Liquid Diet: The Why and How

June 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

Today I wanted to talk about Liquid Diets

Before I had weight loss surgery, I tried every diet under the sun

Liquid Diets never worked for me (Medifast, Slimfast, Optifast etc)

Mainly because I went into them with the intention to stay on it indefinitely

Until all the weight was lost

Now imagine for a second

That you’re a food addict

And you’ve just told yourself that you can no longer have food


Until ALL the weight is gone…..all 300 pounds

What kind of alarm system do you think that is going to set off in your head?

Before noon I was usually well into a binge

Because I had threatened myself

Threatened to take away the very thing that was getting me through my day


If you’re hanging by a thread

And someone threatens to cut the thread you’re hanging from

Your natural response is going to be to react to that in an extreme way

And for me that meant diving into a full binge that lasted for however long it chose

Until my mind was soothed again and felt that the food was not leaving me after all

SO in other words…..liquid diets triggered a binge

When I had weight loss surgery

I was asked by my surgeon to go on a 10 day liquid diet

To shrink my liver

Right away I knew I was going to be in trouble

“If I could go on a liquid diet,” I said to him, “Do you think I would need this surgery?”

My surgeon didn’t require it (like many do) but he told me it would be “helpful”

My brother agreed to do it with me for additional support

So we put together a plan

A shake every 2 hours

And if you add it up…that’s a LOT of shakes in a day

We set the timer on our phones

And every 2 hours we texted a picture of the shake we were drinking

This is what I discovered

The first 3 days of a liquid diet are the worst

Your mind is obsessing over the food

You’re ok at first…and then it hits

Your brain goes into freak out mode

It starts envisioning you hanging by that thread

And all it sees is someone standing over that thread with a big pair of scissors

It wants you to believe that if you cut the thread

You will plunge to your death

My addiction to food is deeply embedded in me

Years and years of relying on food for comfort

I’ve literally had full blown panic attacks when I went on ANY diet

Take the food away from me and you’ll see what happens

My face goes numb

My hands lose feeling

My heart starts to race

It feels like my throat is closing up

Migraine headaches start to set in

Dizziness, lightheadedness

And a feeling of dread

If I don’t get to the food, I might die

That’s what I think

Like someone having an allergic reaction needs an epipen

I need a Big Mac shot to the heart

Sugar shot into my veins

Before I die

That’s literally how I have felt

The thoughts that run through my head

This is how I know beyond a shadow of a doubt

That I have a problem with food

Because if I was stranded on a desert island

Without food or water

Then it would make sense to freak out

But going on a diet of any kind

Where you’re getting plenty of nutrition

Should not trigger panic

Unless your relationship to the food

Is far more than just nutrition

It’s love

It’s protection

It’s comfort, peace, security

In other words—it’s everything it was never meant to be

Food is JUST food

It’s not your friend, family, spouse, protector, defender

It’s not entertainment, a hobby or your favorite pastime

And if it is—then you have a problem

I have found that food is dangerous for me

Or it can be

I have to be very careful what I eat

If I eat something too delicious, I risk becoming obsessed with it

If I eat something that makes me happy, I have stumbled onto trouble

For some, comfort food is not dangerous

For me, it leads to life threatening binge eating

Liquid diets don’t have to be long term

But they are also NOT the enemy

I have found that liquid diets allow me to break any hold food has on me

Whenever it gets its little fingers wrapped around my throat

Trying to pull me back into its lies and false promises

A liquid diet can pry it’s hands off my heart

The first 3 days are awful

Darkness surrounds me

Panic sets in

But on the 3rd day, the sun will rise again

My mind and my heart start to realize

That I don’t need the food to survive

I’m getting the nutrition I need

And THAT is the point of eating

Not for comfort or fun or security or love

And when I’m using food to fulfill those needs

I’m not going to the One who provides it calorie free (John 14:18)

Stressful events, depression, anxiety can all send me back into the food

It will always be out there

A dark force threatening to take me down

Being proactive, alert, and on guard is the way to defend myself (1 Corinthians 16:13)

So my brother suggested we go on a 7 day liquid diet

To combat the evil forces that are out there (1 Peter 5:8)

Ready to “comfort” me after the loss of my Nana

Ready to “soothe” me after the 2 weeks I spent in the hospital watching her suffer

Wouldn’t a brownie and milkshake and Big Mac be well deserved right about now?

