Liquid diets have become trendy as the new way to detox or cleanse yourself to lose weight and get healthy. But not all liquid diets are healthy, and many may actually be more harmful than beneficial. Inadequate caloric or nutrient intake could lead to fatigue, dizziness and nausea, as well as set you up for bingeing and overeating due to unsatisfied hunger pangs. However, you can plan a healthy liquid diet to aid in weight loss and improve your overall health.
A healthy liquid diet should meet your daily caloric needs, which vary greatly depending on your sex, age, height, weight, medical history and goals. According to Columbia Health's Go Ask Alice! website, it's more important to focus on eating a nutritious, plant-based diet with everything in moderation since caloric intakes are highly individual. Dietitian Susie Burrell writes that in general, women who exercise can lose weight by consuming 1,400 to 1,500 calories a day, while a limit of 1,200 calories a day may be required for people with metabolic conditions that hinder weight loss.
Juice, Blend and Slurp
Consume a well-balanced liquid diet plan with smoothies, juices and blended pureed soups. Juicing extracts the fiber from vegetables and fruits, leaving plenty of vitamins and minerals in the juice itself but eliminating roughage to give the digestive system a rest from digesting solids. In contrast, smoothies and vegetable soups blend and maintain all parts of fruits and vegetables, including their fiber, for digestive health and increased satisfaction.
Bulk It Up
The foundation of your liquid diet plan should consist of vegetables, a source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for disease prevention, glowing skin and improved energy levels. Fruits should be enjoyed in moderation, as they are a source of natural sugars that can raise blood sugar levels, which can leave you hungry for more food. Bulk up your drinks by adding a source of protein and healthy fats. You can blend veggies and a fruit with a serving of protein powder, nuts and seeds for a creamy, satisfying drink. Or stir a serving of protein powder or ground flaxseed into a juice and consume immediately for maximum nutrient retention.
Don't attempt a liquid diet without consulting with your doctor or a dietitian first. A healthcare professional can direct you to a safe and healthy diet plan and determine if a liquid diet is right for you. Some diet programs for obesity begin with an all-liquid phase to help kick-start weight loss and improve overall health. You should always follow these plans under medical supervision to avoid potential health risks and unwanted side effects, such as constipation and nausea.