Juicing For Weight Loss
Most fasting plans will evolve around solid food, when you eat it and when you don’t. A juice fast is a little different to traditional fasts, as it involves having nothing but juice for a set period of time. This means no food at all, though some plans will allow other fluids, such as water and tea. Other varieties may include soups as well. But what all juice fasts have in common is that there is no solid food stuff allowed for a period of time.
These trends tend to be short. The idea is to kick start your weight loss or detox your body. They are not usually intended to be carried out long-term, though you can combine with other intermittent fasting methods. For example, you could do a version of the 5:2 diet, so that you eat normally for five days a week and have two days where you only have juices totaling 500 calories. Alternatively, you might opt to have a couple of juices a day and then a normal meal in the evening to boost your nutrient intake.
Juicing has been through periods of trending, then falling out of fashion, but juice cleanses and fasts are always around in one guise or another. There are lots of reasons that people undertake a juice fast. Many do it for weight loss benefits. You are inevitably consuming fewer calories on a juice fast than on a normal diet, so you will lose weight. Bear in mind that you might lose rapidly, but some of this will be water weight expect to put some back on after you resume normal eating.
Other opt to take part in a juice cleanse, which is thought to help your body in its natural detox. By giving your digestion a break from real food, the body can have a chance to heal. A juice is also a good way to boost your vitamin and mineral intake.
If you’re looking for long-term results, you may wish to revisit a juice fast from time to time, or introduce juices into a structured lifestyle eating plan to help maintain weight loss over time. Be aware that there are some side effects to bear in mind, too. The diet lacks protein and fat, and can also be high in sugar, which may affect your blood sugar levels and muscle mass – hence why you should only follow it short term. When you make a fresh juice, make enough for that day only and discard anything not consumed in 24 hours to prevent the growth of bacteria.
What You Need
Using a special juicer, whole fruits and vegetables are pressed and squeezed to extract as much juice as possible, leaving behind the pulp. This is different to making a smoothie in a blender, as this includes the whole fruit, including the fibrous pulp. Some versions of a juice diet will include smoothies as well, though most juice detoxes and short-term fasts are purely juices only.
If your going to undertake a juice fast, the most cost-effective way is to make your juice yourself at home, although it is still going to be fairly expensive. For a start you need a juicer – as we’ve explained, it’s different to blending. So if you have a blender already, this won’t produce the pure juices that you need.
There are two main types of juicers that work for this diet. If you’re looking for the cheapest option, then a centrifugal juicer is easily available and not expensive. These use a fast-spinning blade to crush fruit and vegetables, and extract the juice from the pulp. The pulp will come out of one exit and the juice is usually collected in a container at another exit.
A slow juicer pressers your fruit and vegetables using a large screw to push juice through the sieve. These can extract more juice by volume, but they are more expensive to buy. Saying that, you can get some very good juicers on a budget, so do your research before you buy.
Another cost to consider is that you will need a lot of fruit and vegetables to create your juices for your juice fast. Shop around to find good quality but low cost fruit, and buy in bulk. You will need to vary your juices throughout your juice fast to get in maximum nutrients and to vary the taste. Ideally, you want organic fruit and vegetables that are free from chemicals, but this can bump up the cost.
If you have one nearby, a farmers market or farm shop can be a good place to get your fruit and vegetables rather than a supermarket. If you’re planning on juicing as part of an ongoing lifestyle, you could even consider growing some of your own fruit and vegetables.
You can buy ready-made juices in shops, but it is best to avoid these. They could have preservatives added for a longer shelf life and may have hidden additives. You can also sign up to a juicing plan, which gives you all the recipes you need or even delivers the juices direct to the door. These can be very costly, however, and if you invest in a good juicer there are plenty of recipes available for free.
Types Of Juice
There is no limit to the type and flavour of juice that you can make. It is good not rely too heavily on fruit, however, as these can have lots of natural sugars. Try to ensure that you get a wide range of vitamins and minerals. A good way to do this is to try and create a rainbow of juices by introducing certain vegetables and fruits. For example, you can have a red juice with beetroot and berries, an orange juice with carrots, or a green juice with spinach and Kale.
Some vegetables are less juicy than others, but as you practice, you will be able to create your own recipes from scratch. Try and vary the taste too – you don’t want all of your juices to be sweet. Try some more savoury options too, especially at main meal times. You could use herbs and spices to add a little punch to your juices.
Start The Day Right
Try this colourful breakfast juice to give you a boost to start your day
When you’re looking for a breakfast juice, you want something that is going to give you loads of energy to get through your day. There is something about a bright orange juice that is perfect for your first juice of the day – it looks (and feels) like sunshine. The best combination is carrot and orange, as the two pair really well together and offer a refreshing natural sweetness.
Consider adding some fresh ginger too and a dash of turmeric. Turmeric has a bold orange colouring and has many reported health benefits, being anti-inflammatory. Ginger, as well as giving a strong flavour boost, can help with digestion and nausea.
- 4 medium carrots (peeled and diced)
- 4 large oranges (peeled)
- 1 small piece of fresh ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
Add the carrots, oranges and ginger to your juicer and juice as normal. Stir in the turmeric at the end.
Overall, juicing is not something that you would ever do every day for a long period of time. But as a short-term detox or as part of an overall healthy eating plan, it can have significant benefits. Please leave a comment as I would love to read about your weight loss with juicing fruit and vegetables. Thank you.
Shawn founder of Weight Loss Pro