What Is The Purpose Of A Clear Liquid Diet?

There are times throughout your life when you may be instructed to follow a clear liquid diet (CLD) for a certain period of time. This may be required before or after a medical procedure, and it is also very common to be directed to follow a bariatric clear liquid diet before or after you undergo a weight loss surgery or procedure.

Today, we are going to answer the question “What is a clear liquid diet?” and we will talk about different types of clear liquid diet foods. We will also go over some of the reasons you may be asked to follow this special type of diet.

What Is A Clear Liquid Diet?

When you follow a CLD, you are told to consume foods and beverages that you can see through, such as a light chicken or vegetable broth, or they can be solids that melt into clear liquids, such as Jell-o or certain types of popsicles. These are easy to digest, help clean out your digestive system, and also allow medical professionals to clearly visualize targeted locations when using imaging tests.

Keep in mind that this is not a diet that is considered healthy, well-balanced, or intended for weight loss, as it is full of non-nutritional calories and sugar. Clear liquid diet foods are meant to keep you hydrated, provide a bit of energy, and be easy on your digestive system while you are preparing for or recovering from some type of surgery, medical test, or procedure. These foods are transparent, and not opaque, and include options such as:

  • Apple, cranberry, or white grape juices;
  • Lemon, orange, peach, and lime Jello-O (no purple or red);
  • Vegetable, chicken, or beef broth that is strained and clear;
  • Clear sports drinks like Gatorade;
  • Popsicles that do not contain pulp or fruit;
  • Transparent electrolyte beverages;
  • Black coffee or tea (no milk or creamer);
  • Clear sodas like ginger ale, lemon-lime, or seltzer;
  • Fruit ices like lemon ice (as long as they are transparent when they melt).

Why Would You Need To Go On A Clear Liquid Diet?

Your doctor may ask you to follow a clear liquid diet for colonoscopy purposes. This helps clean out the areas that the doctor needs to examine, and the transparent foods allow them a clear view using imaging tests. Often, individuals who are about to undergo surgery will be put on this diet, and patients who undergo weight loss surgery or a weight loss procedure will need to follow a bariatric clear liquid diet gradually working their way up to eating solid foods.

Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center offers non-surgical options to help patients safely lose a significant amount of weight. Among these options are intragastric balloons and Suture Sculpt endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG). These procedures help reduce the available room in the stomach, so the patients can only eat small portions. Before and after these endoscopic procedures, a CLD is required to help prepare the digestive system for the changes that are being made as well as to allow it time to adjust after the procedure.

Clear Liquid Diet FAQs

What Can I Eat On A Clear Liquid Diet?

As mentioned above, this diet is not recommended for long-term use as it is nutritionally deficient, high in calories, and not very exciting, but it serves a purpose. Following is a daily menu that provides some clear liquid diet examples:

  • Breakfast: One 8-ounce glass of clear juice and a cup of black coffee or tea
  • Snack: Jello-O, 8 oz. clear juice, and a small glass of clear soda, gatorade, or water
  • Lunch: Bowl of chicken broth, Jell-O, a popsicle, or an Italian ice
  • Dinner: Bowl of beef broth, a popsicle, 8 oz. water or tea (no milk), Jello-O, or Italian ice

What Soups Can You Eat On A Clear Liquid Diet?

The only types of soups allowed on this diet are clear broths. Avoid any creamed soups and any soups that are opaque. Choices like chicken noodles are not allowed because they contain bits of vegetables and noodles, which are not classified as clear liquids. If you strain everything out of the chicken noodle soup, you may consume the remaining broth.

How Long Would I Be On A Clear Liquid Diet After A Non-surgical Weight Loss Procedure?

After the implantation of the Orbera or Spatz3 balloon, patients are normally on a clear liquid diet for around three days. After Suture Sculpt ESG, patients normally consume a clear liquid diet for the first week and then progress to pureed foods. These time frames are much shorter than those for patients who undergo surgical weight loss procedures. The liquid diet following a weight loss procedure or bariatric surgery is modified to be sugar-free, but otherwise, the same stipulations apply.

Where Can I Find Out More About Non-Surgical Weight Loss?

Contact Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center to learn more about procedures and strategies for sustainable weight loss that do not involve surgery or extended clear liquid diets. Our expertly trained professionals understand that everyone responds differently to weight loss strategies, which is why we tailor your program to meet your specific circumstances.

We will work with you to find out why previous weight loss attempts were unsuccessful, sometimes uncovering underlying conditions. A personalized plan is put into place, and you will receive extensive support from various team members to help you overcome the weight loss challenges you face. Take that first step to successfully reaching your goal of lowering your BMI and reaching your ideal weight, and set up your appointment today.

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