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Juicing for weight loss: Results, recipes, and risks – Medical News Today

May 12th, 2023

In moderation, juice can be part of a balanced diet that leads to weight loss. However, all-juice diets or fasts are not a sustainable way to reach a moderate weight and may also have health risks.

Juice fasts are a type of crash diet. These diets involve making extreme dietary changes for rapid weight loss, which may lead to side effects, such as fatigue or nutritional deficiencies.

Often, people who try juice fasts for weight loss regain weight when the diet ends. This may lead to further body dissatisfaction, which can play a role in eating disorders.

This article explores the potential benefits and disadvantages of juicing for weight loss, the risks of juice fasts, and some juice recipes to try at home as part of a balanced diet.

There is no scientific evidence that specifically consuming juice helps with weight loss.

Juicing can be part of a balanced diet that does help with reaching a moderate weight, but the juice itself has no special ability to burn fat or remove toxins, as some people may claim.

However, some juices can be lower in calories than other drinks, such as soda or energy drinks. Switching to juice may help a person reduce their intake of these foods, which may contribute to weight loss.

Juice can also help people who dislike whole fruits and vegetables to get more of them into their diet, and can be a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

However, the overall benefits of drinking juice are similar to that of eating whole fruits and vegetables.

Learn about some successful ways to lose weight.

In comparison to eating whole fruits and vegetables, juicing may have some disadvantages, such as:

There is some concern from health organizations that juicing or blending fruits may increase the amount of free sugars they contain. The body digests free sugars more quickly, which may lead to spikes in blood sugar and insulin.

However, a 2021 review notes that no studies have confirmed how much sugar becomes free sugar when turning fruits into juice. The review also found no evidence that 100% fruit juice contributes to obesity, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease.

Juice fasting is when a person consumes only juice for a set period. It is a form of crash diet, or fad diet, that promises dramatic weight loss in a short space of time.

Similarly to other fad diets, juice cleanses work by severely limiting a persons calorie intake. This will result in weight loss.

However, as this level of restriction is not sustainable, people often regain weight when they resume a typical diet. Significant or rapid weight loss can both slow down a persons metabolism and increase their hunger. These two factors make the weight loss difficult to maintain.

There is no evidence that any fad diet is a safe or effective way to reach a moderate weight. In addition to a lack of evidence that they work, juice fasts and cleanses may also pose risks. These include:

Fruits and vegetables do not provide all the nutrients people need for health. They are low in protein, healthy fats, and certain vitamins, such as B12. This may lead to fatigue, weakness, dizziness, or other symptoms.

Some raw fruits and vegetables, such as raw spinach and kale, contain high amounts of oxalates, which are compounds that can damage the kidneys. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) warns that drinking large amounts of oxalates in juices may increase the risk of kidney problems.

A 2018 pilot study of two juice cleanse camps observed a connection between juice cleanses and behaviors consistent with eating disorders, such as anorexia or orthorexia. These included extreme calorie restriction, intense physical exercise, laxative use, and a desire only to eat clean food.

Juice fasting for extended periods may result in malnutrition. Refeeding is when a person with malnutrition begins receiving the nourishment they need. When refeeding happens too quickly, it can cause sudden changes in the body, known as refeeding syndrome. The symptoms can include fatigue, weakness, confusion, delirium, or high blood pressure. In severe cases, refeeding syndrome can be life threatening.

If a person wishes to try juicing as part of a balanced diet, here are some recipes they can try. If using a blender, add some liquid to the ingredients, and strain with a mesh sieve afterward.

Before making any significant changes to the diet, a person should speak with a doctor or dietitian.

For this recipe from Live Eat Learn, juice or blend:

For this recipe from Tia Clara, juice or blend:

For this recipe from Minimalist Baker, juice or blend:

Below are some common questions about juicing for weight loss.

There is no data that juice cleanses detox the body. There is no credible evidence that any detox diet helps eliminate toxins from the body, nor that this is medically necessary. In most cases, the body can remove toxins effectively on its own.

No food or diet can specifically target belly fat or any other part of the body. However, reaching a moderate weight, in general, may decrease abdominal fat overall.

Raw spinach, kale, and beets are high in oxalates. People should avoid juicing these frequently, as oxalates can harm the kidneys.

Drinking vegetable and fruit juices in moderation can contribute to weight loss as part of a balanced diet. In contrast, all-juice diets, fasts, or cleanses may result in quick weight loss, but the results will likely be temporary.

Extreme diets are not a healthy or sustainable way to reach a moderate weight and can be harmful. Some people who have tried juice cleanses have experienced serious complications.

It is also important to note that weight loss alone is not necessarily a sign of good health. Adequate nutrition, sleep, social connection, and relaxation are also important factors.

If a person is considering juicing for weight loss or trying a fast or cleanse, they should speak with a doctor or dietitian for advice.

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Juicing for weight loss: Results, recipes, and risks - Medical News Today

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