If you are looking for a simple answer to this question, then it is a straight forward no; depending only on juices for your nutritional intake is a bad idea. To lose weight, you need to eat healthy. Juices can act as a healthy snack in-between your main meals, but they cannot replace your meals to promote weight loss. ‘Many people follow the juice-diet where they consume blends of fruits and vegetables to get a glowing, radiant skin and to lose weight. This works as a detox where one restricts caloric intake through food. But this isn’t advisable for weight loss. Also, one should not be dependent on juice-diets for a prolonged time,’ says Dr Manjiri Puranik, weight loss expert, Insta Sculpt, Mumbai. Read this before you go on a detox diet.
Here are few reasons why you should not go on a juice diet to lose weight:
It could make you crave sugary foods: Juices are high on sugar content. Consuming a glass of juice gives a sudden spike of sugar in the blood stream. The body reacts to this by releasing insulin to distribute sugar to every cell of the body. However, there can be a dip in your energy levels as the cells absorb this sugar too soon leaving you tired and fatigued. Thereafter, your body craves for more sugar to regain energy and to keep going. Incidentally, you might end up reaching for high sugar foods to minimalise this energy deficit. This could make all your attempts of weight loss go down the drain, as you might end up eating more calories, which get stored as fat. Here are nine hidden sources of sugar that are making you fat.
It is low in protein content: Apart from fibre, juice-diets are also low in protein content. Proteins help in building muscle and are a prerequisite for weight loss. They are also responsible for making healthy immune cells that protect one from infections and diseases. So, you might end up being sick or become weak due to low immunity, if you solely depend on juice-diets.
It tricks your brain to make you hungry: Satiety comes from eating healthy whole foods during your meals. Remember, food is meant to be eaten, not drunk. Whether you prefer cold pressed or blended juice, they take away the satisfaction of chewing, swallowing, and digesting, the natural process of eating and healthy living. Instead, juice-diets provide a double-whammy of a health hazard. You don’t feel full, but consume a ton of calories through natural sugars. If you end up eating high-calorie foods to suppress your hunger, this could promote weight gain rather than weight loss. Read this if you feel hungry all the time.
You miss out on everything good: Since the veggies and fruits have been either cold pressed or blended and then strained, you lose out on fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals and consume just the sugar. In most cases, some of these detox diets end up being higher in calories than your normal caloric need of the day and ultimately result in weight gain.
What should you do?
According to Dr Manjiri Puranik, if you want to lose weight,
- Say no to juicing or other forms of sugar-water induced experimentation as meal replacements.
- Triple up on the veggies (and fruits) and make them the mainstay of every meal.
- Anything that makes you feel heavy, like red meat, anything fried and baked goods, cut down on them or ban them completely from your diet till you attain your desired weight.
If you still want to try the juice diet for detoxification, follow these rules:
- If you attempt to go for it, restrict yourself to a three-day trial, which can promise gut cleansing, greater hydration, glowing skin and a reduction in junk food cravings. Juice-diet cannot be sustained for longer periods.
- Start eating a balanced diet after you are done with your juice-diet program.
- Don’t continue juice-diet for more than three days, as it might not give your body enough nutrients needed for the functioning of liver, kidneys and other vital organs.