Juice diet is a popular diet that many people try to follow – Most people follow it as a detox diet for weight loss. It has many forms based on lemon, orange, carrot, vegetables and other possibilities. It is basically a fad diet or crash diet, involves intake of fruit juices, and water only. It is an extreme diet form, as no solid food is consumed during the length of the diet. Is the juice diet healthy? Does it detox your system?
So, does it help weight loss? Think of it this way. The point of the juice detox diet for weight loss is to consume fewer calories than your current metabolic rate (The number of calories your body burns on a daily basis). With the calorie deficit, you assume it will help you lose weight. But is there really a calorie deficit in your juice diet? Or are you consuming too many calories on your juice diet?
Say, you are on an orange juice diet – Is this fresh juice or packaged juice? If its packaged orange juice (and most packaged juices are sweetened), and you’re drinking 8-10 glasses of orange fruit juice, then you might be consuming a large amount of sugar with it. Sugar makes you store fat. So, stay off the package fruit juice.
Now, if you are on an unsweetened fresh fruit juice detox diet or vegetable juice detox diet, then you know you’re not consuming the extra sugar calories but fewer calories. If weight loss was just a game of calories, then this could possibly work, but there are some complications to it.
Vegetables and fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals and nutrients, so you assume vegetable juices and fruit juices are also good for your health. Yes, these vegetable and fruit juices have some of these nutritional benefits, but being on a juice diet completely deprives you of macro nutrients like protein and fat.
Let’s talk about protein first. On the juice diet, there is no protein source. Now, the human body has a certain amount of muscle weight (both men & women). Besides giving your body shape, muscles also help protect your bone structure from injury, and store energy for your body. When you eat little or no protein on the juice diet, then it’s not enough to maintain these muscles. As a result, your body experiences muscle catabolism – where your body uses muscle protein to maintain essential muscles. As a result, one of the side effects of the juice diet is that you lose muscle. When you lose this muscle, you lose muscle weight. So, the weighing scale might say you’ve lost weight, but is that the weight you wanted to lose? Then further, with lower muscle content in your body, your metabolic rate goes down. With a lower metabolic rate, your body’s calorie requirements go down further. So, you need fewer calories to maintain your body. As a result, your previously low calories diet might not be low enough. Do you need to go lower?
Now, let’s talk about no fat in your diet – fat is an essential component to the digestion process. It improves absorption of nutrients into your body. With no fat in your diet, fewer nutrients from your juice diet get absorbed in your body.
Besides this, there are other possible issues with the juice diet:
Hypoglycemia: A vegetable juice diet can be low on carbohydrates. Low on carbohydrate can lead to hypoglycemia, leading to severe headache and low blood pressure.
Acidic Blood/Ketosis: When a diet is changed from a high carbohydrate diet to a diet that does not provide sufficient carbohydrate to replenish glycogen stores, the body goes through a set of stages to enter ketosis, with side effects including fainting, dizziness, low blood pressure, heart arrhythmia (irregular heart beat), hunger, vomiting and more.
Juice-Drug Interaction: It can affect you adversely if you are on prescription drugs or medications. According to American Journal of Cardiology, pomegranate and grapefruit juice interact with “statins” (cholesterol lowering medicines), anti-allergens, blood pressure drugs, pain killers and immune suppressants. American Chemical Society found out apple and orange juice also interacts with antacids and antibiotic therapy. These interactions can lead to potential hazard to your health.
So, do you still want to go with juice diet to lose weight? If you want to lose weight, get on a healthy weight loss plan, with a balanced diet and an effective exercise routine.