A so-called “liquid diet” involves a drastically reduced caloric intake, around 400-800 calories per day. Liquid diets tend to be medically recommended for intestinal problems, such as people afflicted with Crohn’s disease, or as a precautionary or recuperative measure involving surgical procedures around the mouth or digestive tract. The main use of a liquid diet is for detoxification: an all-liquid diet assists in expelling troubling waste and other unwanted intestinal matter. Although a liquid diet has such a reduced caloric level, it greatly assists in weight loss since it requires the expenditure of 3,500 calories to lose a pound. However, weight loss derived from a liquid diet usually tends to return if the dieter goes back to his previous eating habits. A liquid diet is not a monolithic undertaking. There are even two different kinds: the clear liquid diet and the full liquid diet.

A clear liquid diet involves nothing but transparent liquid, extending to frozen and gelatinous versions of, food. Common menu items in a clear liquid diet include bouillon and broth, popsicles and fruit ices, and fruit juice. Carbonated beverages are not consumed, since the gas enlarges the gastrointestinal tract.

The full liquid diet on the other hand, also known as a strained liquid diet, allows both clear and opaque liquid foods. The shopping list for a full-liquid diet is not quite as strict as the clear-liquid diet, allowing the dieter to enjoy dairy products, fruit nectar like mango or agave, pudding, and even honey. Coffee, sodas, and fruit juice, provided it lacks pulpy bits, are also allowed.

So you’ve been dieting with nothing but liquids, yet you still don’t feel well. Engaging in such a low calorie diet plan will leave the dieter feeling fatigued and sluggish, with possible muscular cramping; light-headedness and fainting may also come into play. The dieter’s metabolism may also make itself known in the winter, engaging in a liquid diet during the winter will usually leave the dieter feeling very cold. It’s also strongly recommended to consume a glass of water two or three times a day to catch up with the unavoidable daily loss of bodily fluids. Lastly, because a liquid diet is deficient in calories as well as nutrition, it should not be adhered to for long periods of time, even with nutritional supplements, such as vitamins.