Going on a liquid diet is actually a doctor-approved. However, it’s not always because for weight loss, but for some other medical purpose. If you’re planning to try it, read on to discover the ins and outs of this diet plan.
What is a Liquid Diet?
Actually, this type of diet is not something new. It just lost its popularity in the 70’s. But now it’s back with a vengeance thanks to a modified version of it—where people are allowed to eat one meal with solid foods, and then replace the other one or two meals with a commercial shake (Ensure or Boost) or powdered protein.
A liquid diet, as what the name suggests, requires you to consume only fluids, or foods that turn to liquid form at room temperature. There are two types: clear liquid and full liquid. The former is the rigid type while the latter gives people more freedom to add other foods, like pudding and oatmeal, to get more calories.
Is a liquid diet safe and good for you?
It’s generally safe for many people, even diabetics… that is, if they don’t drink milkshakes the entire day. In fact, humans survive longer on fluids than on solid foods. Remember, our body is mostly composed of fluids.
Most doctors even approve of it because they normally prescribe this to their patients who’ve undergone certain medical procedures. But you can only do a liquid fast for a few days or a week, with the right medical supervision.
Examples of recommended foods and drinks for this diet plan are:
- Water (pretty obvious)
- Shakes (Ensure or Boost)
- Strained soups
- And other pureed foods
Generally, doctors recommend this kind of diet to patients before or after a medical test or procedure, like surgery, which may leave a patient unable to tolerate solid foods. It also allows faster absorption of energy-giving fluids, minerals, and proteins. When it comes to losing weight… Dr. Thomas A. Wadden of the Syracuse University has an answer for that. In an evaluation study he led, the result showed that those who finished a six-month very-low-calorie liquid diet program (based on the Optifast program) shed off a lot of body weight. And get this—non-quitters managed to keep off the 60-percent lost weight for at least one year. 
This study involved 517 obese patients (110 males and 407 females). Out of the 517, 232 quitted after 77 days. Fortunately for those who stayed, the men lost 59 pounds (from a 283-pound initial weight) and the women lost an average of 42 pounds (from a 225-pound initial weight).
This study only proves that a liquid fast can keep off a lot of weight for prolonged periods (but not forever). It should be noted, however, that regular workouts and a supervised behavior modification should also be done while on this kind of diet.
Do you think the liquid diet is good for you? Don’t forget to share your thoughts below.