Isn’t that just what I need to combat the sadness?

Those are lies

Lies I will drown in the liquid

For me, an atkins shake every 2 hours set on a timer



I don’t think…am I hungry?….do I need another shake?

That’s not how I do this

I just drink a shake every 2 hours like clockwork

I don’t analyze if I need it or not

Because I am not someone who can be trusted (Romans 7:15)

To determine if she’s hungry or sad

Hungry or depressed

Hungry or anxious

For me, I’m not always able to determine the difference

The liquid diet is my safe house for awhile

Taking all the thinking out of the equation

Taking the focus off the food

Proving to me once again that I don’t NEED the food

That I can survive without it

This might not be for everyone

But for me—it’s the way out

The way out of a binge

The way out of the lies (Isaiah 58:6)

The way out of the food

So join me if you like

7 days of freedom

A slave no more to the food

It has no power

It has no strength

We have been set free (2 Corinthians 1:10)

So let freedom reign!

Stand firm, then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)


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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

MichelleH June 30, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Can not tell you how much I appreciate your blatant honesty about your struggles and laid bare your emotions for all of us. It can’t be easy. I am just beginning my journey, but in the short term of two + months, I have learned a lot about myself and I know that a lot of my fat was a shield to keep the hurt out, so I know opening yourself up like this has taken a lot. Thank you so much and keep the truth coming. I believe that God has given you to us to help the rest of us through this journey. Thanks you!!!


Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 30, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Thanks Michelle!! I really appreciate that. And congratulations on starting this path. I wish you all the best and I’m here for you!


Trish @I_am_Succeeding June 30, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Well I am with you! See I am currently on my pre-op diet. And oh how your words ring true woman!! I will be on the liquid for a few more weeks as I will remain on them for 2 weeks or so beyond surgery next Thursday.

Shakes are awesome
Shakes are great
Sip, sip, sip
and there goes the weight.
Trish @I_am_Succeeding recently posted..Inspired!My Profile


Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 30, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Hey Trish! I’m still so excited for you starting out on your journey. And now I’m even more glad to be on liquids for the next week. Every time I think I want to quit I will remember that you’re doing the hard work. And it’s SO much harder before surgery so if you can do it..I can do it!! I will consider this added motivation. And I’m going to stay on the shakes with you girl!


Trish @I_am_Succeeding June 30, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Ditto! You doing the liquid dance is giving me added strength.
Thank you and much love.
Trish @I_am_Succeeding recently posted..Off KilterMy Profile


Adelyn June 30, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Once again, you turn it around. At one time the liquid was the unsafe choice, now it can be a safe choice. Used to be the food was safe, now the food is unsafe.

The dealing with our emotions is totally the work that will let us see victory!!! Good for you to do whatever it takes to deal with the emotions.

Me too. Whatever. It. Takes.

Adelyn recently posted..Cue the Music…My Profile


Vertical Mom July 1, 2012 at 12:39 am

Great post! I think I need to do this with green smoothies. Set a period of time and a timer. Thanks for your transparency!
Vertical Mom recently posted..Vacation!My Profile


Donna July 1, 2012 at 1:55 am

Holly, another great post, I am so stoked but am wondering if they have to be a commercial shake or can they be the Green Monster type. You are such an inspiration. Donna


alyce July 1, 2012 at 3:01 am

I’ve just started a week of liquids just to detox
So glad I found this post!
Good luck!
alyce recently posted..Last week of Challenge!My Profile


Nikki Mohamed July 1, 2012 at 5:38 am

I could never choke down any flavor but vanilla of those slim-fast shakes. I would love to do a week of liquids to detox and lose weight but I just don’t see that happening. But who knows? We start fasting for Ramadan later this month so maybe I will just start fasting a couple of days a week now and prepare for it.

Thank you for your vulnerability on the association of food to love and comfort and safety. It definitely puts some of my issues into perspective for me.


Holly from 300 Pounds Down July 1, 2012 at 9:44 am

I had to go through a lot of shakes before I landed on the ones I could tolerate!! Luckily there are so many out there now that you have choices. A lot of people I know order off b/c they have shakes that are fruity flavors if you aren’t into the chocolate/vanilla etc. And then of course there are those who get fancy with the ninja blender!


suzanne July 1, 2012 at 10:38 am

While I’ve never done all liquids I do take shakes to work or if I’m out and about with no time to sit down and eat.

