Momma always said eat your fruits and vegetables, but nowadays more and more people seem to be drinking them. Juicing is great as a supplement to healthy eating RADicals, but if you’re thinking about taking on juicing as a cleanse, stop because there are a few things you should know first.
1. When Green Is Mean
First off, green juice is great and a super healthy way to get your daily veggie allowance in via a straw. However ,the problem is that many green juices are actually full of sugar. How so? Well, in order to mask the bitterness of popular green juice ingredients such as spinach, kale and other leafy vegetables, the costar in the bottle is usually fruit. And too much fruit can cause one 8oz serving of fresh juice to have 15g of sugar or more. So read the labels and make sure the ingredient list starts off with at least two of the first three being veggies. Making juice at home? Then I recommend keeping your juicing ratio to two parts vegetables and one part fruit. This will add just a hint of sweetness without turning your healthy sip into a candy bar in disguise.
2. Cleansed Or Nah?
So now that you know the deal on how to incorporate juicing into a healthy diet, it’s time I call out all you RADicals who use juicing as a cleanse. First of all, you are not flushing anything out. Sorry. Your body actually already runs on an auto-cleanse system thanks to your kidneys, liver and intestines, so those three bottles a day are not really doing any cleaning. In fact, there’s absolutely no evidence that juicing improves this natural auto-cleanse process. So if you feel lighter, healthier or “cleansed” after a juicing fast, it’s because you eliminated junk food, not toxins. Yeah, so about that overpriced cleanse your coworkers are doing…I say pass.
3. You’ll Only Be Slim For A Hot Second
I know your bestie lost seven pounds by surviving on juice alone for a whole week, but before you follow in her footsteps, know that both you and your bestie will only be slim for a hot second. Most of the weight that magically went away was water weight. When you cut calories your body gets energy by releasing glycogen, a type of carb that holds on to water. Not only will this screw up your metabolism, but as soon as you stop the cleanse you will gain the pounds back. Lasting weight loss comes from changing your diet long term and accepting that true healthy weight loss comes in the form of one to two pounds a week…not seven.
4. Here Comes Sickness
Last but not least, another danger in participating in juice cleanses is the effect it has on your overall health. Fatigue (hello, you’re starving), nausea, insomnia (because who can sleep hungry?) and headaches (read starving again) are all some of the possible side effects. And worse, if you have a history of eating disorders, yo yo dieting or trouble with weight loss, a juice fast can trigger a relapse or even serve as fuel to a never ending cycle of disappointment. So do yourself and your body a solid and juice as a supplement to your diet, not as a diet.