Liquid Diets and Juice Fasting

By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

juice-dietLiquid Diets (or Juice Fasting) are used for a number of reasons – including detox and weight loss.

A liquid diet consists of juices, shakes, soups, or any other non-solid food replacing every meal.

Nutritionally these diets are usually lacking essential macronutrients and are low in calories. However, vegetable and fruit based liquid diets will be rich in vitamins and minerals and cancer-fighting phytochemicals.

Liquid diets can also be used by people who can’t chew solid food because of medical reasons.

Liquid Diet for Weight Loss?


Liquid diets can promote weight loss because they are usually very low in calories. However, usually the weight is regained after the diet because dieters return to their old eating habits.

A Juice Fast is used more for detoxifying purposes and should not be used as a weight loss technique because your body could actually be breaking down muscle tissue because of the lack of protein in juices.

It is better to eat the fruit and vegetables whole and therefore gain the fiber, which lowers fruit’s glycemic index and is more beneficial to the body.

Medically Supervised Liquid Diets

There are medically supervised diet plans that have a large liquid component and rely on Meal Replacement Products (or MRP’s).

This is a general term describing products that have a full range of nutrients in them. Most of these are in powder form and when mixed with water or milk provide a liquid-based meal.

  1. Medifast: A couple meals a day are replaced with nutritionally formulated shakes.
  2. Optifast: 12 weeks on their all liquid diet and then they gradually transition dieters to solid foods.

Generally these (expensive) programs will cause quick weight loss – but they are not sustainable as a lifestyle and are designed for people with more than 50 pounds to lose.

Juice Fasting Benefits

juice-fast

It may be beneficial to include vegetable and fruit juices in your diet – but not as a complete replacement of solid food for extended periods of time.

However, a short juice fast is reported to have some health benefits:

  • Removes toxins from the body.
  • Can improve complexion and skin health.
  • Can jumpstart weight loss.
  • Juices are high in vitamins and antioxidants.

The Jump Start Juicer System is a popular juice fast diet used by many.

A number of people use a tonic or juice supplement in their diet to provide essential vitamins and minerals, but there isn’t scientific evidence that these products are worth the money.

You should not go beyond a one day juice fast without first consulting your doctor.

Smoothies are Better

Using a high powered blender to make smoothies is a better option for liquid diets than just using fruit juices. Smoothies are made using the whole fruit or vegetable, therefore, all of the fiber and micronutrients in the fruit and vegetables are retained.

There are countless fruit and vegetable combinations that can be experimented with and it can be fun developing a smoothie recipe that you like the best.

Nutritious Smoothie Recipes

Not Healthy For the Long Term

Periodic juice fasting and liquid diets can be beneficial for use during short periods of time or for those that can’t chew solid food. However, because they can be both nutritionally and calorie deficient, care should be used when starting one.

A better approach would be to remove processed foods from the diet and consume one fruit and vegetable smoothie a day, in addition to portion controlled meals that are mainly vegetable based.

By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • John Washbond

    I’m on a liquid diet ordered by my Surgeon
    I hate it and can’t imagine anyone doing this happily
    3 days now I cheat at night having some crackers
    I’m not trying to lose weight it’s for my Illiostomy
    I may have a blockage he thinks
    Anyway 2 more days I dread
    John Washbond

  • Deborah Hiller

    I started my juice fast 40 days ago. I am amazed at how great I feel! I am juicing 80% vegetables and 20% fruit. I have lost 48 pounds. I have more energy then I have had my entire adult life. I am a diabetic and my blood sugar has dropped to normal levels. My cholestrol has dropped. I feel wonderful. I am doing this under doctor’s care. I think it has helped me more than any other diet I have ever been on. When I lose the 50 pounds… only two more to go. I plan to go off the fast and continue juicing for breakfast and lunch. I will begin eating raw and steamed fruits and vegetables for dinner. I plan to add chicken and fish for protein.
    Please do not allow negative people who really do not know what they are talking about discourage you. This is the best thing I have ever tried and beleive me I have tried them all.

    • Diane

      You make it sound great! I am a cancer survivor and would love to do this too. Where do you get the recipes? Will you share your recipes? I have a vitamix and it would be perfect for these smoothies/juices.
      Thank you

  • angie

    iv been on the just juice diet for a week. and im doing well iv lost 10 pounds and i feel good and well. 3 more weeks to go.xx

  • kathryn

    Could anyone give me some real positive feedback about fruit and veg liquid diet. Have tried everything over the years. Is it worth doing so many different opinions what about every other day do you still lose weight?
    adding soy or almond milk will you still lose weight ?anybody with any advice would appreciate, good luck to all battling their weight!

  • sally

    Hi im starting juice diet on thursday. bit wary tho as drs have okayed it but my reuhmatoid specialist dont like idea as iv sarcoidosis, to plz him il add protein every other day.

