Planning out your liquid diet is going to depend a lot on the kind of liquid diet that you’re going on as well as why you’re doing it. Many patients might go on a full liquid diet for prescribed medical reasons, like intestinal illness or an upcoming surgery. Such individuals will have very different restrictions than someone choosing a liquid diet on their own for weight loss, for instance. Anyone going on a liquid diet should do so with a physician’s supervision to ensure they get enough nutrients. Talking to your doctor about an individualized meal plan is always a good idea, but the following paragraphs have ideas you can use for your daily eating/drinking:
Breakfast: Consider starting your day with a fruit juice free of pulp. You might also eat cooked cereals like cream of wheat or rice or oatmeal, especially if they get thinned down with additional milk. Boost, Ensure, and milk usually work in liquid diets. Kefir is a drinkable yogurt, and fruit smoothies made with that, regular yogurt, or pureed seedless, skinless fruits also work. Use melted butter on cereal or maple syrup and honey for sweetening anything if you need to add calories.
Lunch/Dinner: A pureed soup makes for a great lunch or dinner. Straining to catch chunks might be a good idea if you’re making your own. Skim milk powder, or even protein powder, can add protein. A glass of vegetable juice can give you some different tastes and flavors. Broth, milk, and water can be used to thin out strained baby foods without lumps.
Desserts/Snacks: Your body can only handle so many liquid foods at one time, so you’ll likely need snacks between your meals. Depending on your specific liquid diet, you might be able to enjoy ice pops, custard-style yogurt, fruit juice bars, ice cream without chunky add-ons, pudding, sherbert, milkshakes, and gelatin that has whipped cream.
Many liquid diets focused on weight loss might be low in their calorie count, possibly even less than 800 calories per day. That kind of diet requires medical supervision, or you might not be getting enough of the essential nutrients your body needs. Rapid weight loss is often a result, but maintaining that weight is hard once you switch back to a standard diet. Also, you run the risk of having trouble going back to more regular foods and develop a reliance on liquid meal-substitute drinks, which is far from healthy.
Also, if you’re lactose-intolerant, then your liquid diet has to avoid typical dairy products while on a liquid diet, or you might have to include a lactase supplement prior to dairy consumption so you can bypass undesired gastrointestinal side effects.
Your consultation with your physician or registered nutritionist should confirm your liquid diet has sufficient nutrition, and that it won’t interrupt or aggravate preexisting health conditions you have, like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, or kidney disease. Liquid diets lasting more than five days might require nutritional supplements.