Juice fasting for prolonged periods of time is associated with claims of fast weight loss. This might seem like an arduous endeavor, if you're accustomed to eating a regular diet. You may lose weight by juice fasting every other day -- however, the "New York Times" reports that medical experts suggest a better way to diet that doesn't involve getting so many of your calories in a small 8-ounce cup of juice.
Juice and Sugar
Calories don't just come from the foods you eat -- you also get them from beverages, including fruit juice, soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and milk. The Harvard School of Public Health describes fruit juice as a caloric beverage with nutritional benefits. Fruit juice gives you the same essential nutrients you'd get from fruit, along with a boost of energy. However, ounce-per-ounce, fruit juice has just as much sugar as your average soft drink. Sugar is a carbohydrate that provides 4 calories per gram. As Harvard notes, some fruit juices have more sugar and calories than a regular cola.
Compare the number of calories in fruit juices to that found in your average 12-ounce cola, which has 150 calories. When it comes to calories, cranberry juice cocktail is high on the list, containing 200 calories per every 12-ounce serving. So is canned or bottled grape juice, which has 220 calories. The same amount of orange juice made from concentrate has 183 calories. Canned or bottled apple juice has 171 calories per every 12 ounce.
Harvard Medical School indicates that the watery texture of fruit juice tricks your body into thinking that you aren't getting calories. This makes it easy to go overboard on fruit juice. Eight 12-ounce glasses of apple juice give you around 1,360 calories a day. But ten 12-ounce glasses of grape juice give you 2,200 calories, which may be more calories than you'd normally consume per day.
Interpreting Diet Claims
Some proponents of fruit juice fasting claim that you can lose 35 to 40 pounds a month. The Federal Trade Commission indicates that any diet that purports to give you fast weight loss at a pound per day or more has all the earmarks of a false claim. A healthy eating plan for weight loss includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and is low in fats, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Healthy Weight Loss
Lose weight the healthier way by focusing on the total number of calories you get per day. The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 advocates a diet rich in whole fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy foods and lean sources of protein, such as skinless poultry, fish and beans. Cut down on saturated fat, sugar and sodium. According to Harvard School of Public Health, if you want to drink fruit juice, limit yourself to 4 ounces of 100 percent juice per day and no more than that. And remember the magic formula for weight loss: for every pound you want to lose, you need to create a calorie deficit of 3,500. Trim 250 calories from your diet and burn the other 250 by getting regular exercise.
- The New York Times: Making the Case for Eating Fruit
- Harvard School of Public Health: Healthy Beverage Guidelines
- Harvard School of Public Health: How Sweet is It?
- Harvard Medical School: Sugar and Obesity: High Calorie Drinks to Blame?
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: Healthy Eating Plan
- Harvard Medical School: Calorie Counting Made Easy
- USDA: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010
- Federal Trade Commission: Weighing the Evidence in Diet Ads