Full Liquid Diet – Basics and What to Eat?

If something helps you heal other than medicines, then those are diets. Diets when carefully planned and adapted offer faster recovery. A full liquid diet lies somewhere in between a clear liquid diet and a soft diet. This means your doctor will allow you everything that constitutes a clear liquid diet along with some other liquids.

A step up from the clear liquid diets, these are not as restricted as a clear liquid diet. Along with the addition of milk, you can also include small amounts of fiber in your diet. Thus, it can be anything that is liquid at the room temperature but only thicker as compared to a clear liquid diet.


Purpose of a full liquid diet

A full liquid diet supplies your body with adequate calories, proteins, and fat but it falls short of essential vitamins and minerals. Therefore, it will meet your needs for nutrition only until you are ready to incorporate solid foods into your diet. This particular diet is mandatory in the below listed relevant conditions:

  • When people have difficulty swallowing or chewing their foods.
  • Sometimes when you have sore mouth or jaw disorder.
  • People with oral surgery, plastic surgery having problem to eat
  • Some medical tests or surgical procedures requires this diet.
  • People who are in the process of recovery after a surgical procedure

Foods to include in a full liquid diet


  • Water
  • Soft drinks
  • Sports drinks
  • Soy or almond milk
  • Milk & milkshakes
  • Coffee and tea
  • Hot cocoa
  • Artificially flavored fruit drinks
  • Lemonade
  • Pasteurized eggnog

Fruits juice

  • All kinds of vegetable and fruit juice (without pulp)
  • Pureed fruits or vegetables


  • Cream of Wheat
  • Cream of Rice
  • Grits


  • Sherbet
  • Hard candy
  • Plain gelatin
  • Fruit ice
  • Honey & Syrups
  • Flavored gelatin
  • Ice cream (no fruit, chocolate chips, etc.)
  • Sorbet
  • Yogurt (without fruit chunks)
  • Custard
  • Pudding


  • Creamed soup (no pieces or chunks of vegetables or meats)
  • Bouillon
  • Clear broths (beef, chicken, vegetable)
  • Strained and pureed vegetable soup


  • Butter
  • Margarine
  • Mayonnaise
  • Creamy peanut butter

Sample Menu of full liquid diet

Below is the sample menu of full liquid diet. There is no one size fit for all solution. For example, people who have undergone surgery might have to intake more milk and milk-based products and avoid a lot of juice. Consult a doctor or a proper dietician, if you are not sure.


  • Fruit juice – ½ cup
  • Hot cereal thinned with hot milk – 1 cup


  • Any supplement beverage (Boost® or Ensure®) – ½ – 1 cup
  • Fruit juice or ice-cream – 1/2 cup


  • Soup – 1 – 2 cups
  • Vegetable or fruit juice – ½ cup
  • Dessert – ½ – 1 cup


  • Any supplement beverage (Carnation®) – ½ – 1 cup
  • Fruit juice or dessert – ½ – 1 cup


  • Soup – 1 – 2 cups
  • Vegetable juice – ½ cup
  • Dessert – ½ – 1 cup

Evening Snack

  • Any supplement beverage (Carnation®) – ½ – 1 cup
  • Dessert – ½ – 1 cup

Also read:Everything You Wanted to know about a Pureed Diet

Full Liquid Diet info graphic

How to follow a full liquid diet

Doctors recommend full liquid diets only for short periods (five days to two weeks) before the individual is ready to make the transition into having solid foods. In a full liquid diet, the goal remains to get at least get 1350 to 1500 calories along with 45 grams of protein per day.

In case of surgeries on the stomach or intestine, this diet is best since this contains a small amount of protein and fiber and our stomach gets a good deal of rest to heal back to normal.

To meet your most caloric and protein requirements, the best way to go about this diet is to have more than your three standard meals for a day. Go for at least six to eight frequent yet short meals about every three hours.

Include a liquid multivitamin in your full liquid diet if you think you are running short of any nutrition in your diet.

You can also increase your caloric intake by adding full-fat dairy like butter, whole milk, and shakes in your diet. Take at least a good time of 20 – 30 minutes while having your meals so that you feel fullness as well as comfort making those sips.

Risks involved

If you are an enthusiastic dieter and want to go on a full liquid diet plan then it is recommended to consult a registered dietician or a medical practitioner.


Usually, a person on a full liquid diet for more than a couple of days will lose weight because of the low intake of calorie, B12, minerals, proteins, etc. Also, you may experience constipation since there is hardly any fiber in full liquid diet.

Points to remember

  • Although a full liquid diet may incorporate thicker liquids, this does not mean it includes mashed foods like mashed potatoes or avocados.
  • People with diabetes can practice this diet, but only when their doctors recommend to do so.
  • If you are lactose-intolerant, make sure you choose products that are lactose-free.
  • This diet is a short-term diet for particular situations only.

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