
Many groups of people should not consider a liquid diet, such as pregnant or breastfeeding women, children and adolescents, and the underweight.
Not to mention that there are financial aspects. Commercial meal replacement can be more expensive than traditional solid foods.
Some people find that gaining fluid is a quick way to reduce calorie intake, for others it is difficult. First, think about whether replacing foods with fluids will help you reduce calories and whether it is a sustainable eating strategy for you.
Safety and effects of liquid diets
The safety of liquid diets depends on the type of diet and the length of the program.
Diets that replace one or more foods on a daily basis with dietary changes are generally considered safe in the long run. Most meal replacement shakes are designed to contain the nutrients the human body needs, including carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
By simply replacing food with liquids, you ensure that you get nutrients from a solid diet.
One of the side effects of a liquid diet is constipation, which can be caused by low fiber content in most fluids.
In addition, high-calorie diets (500 kcal per day) may lead to a higher risk of gallstones than low-calorie diets (1,200-1,500 calories per day).
However, there is a small incidence of side effects in general weight loss programs that include low-calorie liquid dietary substitutes. Meanwhile, prescribed medical liquid diets are considered safe for short-term use, but are often prescribed by a physician.
If this type of diet is not prescribed by your doctor, it is probably not necessary.
Keeping a liquid diet for a long time can increase your risk of nutritional deficiencies, especially if you only drink juices or other beverages that are not so important. nutrients.
In general, it may be a good idea to include some healthy solid foods in your diet, even if you are considering adding weight to fluids.
The safety of liquid diets depends on the specific diet and how long you follow it. Replacing a balanced diet with certain solid foods is likely to be safe in the long run. However, it is not advisable to take fluids only for a long time.
Liquid foods replace some or all foods that contain liquid. It is always low in calories and can be used for weight loss.
Some use nutritionally balanced substitutes for food, while others only allow juices or low-nutrient drinks. Liquid supplements can help with weight loss, but are often only part of a program that includes a solid diet.
They are also only recommended for weight loss if it is a viable strategy for you. There is no "one size fits all" diet program. Choosing something that suits your preferences will increase your chances of long-term weight loss success.
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