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As the name might have given it away, a liquid diet consists of only drinking fluids or any kind of food that turns liquid at room temperatures, such as ice cream or milkshakes. Its also important to draw the distinction between a liquid diet and a clear liquid diet, in the latter you only consume clear fluids, such as broth, gelatin, tea, and water.

Do liquid diets work?

Yes, liquid diets do work, but there are also many factors you have to take into consideration when you start a liquid diet. You have to consider your calorie intake as well as how many calories you burn. If you are going on a drawn-out liquid diet, you might run into the risk of lacking the minimal amount of calories and nutrients your body needs. This might have a negative result on your health, which in due time will lead to malnutrition and muscle loss.

Do note that many people are usually advised to go on liquid diets by their doctors. A clear liquid diet, especially, is something that doctors advise their patients to go on before a medical surgery or procedure. Doctors might also put you on a clear diet if you are having any issues with your digestion.

Others who go on liquid diets typically do so for weight loss. Their diet usually consists of protein shakes and fruit or vegetable juices. These drinks usually replace all their meals.

Regardless, you are advised to consult your doctor before you go on a liquid diet.

Weight Loss Rate of Liquid Diets

Liquid diets are similar to other diets, which means you will have weight loss as you consume fewer calories. As a general rule, it is the norm that you should consume 350 calories less a day than the number you require to retain your weight to shake off 1 lb of weight per week. This level of maintenance is determined by age, weight, height, and body type.

You have to do your research first and find out what is the standard amount of calories a person with your standard age, weight, height, and growth level can eat to retain their weight. If you want to lose 1 lb of weight, then take off 350 calories each day from the liquid diet you are following. Only then it is possible to lose 1lb in a week.

You may also have heard of Ensure protein drinks and thought “How much weight can I lose drinking ensure?” You can lose about 1 lb in one week by replacing one meal per day with an Ensure product. So, if you are familiar with Ensure, you could have the branded shakes and drinks during a liquid diet.

But do note that you should not try to lose more than 2 lbs of weight per week, as it is unhealthy and unsustainable for the body.

Calories of Liquid Diets

The plans of a liquid fasting diet differ a lot, so there is not a specific estimated number of calories for these diets. Many liquid diets only consist of drinking lemonade daily, so this diet has very low calories. Other diets call for drinking protein shakes and dairy-based liquids, which in turn causes this diet to have more calories. Your calorie intake differs based on the diet you follow, and so does how much weight you can lose on a liquid diet.

What You Can Have on A Liquid Diet

You mostly can not have any kind of liquids that contain lumps or solid chunks. This might be vague for some, so to clarify here is a list of liquid foods you can have:

  • Vegetable and fruit juice with no pulp
  • Soft drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Electrolyte drinks
  • Tea and coffee
  • Milk or any alternative of milk (almond, cashew, and so on)
  • Smoothies and milkshakes
  • Broth
  • Soups (has to be strained so there are no lumps)
  • Honey, sugar, syrup
  • Pudding, Gelatin, custard
  • Sorbet, frozen yogurt, ice cream (make sure they don’t contain nuts or candy)
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Liquid supplements for weight loss (Ensure)

It is most advised that your diet should consist of 6 or 7 different foods so that you can have foods of different nutritional value. This diet may seem restrictive, so here are a few liquid diet recipes to lose weight:

Vegetables and Fruits

You are allowed to have vegetables and fruits on a liquid diet as long as you strain them thoroughly to make sure there are no solid lumps. You should invest in a high-speed blender and you can make smoothies of your own choice easily.

Tropical smoothies are recommended for anybody on a liquid diet. You can make this smoothie using coconut milk and pineapple juice. Just throw in pineapple, papaya, and mango as well and mix it in your blender until there are no solid bits left.

You could also make a unicorn smoothie. All you need to do is blend frozen banana and mango, dragon fruit puree, and orange juice until they are blended into a smooth mixture.


You can have milk, yogurt, and cottage or cream cheese on any kind of liquid diet. Margarine or butter can be added too.

A banana almond milk smoothie is great for nutritional value. It is a very filling smoothie that you can make by just blending. Add flax seeds, vanilla extract, and frozen bananas to almond milk with a dash of cinnamon. Then, mix until smooth.

You could also make an apple pie smoothie using milk and yogurt. Just add rolled oats, apples, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and cinnamon to a mix of greek yogurt and almond milk. Then, blend everything until its smooth.

Pumpkin mousse is also a recipe that is easy to make. All you have to do is whip cream cheese along with pumpkin spice and brown sugar, before adding pumpkin puree. Mix until everything is combined and you have pumpkin mousse!


You can have meat as long as it has been pureed, as well as chicken consommé which is considered a go-to protein in most liquid diets. All you have to do is boil your meat of choice along with spices and vegetables and simmer it. It does take a while to be made but by the end, you will have a clear soup and it will be well worth the wait!


Being on a liquid diet can be very difficult as you need to have the will to follow through with it.

Do remember that there is a lack of thiamine, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin B-12 in liquid diets. You might also develop chronic hunger, constipation, mood swings, diarrhea, no enjoyment in eating, and so on. It is hard to overcome these so remember to consult your doctor regularly.

In the end, remember to do thorough research before you decide on what foods to consume. Hope we were able to answer how much weight can you lose on a liquid diet. Good luck!