Are these juice diets good for you? Are they healthy and effective? No. They suck. Here are four reasons why you shouldn’t go on a juice diet detox.
Juice diets, cleanses, purges, and reboots are a perpetual favourite of the short-term dieter. Often seen as a quick-fix weight loss solution, their advocates would like to convince you that your body is bursting with toxins that need cleansed.
The solution, they claim, lies in tall glasses brimming with fruits, vegetables and other ‘superfoods’.
They tell you to cast your yummy, nutritious, wholesome, solid foods aside. What you have to do is jump onto a juice diet to purge your body of toxins that are apparently polluting your body.
The staples on these diets often resemble pints of green mush scooped out of your garden waste bin. But hey, maybe they don’t taste that bad?
But what’s the deal? Are these juice diets good for you? Are the effective? Here are four reasons why you shouldn’t go on a juice diet detox.
1. Weight loss is only short term
Look Food For Fitness, why are you bashing juice diets, I went on one and lost a tonne of weight!
Yes, it’s true, people often lose weight when following a juice diet, we don’t dispute that.
But guess what? It isn’t due to the juice they’re drinking, it’s because they’ve created a calorie deficit (not sure what a calorie deficit is, read this).
If you’re only drinking your ‘meals’ then you’re likely to be consuming considerably less calories than you would normally. If someone is eating upwards of 3000 calories per day then jumps on the juicing bandwagon, what do you think will happen?
Making a HUGE change in how they eat is likely to result in their calorie intake being slashed to super-low levels. It’s no surprise that they lose weight! But the thing is, you can create a calorie deficit and lose weight just as easily with solid, nutritious food without going to the extremes of juicing.Juice detoxes aren't miracle fat loss potions, they're a means to a calorie deficit. Click To Tweet
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, there are no ‘fat loss foods’ only ‘fat loss portions’. Any diet, anyone, or any book that insists there is a single food, that you must either include or completely remove – if you want to lose weight – is likely to be leading you down the garden path.
Even if a juice diet does result in weight loss, there’s a good chance it will just be gained again because….
2. Juice diets are not sustainable
Someone you know has lost a lot of weight doing a juice cleanse. Have they managed to keep it off?
Any diet that causes you to make a monumental change in the way you eat is unlikely to be sustainable.
Low-carb diets for someone who loves pasta, the paleo diet for someone who devours dairy, vegetarian for a meat lover and juice diets for, the majority of us who eat solid food, are unlikely to result in long-term success.
If you completely eliminate a certain food from your diet, if you’re normal, you’re going to encounter cravings.
You might manage to resist in the short-term but at some point, you’ll break, you might binge and you’ll reverse all your hard work.
That’s why we’re huge advocates of moderation and sustainable eating approaches.Extremism and quick-fix diets rarely work. Moderation, personalisation and flexibility does! Click To Tweet
Studies prove this.
Although there’s not been any research done on the long-term effects of juice dieting. If you look at studies examining people who lose weight and keep it off, you’ll see that they are the ones who generally take a more flexible approach to their food.
…rigid eating behaviours lead to food cravings thereby hampering long-term weight maintenance. Indeed, people with flexible control strategies have been found to be more successful in long-term weight maintenance. ~ Appetite, 2011
3. Your body can already “detox”
The argument that juice diets are essential to cleanse the body of toxins, is a totally unnecessary and unsupported by science.
Want to know why?The human body has a built-in way to remove toxins. It’s called your liver and kidneys. Click To Tweet
Any level of toxic material in the blood or elsewhere in the body that those organs cannot handle is far beyond anything a diet can cure.
There is zero evidence that there are toxins in the environment that build-up over time that need to be purged with a special diet.
You don’t need to drown yourself in pints of green tea either. It’s also pretty ineffective, especially if weight loss is the goal. Want more? Read this: Can Green Tea Actually Help You Lose Weight.
Even if there was, a diet made of liquefied fruit and vegetables wouldn’t be an effective way anyway. Juice diets are low in fibre, which the body needs to process and excrete waste.
This leads onto the next reason why juicing is as good an idea as one-armed, blindfolded overhead barbell presses on a bosu ball…
4. Juice diets are unhealthy and unsatieting
As we’ve mentioned already, detoxes often result in a huge reduction of calories. This can cause quite a few problems associated with very low calorie diets including fatigue, constipation, nausea and diarrhoea.
Doesn’t sound healthy does it?
Followers are also at risk of nutrient deficiencies.
They might be eating plenty of fruits and veg but there’s next to no protein which is essential for growth and repair.
Protein is also extremely satiating (meaning it fills you up) and there’s lots of evidence that shows it helps control appetite and minimise hunger.
It gets worse.
With juice diets, there is very little fat consumed and fats have a tonne of key functions to play in the body, such as aiding with hormone production and transporting certain vitamins.
Juice diets aren’t completely useless.
They have some merit in that they can help you find new ways to get more fruit and veg into your diet. But you don’t need to liquefy the food to achieve the same outcome.
Secondly, if you’re a fussy eater and not a fan of vegetables then blitzing-up a vegetable smoothie can be a good way to eat more greens but it shouldn’t be the only element in your diet.
The bottom-line is that full-blown juice diets are pretty useless, unsustainable and often unhealthy.
Weight loss occurs because of the calorie deficit. It’s not due to the supposed magical properties of juice. Not only that, the massive reduction in calories often results in nutrient deficiencies and can cause health problems.
Juice diets (or any other FAD diet for that matter) aren’t sustainable and science shows that flexibility results in greater long term success.Toxins are not a credible threat to your health in a way that drinking lots of fruit juice can cure. Click To Tweet
If you do want to lose weight and never find it again, avoid falling victim to diets, like juicing, that promise a quick fix. You might lose weight but it’s unlikely to stay off and you’re probably going to have a pretty unpleasant time in the process.
A better idea is to find a sustainable approach that is evidence-based, promotes nutritious food that you enjoy eating, focuses on balance and encourages moderation….just like our nutrition coaching and online personal training. Stop trying to guess what works, we’ll show you!