Full liquid diets have received a lot of bad press due to their lacking certain nutrients the body needs. The basic idea is that as long as you get enough soluble fiber, protein, all your vitamins and all your essential amino acids you’ll be fine (better than fine actually.) These things added as supplements or delivered in a liquid form shouldn’t prevent the diet from being at least 99% liquid.
You have to do some research if you want to have a large selection of choices during full liquid diets. Fortunately, we at liquid-dietweightloss.com know about full liquid diets. There is also a lot more information on our blog. (For clear liquid diets click here.)
Definition of a ‘Full Liquid Diet’ – click for a comparison of liquid diet types
The full liquid diets consist of fully strained liquids, clear and opaque, with a smooth consistency such as broths, milk, juices, coffee, teas, water and even carbonated beverages. These kinds of diets also permit semi-solid foods like pudding, strained creamy soups, gelatin, ice cream, honey and even cream of wheat or thinned grits. Pureed meats thinned with broth are sometimes permitted, so long as no pulp is present. However, a full liquid diet is usually only recommended for use by a physician for related medical conditions. A full liquid diet may come prior to or after one has undergone surgery of the mouth or a procedure involving the gastrointestinal tract. Some are even restricted to a clear liquid diet which eliminates all opaque liquids, after which full liquid diets becomes a transitional step back to a solid food diet.
As for weight loss and other reasons, full liquid diets usually involve a large reduction in calories. They distinguish themselves from other diets by their cleansing properties. Ironically, their cleansing properties aren’t from the amount of liquid consumed but from supplements and added compounds which improve kidney, liver and intestinal function. Drinking but the supplements involved in improving kidney function and other biological waste removal processes.
Full liquid diets are only recommended for extended use under certain circumstances due to their nutritional inadequacies. Most liquid foods as they are, even if consumed in large quantities, aren’t capable of providing the body with the complete range of nutrients it requires. Consuming liquid nutritional supplements is the only way to come near filling the daily requirements of these vital nutrients. Consuming enough calories is also an important factor in sustaining a full liquid diet for any length of time. Regular meals and snacks must be consumed to ensure you are consuming enough fuel to sustain you throughout the day.
There can be some health issues as a result of following a full liquid diet. People who are not overly obese can be susceptible to cardiac issues due to the dramatic nature of this kind of diet. Liquid proteins can be utilized to prevent some of these problems, yet they carry heart risks of their own. A few of these proteins have been linked to heart arrhythmia. Seeing as how most of these diets are undergone for medical reasons and per the advice of a doctor many, if not most of these issues will be taken into consideration.
So…what about losing weight with a full liquid diet?
Due to the low caloric content of meals, full liquid diet users often lose weight, though the diet is generally not recommended for such treatment. This is because it doesn’t teach or build good eating habits in preparation for the eventual return to a regular diet. Even though the stomach usually shrinks while on a full liquid diet, once the user transitions back onto a solid food diet, the weight loss soon returns. Meals initially remain small but as solid foods generally contain more calories, without portion control conditioning and with no dietary changes implemented, the individual resumes their old eating patterns and the stomach soon returns to its normal size. Afterward, the rest of the body doesn’t take long to catch up. If using a full liquid diet for weight loss, normal exercise routines can be used in conjunction so long as your diet’s nutritional and caloric content can support it.
When transitioning back onto solid diets, if weight loss is a concern, start off by consuming small portions, multiple times a day, of easily digestible foods like soups and steamed vegetables. Wean yourself back onto regular solid foods over the course of a few days and remember to keep portions small. Listen to your body; don’t eat if you aren’t hungry, and stop eating once you’ve satisfied your body’s food requirements. Several light meals with healthy (or health consciously portioned) snacks throughout the day will help to keep your metabolism high and keep your energy level high by not wasting energy digesting huge meals.
Once you’ve returned to chomping and chewing your meals, don’t forget that fluids are still an important part of any diet. Consuming lots of water will help with digestion and cell function, flush more toxins from the body, and keep you looking and feeling more youthful. Just a few of the reasons you see “consume 8 full glasses of water a day” in every health, diet, fitness, and beauty article you read. That’s because it’s one of the easiest and most beneficial changes you can make to your diet, and the benefits are immediate and widespread. Sure you’ll make more frequent visits to the porcelain throne, but would you really rather allow toxins to linger in your body in excess by holding more dense waste within you for longer periods of time? Think of each extra bathroom break as a mini work out. Any energy exerted equals extra calories burned.
