Quickly rising through the ranks as one of the most popular diets out there, juice diets promise a quick fix regime as well as drastic weight loss in a rather short span of time. Other juice diets, like the juice fast that gained fame in the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” also promise incredible improvements in health through detoxing of key organs in the body.
It’s no surprise that hundreds of businesses have jumped on this health trend as juice shops sprout like mushrooms all over the country. Social media influencers and celebrities carry their juices everywhere, but what’s the real story behind the phenomenon of juice diets?
Juice Diet Explained
The Way It Works
It doesn’t matter if you call it a juice fast, a cleanse or a detox, juice diets all work the same way. Essentially, the bulk of your diet will consist of juiced fruits and vegetables. While some juice diets permit consuming a little food, many actually recommend completely abstaining from solid foods to allow the diet to work its magic much faster.
Given the nature of the diet, it’s natural to conclude that the caloric intake while on a juice diet is extremely restrictive. The length of the diet, on the other hand, depends on what program you’re on. Some can last for as little as three days to a week, while other juice fasts have seen participants fasting for 2 months at a time.
Are Juice Diets Safe?
The jury is still out on this one. Many studies and case studies have been conducted on juice diets but the scientific community is still split on whether or not juice diets are safe and/or healthy. Fruits and vegetables are certainly an important part of our daily diet and we should all strive to be consuming the appropriate portions daily.
That being said, there’s no doubt that you’ll be getting a huge dose of all the goodness fruits and veggies have to offer such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. There are, however, some nutrients that are removed from the vegetables due to juicing, chief of which is fiber. Most proponents of juice diets recommend that you undergo the diet with medical supervision. If things start feeling off or if the diet recommends you stop the program, heed your body and the professional’s advice.
Is the Weight Loss Sustainable?
This is probably one of the most important questions to ask before starting a juice diet. As many of us are aware, fad diets or short term diets are extremely effective for rapid weight loss but when it comes to sustainable and long term weight loss, they’re typically terrible. Before you start a juice diet, you should ask what you really want to get out of the process so you can properly plan what to do.
For example, those who want or need to lose a tremendous amount of weight will need to commit to a long term juice diet. Many people have done this on plans like Reboot with Joe, some of them juicing for over 2 months at a time. On these plans, the weight loss isn’t just fast, it’s also sustainable so long as a lifestyle adjustment is made and maintained after the program. However, those who fast for a few days at a time and then return to their bad eating habits won’t see much benefit form juicing and even run the risk of gaining more weight back.
There is, however, some evidence that a short three-day juice fast or diet can do fabulous things for an individual’s over all stomach health. This improved digestive health can also improve your weight maintenance in the long term as many studies have concluded that the levels of bacteria in one’s gut can greatly affect over all weight.
Not All Juices Are Created Equal
If you’ve decided that a juice diet is something that you want to pursue, one of the most crucial things that you need to remember is that not all juices are created equal. In fact, many juices out in the market are filled with added sugar. Basing your diet on these boxed juices will do your body more harm than good and could do irreparable damage to your body’s ability to regular blood sugar.
The best thing to do when going on a juice diet is to prepare your own juices from scratch with the help of a juicer. If your plan allows you to consume the fiber of the vegetable and fruit produce, you can also use a blender to enjoy a filling green smoothie. Now, some may say that fruits contain a huge amount of sugar as well and as such could be just as bad as boxed juices.
This is undoubtedly true, which is why the ratio of vegetables to fruits that you use to prepare your juice or smoothie is also crucial. The best practice, in this case, is to have 70% vegetable and 30% fruit in your juices.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Just like any other diet program or eating plan, there are small things that you can do to set yourself up for success while on your juice diet. Many people who practice regular juice fasting like to prepare their juices ahead of time in large batches and then simply freeze them until needed.
Now, we do understand that preparing huge batches of juice can be overwhelming at first, especially when you don’t know what to do. Our tip to really set yourself up for success is to prepare a list of produce that you need first. Figure out what kind of juices you want to make, get your ingredients down and buy your produce in bulk (this saves money, too!). When you finish your grocery shopping, wash and prepare all your veggies ahead of time so that all you need to go is get the juicer going. You can portion your juices out in single services then store some in the refrigerator and some in the freezer for an easy grab and go set up.