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How Much Weight Can You Lose On A Liquid Diet?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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How much weight can you lose on a liquid diet? Everybody wants to lose weight, but nobody really knows what the best way is to lose it. Liquid diets are very popular because of how quickly one can lose weight in a short amount of time. But on a liquid diet are you really losing body fat or is it just water loss?

How much weight can you lose on a liquid diet? Photo credit: iStock-Lecic

A liquid diet plan contains fewer calories than eating whole foods and they are appealing because people do lose weight on liquid diets. But it is not sustainable because you are getting less than 1000 calories and you are not getting enough nutrients from it.

Meal replacement shakes would equate to a liquid diet and the purpose of a replacement shake is it would replace eating food. A lot of companies sell these shakes for weight loss purposes. There was an interesting weight loss study in 24 obese people over a 30-day period. And those participants consumed 700 calories per day from meal replacements but no solid foods.

Over the next 150 days solid foods were introduced and the daily calories increased from 700 calories to 1200 calories.  The program was effective for weight loss and reduced body fat from 33% to 26%. If you were to follow a weight loss approach this one wouldn’t be bad because you are introducing solid foods after 30 days.

The reality is not everybody can consume 700 calories in just shakes over a 30-day period. That can be very difficult for some people because hunger will increase due to the extreme lack of daily calories.

One of the negative drawbacks to a liquid diet is the lack of fiber that comes from this type of diet. There is no fiber in it and your digestive system needs fiber daily. A lack of fiber in your diet can be unhealthy from a long-term perspective.

It is better to consume a meal replacement shake when you can’t get solid food in your body immediately at that lunch or breakfast moment. And the shake allows you to get something quick in your system. So, meal replacement shakes can be a solid temporary food replacement if you are in a position where you can’t get any solid food at that moment in time.

There was a study on 9000 people that were obese or overweight and examined the effects of a 500-calorie liquid diet. After one year they lost about 25 pounds. You will lose weight on a liquid diet, but it is not sustainable because the calories are extremely low. And studies show if you consume less than 1,200 calories per day you can see a drop in your metabolism over time. Before getting on a short-term liquid diet plan it is best to consult a medical professional.

One of the side effects of a liquid diet is constipation and diarrhea.

“A liquid diet plan contains fewer calories than eating whole foods and they are appealing because people do lose weight on liquid diets.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike

The Bottom Line is you can lose weight on a liquid diet, but it is not sustainable from a long-term perspective. Because you are not getting enough calories and important nutrients in your system.

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References

  1. Hemmingsson E, Johansson K, Eriksson J, Sundström J, Neovius M, Marcus C. Weight loss and dropout during a commercial weight-loss program including a very-low-calorie diet, a low-calorie diet, or restricted normal food: observational cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Nov;96(5):953-61. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.038265. Epub 2012 Sep 18. PMID: 22990030; PMCID: PMC3471207.
  2. Basciani, S., Costantini, D., Contini, S. et al. Safety and efficacy of a multiphase dietetic protocol with meal replacements including a step with very low calorie diet. Endocrine 48, 863–870 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12020-014-0355-2
  3. Gelberg HA, Kwan CL, Mena SJ, Erickson ZD, Baker MR, Chamberlin V, Nguyen C, Rosen JA, Shah C, Ames D. Meal replacements as a weight loss tool in a population with severe mental illness. Eat Behav. 2015 Dec;19:61-4. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2015.06.009. Epub 2015 Jul 2. PMID: 26172565.

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