I work in a coffee/donut shop so taking a shake to work with me stops me from wondering what would be the healthiest (right!!) thing I could buy to eat at work. No it just isn’t worth it.

I always keeps some shakes in the cupboard for just those times when it makes sticking to my plan that much easier!
suzanne recently posted..Happy Canada Day!!My Profile


Holly from 300 Pounds Down July 1, 2012 at 11:36 am

I do this too Suzanne!! Even in my normal every day life I drink a lot of shakes. They really do take a lot of the guesswork out. The less meals I have to plan the better b/c once I start thinking about what I want to eat I often end up on a slippery slope. I remember you saying before that you worked in a donut shop so all I have to say is ..may the force be with you!!! You should get triple credit just for withstanding that daily temptation!!


Gi July 2, 2012 at 12:51 am

WoW Holly this is a great post! I am starting day 1 of my pre op shake diet today and have been a little scared. My doctor says that he wont do the op unless his patients have the 2 weeks of shakes and if he doesn’t think you have lost enough weight he will cancel the surgery! So I really need to ensure I do this properly. Your post really gives me the courage to get there.
If I am having a bad day I will ensure I re read this and put myself back on track.
thanks Holly.
Gi recently posted..A Interesting morning!My Profile


Elizabeth July 2, 2012 at 5:45 am

Your timing is impeccable!!! I will be sleeved Saturday July 7 and I have struggled, cheated, and cursed my 14 day liquid diet. However I haveconsistently brushed myself off and started anew. This post is a message from God (he delivers through you frequently to me personally) to keep firm and I’ll incorporate fasting and praying into my regime for strength, protection, and traveling grace as I embark upon my journey to my new me. Thank you for existing Holly. You are a true friend of mine.


Courtney July 2, 2012 at 5:32 pm

What an encouragement for you to have such a great support system in your brother! I’ve never done a fast before, but your explanation helps me to see how it can be a time of struggle, clarity, and reliance on the Lord. I’ll certainly be praying that He brings you through this and provides you with the healing you need!
Courtney recently posted..Things I’m Afraid to Tell YouMy Profile


Lee Mitchell July 3, 2012 at 1:52 am

You go girl! I have been replacing two meals a day with smoothies and eating a very minimal lunch- hard boiled eggs and an english muffin with natural peanut butter- so I know I have enough protein to get me thru my rigorous gym workouts. You are truly an inspiration. Keep it up! So glad to be back reading your blog after the tornado drama!


Karen Sanders July 4, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I’ve never been able to do a liquid diet successfully. You’ve made me realize a lot of the reasons why. Thank you.
Karen Sanders recently posted..Priorities, anyone?My Profile


LISA July 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm

I am on liquids now and have been for almost a month. I had sleeve surgery on the 26th and was on Optifast two weeks prior to that. I find I am not even hungry or craving food anymore. I drink protein shakes and TONS of water. I am almost afraid to start my mushy foods on Monday because I have become so used to the liquids.


Holly from 300 Pounds Down July 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Lisa, You just reminded me of another huge reason that the liquid diet is great. It does kill your appetite. I had actually forgotten about that until I went back on it recently. Sounds like you are doing awesome!!


Marilyn January 26, 2014 at 1:27 am

Im now just over 400 lbs like you were and i am on a low income and not much money for food now anyways and well im slowly dieing in my bed and i am only 48 yrs old my soul feel young but my body feels like im older then my parents and im scared i have 2 sons living with me who cry and pray that i will get help i now suffer with very bad stomach issues and always in pain and im scared to eat cause i hurt so much i been in and out of the hospitals with my pains and they just pump me up with pain meds and send me on my way i need help i am scared and i dont want to die like this i cant afford to but fancy shakes in the stores so what do i do cause i really want to try this and do i take multi vit everyday also to make up for what im not having can you maybe let me know im also on facebook or i have skype and yahoo also maybe we can talk sometime i would be very greatful for any guidance i can get God Bless You and i am very proud of you and i hope i can be as strong as you now cause if i dont do this i am scaredi will die soon


Holly from 300 Pounds Down January 26, 2014 at 2:51 am

I want you to know I read this and will respond when I get home. In the meantime have hope and know you’re not alone my friend!!!


