In a juice cleanse, daily food intake is replaced by a liquid-only diet. It’s trendy. It’s hip. But, is it healthy?
It Might Sound Healthy...
...fresh fruits and vegetables, blended up to create a refreshing beverage. What could be so bad about that? Well, not much. Juice is more-or-less harmless. The problem, however, is when you replace your total daily food intake with a liquid-only diet, it’s simply not sustainable.
To put it outright: Juice cleanses are not a cure-all. Eat something.
It’s Just a Quick Fix
If you’re trying to lose weight, it might sound tempting to pursue a juice cleanse.
But, if you lose any weight at all while on this cleanse, it’s only temporary—it might only happening because you could be putting your body into starvation mode.
Your body will go into starvation mode if it’s not receiving enough calories or nutrients. When this mode goes into effect, your metabolism will actually slow down.
This means, once you start eating again, you’ll gain all of that weight back, and your metabolism will be slower than usual, making it more difficult lose weight in the future.
Your Body Already Dismisses Toxins
Believe it or not, your body is already pretty well-adept at eliminating toxins.
By switching to a juice-only diet, and denying yourself food, you’re also denying your body of the nutrients it needs to perform its functions.
Scientific Evidence Does Not Support Juice Cleanses
According to LiveScience, “there is no scientific evidence that juice cleanses are a sensible approach to better health.” Any claims that argue the opposite, are “largely anecdotal and unproven.”
Juice cleanses are actually pretty low in nutrients, such as protein and fiber.
Protein is necessary for producing glucose, which is used for energy in the body; fiber is a necessary nutrient for the gastrointestinal tract to function properly—one of the key players in your body’s natural process of eliminating toxins.
If you’re knocking out key players, dontcha think that’ll lead to a game over?
Chew on This: Healthy Alternatives to Juice Cleanses
If you want to pursue a healthy lifestyle, don’t jump on the bandwagon of a crash-diet.
According to Joy Dubost, a dietitian and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “if a person wants to follow a more cleansing diet, they should increase the amounts of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich foods, and water.”
A diet rich in fiber is associated with weight loss. If weight loss is your goal, then consider eating: beans, whole grains, brown rice, nuts, berries, and of course, vegetables, (WebMD).
If you’re looking for healthy options that are easy to prepare and follow, consider taking advantage of our weekly meal plans.
We’ve partnered with American Diabetes Association, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Spoon University, and New York Times Cooking—depending on your lifestyle and goals, you can find a meal plan here that works for you.
Have you ever followed a crash-diet juice cleanse? How did you feel at the start, during the process, and at the end of it? What steps do you like to take to pursue a healthy lifestyle? We always love hearing from you. Ask us your questions and leave a comment.