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Weight Management

Should you try a Liquid Diet for Weight Loss?

Published on Jun 09, 2022


By Dr. Surya Bhagwati
Chief In- House Doctor
BAMS, DHA, DHHCM, DHBTC | 30+ Years of Experience

Should you try a Liquid Diet for Weight Loss?

For people looking for quick fat loss, a liquid diet for weight loss can often look quite appealing. After all, who wouldn’t want to lose weight by drinking their meals without having to step into a gym? This article explores the good and the bad about liquid diets.

In Ayurveda, liquid food is recommended to be taken once in a while, for a full day. This is said to help cleanse and unburden the body. These foods range from broths and porridge to fruit and vegetable juices. 

Before listing out the foods in a liquid weight loss diet, let’s understand the concept of a liquid diet. 

What is a Liquid Diet?

A liquid diet is a diet that exclusively contains liquid foods and drinks. 

The clear liquid diet is a well-known liquid diet that includes clear liquids. This diet is easily digestible and is often prescribed for patients before some medical procedures. As for following a liquid diet for weight loss, many have tried successfully in losing weight with this diet. 

However, there are drawbacks to the clear liquid diet. The biggest problem with a liquid diet is having an insufficient calorie intake and nutrient deficiency. This is also why Ayurveda only recommends you follow a liquid diet for just a day in the week. 

These diets can include vegetable and fruit juices as well as shakes. You can replace some or all your meals with a liquid diet for weight loss at home. However, it’s most common to replace just breakfast and lunch with a liquid diet. 

Do Liquid Diets Work for Weight Loss?

Yes, your liquid diet plan for weight loss can work, to a certain degree. Let me explain. 

Weight loss is caused by ensuring your body is in a calorie deficit. This means that your calorie gain should be lower than your calorie burn. The way liquid diets work is by significantly lowering your calorie intake, speeding up the weight loss process

The advantage of using a liquid diet for weight loss is that it makes it easier to control your meal portions. Liquid diets are great for those who have problems chewing their food and are also easier to digest.

However, the downside of following a liquid diet for weight loss is that the results don’t always last. 

When your body experiences a significant reduction in calorie intake, it slows down your metabolism. This decline in metabolic rate is to help save energy, which counters weight loss. It also means that you may just gain the weight you have lost after you stop the liquid diet. 

What people have found to work best is to combine a liquid and solid diet over a longer period. 

Liquid Diet Foods & Drinks for Weight Loss

Here’s the list of foods and drinks to include in your liquid diet for weight loss:

  1. Water
  2. Cold-pressed juices
  3. Creamy soup
  4. Popsicles
  5. Raw (or scrambled) eggs
  6. Honey or syrup
  7. Sorbet
  8. Yogurt 
  9. Low-calorie frozen yoghurt
  10. Sports drinks
  11. Fruit and vegetable juices
  12. full-fat, soy, or almond milk
  13. Ice cream
  14. Tea or coffee
  15. Cooked cereals
  16. Broth
  17. Pureed lean protein from chicken, beans, lentils, mushrooms, or soy

Ayurvedic Liquid Diets 

In Ayurveda, there are three types of Ayurvedic liquid foods that can help improve appetite, digestion, detox, and overall health:

  1. Manda is a clear, supernatant water with boiled rice
  2. Peya is boiled broken rice with dry ginger, pepper, and coriander seeds
  3. Yavagu is a thicker form of Peya with a porridge-like consistency

Risks of Liquid Diet

A low-calorie liquid diet for weight loss with only 400-800 calories a day may cause health risks. These diets are known to have insufficient macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats), vitamins and minerals. This is also why such extreme weight loss diets should only be used under medical supervision. 

The ideal fat burning liquid diet drinks should provide the necessary nutrients you need throughout the day. But this can be difficult to achieve without using supplementation. There is the additional problem of constipation that also happens due to insufficient fibre in liquid diets. 

The side effects of having insufficient nutrients can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation 
  • Gallstones
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle loss (in case of protein deficiency)
  • Heart damage

Tips for Weight Loss

For those who are planning to follow a liquid diet for weight loss, here are some tips that may help:

  • For the best results, your liquid diet should be made with a range of fruits and vegetables. 
  • You should cut down on smoking, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, wheat, non-vegetarian food, and dairy for at least 7 days before starting your liquid diet. 
  • Drink approximately 6 glasses of water a day, other than what you get in your liquid diet. 
  • Start exercising or doing yoga for weight loss

Doctors don’t recommend liquid diet foods for everyone. Trying to lose weight with these diets can blow back on you if you don’t do it right. This is also why we recommend consulting an expert doctor before trying a liquid diet for weight loss

Here’s who shouldn’t be starting a liquid diet without a doctor’s supervision:

  • Pregnant or nursing women
  • Children
  • People with diabetes, eating disorders, malnutrition, addictions, kidney and liver disease, anaemia, infections, nutrient deficiency, impaired immune function, cancer, ulcerative colitis, low blood pressure, epilepsy, terminal illnesses or other chronic illnesses
  • Those who are about to or have just had surgery

And if you are looking for a weight loss liquid diet to detoxify, its best to consult a doctor first. 

Should You Try a Liquid Diet for Weight Loss?

Yes, you can indeed use a liquid diet for weight loss. However, you should only do so after talking to a doctor as there are risks associated with this type of diet. 

Ayurveda also recommends only following this fat-burning liquid diet for a day, once a week. This can help prevent the nutrient deficiency that can cause muscle mass loss among other problems associated with liquid diets. 

You can also take Ayurvedic fat burners with natural herbs that help suppress your appetite while boosting fat metabolism. These medicines for weight loss help naturally promote fat burn and can be used regularly with no known side effects. 

FAQs on Liquid Diet for Weight Loss

Can you lose weight on a liquid diet?

Yes, the right liquid diet plan for weight loss can work for quick weight loss

How much weight can u lose on a liquid diet?

The 3-day liquid food diet can help you lose up to 4.5 kgs in a week. 

Are there liquid diet recipes in Ayurveda?

Yes, you can find plenty of liquid diet recipes online. 

Can you exercise while on a liquid diet?

Yes, you can exercise when on a clear liquid diet. However, keep the nutrients (especially protein) in mind when exercising. 

What will happen if I only drink liquids for a week?

Following a liquid diet for weight loss at home for a week can help you lose weight quickly. However, nutrient deficiency is a real concern, and its symptoms shouldn’t be ignored.

Dr. Surya Bhagwati
BAMS (Ayurveda), DHA (Hospital Admin), DHHCM (Health Management), DHBTC (Herbal Beauty and Cosmetology)

Dr. Surya Bhagwati is an established, well-known Ayurvedic expert with over 30 years of experience in treating and consulting in the field of Ayurveda. She is known for the timely, efficient, and patient-centred delivery of quality health care. The patients under her care receive a unique holistic treatment comprising not only medicinal treatment but also spiritual empowerment.

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