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The Keto Liquid Diet: Benefits, Side Effects, and Meal Plan

The Keto Liquid Diet is a simple and easy-to-follow diet for those who want to lose weight in a short time, especially if you don’t have much time or experience in cooking and need fast-preparing meals. You can have all these benefits in this diet, but it’s not as simple as it sounds. It has its own drawbacks and challenges you should know about.

The Keto Liquid Diet: Benefits, Side Effects, and Meal Plan
Highlights
  • The Keto Liquid Diet is a modified Keto diet with a focus on low-carb and high-fat foods but only in liquid form.
  • Achieving ketosis is possible with a Keto Liquid Diet, like the regular Ketogenic diet.
  • To induce ketosis, you should consume olive and avocado oil and unsweetened almond and coconut milk.
  • Sugary and starchy foods are not allowed in this diet because they convert to sugar in the body.

What Is a Keto Liquid Diet?

A Keto Liquid Diet is a combination of a Keto Diet and a Liquid Diet, which focuses on consuming liquid foods and edibles that become liquid at room temperature, like jelly.

Like in a standard Keto diet, when following a Keto Liquid Diet, you should make sure your liquid foods are low in carbohydrates and high in fat [1].

A Keto Liquid Diet can be a practical method for those who want to lose weight in a short time because it includes no solid foods. It’s also used by people in certain medical conditions, including [2]:

  • Preparation for surgery or medical tests to manage and control nutrient intake and medical situations.
  • Weight loss procedures like bariatric surgery, for reducing the size of the liver and losing weight before the actual procedure.
  • In post-surgery requirements, e.g., gastrointestinal or dental procedures, when you can’t eat or digest solid foods easily, it’s better to try the Keto Liquid Diet.

This diet is not only about consuming liquids, and it has some rules to achieve different goals.

Learn More: Is Tofu Keto? How to Eat Tofu on Keto?

Rules

The following rules will help you gain a better understanding of what the Keto Liquid Diet focuses on.

  • Only Liquid Foods: On a Keto Liquid diet, you should consume only liquids, such as smoothies, shakes, soups, and juices, or foods like Keto ice creams or cheeses that become liquid at room temperature. It is mainly to absorb lower levels of carbohydrates, calories, and sugar to push the body into the state of ketosis [3].
  • High Fat (70-80%): Most of your daily caloric intake should come from healthy fats. This high-fat content is essential to promote the production of ketones, which are used to produce energy instead of glucose, leading to weight loss.
  • Moderate Protein (10-20%): In this diet, you should consume protein in moderate amounts. Excessive protein can interfere with ketosis because the body can convert these excess proteins into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis.
  • Low Carbohydrates (5-10%): Carbohydrate intake should be limited to around 5-10% of your daily nutrient intake. Absorbing fewer carbs can help keep insulin levels low and encourage the body to rely on fat for energy instead of glucose.

Learn More: What Is a Lazy Keto Diet? How to Do It? [Free 7-Day Meal Plan]

Dr. Eric Westman:

"A ketogenic liquid diet can be an effective tool for rapid weight loss and managing blood sugar levels. It's essential to ensure that the liquid meals are nutritionally balanced and contain adequate fats, proteins, and micronutrients."

Goals

The first priority of a Keto Liquid Diet is to push the body into ketosis, but it has other goals, too:

  • Weight Loss: A Keto Liquid Diet can be an effective way to lose weight, and it’s because of restricted carbohydrate intake and making the body burn fat for energy instead of glucose [4].
  • Blood Sugar Control: Regulating blood sugar levels is necessary for individuals with diabetes or insulin resistance. This diet can help these individuals prevent hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), reducing the risk of cardiovascular issues and kidney problems by reducing the amount of glucose in the bloodstream [5].
  • Therapeutic Effects: A Keto Liquid Diet can be effective in managing certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and some neurological disorders like Alzheimer's. It doesn’t mean this diet can be a cure for these diseases, but it can help manage their symptoms [6].
  • Better Cholesterol Profile: This diet can improve levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, triglycerides, and overall cholesterol balance. A better cholesterol profile can cause better heart health [7].

Following a Keto Liquid Diet can have different benefits.

Learn More: What Is The Dirty Keto Diet? Food List and Free 7-Day Meal Plan

The Benefits of the Keto Liquid Diet

The Keto Liquid Diet offers the benefits of a traditional Keto diet, like weight loss and better blood sugar control, with some additional advantages, including:

  • Simpler Food Choice
  • Easy Nutrient Tracking
  • Rapid Weight Loss
  • Reduced Hunger
  • Alleviating Disease Symptoms

Simpler Food Choice

Choosing foods is easy in the Keto Liquid Diet plan. You only have to prepare liquid meals like shakes, meal replacements, and smoothies and ensure that your body receives the nutrients it needs to achieve ketosis [8].

