Contrary to what most people think, not all willingly choose to go on a liquid diet. Unfortunately, some are forced into it, especially those with digestive issues or those scheduled for a medical procedure. Aside from that, for those who willingly go on this diet, the main goal tends to be weight loss. It is possible to lose weight when following liquid diets because most of them help you maintain a calorie deficit. That said, these diets may not be safe for you, especially in the long run because you will end up missing out on various nutrients and vitamins. Considering this, should you go on a 2-week liquid diet? Let us find out!
This read will discuss what a liquid diet involves and whether or not it is good for you. We will also discuss what you need to consider when crafting a 2-week liquid diet. With this in mind, stick around to determine what this plan means for you if you use it for weight loss.
What Is A Liquid Diet?
Liquid diets refer to eating plans that control an individual’s calorie intake by restricting what an individual eats mostly to liquids (5). It means that there are several types of liquid diets. The most common one is the full liquid diet.
A full liquid diet refers to an eating plan where an individual does not consume any solid foods but only consumes liquids like smoothies, juices, and soups (2). Full liquid diets tend to offer different flavors, especially if you choose to drink smoothies.
Besides the enhanced flavors, you also reap great nutritional value because these liquids are prepared from nutritious substances. For example, protein smoothies can contain protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals.
The other type of liquid diet is the clear diet. You should not confuse a full liquid diet with a clear diet. In a clear diet, an individual can only have clear liquids like water, broth, and tea (2). Other liquid diets may only replace one or two meals with drinks, usually breakfast and lunch (5). Unlike the different types of liquid diets, this one allows you to enjoy a more balanced diet.
Read More: Clear Liquid Diet: Uses, Benefits, And Tips
Do Liquid Diets Really Work?
Outside of medical necessity, the primary reason why most people consider going, for example, on a 2-week liquid diet plan is to lose weight. However, for weight loss to occur, an individual must be consuming fewer calories than their body is burning.
Since liquid diets typically contain significantly reduced calories, they may contribute to weight loss. However, experts acknowledge that weight loss from such a diet plan may tend to be short-lived. Despite this, they argue that such diet plans drastically reduce the number of calories you are consuming.
As a result of this, your metabolism tends to slow down trying to conserve energy (5). If you were to go back to your eating patterns, you would boost your metabolism because you are not consuming significantly low calories. Most likely you would gain all the weight you lost back.
Therefore, experts acknowledge that this eating plan is not the best to consider, mainly if you want to shed pounds for the long haul (5). You are advised to speak with your healthcare provider to determine more effective weight loss meal plans that help you lose weight safely and long term. Similarly, it may not even be ideal in the short term. So, always consult before picking a weight loss program.
Is The Liquid Diet Good For You?
Some people may argue that it is a healthy diet plan because it contains a balance of nutrients you need. However, this is not always the case because you may end up missing out on some nutrients, leading to malnutrition and other nutritional deficiencies.
Take an example of a liquid diet that restricts your calorie intake between 400 and 800 calories a day. Remember that an active male between 16 and 18 years needs to consume at least 3200 calories while women between 19 and 25 years consume 2000 calories daily (3).
By looking at the calories you are obtaining from the liquid diet, it is clear that they are very restrictive. Sticking to it for an extended duration may lead to nutritional deficits because most liquid diets are low in iron, vitamin B-12, A, and thiamine (2).
These diets are also unhealthy because when you miss out on essential nutrients, you experience other possibly serious side effects. According to WebMD, these range from dizziness, fatigue, hair loss, heart damage to gallstones (4).
Similarly, there is an increased risk of constipation because you are not eating whole foods rich in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (4). The other reason food experts discourage liquid diets is because they often lead to muscle loss. If you do not eat enough protein, you may end up losing muscle (4).
Experts also acknowledge that going on a full liquid diet can increase creatinine levels and dehydration rates over time (1). High creatinine levels may indicate that your kidneys are not working correctly. Other studies also reveal that full liquid diets may affect an individual’s rate of absorbing medications by delaying drug dissolution if these diets are thickened to help patients take medications (1).
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How Do I Start A 2-Week Liquid Diet?
If you insist on giving this diet plan a try, the first thing you must do is talk to your physician. As we mentioned earlier, these diets are not complete or balanced, so following them without medical supervision can lead to other severe health problems.
If your doctor prescribes a liquid diet, they will go through the liquids they recommend you take. Again, they will give a specific timeline detailing how long you should be on this liquid diet. It would help if you followed their instructions to the latter because any slight deviation may increase your risk of various health complications.
Similarly, talk to your doctor about your goal of starting the 2-week liquid diet plan. If it is for weight loss, they will evaluate if this program is the best for you. Keep in mind that we have determined that this program may not be effective for long-term weight loss.
Your doctor will likely discourage you from going on such a meal plan if you are pregnant or are breastfeeding. Similarly, they do not advocate for individuals taking insulin for diabetes or those with chronic illnesses to go on this diet (1).
How Do I Craft My 2-Week Liquid Diet?
If and only if your doctor gives you the okay to follow this eating plan, then your next stop should be at your dietitian’s office. The first thing that your dietitian will do is double-check to see if you are getting enough calories and nutrients.
If you are not getting enough, they may recommend you to take various vitamins or nutritional supplements. The other thing they will do is go through the list of what you can and cannot consume when following this plan. Again, it helps to know what you are drinking and its pros and cons.
Talk to your dietitian about any concerns you may have about a particular drink. Similarly, talk to them about a beverage you may want to incorporate in this plan. They will advise you on whether or not it suits the bill.
Like with any other nutrition plan, you may come across several liquid diet plan ideas. They may contain suggestions of what to consume in a day, week, or month. However, do not start following such a plan without seeking professional advice first.
The Bottom Line
Like any other weight loss diet plan, a 2-week liquid diet can trigger weight loss. However, it is only effective in the short term and isn’t likely to result in long-term weight loss. The program also has several cons, including health complications such as gallstones, nutritional deficiencies, hair loss, heart damage, constipation, dehydration, and delayed drug dissolution among patients. Regardless of whether your goal for following this plan is weight loss or not, make sure you talk to your doctor and dietitian first before implementing it.
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This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on for decision-making. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!