A Meat and Potato lover’s worst nightmare, the infamous Juice Cleanse
Everyone is seeking to look better and feel better about themselves now a days, right? Right. But unfortunately we live in an era of the instantaneous and severe lack of patience. We want what we want and we want it NOW! Whether that is to de-toxify your body, lose those 5 extra lbs., or put your bladder to the ultimate test, the juice cleanse is all the rage right now.
But first, what exactly is a juice cleanse? A juice cleanse is a trending diet that that consists of only drinking the fresh juice of fruits, vegetables, sometimes nuts or milk, and plenty of water (some allow brewed tea as well) for about a week or so. Most cleanses offer a way to “ease in” or out of the regimen so the body systems aren’t shocked from the sudden change of diet. But before easing into your quick fix to weight loss, do your homework. As there are some advantages, there are plenty disadvantages that will make you think twice about starting your juice cleanse.
Pro: Weight Loss. Due to the significant decrease in caloric intake yet increase in the daily servings of fruits and vegetables, weight loss will almost always occur. Most juice cleanses range anywhere from 5 days to 2 weeks, making it credible for what it promotes; fast weight loss.
Con: Dangerously Low in Calories and Protein. Majority of juice cleanses call for 3-6 juice drinks a day, either based from a cold press of fruits and vegetables, just citrus fruits, or even nuts (which adds some protein and fat to the drinks). The basis for these juices are from low cal and low protein foods as is, so even though drinking multiple of them a day may sound like you’re getting a complete set of nutrients, this may not be the case. According to the director of sports nutrition, Liz Applegate, at the University of California, Davis via Cari Nierenberg from Live Science (1) “The calories that a person winds up consuming daily can range from about 800 to 1,200 calories, when done for 10 days” which comes short to the recommended daily amount. Juice cleanses lack in protein, fiber, carbohydrates, and complex proteins due to the severe reduction in other food groups, which ultimately deprives the body of essential nutrients.
Pro: Health Benefits. As earlier stated, the increase in fruit and vegetable intake can have many positive benefits in regards to supplying vitamins from natural produce, assuming you get a variety of them. In juice diets like “The Master Cleanse” (2), main ingredients like lemon juice that are high in fiber aid in the digestion process, which can regulate the body’s natural functions. Another prevalent ingredient is Cayenne Pepper. The Global Healing Center states (3) “Cayenne Pepper is also a great metabolic-booster, aiding the body in burning excess amounts of fats”.
Con: Reverse Effects on Body Metabolism. The lack of calories and substantial meals can send the body into “Starvation Mode” where the cleanse actually does the opposite of what was initially intended. Essentially, the lack of food input sends a signal to the brain that warns the body to hold onto all the food and liquid storages because it doesn’t know when the next meal will arrive. Ultimately, a severe drop in calories and fat intake can cause one’s body to hold onto the extra pounds to survive which decreases metabolism, and can cause bloating of the stomach from water retention.
Overall, the list of pros and cons can outweigh each other and produce further confusion. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics specifically states that “The bottom line is simple: If a diet or product sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Steer clear of any diet plans, pills and products that make the following claims (of): rapid weight loss, quantities and limitations, specific food combinations, rigid menus, and no need to exercise”(4).A juice cleanse consists of every, if not almost all those claims.
I, as well the other cooking instructors will always promote a healthy lifestyle before a quick fix to lose weight, yet if you do wish to forgo the ultimate juice cleanse, do so with caution and contact your Doctor, Registered Dietitian, or Nutritionist before proceeding. It is important to remember that quick weight loss typically leads to a quick gain of the weight back. Healthy and sustainable weight loss typically occurs at a rate of 1-2lb per week. Focusing on a healthier lifestyle than an extreme diet will always prevail. Think long term like the AND states “ With any new diet, always ask yourself: “Can I eat this way for the rest of my life?” If the answer is no, the plan is not for you.”(4)
1. Nierenberg, Cari. 6 Potential Dangers of Juice Cleanses and Liquid Diets. Live Science Web site. http://www.livescience.com/48887-juice-cleanse-dangers.html. Published November 24, 2014. Accessed March 1st
2. Burroughs, Stanley. How To Master Cleanse and Lemonade Diet to Detox and Lose Weight “F.A.S.T.”. The Master Cleanse Web site. http://themastercleanse.org/. Accessed March 1st, 2016
3. Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM. 17 Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper. Global Healing Center. http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/benefits-of-cayenne-pepper/. Published June 21, 2010 Accessed March 1st.
4. Denny, Sharon MS, RDN. Staying Away from Fad Diets. Eat Right.Org Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Web site. http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/weight-loss/fad-diets/staying-away-from-fad-diets. Published January 04, 2016. Accessed March 2, 2016.
Freshman seeking a BS in Dietetics/Nutrition, Fitness, and Health