There are plenty of people who would like to know how healthy juicing is, and specifically whether it is beneficial to help you lose weight. The fact of the matter is that the only way to lose weight effectively is through proper diet and exercise, but that doesn’t mean that juicing can’t be a part of that.
What I’ve discovered over the years is that juicing can help me lose or maintain my weight, but that doesn’t mean I can pig out on chips every night without ever getting up and moving around. Here is what juicing can do and how it can contribute to a complete weight loss routine.
The Effects of Juicing
It is undeniable that juicing can help you consume a lot of the nutrients that your body needs to function at its peak, especially if you don’t have the time or desire to eat them in whole form. But what do I mean by “function at its peak”?
There are two categories of nutrient: macro and micro. Macro nutrients are things like protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Think of these as concentrated packets of energy that are used to fuel certain parts of the body. Things like vitamins and minerals that the body needs are micro nutrients and are generally what you’ll get from juicing.
Micro nutrients are used for all sorts of things in the body. For example, vitamin C helps make the protein collagen which is used to make and repair cells, especially skin cells. When you get injured, collagen is what starts to build the walls for the skin cells that will knit together cuts and scrapes. B vitamins like pyridoxine, biotin, and niacin break protein down into amino acids which are then stacked on top of one another to form and repair tissue, including the muscles that you tore while weight training.
What juicing does is not melt away fat like magic but rather helps support the systems already in place in your body. If you have enough Vitamin B in your system, your body will be able to repair muscles more easily and you’ll be able to push yourself further.
How Not to Use Juicing to Lose Weight
Juicing can contribute to weight loss, but it is not a substitute for other weight loss strategies. It should be considered an aid to a balanced approach to increased health.
For example, juice cannot substitute for several meals. Perhaps a meal a day can be replaced with juice, but you are missing a lot of the macro nutrients that you need in order for your body to function properly. Most juices do not have protein or carbohydrates in any appreciable amounts, meaning that your body will turn to other nutrients to burn for energy rather than using them to do the jobs they normally would be there for.
Similarly, when you juice something, the fibre part of the fruit or vegetable is left behind with the pulp. Fibre not only helps you break down food in your stomach, it helps you stay fuller for a longer period of time. If you eliminate significant amounts of fibre from your diet, you’ll be more inclined to snack during the day and could end up actually gaining weight.
Another way that the lack of protein in juices — which can’t be completely corrected by protein powder, it should be noted — is a problem is that you may end up losing muscle mass. Proteins are primarily used to build up tissue. When you work out, your muscles are getting torn with the intention that after you provide the raw materials to the body and sleep, you’ll build them back up even stronger. If you’re only drinking juice thinking that you’ll lose weight you may see a numerical drop because you’re actually losing lean muscle mass.
How You Should Juice for Weight Loss
Now that we’ve covered what not to do, here’s what you should be doing.
Start by collecting a bunch of recipes that will help you with energy. You’re going to be doing a lot of working out and having enough energy is a great way to keep yourself moving. Get stuff that is long lasting, not loaded with sugar that will give you a temporary high and a major crash.
Next, prepare a series of drinks to replace one meal, no more, a day and make sure it is absolutely loaded with nutrients. You’ll want something that can keep you full as long as possible and have some healthy snacks to supplement your day in case you get hungry.
Finally, have some drinks that you use to have with your regular meals. They can help fill in the nutritional gaps you might have.
Juicing can help you with your weight loss, but don’t rely on it to magically get you thin. Not only will it not work, it could make you sick.