    • katherine

      I am on a liquid diet myself, comprised of juices, smoothies, and of course my coffee! I recommend adding protein powder to your smoothies ( I use Hemp powder because I am vegan but there are many available!)
      Protein helps you feel full for longer periods of time and will help tremendously! The method I am using is a Monday to Friday liquid fast and Saturday and Sunday I eat whole fruits and vegetables to keep my digestive system happy :) Good luck! The results are well worth it!

  • Sandra

    The juice diet is awesome!! U must try it:)

  • DeborahLynn

    Was reading some of the comments on a juicing diet. Haven’t seen anyone mention the video I watched before, it’s great for anyone with lots of health issues, but I would advise doing it with a doctor’s approval first. The video can be found on Netflix or Youtube, it’s called “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.” It’s a 30 minute video, and the man is travelling around, doing his juicing, talking to others about it. He began doing this while on around 30 different prescription meds, was overweight. He only consumed juice for 60 days, lost 100 lbs, and his body was healed up with anything that was sick in it before, got off all meds. Pretty interesting. Juicing is hard though, unless you can be at home all day long. If you make them ahead of time, they turn gross, so not a good idea. It’s hard to even do it for 2-3 days, not because it’s doesn’t taste good, but because it’s just so hard to get the stamina to go thru all that work for one glass of juice. First, you have to make a list, then shop for your fruits and veggies. Then, you have to wash them in vinegar and water. Every time you want to make juice, you have to take the time to prepare it, cut, whatever you choose to do here. It’s a time-consuming process. MAINLY WHAT I’M SAYING IS MAKE SURE YOU DON’T GO OVERBOARD WHEN YOU BUY YOUR PRODUCE. A LOT WILL GO TO WASTE IF YOU DO NOT JUICE DAILY AS PLANNED, AND IF YOU ARE ON A BUDGET, NOT GOOD!!! :) Would love to hear from anyone that has done this plan and stuck with it! Unless you’re single (or have a spouse or roomate that will do this with you) and have no kids, it’s just nearly impossible, I wish I could lock myself in a room with only the supplies I need for 2 months and JUST DO IT!!!

    • Layla

      I have been doing the liquid diet for 7 days already, I am not single, I cook steaks and meals for my husband every day, yesterday I made a cake for him which is also my favorite. I told myself that’s just not for me for 20-25 days (I plan on losing 20lbs then I stop) and I don’t even taste the food I cook for him. It’s a matter of will, I put my mind to it and I’ll stay away from any food but juices for some time. This is also good training for what I am going to do after the liquid diet, I plan on being careful with the food I’ll eat, I plan on quitting some foods for good, I am just training myself into perceiving food in a totally different way as soon as I’m done with the liquid diet so I won’t get back to my old habits and gain all the weight back. At the end of the day I try my favorite clothes on, a pair of jeans, a sexy dress, I take my clothes off and look at myself in the mirror, at my body which is constantly changing and day by day looking better and….. I just refuse to “eat” anything else but these juices. This diet is so different from the other diets I unsuccessfully followed in the past. The weight is lost fast and physical changes can be seen every day, it’s not like a regular diet when we restrict the food and we have cravings and after a week we try the same pair of jeans and it feels like we lost no weight at all. I set my mind to do it and I am doing it. I am not made of stone, trust me, I felt like eating only a bit of my favorite foods during the first days but I said to myself that I would be cheating on myself, and that whatever I do now is difficult to do and that I have to stay put. It’s a way of proving myself I can do something very difficult. I am very proud of myself at the end of the day and I wake up happy thinking that the previous day I managed to control the “temptations.” When I start my day I actually feel “lighter” too and that also makes my day. I am doing this diet the same way I quit smoking 7 years ago. I am enthusiastic about it, I don’t see it as a burden. I believe that’s the secret …. you first need to set your mind to it, to change your perception of it, to think of it as something amazing that you’re doing, like a challenge, like something that will make you look more attractive, sexier, healthier. Under no circumstances you should perceive it as a burden and you shouldn’t shut yourself off from the rest of the world, lock yourself in a room with the supplies for 2 months….as you mentioned. If you lock yourself in a room, the problem will stay with you in your mind, you will hate what you’re doing and if you manage to do it for 2 months, the day you are done with it you’ll start eating even more so you compensate for all the time you had to struggle to restrict the food. That’s not the way you should do it, even if you could. The way I feel now is that I somehow forgot about food, simply put, I feel like there are more important things in life but food. That’s how it works for me, I hope my explanation helps other people start this diet too :-) Good luck everybody!
      Oh, one last thing DeborahLynn… thank you so much for telling us about this movie. I have just watched it thanks to you. What this Australian guy does/did is pretty much what I am doing. However his motivation and support was different. He found encouragement in talking to people, in sharing his weight loss plan with other people. That worked for him really well. All you need to do is find what works for you. Find your own MOTIVATION :-)

    • Sandra Russell

      Wow! I watched the video and its amazing!

