Unless you didn’t know, two weeks ago, I decided to embark upon an experiment. This didn’t involve a lab coat and protective glasses. It did instead involve a whole lot of fruit and veg, a juicer and a juice diet.
As a health coach, I get asked by pretty much everyone what are my opinions on juice diets or detoxes and would I recommend them. It’s normally by someone that wants to drop weight and quickly.
As someone who should facilitate my client’s journey rather than just bullying them into not doing something, I try and get them to think about what they are asking, the effects it could have on them and their body and for them to make their own mind up.
If they still want to take part in a juice cleanse then I ask them to let me know how they get on. I mean, up until two weeks ago, I hadn’t done one myself and was interested!
So, what do we know about juice diets/cleanses/detoxes?
We know that they are very fashionable. It seems that every celebrity, be they A or Z list has their own version which either involves juices straight to your door or their own make of juicer and a book. Even those that have juiced for the stars are now minor celebrities. One of the biggest juicers in the UK is Jason Vale and he started by juicing for Jordan, AKA Katie Price way back when!
I’m not sure that having a celebrity testimonial attached to a product is necessarily the best of endorsements. Have you seen the way the majority of them act in public? I don’t think I would be willing to bet my health on the say so of a Kardashian.
They also tend to promise very quick weight loss results with a lot of the vitamins and minerals lacking in our modern western diets. In today’s society this is a brilliant way to grab a person’s attention and sell them something. With the majority of consumers not willing to wait for results but instead want them yesterday what an amazing marking ploy to use. And they do in fact yield pretty quick results. With the first couple of days spent constantly spending a penny you couldn’t help but lose that first kilo in quick time.
But does that Kilo stay off in the long term?
Here a few of the gripes that I have with juice diets or whatever else you want to call them. I’ll list them.
- Very difficult to maintain in the long-term
- Contain a lot of fructose (sugar) which is difficult for the digestive system to process
- Contain next to no fibre, insoluble or otherwise
- It can be expensive
- Promise wonder ingredients that will detoxify you
- They are mentally tough
- They concentrate the mind on losing weight and not fat
I could go on but I don’t want a list as long as my arm.
My point is, I think there could be benefits to using a juice diet for a short amount of time to help kick start a long-term change in your habits. I don’t think however it’s healthy to rely on them for a long time or to use them frequently. Like every time you are going on holiday or need to fit into that little black dress for the Christmas party.
In fact I think it is better to let the body detoxify itself. Cut out the processed foods, caffeine and alcohol and let it do its thing!
I also think there needs to be further study around effects that a large amount of Fructose can have on the liver and its possible relationship to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
So, before you sign up for the latest juice fad, sit down and think about it. Is there a better way for you to lose weight? A way that isn’t so tough, potentially damaging and expensive?
Oh, and if you were wondering how I got on, the video is almost done and I don’t want to spoil it for you. So watch this space!
Keep it simple
This was first published on Fitbox Blog in November 2017