Liquid Diets and Juice Fasting

juice-dietLiquid Diets (or Juice Fasting) are used for a number of reasons – including detox and weight loss.

A liquid diet consists of juices, shakes, soups, or any other non-solid food replacing every meal.

Nutritionally these diets are usually lacking essential macronutrients and are low in calories. However, vegetable and fruit based liquid diets will be rich in vitamins and minerals and cancer-fighting phytochemicals.

Liquid diets can also be used by people who can’t chew solid food because of medical reasons.

Liquid Diet for Weight Loss?

Liquid diets can promote weight loss because they are usually very low in calories. However, usually the weight is regained after the diet because dieters return to their old eating habits.

A Juice Fast is used more for detoxifying purposes and should not be used as a weight loss technique because your body could actually be breaking down muscle tissue because of the lack of protein in juices.

It is better to eat the fruit and vegetables whole and therefore gain the fiber, which lowers fruit’s glycemic index and is more beneficial to the body.

Medically Supervised Liquid Diets

There are medically supervised diet plans that have a large liquid component and rely on Meal Replacement Products (or MRP’s).

This is a general term describing products that have a full range of nutrients in them. Most of these are in powder form and when mixed with water or milk provide a liquid-based meal.

  1. Medifast: A couple meals a day are replaced with nutritionally formulated shakes.
  2. Optifast: 12 weeks on their all liquid diet and then they gradually transition dieters to solid foods.

Generally these (expensive) programs will cause quick weight loss – but they are not sustainable as a lifestyle and are designed for people with more than 50 pounds to lose.

Juice Fasting Benefits


It may be beneficial to include vegetable and fruit juices in your diet – but not as a complete replacement of solid food for extended periods of time.

However, a short juice fast is reported to have some health benefits:

  • Removes toxins from the body.
  • Can improve complexion and skin health.
  • Can jumpstart weight loss.
  • Juices are high in vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Alleiviates arthritis symptoms. src

The Jump Start Juicer System is a popular juice fast diet used by many.

A number of people use a tonic or juice supplement in their diet to provide essential vitamins and minerals, but there isn’t scientific evidence that these products are worth the money.

You should not go beyond a one day juice fast without first consulting your doctor.

Smoothies are Better

Using a high powered blender to make smoothies is a better option for liquid diets than just using fruit juices. Smoothies are made using the whole fruit or vegetable, therefore, all of the fiber and micronutrients in the fruit and vegetables are retained.

There are countless fruit and vegetable combinations that can be experimented with and it can be fun developing a smoothie recipe that you like the best.

Not Healthy For the Long Term

Periodic juice fasting and liquid diets can be beneficial for use during short periods of time or for those that can’t chew solid food. However, because they can be both nutritionally and calorie deficient, care should be used when starting one.

A better approach would be to remove processed foods from the diet and consume one fruit and vegetable smoothie a day, in addition to portion controlled meals that are mainly vegetable based.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Brown, M. R., Klish, W. J., Hollander, J., Campbell, M. A., & Forbes, G. B. (1983). A high protein, low calorie liquid diet in the treatment of very obese adolescents: long-term effect on lean body mass. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 38(1), 20-31. link
  • Bryner, R. W., Ullrich, I. H., Sauers, J., Donley, D., Hornsby, G., Kolar, M., & Yeater, R. (1999). Effects of resistance vs. aerobic training combined with an 800 calorie liquid diet on lean body mass and resting metabolic rate. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 18(2), 115-121. link
  • McDougall, J., Bruce, B., Spiller, G., Westerdahl, J., & McDougall, M. (2002). Effects of a very low-fat, vegan diet in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis. The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 8(1), 71-75. link

90 Comments or Reviews

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  1. angel

    okay ive never done this before. i just ate a mound of waffles and tomorrow its on. only liquids. i’m scared. hope i can do it. :)so in my mind i want to lose 10 pounds. how long should i stick to the “just liquid”? and should i work out? also i get really hungry at night. thats the area i’m most doubtful of. i might give in. help me

  2. Cheryl

    Slimfast has alot of sugars in it so I am using the Atkins drinks instead since theres only like 1 gram of sugar, Ive lost 10 lbs in 2 weeks doing a liquid diet, it does make you tired. im taking vitamins and it helps some with energy. i cant eat alot dairy so i take calcium.