Finally, as you flush out toxins excess nutrients are also expelled, so you must replenish your body with the right balance of the vitamins and minerals it needs. A simple solution is for a nutrient supplement of some sort to be taken daily. Look for the most complete and convenient option for you to ensure that it can easily be incorporated into your lifestyle. For this, there are a variety of nutritional supplement meal replacement drinks and mixes that can be made a permanent part of your diet to help keep calorie intake low for weight maintenance and provide a majority of your daily nutrient intake.
Believe it or not, these foods are considered OK with a full liquid diet!
• Fruit and vegetable juice (pulp or no pulp, frozen or not)
• Ice cream (no bits or candy chunks, just plain), frozen yogurt and sherbet
• Sugar, honey, and syrups
• fats like butter and oil
• Soups without solids (strained if necessary)
• Carbonated beverages
• Pudding, yogurt and other creams like foods
• Gelatin, but not with fruit in it obviously
• Shakes and meal replacements
• Alcohol, like whiskey, scotch, and bourbon
• Basically, anything that can be poured and doesn’t contain solid pieces (beef chunks, fruit pieces..etc)
Clear Liquid Diets (for those undergoing medical tests)
Clear liquid diets are not necessarily intended for weight loss (though it can be a pleasant side effect.) These kinds of diets are almost always given to you by your doctor prior to certain tests, like a colonoscopy. The reason the diets must consist of clear, transparent and only some semi-clear liquids is so that there are no residues left in the digestive system giving better and more accurate test results. If your doctor has directed you to go on one of these diets, make sure you follow the instructions completely. The video on the left is a brief description of what and what not to consume on a clear liquid diet. This information is not intended as a replacement for any instructions or directions as to what you are/aren’t supposed to consume that you have received from your doctor.
Compare and contrast:
(Partial/Normal) Liquid Diets vs. FULL Liquid Diets
(Partial) Liquid Diet
• anything from daily meal replacements to supplements as the only solids
• can be for medical or just weight loss
• allows for some solid foods
• manageable over long periods of time
• easy to get protein and fiber
• limited calorie potential
• can supplement with vitamins/pills
Full Liquid Diet
• liquids only to clear liquids and water (clear liquid diets)
• almost exclusively for medical use
• allows for no solid foods
• only manageable for short periods
• hard to get protein and fiber
• very limited calorie potential
• cannot take many supplements
The main difference between CLEAR and FULL
The full liquid diet included the foods allowed on the clear liquid diet with the addition of milk and small amounts of fiber. Cream soups, milkshakes, custards, milk, psyllium seed husk fiber drinks, thick broths, pudding, even oatmeal may be included in a full liquid diet whereas in a clear liquid diet they are not allowed.
Clear liquid diets really should only be undergone when directed by a doctor. There is hardly any benefit in a clear liquid diet versus a full liquid diet outside of accurate test results. There are however many downsides like mal-nutrition, lack of convenience, and dissatisfaction to name a few.
How do liquid diets cleanse the body?
Merely excluding solids in the diet doesn’t help to cleanse or “detoxify” the various bodily systems. The reason liquid diets are associated with cleansing is due to certain types of liquids often included in these diets. Cranberry juice, apple cider vinegar, apple juice, lemonade, coffee all help the body clean itself in various ways, but eating whole foods rich in dietary or at least drinking fiber drinks (like psyllium seed husk fiber) is the best thing for cleaning your digestive system.
The body is mind-bogglingly complex. Cleansing the body is not as simple as sending lots of fluids through it. Our digestive system is separated from all of our other systems. Nutrients enter other systems of the body by passing through many different membranes and “filters” which selectively allow certain things, in certain amounts. When we drink, the liquids don’t rush through our organs, tissues, and veins. It’s not like rinsing out dirty glasses or cleaning a clogged pipe. It is much much more complex.
The best policy for eliminating toxins and other undesirables from the body is to not consume them. Consult a doctor if you feel you feel polluted or full of crap.
Article: Full Liquid Diets
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