In moderation, juice can be part of a balanced diet that can help a person lose weight. However, all-juice diets or fasts are not a sustainable way to reach a moderate weight. Juicing for weight loss 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.
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.
However, some juices can be lower in calories than other drinks, such as soda or energy drinks. Switching to juice
However, the overall benefits of drinking juice are
In comparison to eating whole fruits and vegetables, juicing may have some disadvantages, such as:
- Longer preparation time: If a person juices fruits and vegetables at home, this will take up more time than eating whole fruits.
- Higher expense: Buying a juicer, bottles to store the juice, and lots of produce can add up. If a person purchases premade juices, these can also be expensive.
- Reducing fiber: Juices contain less fiber than whole fruits and vegetables.
- Increasing sugar consumption: Natural sugars, such as the ones in whole fruits and vegetables, are not harmful in moderation. When drinking juice, though, it can be easier to consume more sugar than a person realizes.
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.
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 person’s 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
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
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.
Tropical carrot juice
For this recipe from Live Eat Learn, juice or blend:
- 2 cups chopped carrot
- 1 cup chopped pineapple, fresh or canned
- 1 cup chopped mango
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 cup water, if using a blender
Citrus cucumber juice
For this recipe from Tia Clara, juice or blend:
- 8 cucumbers
- 1 green chopped apple
- 1 cup lemon juice or 1/2 cup lime juice
- honey or agave syrup, if desired
- 4 cups ice, if using a blender
Super powered orange juice
For this recipe from Minimalist Baker, juice or blend:
- 1/4 cup orange
- 1 small nectarine, pitted
- 1 small chopped apple
- 4–6 carrots
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
- 3–4 sprigs of mint
- 1–2 cups of water, if using a blender
Below are some common questions about juicing for weight loss.
Do juice cleanses detox the body?
There is no data that juice cleanses detox the body. There is
Can certain juices reduce belly fat?
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.
Which vegetables should you avoid juicing?
Raw spinach, kale, and beets are
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.