Stephanie February 28, 2014 at 4:01 am

I want to do this. But to be honest I am a little freaked by it. I know all the right words to say and all the right things to do. I am also really good at making excuses for not doing it. I am 320 pounds and enough is enough. But will I stick with it? Will I binge? Ohhhh gosh. This article has inspired me. Given me some courage. I really want to hit that 300 mark. And then keep on truckin’. I am a food addict.


Felecia Reedus October 8, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Stephanie, I’m just like you. I know all the right things to say and all the right ways to lose weight but when it comes to actually doing it I rationalize my way out of it. I’m trying this method now as I’m 370 poundsand have comorbidities. I don’t want to have surgery even though all of my doctors want me to. In my heart, I know that a surgery won’t fix me. My problem is mental. And I have to fix it!


Kathalean May 8, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Today I have started an all liquid diet. I have had three cups of coffee, a bottle of water, and one of those store brand slim fast shakes. Everyone around me is eating, but also verbally encouraging me to stick to this. I have a severe addiction to food. Its horrible. I love food way too much. I am 5 foot 2 inches tall at about 175 pounds, and no matter what I have done, I can not break the 175. I am attempting to do this liquid diet as a means not only to detox my body, but also to break that barrier in my weight. I am not going to lie, right now I want nothing more than to eat something from the fridge or pantry but I am trying to keep distracted. I commend anyone who is able to stick with this diet as I hope that I am strong enough to stick with it myself. Thank you for the inspiration and the realism.


angel wickham September 5, 2014 at 6:39 pm

At what point for you, when did you incorporate food in to your daily diet? You are very motivated and an inspiration, I am truly happy for you!


corey September 11, 2014 at 6:40 pm

How much weight did you lose during the liquid diet? Also you drank a shake every two hours starting from what time of day?


Erin December 29, 2014 at 1:11 am

Was it expensive??? I mean I’m 5″0 and 220 pounds I’ve been fighting all my life and I do what else to try I. Have very little money so I’m curious how much weight did you lose during those 7 days??? And how expensive was it?


Joe May 18, 2016 at 4:51 am

I know what I use is inexpensive. It’s called Total Soy protein shake mix. It comes in vanilla and chocolate (chocolate is the best!) I use a magic bullet mixer. Fill the cup about 1/3 of ice, 2 scoops of Total Soy, 3 packets of nutrasweet if you want it sweeter, fill the rest with whole milk. Blend it until ice is crushed and bam! The best tasting chocolate shake!! Easypeasy


Victoria January 25, 2015 at 2:23 pm

It appears that you are no longer responding to posts?


Becky March 25, 2015 at 4:53 pm

I know I’m not the women who wrote this but I want top offer some help to you women in the comment section. This does not have to be a pricey endeavour, it will save you money! I’m a food addict who spends lots of money on food. The shake I drink are Atkins, at Wal Mart very affordable. Think about it you are not buying anything else for less then $10/ day you will get all the shakes you need! I’m saving money calories and gaining my health back. Shakes do not trigger a binge for me, it seems the minute I’m in control of food, I lose control. I hope this helps!


Laura August 1, 2015 at 4:02 pm

Hello 🙂

I just want to say a big thank you for this post. In just under 2 weeks I will have sleeve surgery. I’m very anxious about the liquid diet and whilst googling for info I came across this post. Everything you said described how I feel! I especially appreciate the advice about a shake every 2 hours, I think this will help me, as well as holding out for day three!
Thank you so much. I have this post bookmarked to read again and again over the next few weeks.
Well done on all your achievements xx


Tanisha October 1, 2015 at 5:19 am

Hi Holly,
What is the maximum number of shakes you can drink daily?


Ronda January 24, 2016 at 4:55 pm

Hi Holly.

I happened to find your website when I did a search for meal replacement shakes. I’m so happy to have found it because reading about your personal experience made me feel like someone else in this world understands what goes on in my mind and emotions. Thank you for opening up and sharing such a personal struggle and how you keep working through it.


sherika February 6, 2016 at 12:54 am

This is awesome. This really works. Wish I could share pics here. I feel absolutely amazing.


