Following a liquid diet without the supervision or guidance of an expert can lead to uncalled health consequences, says Nmami Agarwal.
Welcome to the world of unrealistic internet trends where everything is available just at the click of a button.
Quick-fixes are 'in' especially when it comes to weight loss where in people are blindly following every possible trends out there that promises to burn off kilos.
One such trend that has caught up lately is of Liquid Diets.
It’s not that this kind of diet is completely harmful, because there might be certain medical conditions that might require one to follow this dietary pattern.
However, following a liquid diet without the supervision or guidance of an expert can lead to uncalled health consequences.
What is a liquid diet?
A liquid diet is a kind of diet that mostly consists of liquids in the form of juices, shakes or soft foods in molten or semi-solid consistency.
These type of diets can also involve detox drinks, meal replacements or weight loss shakes.
There are also partial and full liquid diets.
In the partial liquid diets, you can eat solid foods along with one or two meals completely liquid, while full liquid diets are based on foods that are liquid in consistency.
Liquid diets basically involves the following:
- Vegetable juices
- Seltzer water
- Fortified supplemental drinks
- Fruit shakes or smoothies
- Beverages like tea, coffee
- Clear liquids
Liquid diets are generally very low in calories, therefore have become a hit with people eyeing for quick weight loss.
They might lead to weight loss as well but such dietary intake of only liquid foods is not sustainable in the long run and might be deprived of many vital nutrients.
Moreover, there are many commercially famous liquid diets that also involve the usage of laxatives or colon cleansers.
There are certain underlying medical conditions in which liquid diets are recommended.
Liquid diets are generally advised during the hospital stay for patients who have undergone some form of surgery like gall bladder removal or bariatric surgery or any other surgery that compromises digestive system for a while.
At time, these diets are also advised to patients suffering from digestive problems like diarrhoea or vomiting. But, such medically prescribed diets are not for the long term and gradually the incorporation of solid foods is done unless recovery is completed.
Liquid diet if considered for a weight loss programme can lead to a slower metabolism because your body trues to save whatever energy it gets from restricted foods while being on a liquid diet.
Very low calorie liquid diets can lead to depletion of nutrients and can also cause imbalance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats in the body.
The potential side effects of a liquid diet that is not taken under expert supervision can lead to:
- Fatigue and lethargy because of loss of energy
- Constipation and lack of bowel movements because of lack of dietary fibre
- It can hamper health or might even cause uncertain weight fluctuations if meal replacements are consumed as they are full of sugar or artificial preservatives.
- You might be losing weight but your health is eventually compromised
- Since this type of diet is non-sustainable, it might lead to more cravings and bouncing back of weight once you are off the diet
- It also puts your body under unnecessary strain as the body is literally in the mode of starvation. It can also lead to severe mood swings and irritability
- The detox diets advised under liquid diet plans are just another scam because your kidneys and liver function properly to eliminate all toxins naturally. All you need to do is follow a healthy lifestyle that incorporates healthy unprocessed foods and some sort of physical activity.
It is important to realise that liquid diets are not for everyone and it is definitely not a successful weight loss strategy.
Following such a diet for long term can lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Pregnant or nursing women or those suffering from chronic illness should never try it.
A liquid diet is always medically supervised; so unless you are advised by a medical professional or nutritionist, do not go for it.
Nmami Agarwal is the founder and CEO of Nmami Life which is associated with former Miss World Manushi Chhillar and sportspersons like Gautam Gambhir and Michael Clarke for nutrition guidance.