Easy Nutrient Tracking

In this diet, it’s easy to keep track of your macronutrients to make sure that your body maintains ketosis and reaches your weight loss goals [9].

Rapid Weight Loss

This ketogenic diet often leads to quick, effective, and consistent weight loss, especially in those dealing with obesity [10].

Reduced Hunger

High fat and protein content in Keto Liquid meals can increase fullness and decrease appetite-stimulating hormones. It happens because fats and proteins promote satiety by releasing hormones like CCK and PYY while reducing hunger hormones like ghrelin [11].

Learn More: The 10 Best Keto Thickeners for Soups and Stews

Franziska Spritzler, Registered Dietitian:

"Liquid ketogenic diets can be useful for people who need an easy, convenient way to maintain ketosis. However, they should be carefully planned to avoid nutrient deficiencies and ensure long-term sustainability."

Alleviating Disease Symptoms

Following a ketogenic diet can help manage health conditions like diabetes, epilepsy, and certain types of cancer, like brain cancer. For example, in individuals with epilepsy, ketosis helped to reduce the frequency and severity of seizures [12].

Another important benefit of ketogenic diets is ketosis, but can you induce ketosis in a Keto Liquid Diet?

Can You Reach Ketosis with a Keto Liquid Diet?

Yes, just like the regular Ketogenic Diet, it’s possible to achieve ketosis with a Keto Liquid Diet. The base rule of this diet is to consume low-carb and high-fat liquids, which help induce ketosis [13].

Remember that for successful ketosis on a liquid diet, you should restrict the carbohydrate intake. Although 20 to 50 grams of carbs can be enough in this diet, you can determine the exact amount under medical supervision [14].

In addition to these benefits, there are some side effects to a Keto Liquid Diet that you should know in advance to make informed decisions.

Dr. Stephen Phinney:

"A keto liquid diet can be particularly beneficial in clinical settings or for individuals who have difficulty chewing or digesting solid foods. It's crucial to monitor electrolyte balance and hydration status closely."

The Downsides of The Keto Liquid Diet

  • Limited Food Choices
  • Nutrient Deficiencies
  • Confusing Hunger Hormones in the Brain

Limited Food Choices

Since the Keto Liquid Diet focuses only on liquid foods, it offers fewer food options than a standard Keto diet, which can lead to food boredom over time [15].

Nutrient Deficiencies

The focus of a Keto Liquid Diet on high-fat and low-carbohydrate foods can lead to a lack of certain nutrients, like fiber and vitamins, which can cause some side effects like constipation.

To overcome this problem, you should include the necessary components like fat, protein, fiber, and vitamins in your diet plan [16].

Hunger Mechanism Confusion

Liquid meals may not provide the same sense of fullness and satiety as solid meals, which happens because of a lack of chewing and the fast absorption of nutrients from liquid meals and may disrupt your body and brain's hunger signals [17].

If you know the standard Keto diet, you probably know that their benefits and downsides are very similar. But there are some differences, as well.

Keto Liquid Diet Helps Weight Loss

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that participants on a medically supervised ketogenic liquid diet for 12 weeks experienced an average weight loss of 10-15% of their initial body weight.

The Keto Liquid Diet vs. The Keto Diet

The following table shows a comparison between a standard Keto diet and a  Liquid Keto Diet:

FeatureKeto DietKeto Liquid Diet
Food Type Solid and liquid foods Liquid foods only
Meal Frequency (per day) 3 meals and 2 snacks 4-6 meals
Meal Preparation Time Requires moderate time and effort to prepare meals Requires minimal preparation time
Food Variety Offers a wide range of food choices, including fruits, vegetables, and meats Limited to pre-prepared liquid meals like soups, shakes and smoothies
Nutrient Intake High levels of fat, moderate protein, and low levels of carbohydrates High levels of fat, moderate protein, and low levels of carbohydrates
Convenience Requires preparation and cooking of meals Almost all meals are pre-prepared and ready to consume
Satiety Can be high because solid foods are digested slowly and help keep you full for longer Can be low because liquid meals may not be as filling as solid meals
Weight Loss Effective for weight loss Can Be more effective for weight loss in the short term because liquids are digested faster

Now, let’s focus on the foods you can consume on a Keto Liquid Diet.

What To Eat on a Keto Liquid Diet?

