Have you ever done one of those “juice cleanses” before? Did it work? Probably not… just my guess. I’m also guessing you felt hungry all the time, missed your coffee and whole food meals, felt groggy and tired, and then, whatever “weight” you lost during the 7 day to 3-week cleanse all came tumbling back onto your body once you got back to “normal eating”. The internet is a scary place, because literally anyone could throw up an article or blog on their free blogging site with their “opinion” on what works and what’s best… literally anyone, including the InstaGram experts who became contest prep coaches after competing in one local show (don’t get me started). With no scientific data to back up these “detox diets”, mainstream celebs and popular magazines gobble up this B.S. as the next big thing in weight loss… oh – and don’t forget your waist trainer to change the shape of your bone structure! ;)
Here are just a few reasons why juice cleanses and detox diets are a waste of time and why simply eating healthier and exercising is you the way to weight loss and weight management success.
- Our body is pretty good at cleansing itself.
- Despite what the juice cleaners tell you, our body is fully ready and capable at any and every time of the day to detoxify itself. We are fully built with kidneys, a liver, lungs, and a gastrointestinal tract that are super efficient in maintaining homeostasis and a healthy internal environment. Unless you have a blockage in one of these major organs, you don’t need a liquid fruit and vegetable juice to “give your liver some help”. Believe me, your liver is just fine on it’s own. Have you ever dug a little deeper with these detox people and asked them additional questions? They usually say, “Juicing is so great for weight loss and it gives your digestive system a break, while helping you get rid of toxins.” Really? Since when does my digestive system need a break from anything? And exactly what toxins are you talking about? “Oh – you know, the acid in your body… and… the toxins… that’s what cleansing helps with.” Yes, please tell me more – you sound like you’re an expert in this subject. :P
- Say goodbye to your fiber intake.
- Once you turn your fruits and vegetables into complete liquid, you can say adios to your soluble and insoluble fiber intake. Remember in the beginning how I mentioned that you probably feel more hungry now that you’re on a juice cleanse than you felt before you started? Well that’s because fiber helps you to feel full, provides essential tools to keep your gastrointestinal health up to par, provides bulk for your stool, and countless other benefits that research has proven, such as decreasing risk of cardiovascular disease, aiding in weight loss, and possibly decreasing risk of heart disease and cancer. Decreasing your fiber intake is one of the worst side effects because of these juicing methods.
- That “weight” you lost is probably muscle.
- If you’re doing a detox diet or juice cleanse, you’re probably drinking down 3-4 shakes of shredded up, liquified fruits and veggies. So, where’s your protein coming from? Likely from nowhere. That’s why when you see some immediate weight loss in the first 1-2 weeks of this type of “eating”, it’s most likely water and muscle mass, which is why you look and feel worse 14 days after starting the cleanse. Protein, specifically amino acids, are the building blocks of muscle, so if there are none available, muscle will be catabolized. Even worse, people who do these diets ALSO increase the number of times they exercise per week, because they think that this will further enhance their results. Tsk tsk. Adding the breaking down of muscle tissue into the juice cleanse method is a terrible idea. The protein and fat that you are supposed to be eating that will aid in the recovery and growth of that broken down muscle tissue are nowhere to be found. I hope you’re not looking too “skinny fat” right now – because that’s all you’re going to get… loss of muscle, more jiggly fat.
- Your sugar intake is higher than a laffy taffy.
- So, you juice the vegetables and fruits to get ALL of their vitamins and minerals, but by doing so, you strip off the fiber, which slows down digestion and helps stabilize blood sugar… so what do you think happens? Yup, you’re getting a HUGE spike in insulin every time you down that sugar filled drink (because fruits are basically all sugar, primarily fructose), followed by a crash 30-60 minutes later, leaving you tired, lethargic, groggy, and fatigued. In my opinion, you’d be better off eating a pop-tart and taking some greens supplement pills. You’re getting essentially the same effect – plus, pop-tarts taste better anyway.
You want to know the best way to kick-start your health into a new promising environment? Make sure you’re eating complete protein at every meal, adding in essential healthy fats at every meal, and filling up on fibrous vegetables (NOT JUICED). You don’t need fruit… you’ll get all the vitamins and minerals you need from all the other healthy foods you’re eating. Start exercising and resistance training every week. Start building some muscle, which will help to make losing body fat even easier. Stop drinking alcohol every night, stop going out to dinner 4 times per week, stop taking the elevator, park further away from every store you drive to, make water your primary liquid intake… these are all tried and true principles that WORK to help improve your health and then KEEP you healthy. You don’t need lemons, maple syrup, and some juiced fruits to get your body healthy again.