Whether you’re bouncing back from the holidays, envisioning your goals for the New Year, or wanting to feel more confident in your body for summer – eating well and losing weight may be on the list. If you think “juicing” is a path to higher health and weight loss, please proceed with caution. For the following reasons we encourage our members to refrain from juice cleanses, instead we recommend juices are always treat, and never a staple. Every now and then, I enjoy a beautiful fresh juice but I only get fruit-free juices such as a greens juice with lemon and ginger and I never use it as a meal replacement.
Here are five reasons NOT to juice:
- Juicing can mess with your metabolism.
Most juices contain up to 20 grams or more of sugar, which is equivalent to 4 teaspoons. Studies show that high levels of sugar in the diet can have devastating effects on metabolism¹ such as metabolic disease, type 2 diabetes and and cardiovascular disease.
In order to reduce the burden of sugar on your body, it’s better to have a smoothie than a juice – because the fibers in the fruit slow the absorption of sugars in the body, and you can mix it in with healthy fat and protein which reduces the glycemic load. Both slower absorption of food and higher fiber content are associated with a lower risk of diabetes, lower blood pressure and weight loss.
- Healthy Fat is back.
The fat free brainwashing started in the 80’s and it’s still embedded in the minds of many of us. However, healthy fat is essential for energy, digestion, the absorption of fat soluble vitamins like A & D and hormone and nerve health. Juices generally don’t contain much (if any) fat or protein, both of which stimulate your brain to quiet hunger pangs when they reach your small intestine. For this reason you won’t be satiated as long from a juice as you will from a smoothie or meal.
- Juicing Encourages Constipation.
Your body needs fiber for food to move through your system, draw out toxins and rid itself of waste. Fiber is necessary to induce proper peristalsis (the waves of contraction of your intestinal muscles that move food along). Juicing separates all that fiber and discards it, rendering it useless and constipating many a juice devotee.
- Your Gut Loves Fiber.
Fermentation happens in the large intestine thanks to plant fiber and the helpful bacteria that like to eat it. You can take all the probiotics you want, but if you don’t give the bugs in your colon the complex carbs and fermentable plant fibers they like to munch on, you miss out on the golden byproduct of bacterial digestion: the short-chain fatty acids that nourish and protect the gut barrier and reduce inflammation. Bifidobacteria, for example, a helpful kind of gut bug, metabolize fiber into short-chain fatty acids that in turn feed the cells lining your gut. If you’re juicing, you’re throwing away a lot of fiber that these bugs love.
- Juicing Spikes Your Blood Sugar.
The glycemic load is quite high in juices, even a pure greens juice that has only 6-8 grams of sugar, since they lack healthy fat, fiber or protein to slow down the absorption of those sugars in the bloodstream. Spikes in blood sugar, inevitably lead to a crash, which leaves us lethargic, exhausted and wanting to eat more to get our energy back. This cycle leads to sugar, carb and caffeine cravings – all of which interfere with weight loss.
Instead of a juice cleanse, we believe a safer and more effective way to reset is our doctor designed 7 day detox. Our detox is food-based with a mix of blended protein shakes loaded with targeted nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, methylated B vitamins, fiber and antioxidants and plant-based paleo meals.
It’s the perfect way to reset, improve your digestion, boost your energy and focus and start to develop healthier habits.