Planning a seven-day liquid diet depends on what type of liquid diet you're on and why. People on a full liquid diet for medical reasons, such as an upcoming surgery or an intestinal illness, may have different restrictions than someone on a liquid diet for weight loss purposes, for example. People on a liquid diet should be under the supervision of a doctor to make sure they get sufficient nutrients. Talk to your physician for a personalized meal plan.
You can start your morning off with fruit juice without pulp and, depending on your doctor's orders, you may be able to eat cooked cereal like oatmeal or cream of wheat or rice, especially if you thin it down with extra milk. Milk and liquid nutritional supplements, such as Boost or Ensure, are also included on this diet. You can add variety throughout your seven-day diet by rotating different types of juices and cereals. You can also have fruit smoothies made with yogurt and pureed skinless and seedless fruits, or some kefir, which is a type of drinkable yogurt. If you need to add calories, include honey or maple syrup to sweeten your smoothie and cereal, and use a little melted butter on the cereal as well.
Lunch and Dinner
A pureed soup is a good choice for lunch and dinner. You can make your own or use an already prepared soup. If you puree it yourself, you may need to strain it to catch any chunks. Consider adding yogurt, avocado or silken tofu to add more nutrients. You can increase your protein intake by adding skim milk powder or protein powder to the liquids or using a meal replacement drink. Serve your soup with tea with lemon and honey, milk or a glass of vegetable juice. Strained baby foods without lumps can also be eaten on some liquid diets, although you may need to thin them with water, milk or broth.
Desserts and Snacks
You'll only be able to eat so much liquid food at one time, so have snacks as well as meals, especially if you aren't trying to lose weight. Milkshakes, gelatin with whipped cream, pudding, sherbet, ice creams without any chunky add-ins, fruit juice bars and ice pops, and custard-style yogurt are all allowed on a liquid diet.
Liquid diets for weight-loss may be very low in calories, typically containing 800 calories or less per day. This type of diet needs medical supervision or you could wind up not getting enough essential nutrients. While they can lead to rapid weight loss, people often have a hard time maintaining that weight loss once they go back to eating regular foods. Some people also have difficulty switching back to regular foods and come to rely on liquid meal-replacement drinks, which isn't particularly healthy.
If you're lactose-intolerant, avoid regular dairy products during your liquid diet or take a lactase supplement before eating dairy to avoid undesirable gastrointestinal side effects.
Check with your doctor or a registered nutritionist to make sure your diet includes all the nutrients you need and that it won't interfere with any health conditions you may have, such as kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure. You may need to take supplements, especially if you're on a liquid diet for more than five days.
- MedlinePlus: Diet - Full Liquid
- Drugs.com: Full Liquid Diet
- Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology: Full Liquid Diet
- University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: Full Liquid Diet
- Nutrition Diva: Healthy Options for Soft or Liquid Diets
- University of Virginia Health System: Liquid Diet
- University of Minnesota Medical Center: Full Liquid Diet
- UT Southwestern Medical Center: Liquid-Diet Regimen Might Trim Need for Bariatric Surgery
- The New York Times: The Grip Of the Liquid Diet: A special report: Dieters, Craving Balance, Are Battling Fears of Food