Thursday, 11 June 2015

The Dirty Truth Behind Juice Cleansing

written by Jenna West, dietetic intern

If you are trying to lose weight there is no doubt that you have been told about the so-called miracles of juice cleansing. While it is true that "juicing" may lead to rapid weight loss, it may also result in problems with weight management. The fact is, juice cleansing is like every other fad diet and is merely a way for companies to make money while putting consumers health at risk. It is important to note that drinking juice, in addition to an already balanced diet, poses no potential health risk, and can be a good way to incorporate more vegetables and fruit in your diet. The pitfalls of juicing come into play when people start replacing meals with juices as a way to slim down.  Here are 4 pitfalls to juicing:
1. Juice contain the same nutrients as a regular fruit except for one major component-fiber
One of the key components of weight management that has long been studied is the addition of fiber to your diet. Fiber can help you lose weight by making you feel full for longer as well as help reduce your risk for many chronic disease such as heart disease. Fruits and vegetables can be a wonderful source of fiber, however when you remove the skin, you remove the fiber. Without the fiber, you will never feel full and who wants to be hungry all the time?

2. Juicing is not the answer for long-term weight management
Juices are low in calories and there is no question that restricting your calories will lead to rapid weight loss. While this may seem attractive to many people trying to lose weight, it can lead to serious weight management problems in the future. When you restrict many groups, your body will initially shed the pounds but when you resume eating these foods (which you will likely do) the pounds pack on even quicker. Not only that but consuming very few calories in a day can lead to a variety of symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting (just to name a few). Who would want to experience that?

3. Juices lack essential nutrients which are needed daily
Although real cold press juice does not contain any added sugar, fruits and vegetables contain natural sugar. When you do a juice cleanse, all you are essentially eating is sugar with a few vitamins. The problem is you are not consuming any of the other essential macronutrients such as fats and protein. Eating all the food groups is essential to healthy living, eating a balanced diet and most importantly weight management. Restricting these key food groups can actually make weight loss more difficult.

4. Juices are so expensive!
Juices can vary in price but are normally around 10 dollars a bottle. If you are cleansing and drinking six of them a day, that is 180 dollars for three days! Most people would agree that spending that much on juice is outrageous. Juicing is obviously a lot cheaper when you own your own juicer, however the average consumer does not have their own juicer and is forced to spend a ridiculous amount of money on juice!

Juice cleansing can be very harmful for the body and the problem is that they are being advocated everywhere from fitness centers to yoga studios. When you hear your super fit yoga instructor discuss his or her recent juice cleanse, there is no question that you may be tempted to do one as well. However, all bodies are different and react differently when drastic dietary changes are made. If you are looking to lose weight successfully and for the long-term it is important to speak to a registered dietitian who understands the consequences of rapid weight loss and can help you figure out a healthy weight loss solution. Juicing is not the answer! 
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