I’m a curious person, and for an entire day, I drank nothing but liquids. No food of any kind. My goal was to find out what effect it would have on my body, mind, and mood. I was a little surprised at what happened.
People try liquid diets, or intermittently fast, for a variety of reasons.
Some are trying to lose weight, though WebMD cautions against staying on liquid diets for too long. Others drink liquids to detox or cleanse to help remove toxins from the body, though the effectiveness of many commercial detox programs is still up for debate.
For me, it was purely an experiment. I stopped eating at 8 pm one evening and, through 8 pm of the next evening, drank nothing but liquids, to include water, coffee, and an occasional seltzer.
During the all-liquid 24-hours, I definitely felt a bit more fatigued by the end of the day because my normal diet had my body expecting calories at regular intervals throughout the day.
And, I certainly felt hungry. I don’t typically eat breakfast, but skipping lunch as well ushered in the hunger pangs as early afternoon set in. Then, skipping dinner made me quite hungry!
I expected to be hungry and to feel a bit tired.
One side effect surprised me, though. Constipation. Though liquid waste ran its course just fine during the day, solid waste constipation was a strange side effect I never anticipated. It started halfway through the day and continued into the next day after I resumed my normal diet.
I did research and, according to Healthline, constipation is a known side effect of liquid diets, presumably due to the lack of fiber that would otherwise come from eating solid foods. Without eating foods, my body lacked the fiber that it was used to getting.
Once I resumed my regular diet the next day, my body slowly returned to normal.
Should you try a liquid diet?
Talk to your doctor before drastically altering your diet to ensure your body is getting the nutrients that it needs, especially before any long-term diet changes.
“These diets can cut the calories you take in and can help you lose weight, but you shouldn’t stay on them for very long,” wrote WebMD. “Talk to your doctor before you go on a liquid diet. You’ll need to make sure you get enough important nutrients, like fiber and protein.”
Low-calorie diets can drastically cut nutrients that your body needs to be strong and healthy. They can also create protein, carbohydrate, and fat imbalances that cause fatigue, dizziness, gallstones, and even heart damage, according to WebMD.
“If your doctor gives you the OK to go on one, you should also see a registered dietitian, who can go over it with you and make sure you’re getting enough calories and nutrition. Your dietitian might recommend that you take a vitamin or nutritional supplement while you’re on the liquid diet.”