Juice cleanses, exercise programs and new fitness trackers are all hot topics after the holidays. Fast results are tempting and can influence us to heavily invest in the latest solution for weight loss success. Juice cleanses seem like a great option since they don’t require much effort (unlike exercising to lose weight), but with prices ranging from $75-300 for a package of juices, it’s worth pausing to ask, “Are juice cleanses worth it?”
Benefits of Juicing:
- Fresh juices are a delicious and relatively easy way to cram lots of vitamins and minerals into your diet.
- Juicing may help you jumpstart a healthy eating lifestyle and develop a palette for natural, chemical-free foods.
- For people who have gastric upset on a regular basis, juices may allow a bit of relief as they require less acid to digest.
- Energy improvements may be seen for people who have an otherwise unhealthy diet and/or who regularly consume coffee and alcohol (both of which can dehydrate you and thereby drag down energy levels).
- Juicing may help you lose a little bit of weight (assuming you’re juicing for at least a few days). Most of this will be water weight and maybe a little bit of fat. But hey, if you’re bloated, the water weight loss may be enough to satisfy you!
For more benefits, the Chairman of the Department of Integrative Medicine weighs in on “The Real Reasons Juice Cleanses Can Get Your Health Back on Track.”
Drawbacks of Juicing:
- Juices are pretty expensive, usually ranging from $7-12/bottle. If you want to do an official “cleanse” you may pay hundreds of dollars for only 3-7 days’ worth of juices.
- Although good juice brands will add pulp from the fruits and vegetables back into the beverage, many leave the chunky stuff out (because a lot of people don’t like the gritty consistency). If the pulp isn’t included then many of the nutrients and fiber get stripped from the beverage. Bye-bye optimal health benefits!
- Juices typically don’t include healthy fats and proteins so they are lacking in essential nutrition. In short, when you juice, you’re having an all carbohydrate diet…albeit a colorful and tasty one.
- Although juicing may help you behave in a healthful manner for a few days, it’s no long-term guarantee or strategy for how to eat a balanced diet. Yup, you still have to figure that one out…
- Juices are high in sugar. While it’s natural sugar versus processed, it’s still sugar. Sugar is sugar is sugar. Too much of this sweet stuff can be harmful to the good bacteria in your gut (which is essential for your overall health, energy and immune system).
- There are professionals who claim that detoxing the body is entirely unnecessary because it’s a process that the body is already capable of doing for itself.
- If you feel the need to juice in order to reset your health, you may also want to ask yourself why you’ve been in an unhealthy pattern or lifestyle. Juicing originates from detoxing, and detoxes are historically based in spiritual discoveries, fasts and devotions. It’s worth asking yourself if just losing a few pounds will really fulfill you, or if something else more profound needs to change in your life.
For more information, check out the 4 Myths About Juice Cleansing.
Still Feeling Torn About Juicing?
Try This Alternative:
Use a juice drink (full of pulp and organic produce, if possible) as a substitute for one meal or snack every day for 3-7 days. Make sure that you’re being intentional about healthy eating during your other meals too (don’t forget that healthy fats and proteins are your friends). This option is cheaper than replacing every meal with juices and is more practical and sustainable. You can stay intentional about your health AND have energy to exercise (usually not possible on other juice cleanses due to how low calorie they are).
Best of luck deciding what is best for YOUR health! Don’t hesitate to ask questions or chat it out. I’m here to help you feel amazing and make choices that are sensible for the lifestyle you want.
Yours in health and wellness,