  3. darian

    Heey. Im 17, 5’4″ & 140lbs. I need to drop about 20 lbs, im very actice & i was wondering if this juice diet was a good ideaa. A little bit of hlp & advice from those of you who have already done this would be great(: remember that im in claas from 9 till 1.& then i have work. Soo i have to work any diets around that. thanks!

  4. Kristen

    I like making combo fruit juice and water ‘cocktails’ — they’re full of electrolytes!– about half and half depending on the taste, as the more you water down fruit juice (like cranberry or lemon, for kidney health) they get bitter. I also find peppermint herbal tea, green tea and black teas offer nice diversity/flavor/benefits.

    If you want to keep fruit juice and raw whole fruits and veggies in your diet past the fast, I reccomend getting a multi purpose gadget like a vitamix blender. I love cooking with mine! Yes, it can cook soups and such after several minutes!

    Have fun all. The point isn’t to starve your body, it’s to cleanse it for a clean start into something else. Happy New Year!

  5. kelly

    ok seriously, if you’re wanting to do the liquid diet to lose weight- don’t. A 40 day liquid diet sounds absolutely ridiculous! Even if it’s just for a few days- spare yourself. Even if you do lose the weight, you’re most likely going to gain the weight back. Why? Because you haven’t changed anything about your *lifestyle.* What happens after this liquid diet is over? You’re going to go back to your old habits- what got you overweight in the first place. If you want to lose weight *and keep it off,* you need to make lifestyle changes… think about what got your weight over the top in the first place and start by making small changes. The best way to lose weight- expend more calories than you take in… that is, exercise moderately and eat healthy!! If you’re not sure how to start eating healthy, search for that online instead of how to do a liquid diet!!!

  6. Raj kaur

    hi everyone! I’m starting the juice diet tomorrow for 40 days! I can’t wait I’m so excited. Currently I’m 170 pounds! And my height it 5’7! I hav alot of weight to lose my target weight is 112 pounds! So that’s 58 pounds to lose, il post my progress everyday so it just keeps me motivated! I hope I can do this, I’m so excited!!

  7. Emma

    I want to the the liquid diet but what is the best liquid diet to do?

  8. Crystal

    I am 16 and started a liquid fast 2 days ago, tomorrow will be my third day and my belly is screaming at me but after day one I didn’t have the urge to eat anymore just the pains. I have kept a water bottle with me at all times and have milk at lunch (only thing school give and i want SOMETHING besides water) I will probably have some juice after tomorrow and start using my uncles wight loss idea of having a spoon of peanut butter for each meal for protein because going up and down the stairs then walking 1 mile home has me totally beat. I liked reading all of the suggestions on here because I didn’t know if I could have shakes or not. I also read PAUL’s comment and the monday – friday fasting is a good plan for after my seven days because I have a lot of weight to loose but want to eat too.

  9. Kwyndawn

    I am starting a liquid fast tomorrow. I hope that I can last for 7 days. I currently need to loss 120 lb however I do not wish to lose it all fasting. I want to detox, shrink my stomach, and jump start my weight loss. Then I am only going to fast one day a week while I try to maintain a healthy eating style.

    I see that most of you are only doing fruit juice but you might consider adding in broth. I helps to add protein and is still considered a clear liquid. I always do chicken or beef broth on my one day a week fast and the warm liquid really feels me up and gives me energy.

  10. evestew

    i’m about 25lbs overweight and tomorrow will be my first day of the liquid diet. wish me luck and i will keep u posted

  11. Dani

    Liquid diet day 7- I a feeling great but I am watching what I take in. Jello- pudding for fat- carnation instant breakfast- protein shake- beef and chicken broth (soak with saltines to help fill) smoothies with fruit and yogurt to keep the sugars up in the body. Green and chai tea- this will keep you drinking something different while at work. Juice with ice in a blender will keep you busy for a while too. I am doing really good and this is all for a friend that had to have her teeth pulled to add dentures. I am not tired and I am keeping up with the kids

  12. Nee chan

    I’m 130 lbs and I’m 5 1″. I tried doing a lot of physical activities for 2 months but it was really frustrating because I lost only 5 lbs. I tried fasting for 2 weeks and I had great results. I lost a total of 18 lbs. It’s worth the sacrifice.

