Liquid Diets For Weight Loss: Do They Actually Work?

Liquid Diets for Weight Loss: Do They Actually Work?

When it comes to losing weight fast and easy, people tend to turn to the latest diet fads and weight loss supplements. One of those new diets that have gained popularity is liquid diets for weight loss, which emphasizes the consumption of liquids instead of solid foods.
There are many different variations of the liquid diets for weight loss that can either rely upon juices, nutritional drinks, or even smoothies to replace your meals for the day. Medical professionals initially used these types of diets for people with severe obesity or other types of medical conditions. While these have been used for weight loss in severe cases, do they work or are safe for recreational weight loss use?

What are Liquid Diets?

Liquid diets are consuming your daily calories from liquids such as shakes, vegetable or fruit juices, or nutritional supplement drinks. You can also use protein powder along with these drinks so they can contain more vitamins and minerals that you may miss from abstaining from solid foods. Some of the diets may only contain drinking liquids, but there are a few where you can eat a solid low-fat meal each dinner. There are three main groups liquid diets for weight loss go in: meal replacements, detoxes or cleanses, and medically prescribed diets.


Meal replacements. This type of liquid diet is in the most popular in which liquid replacement shakes work to replace all your solid meals. These shakes are usually low in calories but are made to be more filling and satisfying, so you don’t reach for snacks in between. These types of diets can go on for weeks at a time. An example of this type of liquid diet is soylent weight loss in which you use soylent meal replacement shakes for every meal or most of them. 

Detox and cleanse diets. Detox and cleanse diets are used for flushing out the bodies digestive system of toxic substances. Vegetable and fruit juices are usually consumed and aren’t used to necessarily lose weight because it is very short term and consists of very few calories. Although it essentially resets your digestive system and is supposed to lead to healthier choices.

Medically prescribed. These types of diets are supervised by health professionals and are prescribed for specific health problems. Usually, it is only the consumption of clear liquids such as tea, apple juice, or broths. They are very commonly used before or after surgeries, short term for people with digestive problems, or for people with severe obesity. These types of liquid diets for weight loss are the only ones that have been significantly researched and provided studies. 

A personal review of a liquid diet for 3 days

How do Liquid Diets Help for Losing Weight?

Liquid diets for weight loss are often very successful because sticking to an all juice or low-calorie supplement drinks contain very few calories, and calorie restriction is very well proven to benefit weight loss. The type of liquid diets made for weight loss are usually not created or prescribed by a health professional, so they are explicitly designed to restrict your calories.
A research study done on liquid diets for weight loss show 24 obese participants consuming 700 calories per day from liquid meal replacements for 30 days. This study was very beneficial, concluding in over 30% reduced body fat of the participants. These results are shown to be very impressive, and other similar studies give consistent results, but they were under strict medical supervision. None of the studies were conducted for recreational use of liquid diets for weight loss and were undertaken only for people at an obese weight.

Why Liquid Diets for Weight Loss May Not Work

While there have been multiple studies shown that the diet provides positive results for weight loss, it is not the best long term weight loss approach. Solid foods provide essential nutrients needed for the human body to be healthy and to stay on the diet for too long may cause health problems.
All of the studies showing significant results reintroduce solid foods back into the participants diets after a couple of weeks or months. This shows that this diet may not provide long term weight loss, and you could return right back to your regular diet from before. This diet fails to teach people how to incorporate healthy meals into their diet and a daily exercise regimen to keep a naturally healthy lifestyle. The bone broth for weight loss diet uses liquid dieting for part of its strategy, but also incorporates using healthy foods and being less calorie-restrictive during. Using liquid diets in this way is more efficient in teaching people the healthy foods you can eat while naturally restricting calories without starving yourself. Overall, this diet does work in helping you lose weight, but should only be used if weight loss is severely needed and medically supervised.

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