Liquid diets can either be substituting some meals with soups or totally replacing all solid meals with fluids. These liquids include soups, teas, herbs, fruits and vegetable smoothies, protein shakes, and other mainstream food fads.
But, seriously, with all the good food in the world that other unfortunate individuals may not have, why would you restrict yourself to liquids? Other diets might be better, but a liquid diet is a no-go. The following are the reasons why.
1. Short-term Results
Liquid diets are basically designed to cut down calorie intake. A full liquid diet can be as low as 800 calorie intake daily. Obviously, you would definitely lose weight with this diet and all because you’re not eating as you should.
Now the thing is when you drastically cut calories, your metabolism will slow down. Is it helpful or not? Of course, it’ll put all your efforts into waste! If you have lower muscle mass, your metabolism will surely slow down. This means, the moment you plan to eat something more again after coming off from a diet, it would be easier to put back all those body fat.
2. Nutritional Imbalance
Liquid diet lacks proper nutrients. One important nutrient you would miss in this diet is protein. Sure, you can have protein shakes for breakfast. However, the protein you can get is not as effective as what you can get from natural protein-rich sources, such as eggs, dairy and soy products, nuts, lean meat, poultry, and fish.
In general, poor nutrition leads to the following:
- Tooth decay
- High blood pressure level
- High cholesterol level
- Heart disease/attack
- Type-2 Diabetes
Many liquids out there are claiming to be the best weight-loss solution; however, they don’t contain all the necessary nutrients that your body needs. More importantly, if you don’t have enough nutrients, your metabolism will slow down. What will happen next? Read ‘short-term results’ again.
3. Muscle Mass Loss, not Fat Loss
As mentioned above, one of the proper nutrients you’ll lose in liquid diets is protein. Bear in mind that proteins are deemed necessary to build muscles. When you didn’t get enough protein, you will lose muscle mass, not fat.
Losing muscle mass should be the last thing you will do. Muscles tend to help in burning calories while you are at rest. When you finally eat real food again, your body will not send those calories to your muscles to recover from exhaustion or illness, which we call recuperation. Meaning, all those calories will go to your body fat. That doesn’t sound good.
The worst scenario is when people in a liquid diet would try to work out for the sake of ‘maximum results.’ No! It’s the other way around. Again, why working out if you don’t have enough protein and other essential micronutrients? Also, your body needs to be refueled with carbs and protein to repair microdamage. Not eating enough will leave you dying from exhaustion, literally.
4. Not a Body Detoxifier
Nobody knows where this idea that ‘liquid diet can detoxify’ came from. Suddenly, people are mouthing “I’m doing a cleanse with this liquid diet.” What, just because it’s a diet focusing on liquid, it can already get rid of your body toxins as easy as flushing a toilet? Let’s stop talking about nasty and just talk about science.
In fact, you don’t need help in eliminating toxins in your body. It’s your liver and kidney’s responsibilities. The only thing you need to do is to eat healthily and avoid drinking too much, so your liver and kidney will not be overworked. Intake enough vitamins as well to improve your liver and kidney health. You may check barbend’s list of multivitamins here.
5. Liquid Calories make you Hungrier
Liquid calories are not simply the same as regular calories. If you drink 250 calories, trust me, you’ll never be satiated than eating something solid. If you don’t believe it, I bet you’ll listen if it’s a professional, right?
Registered dietitian Richard Mattes, M.P.H stated that liquid calories don’t induce compensatory dietary responses nor suppress hunger. At the end of the day, people who are drinking liquid calories will end up eating more most of the time.
Another registered dietitian and nutritionist Diana Sugiuchi added that strict calorie counting is not recommended if you’re aiming for a healthy lifestyle as cutting down calories would omit higher fat, healthy foods. Moreover, the following are other reasons why you should stop counting calories:
- Nutrition Facts are not 100% factual. The law allows a 20% marginal error when labeling. That means the 100-calorie weight loss juice might be 119 calories.
- Nutrients vary ripeness, variety, seasons, and many more. You can’t say that a ripe tomato from southern America has the same calorie count as another overripe tomato from northern America.
- Our bodies don’t absorb all calories. There are fewer studies about this already. One is a study on almond consumption in humans. The researchers figured out that up to 20% of the calories were not absorbed. They speculated that this happened due to the cellular structure of almonds and every person’s way of digesting.
Let me rephrase everything. When a person focuses on calories, he or she likely to eat less fat. Then, when he or she eats less fat, he or she is expected to eat more carbohydrates eventually. Can you see the problem now? You can say that the liquid diet is the best fad diet oxymoron to date—liquid diet: you want to cut down calorie intake, but you’ll end eating more.
In a nutshell, if you want a long-term weight loss plan, do not settle for a liquid diet. Most of the time, it doesn’t last even a month. Odds are, you’ll lose weight at first, but you’ll gain more than what you lose after regular eating. Sticking to a healthy, well-balanced diet with regular exercise is still the best choice.