  13. Shannon

    I am going on an all liquid diet for 48 hours just to jump start my weight loss program. I need to do something to get rid of the constant food cravings! I’ll fill you in in a couple of weeks as to how it worked to jump start me 🙂

  14. Sandra2007

    Brendan McCarthy 7day Juice Diet Program really works. My fiance tried it 3months ago and it did some really amazing results. He told he has never felt better. From what I’ve ready it’s all natural so it’s very safe. And you get to read lots and lots of very good information in this book about how to eat right and stay healthy. He bought it online and it was pretty cheap.

  15. Adeliz

    Today I am starting the ALL liquid diet for 4 days. Will keep u guys posted

  16. maggie

    this is the first time i try it a fasting diet lets c how it goes wish me luck lol

  17. loves PB

    For a health nerd like me this does not sound good. I would never do this even if u dared me your body needs some kind of food not just liquids. Yea it could lead to dizzyness and passing out because your body is calling for the right nutrition. Best advice dont try this.

  18. Jody

    i’m 16, and have tried juice fasting twice at an attempt to get skinny.
    the first time i only did it for a week, and i was always tired and dizzy. i only lost a couple pounds, and didn’t really notice a difference.
    a few moths later i did it for two weeks. it wasn’t as hard this time, but i had gotton very sick of the juices and somedays i would only drink water because the smell of them made me queasy. I did notice a difference in my face, but it didn’t really make a difference in body fat. I was even biking and walking to try to speed up the process, but i was passed out by 7.
    I have been thinking about trying to do it for a month before school starts, but i dont want to be disapointed again. This time if i do it, i will add protien powder to the juices and take multivitamins.

  19. tash

    I have done many of these fastings before and the main points to remember are
    :HOT water with fresh lemon juice in the morning (hot water stimulates you metabolism and lemon is good for your kidneys)
    :Take multivitamins and especially calcium supplements
    :If you cheat dont quit, just remember hpow bad you felt and carry on
    :If you feel like you have to eat something eat a rivita/rice cracker
    :drink at least 6 glasses of water a day
    :doont weigh yourself until at least day 3, there will be no difference till then and its just disheartening!
    Hope this helps!

  20. felish

    i could only do the liquid diet for 4 days and the third and fourth day i didn’t fully do liquids. but i still lose 10 pounds no lie. its hard don’t get me wrong, i couldn’t believe i got through the first day, so the second day came easy. i’m thinking the first day is all i need to get pass and then i have the rest of the six days in a bag. the third day was extremely hard i had a handful of prunes that how bad i craved solid foods, i did good during the fourth day, but at night my father ordered pizza and that was it, i was mad that i failed and gave in like i always do, but i am going to do it again this week. my liquid diet consist of veggie and fruit smoothies that i would make with no dairy or added sugar and i would add apple cider vinager, i would drink those in no paticular order three times a day and 8 glasses of water. to do this you really need to be committed and focus, because if you’re like me the look of and thing solid will mess you up. but even if you do mess up just continue to stick with it until you want to stop. if you want to lose 10 pounds or more within a week i would do this, it cleanse you out, i put prune juice in a lot of my smoothies it adds sweetness(because i have a wicked sweet tooth)and it clears the toxins out of your body and of course its healthy. wish me luck, oh and stay close to the bathroom, really

  21. Jonathan

    Hi, I did the SlimFast Optima Diet just with the shakes for 7 days(1 Week) drinking 4 cans a day, I did it 5 days by it self, but the 6 day i was feeling so week and i had some dinner (half roistered chiken w some green platain) instead of the 4th can and the 7 day I got dinner too (rice,beans and some roast pork) I lost like 7 1/2 pounds until the morning of the 7 day. But After only 3 days i have the same weight that I used to have before i start the diet.
    (Is imposible to gain almost 8 pounds in three days, i dont know what’s going on?)
    Any Help?

  22. Chip

    may wanna take vitamins before using this diet to get the fiber and protein the human body needs

  23. Lizzy

    I am thinking of starting this liquid diet this week. I don’t know what I should do or how to even start. I want to loss 80lbs.

  24. PAUL

    I went from 225 to 178 in 6 weeks juice fasting (and slim fast) mon thru fri. By saturdays my stomach shrunk so much I couldn’t pig-out like I was use to.

