Going on a “juice fast” or “juice cleanse” is a health trend some people swear by as a means to lose weight and feel great. But is there any credibility to these claims? How healthy is juice fasting or cleansing?
Let’s take a look at the facts about juice cleanses.
What is juicing?
Juicing is a process by which the fiber and pulp is stripped from a fruit or vegetable, leaving only liquid juice behind. That colorful juice is filled with the vitamins and minerals found in that particular fruit or vegetable. A juice fast or juice cleanse is a period of time (typically two or three days, or up to a week) in which a person consumes only juice and water. During the cleanse, the goal is to consume a variety of colors of juice in order to get a variety of nutrients.
Is juicing healthy?
Some people struggle with constipation and other issues when they consume too much fiber, so removing fiber from fruits and vegetables can be helpful. However, juice cleanses aren’t typically recommended by most doctors.
Yes, pure juice from fruits and vegetables contains many vitamins and minerals our bodies need to be healthy. But juice lacks protein, and the human body relies heavily on protein for energy and to build and maintain muscle mass. This is why fatigue is a common side effect of juice cleanses.
Protein is also an essential element of weight loss. It reduces hunger, boosts metabolism and gives your body the right kind of fuel needed to burn fat and lose weight. On the other hand, some or all of the weight lost on a juice cleanse is likely to be healthy muscle, not fat.
Another important health consideration of juice cleanses is that while fruits and vegetables are natural, most fruits and veggies contain high amounts of sugar, which can lead to weight gain and blood sugar spikes.
Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the potential negative effects of going on a juice cleanse:
In short, while juice cleanses may provide temporary weight loss benefits, consuming only juice is not sustainable over longer periods of time. Therefore, any weight lost will likely be regained once you start incorporating solids back into your diet.
If you’re ready to lose weight for good, contact McCarty Weight Loss Center. For more than 20 years, Dr. Todd McCarty has been helping patients lose weight (and keep it off!) and reclaim their health.