  • Bone Broth: Bone broth is a rich source of collagen, a type of protein that can help improve gut health and reduce inflammation. It is also a good source of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus [18].
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk: This milk is a good source of protein and healthy fats and is also low in carbohydrates and sugar [19].
  • Unsweetened Coconut Milk: This milk is another good option for a Keto Liquid Diet and a good source of healthy fats and electrolytes. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals, such as potassium and magnesium [20].
  • MCT Oil: MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil is a type of saturated fat that can help boost metabolism and promote ketosis. Your body can convert MCTs into ketones, which is exactly the goal of the Keto Liquid Diet [21].
  • Eggs: Eggs are a good source of protein and healthy fats and are also low in carbohydrates and sugar [22].
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil is a good source of healthy fats and antioxidants. It can help reduce inflammation and protect against heart disease [23].
  • Avocado Oil: Another source of healthy fats and antioxidants, which is also high in oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat that can help reduce bad cholesterol levels [24].

The following table provides the nutritional values of these foods [25] [26]:

FoodCaloriesCarbohydrates (g)Fat (g)Sugar (g)
Bone Broth (in 100ml) 51 1.69 2.95 0.42
Unsweetened Almond Milk (in 100g) 19 0.67 1.56 0
Unsweetened Coconut Milk (in 100ml) 19 0.83 1.67 0
MCT Oil (in 1 tbsp (14g)) 121 0 13 0
Egg (in 1 medium (44g) raw and fresh) 62.9 0.31 4.18 0.16
Avocado Oil (in 100g) 884 0 100 0

Learn More: Is Coconut Milk Keto? 5 Keto-Friendly Coconut Milk Recipes

Notice that not all liquid foods align with the Keto Liquid diet, and there are many foods that you should avoid.

Foods to Avoid On The Keto Liquid Diet

  • Sugary Foods: All foods with high amounts of sugar, like sodas, candies, sports drinks, cookies, biscuits, desserts, cakes, pastries, sweetened yogurts, ice creams, and breakfast cereals, should be avoided because they can interrupt ketosis [27].
  • Starchy Foods: Starch is another component that is converted to sugar in the body and can break ketosis, so you avoid foods like bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and legumes that are high in starch.
  • Some Fruits: Although fruits are generally healthy, many of them are high in sugars and carbs and must be avoided. Some examples are oranges, bananas, apples, and grapes [28].
  • Certain Vegetables: Vegetables that grow under the ground, like potatoes, yams, and peas, are high in starch and should be avoided or limited to less than 20 grams per day [29].
  • Processed Keto Products: They might be low in carbs, but they are often highly processed providing little nutritional value and can slow down weight loss progress [30].
  • Unhealthy Fats: Avoid margarine, hydrogenated oils, and processed oils that are high in omega-6, like soybean oil. Instead, try to use healthy oils like avocado oil [31].

Now, based on these advantages and potential side effects, can we say that this diet is safe?

Keto Liquid Diet Helps Blood Sugar Control

According to a 2020 review in Nutrients, patients with type 2 diabetes who followed a ketogenic liquid diet for 24 weeks showed significant improvements in HbA1c levels, insulin sensitivity, and reduced need for diabetes medications.

Is Keto Liquid Diet Safe?

Like all kinds of diets, Keto Liquid Diet’s success and safety depend on many factors, like your health conditions, dietary preferences, how you plan the diet, and how well you stick to it. You should consider 3 factors to make sure a diet is safe:

  • Positive Outcomes: Many researches have been done on the effects of this diet on health, proving that a Keto Liquid Diet can be effective for weight loss, blood sugar control, and cholesterol management due to inducing ketosis[32][33].
  • Potential Risks: While the Keto Liquid Diet offers many health benefits, it also contains risks. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting the diet, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions like blood pressure or kidney problems. This diet can lead to low blood pressure, kidney stones, nutrient deficiencies, and constipation, only if not managed and planned correctly [34][35].
  • Sustainability and Long-Term Effects: There is no proven evidence of long-term damage or harm in the body following the Keto Liquid Diet but there are some concerns about the sustainability of this diet regarding muscle loss and constipation in the long term. For safety, it's best to monitor your health regularly and be prepared to switch to a standard Keto diet when needed to maintain your overall health [36].

Overall, it’s proved that this diet is safe, and the risks and concerns can be managed easily by consulting with healthcare professionals and maintaining a healthy meal plan. A comprehensive meal plan will guarantee that you’ll get enough necessary nutrients and minimize any potential risks.

Keto Liquid Diet Improves Metabolism

A 2019 study in the Obesity Journal found that obese individuals on a ketogenic liquid diet for 8 weeks lost an average of 20 pounds and showed improvements in metabolic markers, including lower triglycerides and increased HDL cholesterol.

