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What Is A Liquid Keto Diet? Pros, Cons, And Safety Explained

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green keto shake along with avocados, lime, and greens, liquid keto diet
Sarah Jackson Damuth post Reviewer Sarah Jackson Damuth post Reviewer
MS, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified LEAP Therapist

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If you’ve been researching weight loss diets, you should have come across the ketogenic diet—aka “keto” diet—as a successful weight loss strategy for some individuals. While the keto diet certainly can be done using solid foods, some people try out a slightly different process called a liquid keto diet. In some cases, this diet may be necessary for medical reasons but in others, the main purpose is weight loss.

What is a liquid keto diet, and is it healthy? How long can you follow a liquid keto diet? We plan to go in-depth and answer these questions for you in this post.

What Is a Liquid Keto Diet?

A liquid keto diet is a combination of a keto diet and a liquid diet. 

As you might already know, a keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet plan that has been proven to produce effective short-term weight loss results. A keto diet usually contains around 70-80% of fat, 10-20% of proteins, and 5-10% of carbohydrates [1]

The principle behind the keto diet is essentially similar to that of intermittent fasting, although the two approaches have clear differences. 

When you take in very low amounts of carbohydrates, your glucose reserves in the liver, known as glucagon, decrease. Your body, especially the brain, uses glucose as the preferred source of fuel, and in the absence of it, the body starts to break down stored fat and generates ketone bodies [2]. If this keeps on going for a few days, insulin levels eventually go down, and fat stores begin to be utilized for energy [1]. This breaking down of fat stores will result in weight loss. 

On a side note, ketogenic diets have also been studied for their effectiveness in treating conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes, cancer, and neurological diseases in addition to weight loss [3].

The Basics Of Liquid Keto Diet

A liquid diet, as the name implies, consists of liquid foods, along with foods that turn to liquid at room temperature, such as jello [4].

You obviously can’t eat solid food during this diet, and you will obtain energy from foods such as shakes, smoothies, soups, and juices. 

When following a liquid keto diet, you will have to make sure that your liquid foods are in accordance with keto diet macronutrient rules. That means they should contain high amounts of fat (70-80%), moderate amounts of proteins (10-20%), and very little carbohydrates (5-10%). 

Certain drinks, such as keto bone broth and bulletproof coffee are excellent keto liquids due to their low carbohydrate content and thus helpful for facilitating ketosis. 

You may want to follow a liquid keto diet as a short-term weight-loss strategy, and on some occasions, your doctor may order you to go on a liquid diet. 

For instance, you might need a liquid diet if you’re preparing for surgery or a medical test. An example would be undergoing a weight loss procedure, such as bariatric surgery. You might even need to go on a liquid diet after some surgeries, such as various gastrointestinal surgeries or dental procedures. 

While these liquid meals don’t necessarily need to be keto, you can certainly make them according to keto diet rules, if you prefer.

Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to discuss your food options with your doctor to make sure they won’t interfere with your medical conditions.

Another reason you might decide to go on a liquid keto fast is to facilitate the body’s detoxification processes. However, keep in mind that science on the effectiveness of detox diets is not at all conclusive, and the available studies seem to have significant flaws [5]

You may also like: Modified Keto Diet

Pros And Cons Of A Liquid Keto Diet

A ketogenic liquid diet has its own pros and cons, and it’s a good idea to consider both sides before trying it out. A keto liquid diet plan will bring about the same advantages and disadvantages as a solid food keto diet plus a few more. 

✅ It Will Make Your Decision-Making Easy

When you’re following a liquid keto diet, you won’t have a hard time deciding if certain foods will break your protocol. You can select a few keto shakes, liquid keto meal replacements, and some keto smoothies and you will be good to go.

✅ It Will Make Your Nutrient-Tracking Easy

With liquid meals, tracking your intake of macronutrients to sustain ketosis will be easier as well. Moreover, if you choose commercial liquid keto products, you won’t have to keep track of the calories in each and every ingredient. 

Try Omo, an all-in-one weight loss app that will help you keep track of your meals and nutrients and streamline healthy and sustainable weight loss.

✅ You Will See Rapid Weight Loss

The ketogenic diet may result in quick, consistent weight loss-especially in obese people, according to some research [6]

✅ You Will Feel Less Hungry

Since a keto meal contains considerable amounts of fat and protein, it will keep you fuller for longer, considering these are more satiating macronutrients [7]. It will also decrease the levels of appetite-stimulating hormones, thus making you less hungry [1].

✅ You’ll Be More Health Conscious

As we mentioned earlier, a keto diet will help to control various other health conditions such as diabetes, epileptic seizures, and cancer [8].

❌ You Will Have Fewer Food Choices

As you know, a ketogenic diet restricts the type of food you can eat. When it comes to an all-liquid ketogenic diet plan, the number of choices will be even lower. This can make it hard to enjoy your meals as drinking the same shakes, soups, and smoothies can become boring after some time.

❌ You Might Have More Food Cravings

This is related to the point we discussed above. After having the same meals over and over again, and especially after not having any solid food, you might get food cravings. These food cravings can easily get out of hand and spiral into a binge if you don’t keep them in check.

❌ You Might Develop Nutritional Deficiencies

A severely low-carb liquid diet will likely lack essential nutrients like fiber as well as micronutrients. For instance, one study found that after 4 weeks of a high-protein liquid diet, the test subjects showed low phosphorus and nitrogen levels [9].

Some liquid diets can also be very low in calories, so they might make you feel dizzy, foggy, and sluggish. 

How Long Can You Be On Liquid Keto?

Considering the information above, we can see that a liquid keto diet can definitely benefit weight loss, especially in obese people. However, is it a good idea to follow such a diet for the long term? It seems not. 

All-liquid diets are only meant to kick-start your weight loss but are not sustainable in the long term.

 Even scientific studies that looked into the effectiveness of low-calorie liquid diets only kept the liquid diet phase going for around 12 weeks [10].

Bearing these considerations in mind, our suggestion is to keep your diet to no more than 2 weeks if you’re doing it on your own. 

If you’re following the diet while being monitored by your physician or dietitian, you can keep going until your healthcare provider asks you to stop. The best strategy is to get help from a registered dietitian nutritionist to make sure you don’t deprive your body of essential nutrition. 

Replace Some Meals With Keto Shakes For Weight Loss

Having said that, liquid keto meals can certainly help you in losing pounds. However, there’s no reason to abandon all your solid food and go all-liquid for weeks. A more viable approach is to replace some of your meals with keto shakes and keep track of your calories. This will help you enjoy the food you like while losing weight sustainably. 

Final Words

Liquid keto diets can help you lose weight but they have their own pros and cons. While they can help you shed pounds fast, they are not suitable for the long term. The best way is to follow a short-term liquid keto diet until you lose desired weight and then replace some of your meals with keto shakes. 

In the meantime, discuss your game plan with your doctor and your nutritionist to make sure you make the best food choices for your health. 

Disclaimer This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

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