It’s the eleventh time this past week you’ve heard about someone who has adopted a ‘juice’ diet.
(To be clear, I’m referring to freshly made smoothies and juices here, not those terrible powdered meal replacement diets. Just stay well away from the ‘super-weight-loss-fat-burn-5000’ shakes.)
You’re thinking, I’d like to lose weight, they’re ‘healthy’, they’re full of vitamins and minerals. Win.
Yea…. not really. Unless you’re recovering from surgery, you have gastrointestinal issues or you’re a baby, liquids should not make up a large portion of your diet.
Rapidly digested, not very satiating and with a lot of sugar is not exactly the ideal checklist for fat loss.
So while your ‘green’ concoction of spinach-celery-pineapple-carrot-apple-parsley-ginger (with some protein thrown in for good measure) may have lots of vitamins and minerals that a soft drink doesn’t, there’s no getting away from the fact that it still has a lot of sugar.
It’s then going to hit your system much more quickly than solid food. When it does, you’ll get a dramatic spike in blood sugar which then requires a marked insulin response to get all that sugar out of your blood. That’s not so good for your pancreas or your fatness. And as a bonus, you might get an energy crash due to the resulting hypoglycemia.
The last time you had a juice, I’m also guessing it didn’t fill you up all that much for all that long. Fat loss, unless you’ve figured out a way to circumvent the laws of physics, requires you to be in an energy deficit. Add in a lack of chewing and sharp spikes in blood sugar – and that means hunger and it means cravings. That’s not going to help you when you’re confronted with a New York baked cheesecake.
Instead, try eating all the whole food components that went into the juice or smoothie, you’ll find it’ll be much more satiating and sustain you for longer. Plus you’ll get the fibre that you’d otherwise be missing out on.
Now, I’m not against juices or smoothies as a part of your diet. They are delicious, and a great way to increase your consumption of raw leafy greens (like kale), maybe even to kick-start a lifestyle change or give your digestive system the occasional break. They are also a better convenience option when compared to a doughnut. However, if fat loss is your goal, I would approach with caution. Fat loss is not a short term project, juices and smoothies are not the magical secret or a sustainable long term solution.
The solution is simple:
Drink mostly water.
Eat whole and non-processed foods.