Holly from 300 Pounds Down February 6, 2016 at 2:12 am

Wow I’m so happy to hear that! I’d love to see pictures and hear your experience. Please email me at


Mary Riedinger February 21, 2016 at 2:34 pm

how much weight do you lose doing the two hour shakes Adkins is that what you like I’m going to try I weigh 370 pounds and I’m not getting anything but bigger. Sitting I a chair every day. Going to get a
walking. Tape cd whatever maybe that will help me remember why I am doing this. I wanted the sleevebut might do it on my own. With the liquid well see. Ill let you knowing am 370 and 63 healthy rough to walk and run ill let you know on updates this is day one thank-you pleaseshare with e the best shake shakes that are working foryou all. Mary Riedinger


Joe May 18, 2016 at 4:43 am

Thankful I found this blog. I am starting a liquid protein fast using a Total Soy. I am on dialysis and need to lose weight to qualify for a kidney transplant. You will be a constant support to me!!!


Holly from 300 Pounds Down May 21, 2016 at 2:30 pm


I know it isn’t easy to do the liquid fast but you can do it!! I am going to pray that you do qualify for the kidney transplant and as soon as possible. I know this isn’t easy but you are doing everything you can to control your end of things and that will make a huge difference!!


Joe June 4, 2016 at 2:53 am

Hey Holly, I got a call from Vanderbilt hospital in Nashville, I live in Louisville, they have scheduled me for a kidney transplant evaluation for July 13th. I am excited! Now I really have to be strict and stick to my protein shake diet. I am wondering if I would lose more weight on a whey protein shake vs a soy protein drink?


Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 4, 2016 at 3:07 pm

Hi JOE!!

Thank you so much for taking the time to come back to my blog and let me know how you are doing. This is FANTASTIC news that you have a kidney transplant evaluation. I am so excited and happy for you. I am on this blog whining very recently about ants in my kitchen, the air conditioning unit, my roof leaking, the car etc…meanwhile you need a Kidney transplant!! Oh my gosh. Time for me to stop staring so intently at myself in the mirror with my self inflicted pity party. Real life stuff is happening on a more intense level outside if we just look around. And you my friend are dealing with this real life issue by taking action. What an inspiration you are!! Now as to the whey vs soy? I really don’t know the answer but I’ll try to find out. I can’t say I have ever heard anyone say it makes a difference one way or the other to be honest but I’ll definitely do some research. Please keep me updated!! I am praying for you Joe!


Denise May 19, 2016 at 10:50 pm

I am on day 3 of my 2 week liquid preop diet!! And it is brutal! I have had a migraine since yesterday! I am panicking!! I lost 50+pounds since January 18,2016 doing low carb…I wish my surgeon would have just let me stay on that aince I was dropping qeight! I have my weight loss surgery May 31st!!! I just hope I can make it thru this liquid torture!!


Holly from 300 Pounds Down May 21, 2016 at 2:31 pm

Congratulations on losing 50 pounds! That is awesome. I know the liquid prep is so hard. I bet by the end of the 2 weeks though you will feel a difference nd the migraines will be gone. Sugar is pretty awful to us when we are detoxing off of it. It can make you really sick. But I have heard it shrinks the liver and makes the surgery easier. Hang in there!!


Sue June 10, 2016 at 2:42 pm

I have found hope. I could have written the words on this page. Thank you.


Tiffany June 29, 2016 at 3:27 am

This is totally me. I’m going to try it. Will check in ten days from now.

I don’t analyze if I need it or not

Because I am not someone who can be trusted (Romans 7:15Open in Logos Bible Software (if available))

To determine if she’s hungry or sad


Lynn August 8, 2016 at 3:43 am

Thank you Holly. You have given me hope.


Gretchin September 21, 2016 at 4:58 am

You wrote this so long ago but today I am reading it. Its funny, Im not quite sure how I ended up here just now. But funny story…..I was just thinking today, what if I did a 7 day liquids diet to help me step back from my food addiction, and well….now Im on this page reading someones words that ring so true Ive welled up with tears. Thank you for your honesty and openness and also for the scripture reference because I cant do this without Him. im saving this page because Im thinking for the next 7,10,45 or however many days it takes me to do 7 straight days in a row, Im going to need to reread your words a few more times.


Debbie February 2, 2017 at 6:24 pm

Thank you Holly. Congratulations on your success and for sharing your whole story, including before and after photos to inspire us. I’m on Day 1 and my body is not happy!!! but I saved this page last week in anticipation of the discomfort and am rereading it now. It made all the difference in motivating me and is keeping me going, one hour at a time. I hope and pray that this finds you well and happy and in control of your life, as you deserve.


Amy Spencer March 28, 2017 at 2:08 pm

Love this so so much.
Very inspiring and it makes perfect sense.
Thank you so much for sharing.


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