Hey Girls, I’ve been tossing this topic of “To Juice or Not To Juice” around for a long time. I’m not a fan of it, but I do know a lot of gals that say it’s Uh-mazing. Over the past few years it’s been all the rage, and it sounds like a great way to detox, lose weight, renew and push the “start over” button.
Celebrities love and back it, but researchers are still not convinced that drinking your diet is safe. So, here are 5 questions with answers on “is juice cleansing safe?” So grab your kale, carrots and apples and let’s take a look at what I dug up.
What’s the Appeal?
Juicing benefits are more anecdotal than scientifically based. I know that we all have that enthusiastic friend who juices and claims that it allows you to absorb the nutrients more easily than eating because the digestive system works less, which leads to more energy, clearer skin, and fewer digestive and other health issues. Phew, that was a mouthful! Then add that to the “It changed my life Testimonials”, and it’s no wonder the popularity of going on an all-juice diet has grown in popularity. I may be old fashioned, but my thought is why not just pick up an apple and chomp down on it? You get all the nutrition you would in juicing, plus the fab fiber that we all need, to well you know, push, push, push it on through!
Does it Work?
There’s no scientifically proven studies on the effects of juicing that I am aware of, and it has led to conflicting information. It seems that the only information they we can all agree on is juice fasting is unnecessary for ridding your body of toxins. Our liver and kidneys are already effective at eliminating any unneeded waste, so following this so called liquid base diet won’t help any more than the normal functioning of our kidneys and liver. Oh, then peeps say “I feel less foggy in the mind, I’m getting more nutrients” and the kicker, “I’ve lost the weight I set out to lose”! Dahhhh!! My thoughts, why not clean out your refrigerator and pantry of junk foods, caffeine and alcohol! Other than getting far more phytonutrients from fruits and veggies, juicing seems to encourage us to jump start a commitment to a healthier diet and nothing more than that. Seems like we ought to change our diet instead. Use juicing as a supplement to your regular healthy diet and you will lose weight.
Will you Lose Weight?
This is one of the biggesst questions about juicing and here’s what I found. Juice cleanse programs won’t promise weight loss at the end of your detox but rather say it’s a side effect of the program. But let’s face it, weight loss doesn’t happen for everyone, since many juice cleanse programs include an adequate amount of calories, and any weight you lose will return as soon as you reintroduce solid foods or your normal diet. It’s important that if you start your diet with a cleanse, you have a plan for a maintenance diet when you’ve completed the cleanse. Also remember that going on a cleanse usually means you won’t be getting the protein to fuel that beautiful body adequately for your normal workout routine. Some programs recommend you limit your activity to walks and low-impact exercise while you detox, which means you’re burning far fewer calories than you normally would. Does that sound like a good plan? While it’s not always a bad idea to give your body a rest, if you’re trying to lose weight and are thinking of going on a juice cleanse to do so, its effect on your workout routine is something you might want to consider.
What Are the Risks?
Ok, for me, here is the tie breaker. Depending on your particular program, detox diets (like juice fasts) may cause several problems. Dehydration, nausea, and fatigue can be associated with juice fasts and if it takes that to “detox” me, I’m not so sure it’s worth it. Juice fasting can also cause you to miss out on other much-needed nutrients like fiber, protein and healthy fats instead filling you up with too many sugars. You are essentially starving yourself for a period of time while on the cleanse. When you’re done, your body will fight back to gain back what it lost. The amount of produce that you would need to create a sizable beverage or juice is a calorie bomb and full of sugars. Instead, maybe try smoothies instead of juicing in order to get those important nutrients from the seeds and skin of your produce. There are tons of smoothie recipes out floating around that would fit right into your program. Some with yogurts keep you from the protein deprivation that is associated with juice fasts.
How to Do it Right
If you’re convinced that a juice cleanse is right for you, first do your research. Make sure you know what’s in the juice so that it’s all-natural. Most high-profile cleanses are made from organic, raw ingredients, but be sure you understand exactly what’s going into the bottle before you commit. And don’t forget about calorie counts! One program may have you ingesting fewer than 500 calories a day, while others allow you to drink as much juice as you want or incorporate eating fresh, whole foods as well. Do your research so you know whether or not you’ll be getting all the nutrients and calories your body needs. Don’t starve your body, it’s designed to have fuel or it won’t run. That’s so important! Last but most importantly, check with your doctor to see if juicing is the right thing for you. As my mother always said, “you have only one body, treat it with respect”. Whichever way you go, go with knowledge.
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