  25. william

    Greetings Lance –

    I like you honestly and style. you give credit where it’s due..sharing your lifestyle, including you personal fatih in God, brings you results.. that’s the end product that you were seeking, besides giving Him the glory too ..thanks for sharing your personal experience with your own weight loss program .. regards, william

  26. ping

    im a diabetic what is the best for me for diat?

  27. malik

    Friut juice fasts at 2, 3 and 4 day time frames per week.
    1 ounce of room temp spring water for every pound you weigh every day.
    Fruits with seeds, green leafy veggies.
    NO meat excepting seafood (twice weekly)
    No eating at all between 7pm and 4am.
    Fruits only between 4am and 12pm.
    One hour of cardio work out (non sweating) three times per week.
    No refined starches or sugars.
    No processed foods. Only go to the supermarket for produce and water.
    Works for me….Dropped from 328 to 260 in 6 months and have sustained for 2 years.
    Goal is 250 for now (My height is 6’4″).
    Most importantly, I eat what I know is good for me, and not because a clown (Ronald MCD) says it is good.

  28. Babs

    caution, caution. I’m no doctor, but yikes!! First off, run from the slimfast. There is SO much sugar in their plan that you’re kidding yourself if you think this will work. Bodies need a solid ratio of fat/carbs/protein in order to function well. I’ve read water fasts can be very beneficial for you, HOWEVER, you have to seriously limit your calorie burn. Your not consuming any calories and thus expending extra energy will cause you to fatigue, get headaches and or pass out. Read the article by Dr.Benkim at regarding fasting. It’s an eyeopener. I myself am researching to find a beneficial detox. There are so many ads out there it’s hard to sift thru all the scams to find a really beneficial program. Buyer beware, if it sounds too good to be true, it is! The best things I’ve found so far for losing the weight…cut out the refined sugars, caffine, fast food, and alcohol. Walk on treadmill at 2 to 2.5 mph at a 7 to 9% incline for an hour and or 30 min of aerobics. The weight will not “Fall” off, but the steady loss of pounds will be long term. Plus, you’ll reap the benefits of better sleep & more energy. However, due to the major changes in your eating, your brain will go thru withdrawls of the sugar aspect. Sometimes making you cranky and hard to be around. Push thru it, tell your loved ones why your cranky and get their help to HELP you thru it. Losing weight is tough…Love yourself and you can do anything!! Good luck.

  29. sophia

    can pls some one send me the diet plan becouse i have no idea please hepl i need to loose weight so bad becouse i suffer from very bad back thank you

  30. Jen

    I’ve been doing the juice fast for 7 days. Having a really hard time because I am 30 lbs over weight and cannot loose the weight. I thought the weight was supposed to fly off doing this. It took until day 4 until I lost anything and in total I only lost like 3 lbs, and now today I weigh my self I gained 2 lbs back. How can this be when I feel like I’m starving myself !!!!! I usually kickbox 6 days a week, I went once and was to fatigued to work out. I do not feel bounds of energy like people say. I have to say I picked a bad week to do this I also have my period. Which I know it could be water weight, but this is rediculous when I was eating salty doritos when I had my period then you can say oh yeah your retaining water, this is the proof that you blow up like a baloon no mater what you eat when you have your thing. I have yo yo dieted for the last year and 1/2 and never really stick with something long enough for it to work. So this was very hard to go a week without eating, I’m surprised I lasted this long. But I’m confused I dont know what to do, go back on weight watchers or continue to fast and see if it takes 3 weeks to kick in. I have been drinking ice water with fresh lemon. Bought a juicer, fresh apple/carrot juice with a teaspoon of mixed green powder, veggi broth for lunch and a few more glasses of juice. Any advice for me???? Help please?? I want to loose this weight so bad, but I have been miserable not eating, and to not eat and now its not working for me.

  31. vanessa

    how is the fast going? Next week I am doing a liquid fast as well and wondering if you ever tried slimfast? I’m not sure what liquids to do, any advice? And how long can I stay on it, i have 80 pounds i’d like to lose.

  32. Ariel

    I want to know what are the ingrdients to the different liquids and where do I get them?

  33. Angela Dunn

    I would like to learn more. thank you.

  34. mandy

    I’m going to try this diet. I am 5’4 and 161 lbs.yeah a little overweight. I hope it works! You will hear back from me in a week!