  • Di

    would Macca be a good idea to add to smoothies and drinks when doing a liquid diet?

  • Rosie

    Hi Everyone,
    Good luck on you juice diet. I am starting my fasting tomorrow but not for weight loss but for lent. Wish me luck. I need to stay the course.

    • malu

      Am starting my liquid diet from tomorrow. Am adding protein shakes to my diet to substitute the absence of proteins in fruits and vegetables.

      • Di

        Hi, I just saw your comment was placed in February. Can I ask how the diet went?

  • Julianne

    Stomachs do not shrink. They just don’t. Surgery is the only way to alter the size of a stomach. And, the size of your stomach has nothing to do with effective weight loss, unless it is surgically altered, thusly making it impossible to consume enough food to gain weight without regurgitation. And, even then there are ways aound this, if you really dedicate time to eating…Juicing as opposed to eating whole fruits won’t “shrink your stomach” instead of “stretching it”…

  • Elle

    A juice fast is not the way to lose weight! From reading the comments above I have realised how gullible people have bece when they turn to weight loss. Here are some pointers:
    . Fruit is high is calories, sugar and carbohydrates, consuming large quantities a day will therefore stop you from losing weight
    . The weight you lose will not be fat, it will be Water and muscle mass.
    . Your body will go into starvation mode and you will rapidly store any food as fat in the body
    . Because of this once you stop the fast your body will be in shock and continue to store fat in the body
    . Even if you consume enough calories to stop your body going into starvation mode you will gain the weight you loss plus more once you go back to your normal eating habits
    . Your metabolism will be dEstroyed
    . You will not be consuming enough protein and therefore iron so you will lose muscle mass (not fat) and feel tired and miserable 24/7

    My advice is don’t be lazy! There is no easy way out of weight loss you need to reduce portion size, eat right and exercise.
    Do yourselves a favor and don’t be naive Enough to fall into these fad diets . You will destroy your body and make it impossible to maintain or lose weight for the future.

    • Sharon

      Elle, I was reading comments and came to yours. Sometimes we do crazy things when we are down. After reading this I feel bad that I did not use my brain. What you said was a fact. We all should know this. Thank you, I was going to try to do this. I have to remember there is no quick fix.

  • Purple monster

    Hello,
    Well I’m trying to do the Juice diet for 7 days, if not longer. Had a baby in February, and still trying to lose the weight :/. Anyone want to do the Juice Diet together for more motivation?

    • Agustin

      i am tryng to do this i am over weight my weight is 319 lbs i am a male and yes i think some motivation would be awsome i am intrested in starting this diet with you and because i can of danger to wanting to eat some food we could talked to each other out of it

    • Mary

      i am starting the juice diet on Monday. I am doing the fasting ,for weight loss and detox.Any kind of positive advise ail be appreciated..

    • ayisha

      pls pls!! i will surely do it with u :)

    • Andrea

      I do I’m doing the juice diet for 7 days also

    • MsFlint

      How did your jucie fast go? If you havent already started yet, I can start with you, I need the motivation lol

      • Gram43

        I’m starting to any one want to join

  • Caroline

    What are some of the veggies/fruits you guys used that were effective.. I just had my baby and from 150lbs now i am 185.. Im a curvy girl thick legs/big booty/big boobs but it would b nice to shrink my stomache & inches from my other body parts.. Please i would appreciate it! Thanks!! =)

    • Mary

      I use all berries in my smoothies with rushes ice and Almond milk for my protein. Sometimes ill use a banana its fills me up and its great before a wrk out.

  • trace

    seems like a good plan.

  • Sherrie

    You mention Medifast in your article as a liquid diet, it’s not at all. I have lost 45 pounds in 3.months and the program consists of 5 PCMR’s (portion controlled meal replacements) and one additionsl meal that is lean protein and veggies. Medifast is definitely not what you mentioned; there are shakes AND so many other things like a crunch cereal, brownies, soft bake cookie, bars, chili, soups… In other words, it’s nothing like Optifast and is an easy program that averages 2-5 pounds loss per week AND a free personal health coach. I’ve been successful because it’s a great program and mycoach is only a phone call away!

    • Inna

      @jart0679 Wow that does not sound like much fun, sorry to hear that Any chance the fruit and veegis were off? I think the more you can have in your juice the better, but maybe start slow and build up? e.g. Try replacing 1 meal per day with a juice, then 2, and if all ok after a few days go for it? Thanks so much for your kind words I really do appreciate them.

