Liquid Diet: What You Need to Know

Liquid Diet Plan

The liquid diet plan is exactly what it sounds like -- a diet that consists almost entirely of fluids. It is not meant to be a "lifestyle change," or something you take up for the rest of your life, like healthful eating habits. Rather, it should only be done for a few days at a time as your body cannot sustain itself over the long term on a few different liquids alone.

There are two basic types of liquid diets: the clear liquid diet and the full liquid diet. While similar, the clear liquid diet is more restricted than the full liquid diet, which takes a few liberties with its inclusion of items like oatmeal, cream of wheat and even butter.

The liquid diet plan may actually be recommended by your doctor -- however, probably not for weight loss. More often, physicians will put someone on a liquid diet before or after surgery [source: The Diet Channel]. In addition, you might be put on such a diet if you need internal tests or x-rays that require an empty stomach and intestines. A liquid diet should last for just a couple days, possibly up to a week at most. However, obese people undergoing bariatric surgery may be put on the liquid diet for a longer time period in order to help their gastrointestinal tract adjust to the surgery [source: Mayo Clinic].

Put down that 1,500-calorie chocolate peanut butter milkshake though -- not just any liquid is allowed on the liquid diet. Read on to discover what you can drink.