Make sure you’re getting enough calories
Eating more calories than your body uses will cause it to store them as fat, so it’s true that to lose weight you need to eat fewer calories than the normal recommended amount. But it is also true that too few calories can lead to fatigue and more serious side effects. Eating too few calories can slow your metabolism by up to 23%, and this makes it harder to keep the weight off after you’ve returned to a normal diet.
It’s unwise to go on a liquid diet if it doesn’t supply at least 800 calories in a day. Since this is a low level of calories, you need to make sure that each thing you drink supplies your body with an adequate amount of what it needs. This includes protein, fiber, carbohydrates, nutrients, vitamins and minerals. There are some good meal replacement shakes on the market which contain many of these, but it is also a good idea to add in fresh vegetable juice when you are on a liquid diet.
Don’t burn out
Pay attention to your body. Of course, you’ll experience cravings and hunger when you are on a diet. You can push through these and continue, but if you start feeling faint or fatigued, it’s a good idea to add in some solid food. Liquid diets can often be used for longer if you add in some solid food, once a day or every other day.
Some liquid diet teas or juices contain laxatives, and these will dehydrate you quickly. Read the labels carefully and stay away from anything that will dehydrate you (this includes coffee). If you end up getting dehydrated, it will be harder to stay on the diet and you might bring on fatigue, headaches, and other negative experiences.
Keep the weight off
You’re doing this to lose weight, so it is very important to understand how weight loss works with liquid diets. When you are on a liquid diet, you aren’t giving your body what it needs via your diet, so it starts to burn up weight you have stored up. So you will lose weight, and you can often see results within a few days. But this weight that comes of in the beginning is tied to water.
What your body uses up first is a thing called glycogen. This is a form of glucose which bonds with water molecules a number of times its own weight. When this gets burned up, you lose the bonded water too, and that can end up being a significant amount of weight in the beginning. But this is a natural process for the body, and once you start eating normal amounts again, your body will store that glycogen-bonded-water up again.
So how do you keep the weight off? Well, when you are on the diet, your stomach will decrease in size and affect how much you can eat. Once you come off the diet, pay close attention while you are eating, and eat slowly. You can stop at the place where you are satisfied, but not full. Try to then train yourself to do this every time. The amount you eat should be a little less than you were eating before the diet, and keeping this small-deficit of calories is the best way to keep off the weight. Just be careful, because it is very easy to overeat when coming off a diet. Your metabolism has slowed because of the liquid diet, and you could gain the weight back quickly if you eat any food over what your body needs.
Juicing for weight loss
A great way to get the nutrients that your body needs is through juicing or making smoothies. Smoothies are easier since they can be done right in your blender, but they also use all the fruit or vegetable and are not strictly liquids. Adding in a smoothie here and there is beneficial since it gives your body an extra boost of fiber, so be sure to either do that or find a meal-replacement shake that includes fiber to stay healthy.
Try this combination for a weight loss juice: Two cucumbers, juice of 1/2 lemon, a pear, 1 tablespoon ginger, 1 cup spinach, one carrot. When you juice a fruit or vegetable, you get all the nutrients. Contrast that to when you shop in a supermarket for juice; you’ll find that’s a lot of juices, even green juices, have excess amounts of sugar and have been pasteurized which destroys some nutritional benefits. However, it’s best to purchase pasteurized juice in a store if you have to buy juice. If you make your own juice, you know where it came from. But raw or unpasteurized juice that is sold in stores, even specialty stores, can’t be guaranteed to be bacteria free.
What kinds of liquid diets are there?
First, there is a medical liquid diet. This is prescribed by doctors in special situations and not recommended for home use. It’s often used right before surgeries, after surgeries involving the mouth or digestive system, and for extreme cases of obesity. This diet has two types: clear liquids, or full liquid. Clear liquid is just that, tea, broths, apple juice (no alcohol). Full liquid adds things that, at room temperature, are liquids (like Jello and ice cream).
Next would be an all-liquid detox cleanse. These may not be the best if you are trying to exercise while on your diet, or if you want to create a good habit of diet and exercise for losing weight steadily. Cleanses are useful for eliminating allergens from your digestive system with the goal of adding food back in slowly to figure out what is aggravating your system.
Last is a liquid diet that includes fiber and protein. This is the most sustainable liquid diet and relies on meal replacement shakes or smoothies. To get the best benefit from exercise during the diet, and to not slow your metabolism too much, you need calories and nutrients each day. That’s why this is the most useful type of liquid diet.
How often should you drink your liquids?
Another thing to note is that liquids digest faster than solids. We usually eat just a few solid food meals during the day, but this schedule won’t work for a liquid diet. Since your body absorbs nutrients quickly from liquids, you’ll feel hungry if you wait too long between meals. A good idea is to spread out your calories evenly throughout the day, drinking a shake or juice every hour (or 2 hours max). This will make you feel satisfied longer and reduce the chance that you’d have to go eat a solid meal.
The combination of diet and exercise is what will keep the weight off for the long term, so it’s necessary to feel like you have enough energy throughout the day and can exercise while you are on the liquid diet. Instead of thinking about three meals per day, while you’re on this diet try to think about 10 meals a day (but each one is very small, of course).
How long should you do a liquid diet for?
If you’re new to liquid diets, it’s not recommended to jump into a long one. Try two or three days at first, with a meal replacement type diet. Also, be sure to get enough supply so you won’t run out and end up breaking your diet for solid food. Liquid diets lasting longer than 5 days are not recommended without talking to your doctor.
One trick that you can use to stick with the diet is to make some protein powder “ice cream.” Take the amount of powder you normally use for a shake but and just enough water to make it into a paste. You could add just a touch of honey for sweetness and let it sit in the fridge to get cold. If, your’re sick of drinking shakes so often this is a technique that you can use to trick your body into thinking it’s eating solid food.
Benefits of liquid diets for weight loss
Liquid diets can help you to feel good about yourself and more in tune with your body. If you make it through the stage of cravings, you can get to a place where you feel energized and physically fit. Making sure to use juicing techniques and meal replacement shakes will ensure that your energy stays at a normal level.
It is common to lose 5 to 10 lbs in the first few days but remember that this is mostly water weight. To see more long term benefits and keep it off you need to ease back into a regular diet without overeating. Keeping the weight off is the hardest part, but even seeing the results from just losing a little water weight can inspire you to keep going and incorporate a partially liquid diet into your main routine for the long term.