Will a juice fast take those extra pounds off? And keep ’em off? It would be mighty attractive if it was “that easy”. So let’s take a look…
Juice diets have been around for a long time and have been used for detoxification. The underlying principles are pretty straight forward. When you consume fewer calories, the body draws on its own reserves to power you through the day… so down goes the body weight.
But traditionally the juice-only (or juice-mainly) regimes are only for a short period. Two to three days. So what about longer periods? We’ll come to that, but first… how does juice fasting work?
How juice fasting works
By only consuming fresh juices for a period of time you naturally abstain from fats, processed carbohydrates and sugars and substances like coffee and alcohol. This is good for cleansing your liver and kidneys.
Giving your digestive system a rest from handling all your regular intake means the digestion process is an easier one during the juice fast and therefore your body can absorb nutrients more efficiently.
Its advocates have made many bold claims about prolonged juice fasting. They say it will help with fighting disease, destroying free radicals, burning fat and alleviating pain. However these claims are yet to be supported by reliable research.
The term “juicing” pretty much means drinking your food, primarily fruits, vegetables and herbs. When it’s incorporated into a healthy diet, juicing is a great way to boost energy levels and consume extra nutrients.
A favorite you might like to try is beetroot, celery, carrot, apple, ginger and mint. Perfect for a morning pick-up.
And what will a juice fast do for your weight in the longer term?
Juice fasting exclusively as a weight loss measure is a short term solution for a long term problem that can in some situations complicate matters.
Weight will certainly be lost when juicing, however it’s unlikely that any actual fat will be burnt. Instead you run several risks:
- You risk losing muscle mass due to the lack of protein in the diet
- You run the risk of slowing your metabolism
- With the result that when you resume a normal diet, less energy will be consumed and potentially more fat will be stored. Back to where you started, in other words. Or worse.
Did you know this about juices in general?
- Juices can be surprisingly calorie dense, especially when predominantly fruit
- And they’re high in sugars
- The process of juicing fruit and vegetables removes the fiber, and a low fiber diet is not a good one.
These problems may be addressed by balancing your juice intake with some added protein, which could be in the form of powder supplements or natural sources such as almond milk or Greek yogurt.
If you view it as a short term revitalizing and cleansing fast, juicing can be a positive part of a healthy lifestyle, especially when combined with a balanced diet and regular physical exercise. As a long term weight loss solution however, it is a fad diet that cannot and should not be sustained for long periods.
If you do decide to try a juice fast, you should discuss any potential risks with your healthcare professional first. Juicing is not recommended for people suffering diabetes and heart disease, nor is it suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Whether you’re into juice fasting or not, but especially if you are, always include a wide selection of fruits and vegetables. And be sure to wash them thoroughly. If you can, go for organic produce to eliminate pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers (particularly in leafy greens) from your fruit drinks.
If you decide to try juice fasting, you might see a dramatic initial loss of weight but it wont do much to help you maintain your ideal weight in the long term. For enduring results, it’s better to embark on a balanced diet with a more active lifestyle.
The unique eating habits of slim people
- They are fussy with their food choices
- They taste rather than eat
- They eat slowly
- They eat only when they are hungry
- They do not diet. Click here to read the whole article
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