Juicing is often used as a tool for weight loss. While many juicing diets recommend you not eat while juicing, you may be better off eating solid food while drinking your fresh fruit and veggie juice if you're looking for long-term weight loss. Consult your doctor before starting any weight-loss juice diet.
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A juice diet, also referred to as a cleanse or fast, typically means a diet that includes nothing but the juice from fresh fruits and vegetables, along with water. The length of the diet varies, lasting from a few days to a few weeks. Proponents of the diet claim that, along with weight loss, it gives your digestive system a rest while improving your body's ability to absorb the nutrients from the fruits and vegetables.
Dangers of Just Juice
While you may lose weight following a juice fast, it's not a healthy way to go. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center reports that a juice fast may cause you to feel tired and can lead to dizziness. Additionally, while you may lose weight on a juice fast, when you restrict your caloric intake too much, your metabolic rate slows down to conserve energy, which means you're burning fewer overall calories.
Fitting Juice in Your Diet
If you're trying to lose weight, fresh juice can fit into your plan, but it needs to be included in your overall calorie count. The calories in your fresh juice vary depending on what you're juicing. For example, juicing a medium apple with three to four carrots, which makes about 10 ounces of juice, has 200 calories, while a 10-ounce juice made with 2 cups of spinach, one cucumber and one stalk of celery has 140 calories. Track your food and drink intake to stay within your weight-loss calorie needs. Your doctor or dietitian can help you determine a safe number of calories to consume to help you lose weight healthfully.
Fresh juice can boost your nutrient intake and help you meet your daily fruit and vegetable needs. To limit your risk of food-borne illness, wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly before juicing. Also, consume your juice immediately. Even if you cleaned your produce well, bacteria may still be present and multiply over time, which may make you sick.
It's important to note that while juicing may help you meet your daily fruit and vegetable needs, juices tend to not be as filling as the eating the whole fruit or vegetable due to the loss of fiber.