What is this latest hot topic about liquid diets and is it healthy for me? I personally do the liquid diet either prior to a photoshoot, to get all the solid foods out of my system for that ‘leaner look,’ or if I’m sick – it makes it so much easier to deal with the side effects of the flu when you only have liquids circulating in your system.
Lets face it, liquids metabolize and absorb into the blood stream much faster than solids. Solids have to be broken down into very small little particles, no larger than 2 mm before they can enter into the small intestine. The mechanical digestion that takes place when solid foods are introduced to the stomach does burn a great amount of calories and will spike the metabolism because of the constant churning of the food; however, several hours will pass (4-8 hours) before most (solid) meals are broken down into smaller pieces (chyme). At that point, contractions of the stomach forces the food to be deposited into the smaller intestine (duodenum) to begin the absorption process. Liquids on the other hand, pass through the stomach in a matter of minutes and are absorbed in the larger intestine. The only problem with liquid diets is it doesn’t seem to ‘curb the appetite’ as much as solids simply because there is little to no mechanical digestion that takes place, therefore the metabolism will slow down to compensate. Research has proven that those few individuals that do feel fuller after drinking a shake or whatever liquid diet will benefit from a slimmer waistline however doctors do not recommend a liquid type of diet for longer than three days.
So in short, liquid diets will help you lose weight, permitting you don’t overdo it on the calories but it won’t do much to curve the appetite which may make the dieting process a bit more hectic than normal. A simpler approach may be to consume the liquid diet or meal replacement shakes as the ‘in between meals or snacks’ – which should be consumed in between the three regular solid meals that you eat throughout the day; just leave about 2-3 hours in between each meal to give the body adequate time to absorb the nutrients. We all know where unused calories are stored.