      • Mary

        I like your comment i have started juicing / liquid diet but i also include 2 cups of green tea and plenty of water and i after 6 pm its only water or a green tea.

  • Zahra

    I am going to start it from tomorrow.. May it go good

  • Sharon

    This article says that liquid fasts do not provide protein or fat. When I am doing a liquid fast, I include soymilk which is high in protein and provides some of the healthy fat your body needs. If you incorporate blended beans to any liquid mixture, you’ll be fine as far as those nutrients are concerned. Almond milk is another source of good fats.

    • Mary

      Great advice Sharon I use Almond milk a lot cause i ant have diary .

  • Belinda wilson

    Hi I would like some recipes so I can loose 10 kilos

  • ronisha

    Hi everybody
    I have just had a gall bladder operation and Im 23, I used to gym and was very active and fit, but since one month (post op) I feel the need to regulate my weight till I can get back to gymming that is in another month or two. Till that time i was planning to get to a semi liquid diet (lunch and dinner as liquids) with a bit of walking in a day..can it be done? just for a month?

    • Mary

      I had my Gall bladder removed 1 year ago. I found juicing really helped me i use all kinds of fruits in my juicing , green tea and plenty of water

  • spfuhl

    I been looking for a good diet help me lose weight but I love food!!! Idk how to get on it and stick to it!?

  • Rosie

    Hello everyone! I have been looking into starting another juice fast. The first time I did it for about 2 weeks (with some cheating in between) I lost about 5-7 lbs. I’m wanting to start it again so I can start my diet right and cleaned out :-) my hubby and I have bought a juicer and it was crap. It spit out all the good stuff that you need from the fruits/veggies. So we end up buying a Vitamix. It’s a little expesive but we put the whole fruits/veggies in it and blends it like nothing. We drink it for bfast and still get all the good stuff from the fruits/veggies. So if anyone out there is looking for a good machine to help with the juicing part, I HIGHLY recommend the Vitamix. We bought it on QVC while they had it on sale. Good luck to everyone out there on their new adventures.

    • linda

      what is the benefit of juicing the fruit….why not just eat it?

      • Charlotte

        Well, Thats why its a liquid diet, and thats why you put it in the blender and make it into juice. Your wanting to shrink the stomach not stretch it! This is an effective way to loose weight. Ppl have to do this if they are going to get a lap band……

      • Charlotte

        Well, you font just easy the fruit. Thats why its a liquid diet, and thats why you put it in the blender and make it into juice. Your wanting to shrink the stomach not stretch it! This is an effective way to loose weight. Ppl have to do this if they are going to get a lap band……

  • Nancy

    I have been Rebooting on a week off a week for a month now and have lost 12 pounds. While juicing I am neither hungry or craving. So I am sold on it. I am using kale, cabbage,broccoli,cukes,carrots,tomatoes,kiwi,bananas(hard to go through the juicer),oranges,apples,celery,spinach and any fruit or veggie that is cheap to juice but I do make sure the greens are there in abundance. I can not juice several times a day so I make it all in the morning for my husband and myself so I make about 5 quarts a day—have lots of energy also but after about a week I find that I need to add other foods for a few days so then I go on a different plan—ie slimfast last time and I am looking at the cabbage soup for the next time I need something else—anyway that is what is working for us.
    Nancy from Post Falls

  • ZAS

    I’ve heard a lot about the juicing reboot and have done a lot of research on this. However, There isn’t anywhere I’ve seen that helps with starting. I have a great juicer but I’ve never been very good at grocery shopping…especially making a list. Any help would be grateful. I don’t care about taste. I want results. I’ve been miserable for the last three years in my apprenticeship, so what’s another month? :)

  • bhatti

    ok Samuel, lyncusoon, and crod; lets do it together. I am starting this diet again. Please come daily and post your comments to motivate each other.
    Thanks,
    bhatti

  • bhatti

    ok lyncusoon lets do it together. I have been drinking apple and orange juice and once a day in the morning I drink milk tea 2 %. What have you been doing?

  • crod

    I’m looking to try a juice diet, and am hoping for some advice. Is anyone who is on the diet taking any diet pills, exercising, or doing anything other than drinking juice? I am 148 right now and hoping to get back to being 115 again.

  • Samuel

    Hey im willing to pair up with someone on this Liquid Diet. Let me know if your Interested. Thanks and Good Luck to all. 26/m/nj

  • lyncusoon

    I just started a 30 day juice fast and am hoping to find some advice and support

  • bhatti

    Ok Shay lets do it together. What is your weight?

    I wanted to go for 30 days juice diet to see what are the results. Lets do it together…

  • bhatti

    Checked my weight today, I was down to 176 lbs. I have been cheating, also. I need somebody, so that we can start together. That way I will be motivated and there will no cheating. Anyone out there…?

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