There are various reasons why someone may go on a liquid diet. For example, a liquid diet is usually prescribed by doctors prior to certain medical procedures, such as a colonoscopy.
But, what about weight loss?
Is a 5 day liquid diet for weight loss safe, and are liquid diet for weight loss results better than other weight loss diets?
In this liquid diet guide, we will discuss what a liquid diet is, why people follow a liquid diet for weight loss, whether a liquid diet for weight loss works, and what you can eat on a 5 day diet weight loss plan.
We will cover:
- What Is a Liquid Diet?
- How To Do a 5 Day Liquid Diet for Weight Loss
- Are Liquid Diets Good for Weight Loss?
- Sample 5 Day Liquid Diet Plan for Weight Loss
Let’s get started!
What Is a Liquid Diet?
As the name describes, a liquid diet involves consuming only liquids.
In the strictest sense, a liquid diet prescribed by a doctor for medical procedures involves consuming only clear liquids such as water, clear fruit juices without pulp, clear sports drinks, bone broth, and clear soup broths.
In many cases, a medical liquid diet for surgical procedures has stipulations about the color of the fluids you consume; for example, prior to a colonoscopy, you are not supposed to have red juice or Gatorade, as the food dyes can affect the clarity of the results.
A liquid diet for weight loss is an entirely different ball game altogether.People may try a 1 day liquid diet for weight loss, 3 day liquid diet for weight loss, or even 5 day liquid diet for weight loss or more.
However, anything more than a 24-hour liquid diet for weight loss should be discussed with your doctor prior to getting started.
Following a 2-day liquid diet for weight loss or more is often contraindicated, depending on your health status, and there are generally safer and more effective approaches to losing weight than liquid diet fasting for an extended period of time.
Thus, as we discuss how to do a 5 day liquid diet for weight loss, we strongly share the disclaimer that we are not recommending engaging in a liquid diet for weight loss.
Instead, we are staunch proponents of getting medical supervision for any type of fasting or extreme dieting for weight loss.
Taking a more gradual approach to weight loss that combines modest caloric restriction with increased physical activity, aiming for a weight loss rate of no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week, is a safer, sustainable, and healthy approach to losing weight.
If you do obtain medical clearance and medical guidance to engage in a liquid diet for weight loss, make sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations.
This includes details such as how long to do the liquid diet plan, what you should be drinking, and signs and symptoms to pay attention to that signal that you should stop your liquid diet fast or seek medical attention if your body is not responding well to the liquid diet cleanse.
How To Do a 5 Day Liquid Diet for Weight Loss
There isn’t an official liquid diet weight loss plan or specific stipulations about how to do a liquid diet for weight loss.
Most people who follow a liquid diet for weight loss replace one, two, or three meals with some type of juiced fruits and vegetables or a smoothie.
Other people who are more strict with their liquid diet plan for weight loss eliminate all solid food and only consume fresh juices, clear broth, bone broth, and other liquids.
What you eat on your liquid diet plan for weight loss will depend on your preferences, how long you are liquid fasting for weight loss, your body size and caloric needs, and what your doctor recommends.
Liquids tend to be filling, yet there are numerous options for low-calorie liquid diet foods like soups and vegetable juices.
Many dieters also find that soups can be a great option when they are restricting calories because the high liquid content makes soups feel more filling.
Beginners attempting their first weight loss liquid diet or those who are looking to do a 7 day liquid diet for weight loss (or really anything over a 1-2 day liquid diet plan) should replace just one or two meals per day.
The meal replacement can be with a shake, smoothie, or fresh juice (juices, fruits, and vegetables) to ensure that you are getting enough calories and nutrients to support your body’s needs while still losing weight.
Unlike liquid diet or medical procedures, liquid diet weight loss plans can and should involve whole foods that are juiced, blended, or puréed with the pulp to provide more fiber, calories, and nutrients.
You may even make smoothies or protein shakes and replace meals with a protein shake instead of regular solid food.
Are Liquid Diets Good for Weight Loss?
If you are following a 5 day liquid diet for weight loss, you will likely ask the question: are liquid diet weight loss results good?
In general, liquid diet weight loss can be rapid, so not necessarily sustainable.
Once you start eating solid food again, your body will gain weight, partially attributable to the actual weight of the food, along with the actual difference in liquid diet calories vs calories on your regular diet.
The former refers just to body weight, whereas the second refers to liquid diet fat loss results.
The fewer calories you eat on a liquid diet plan, the more true weight you will lose (fat loss).
Some amount of 5 day liquid diet weight loss will be attributable to a decrease in food consumption (less food mass in your digestive tract, which means a lighter weight on the scale) and a release of body water weight if you are consuming a low carb liquid diet.
Because the body holds onto about 3 to 4 grams of water for every gram of glycogen that your body stores, if you are following a low-carb 5 day liquid diet for weight loss plan, your body will burn through your glycogen and release all of the water with it.
This will result in significant weight loss liquid diet before and after changes, but this is only temporary.
Once you start eating more carbs and having solid meals, your weight will creep back up due to the regaining of the water weight as well as the actual mass of the food that is in your digestive tract before elimination in feces.
Normal digestion can take 24 to 72 hours, so the undigested food adds “weight“ to your body even though it is not real body fat.
That said, here are some of the reasons why you may lose weight on a five day liquid diet weight loss plan:
- Caloric restriction: It is virtually impossible to eat as many calories on a liquid diet as a normal diet. A caloric deficit will result in fat loss, and studies show very low-calorie liquid diets lead to significant weight loss.
- Releasing water weight: A liquid diet is good for losing water weight quickly because your sodium intake, sugar intake, carb intake, and solid food intake will all drop, all of which contribute to water retention and water weight gain.
Sample 5 Day Liquid Diet Plan for Weight Loss
- Wake Up Snack: Lemon Water
- Breakfast: Smoothie with spinach, blueberries, unsweetened almond milk, 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds, 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt, 1/2 banana
- Snack: Green tea or herbal tea and low-sodium tomato soup or bone broth
- Lunch: Fresh vegetable juice with pulp and lentil soup
- Snack: Protein shake with protein powder, unsweetened almond milk, spinach, and raspberries
- Dinner: Low-sodium soup, fresh vegetable juice with pulp
- Snack: Homemade frozen popsicle made from a smoothie that you freeze (fruit, Greek yogurt, nut butter, spinach)
You can increase the 5 day liquid diet meal plan calories by adding nut butters and seeds to your meal replacement shakes, adding fruit juices, increasing portion sizes, and having higher calorie soups like split pea soup and lentil soup.
Try also to get 30 minutes of exercise every day to support your health and weight loss goals.
Before trying a 5 day liquid diet plan for weight loss, consider checking out our guide to healthy weight loss here.