A 7-Day Keto Liquid Diet Meal Plan

Here's a sample 7-day Keto Liquid Diet meal plan.

DayBreakfastLunchDinner
1 Smoothie with almond milk, plain Greek yogurt, spinach, avocado, and MCT oil Keto soup with bone broth, keto-friendly vegetables, and shredded chicken Creamy Tomato Soup with chicken broth, heavy cream, and chopped fresh basil
2 Smoothie with almond milk, unsweetened kefir, almond butter, chia seeds, and cinnamon Keto creamy coconut curry with coconut milk, curry powder, masala, turmeric and pepper Avocado smoothie with almond milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, and chia seeds
3 Smoothie with almond milk, plain Greek yogurt, spinach, avocado, and a tablespoon of hemp seeds Keto egg drop soup with bone broth, coconut oil, carrots and eggs Keto spinach and feta frittata with eggs, feta cheese, and chopped fresh parsley
4 Smoothie with almond milk, unsweetened kefir, banana extract, and a scoop of keto-friendly protein powder Keto protein shake with unsweetened almond milk, protein powder, nut butter and berries Chocolate avocado mousse with unsweetened cocoa powder, honey, and heavy cream
5 Smoothie with almond milk, unsweetened kefir, spinach, avocado, and a tablespoon of chia seeds Creamy cauliflower soup with steamed cauliflower, heavy cream and garlic Pumpkin spice smoothie with almond milk, cooked pumpkin puree, keto protein powder, and chia seeds
6 Smoothie with almond milk, unsweetened kefir, berries, and a scoop of almond butter Green keto smoothie with unsweetened almond milk, spinach, avocado, and a scoop of protein powder Keto vegetable soup with bone broth, olive oil and diced broccoli and carrots
7 Smoothie with almond milk, plain Greek yogurt, spinach, avocado, and a tablespoon of hemp seeds Keto chia seed pudding with almond milk, honey and berries Keto broth with Mushroom and thyme, olive oil and garlic

As the table shows, smoothies are one of the basic drinks and most favorable parts of the Keto Liquid Diet plan. Let’s learn about some of the delicious smoothies you can make to meet your nutrients in this diet. 

Liquid Keto Diet-Friendly Smoothies

Here’s a table of 5 Keto Liquid Diet-friendly smoothies with nutritional values and ingredients [37].

SmoothieIngredientsCaloriesCarbohydratesSugar
Green Smoothie with Avocado 1 cup almond milk, 1 cup spinach, 1/2 avocado, 1 scoop keto protein powder, 1 tablespoon MCT oil 372 6 1.2
Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond butter, 1 scoop keto protein powder 628 21 3.3
Berry Smoothie 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup mixed berries, 1 scoop keto protein powder 200 20 13
Coconut Avocado Smoothie 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, 1/2 avocado, 1 scoop keto protein powder 265 6 2.2
Fruity and Creamy Smoothie 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup mixed berries, 1/2 cup unsweetened Greek yogurt, 1 scoop keto protein powder 225 15 9.5

Along with controlling carbs and sugar intake, you should also make sure to eat enough fiber and protein.

Fiber and Protein on The Keto Liquid Diet

You can find how much protein you need per meal and day in the following table based on your weight. Also, you can use this free Ideal Weight Calculator to check your ideal weight based on protein according to different scientific formulas.

Additionally, you can use the following table to check how much protein you should consume based on your height:

Height (cm)Women (grams)Men (grams)
<163 90 105
163 - 170 100 110
171 - 178 110 120
179 - 188 120 130
>188 130 140

Please note that these numbers are not personalized and can change based on certain conditions and goals. For example, if you want to lose fat mass while building or maintaining lean mass, it’s better to add between 1.6 g/kg and 2.0 g/kg protein [38].

People who are underweight or healing from illness, injury, or surgery can add more than 2.0 grams of protein per kg of body weight [39].

Also, for those who follow ketogenic diets for therapeutic purposes, like managing certain cancers, it’s better to reduce the daily protein intake to between 1.2 and 1.5 grams per kg of body weight [40].

Additionally, The recommended daily intake of fiber for adults is 25-38 grams. On the Keto Liquid Diet, it may be challenging to consume the full recommended amount of fiber from liquids alone. But you can add fiber-rich ingredients like chia seeds to your shakes and smoothies to reach this amount.

Summary

The Keto Liquid Diet can be one of the most effective diets, only if you have a good meal plan that provides every necessary nutrient for your body to push it into the state of ketosis. Just make sure to consume enough protein and fat and limit carbohydrates and sugar in liquid foods.

Also, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting this diet to make sure this diet will help you achieve your health and fitness goals without significant side effects.

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