  35. Lance

    I completed a 7 day liquid only fast for religious purposes. At the end of the fast, I felt extremely good. I dropped 13lbs, which wasn’t the purpose, but was a great side benefit. I was very hungry during the first 3 days, but each time that I was attacked by hunger, I used that time to focus on praying and glorifying God. After the 3rd day, my severe hunger pains left with my stomach shrinking. I tried to reintroduce solid foods, but just didn’t like the way it made me feel. My job is supervisory in nature, therefore, I get zero exercise at work. I have come to realize that I just don’t require very much solid food to sustain life. I’m approaching this with an attitude of “eat to live”, not “live to eat”. I’m currently doing situps and pushups at work. I’m doing 5 sets of 40 pushups alternating between wide grip, normal grip and close grip. Each week I plan on adding another 10 to the reps. I started with 10 per set, now I’m up to 40 per set. It seems to be working out well for me.

    Here’s what I’m drinking:

    In the morning, I wake up and mix 8oz cold water with psyllium seed husk powder for fiber and the feeling of being full. You have to drink this stuff within about 30 seconds of mixing it, because it starts to gel VERY quickly. I chase this with pure fruit juice and water mixed with Acai berry mix.

    Mid morning, I drink a teaspoon of raw Apple Cider Vinegar w/the Mother with 8 ounces of water. It’s supposed to be healthy, plus it makes me NOT want to eat anything because the taste is strong and it kills the urge to taste anything else. lol. Works for me.

    For lunch, I’ll drink clear chicken broth with water.

    Late afternoon, a cup of hot lemon tea mixed with Honey for energy. I chase it with a minimum of 8oz of water for the filling effect.

    For dinner I’ll have more 100% juice and water. I’m sure to go to bed before or no later than 10pm. If I’m up much past 10pm, I usually have another bout of hunger pains.

    Anyway, this has worked very well for me and I’m close to 20lbs of weight loss in about 2 weeks. I started off at 5’8″ and 197lbs. I’m down to about 178lbs now and feeling great. I do think that it’s time to start adding some protein back into my diet because I seem to be leveling off with how much fat I can burn with this current diet.

    Thoughts and suggestions are welcome! Please don’t attack my preference by attacking my God though. That has nothing to do with my choosing to diet and would only be received as a personal attack.

    Good luck with your own endeavors!!


  36. HAII

    yea I’ve done a fast before and had great results……I’m starting again tomorrow and am hoping to go from 140 to 115 in 30 days……I’m really excited………I will be exercising a lot but I’ll post back in 5 days and let u know how it’s going!!!

  37. michelle

    you should only do it for 3-7 day’s as a detox the gradually start re-introducing whole fruit’s and vegetables along with the juice for about a week then start eating a bit of protein (tuna,fish,lean meat,chicken ect.) a few times a week in small portion’s.

  38. samantha

    how long owuld you do this diet?

  39. rach

    do the liquid diets really work n how long is it safe 2 stay on them

  40. Jessica

    check out “the 3-day energy fast” by Pamela Serure

  41. Anonymous

    check out “the 3-day energy fast” by Pamela Serure

  42. Matt

    I’ve been on a liquid diet for about three days and I’ve lost a decent amount of fat. I’ve been working out a lot, being sure to drink plenty of protein and supplemented my liquid consumption with a bit of celery (which contains mostly water, but a LOT of fiber).

    I’m going to try and keep it up until the end of the week to see how it turns out, but it seems like it works pretty well if supplemented by enough protein and plenty of working out. I did about 300 push-ups the other day and rode a bike for ten miles last night. 🙂

  43. Ely Evans

    Brendon Mccarthy seven day jump start juicer weight loss programme any good or just the same as above comments?

  44. meggie

    as an eating disorder sufferer,
    liquid fasting (be it juice, diet sodas, water, or even milk)
    worked great.

  45. Adriana

    This might work, but what is the point of only loosing fluid weight if for us women we gain it back each month. Plus it does not sound fulfilling. I am pretty sure that you will be hungry during the day.

  46. kiesha

    i just finished a water fast,
    i killed my system , yeah i lost alot of weight
    but i can barly walk to the bathroom wihtout passing out

  47. kate

    where’s the protien and iron?

  48. maggie

    so what do you do then ? …… HELP…!

  49. ivana


  50. nicole

    what are the ingredients?

Last Reviewed: January 17, 2018