Juice Fasting vs Juice Detox | My Personal Thoughts on It
My Take On Diets
We hear so much about detox diet, fast diet or some new diet named after someone special, the latest one being Dr Oz's diet. To make things even more confusing, there is also talk about a juicing diet.
We know that juicing fruits and vegetables yield high amounts of antioxidants, good amounts of fibre and a lot of healthy vitamins and minerals for wellbeing. For these reasons, people invented juice diet because they believe that it should be good. Although drinking juice is good for health, different juice diets has pros and cons about them.
In this lens, we are going to put more emphasis into the juice diet, in particular the juice detox and juice fast diet. But is it really two different types of diet?
Have You Juice Fast or Juice Detox Before?
"What is Juice Fasting?"
Juice Fasting - Things You Should Know...
Juice fasting is a diet that restricts you to take only fresh fruits and vegetable juices for a short period of time. A typical length for a juice fasting diet is up to 3 days. Some people even go up to 5 days.
I was on it for 5 days...
If you want to go longer, you will probably do more damage to your health. Hence, for a longer duration, seek professional medical advice before you embark on it
Who Is It For?
Juice fasting is considered a very extreme form of juice detox. You are only supposed to take fruits and lots of water during this "fasting" period. This means people who are well and reasonably healthy can only do this.
People who cannot take this include:
1) Pregnant women
2) People with chronic health problems like diabetes or heart disease
3) People who are malnourished or having eating disorders or difficulties
4) Terminally ill patients e.g cancer patients
5) Those who are down with any form of infection e.g lung disease, urinary tract infection, kidney disease
What Does a Juice Fast Involve?
Before you start a juice fast, you must condition your body for the fast, which means you must not have any meat, eggs, tea, coffee, sugar, dairy products and alcohol 7 days before the fast starts. During this preparation period, you are only allowed to have vegetables, beans and fruits. You can also have herbal teas or vegetable broth
In a juice fast, you only restrict your diet to juices and water.
A typical juice fast recipe usually has the following ingredients; apples, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, chia seeds, spirulina, beets, berries, ginger, grapes, tomatoes and a whole lot more. Some juice fast recipes avoid citrus fruits.
It is preferable to eat organic fruits. If you can't source organic fruits, it is best to have them freshly juiced with their tough skin removed and the pits removed from certain fruits.
As for water intake, increase water intake gradually and maintain it before you start the juice fast. A typical juice fast has a water intake of 6-8 glasses a day.
What Happens After A Juice Fast?
After a juice fast, you will need to introduce other foods like meat, dairy products, tea and coffee in gradual amounts.
For example, having fried or grilled steak on the day after a juice fast is not such a good idea. Recommendations include eating steamed meat, or eating small amounts.
During this period, continue to have vegetables as part of your diet. Then slowly introduce coffee, tea and other beverages 4-5 days after you've stopped the juice fast.
What Are The Aims of A Juice Fast?
Juice fasting restricts your body to a lot of good antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and water. There are important for our body but going on a juice fast makes us lose weight and it can be a lot depending on the amount of body fat you have. Juice fasting can make you lose up to 20 pounds in a week.
While this is very extreme, a lot of people claim that it helps your gut system get rid of toxins and wastes from your body which also means improved food absorption.
Another reason why people go on a juice fast is to break an addiction to a type of food. Sounds just like any other fast isn't it? But yes, some people do it to get off eating too much chicken or too much coffee while some go on a juice fast to stop eating meat entirely!
My Thoughts on Juice Fasting
To put it simply, I am not convinced juice fasting actually works.
The only thing that I am convinced about juice fasting is that it causes weight lost within quite a short period of time. I would put say that this diet causes the same mechanism of weight loss like those who go on the grapefruit juice diet.
Weight loss from this diet occurs primarily due to this type of diet. It is high in fibre, low in calorie, has carbohydrates and minimal amounts of protein. Any human being would undergo weight loss if they do not meet the average requirements of calorie intake in our diet. For men it is approximately 2500 calories/day while for women it is 2000 calories/day.
I have personally tried this diet and yes, I must say that I am amazed that I lost 10 pounds within a week of juice fasting.
Mind you, I wasn't trying because I wanted to be part of the new "juice fast fad" but rather to see what really happens and to determine what is fact and what is fiction.
This weight loss that I had made me concern over a few things. The first is that this low calorie diet does cause weight loss but most of it is water, the fibre and probably some protein from your muscle that goes to waste since you don't take too much protein during this period. After this juice fast period, you will quickly gain weight again.
And what about your sodium requirements?
There is a definite lack of sodium whether or not you are doing a juice fast or juice detox. I believe that every diet should have a balance of carbs, electrolytes, fats, vitamins and minerals.
The comments from people who have taken this diet about "stinking odour" and "their body smells of detox" have also made me very concerned. This so-called "stinking odour" is not so much a stink but rather your own body's response to this diet. In situations when you become carb deprived, your body begins to convert fats to energy, a process called ketosis. Some people think that this smell indicates that the diet is working and that your body is getting detoxed. However, most of them don't know that people with diabetic ketoacidosis or liver disease have the same ketotic breath or body odour as well. So, in all honesty this is not an indication of a detox process going on.
But what about the comment on clearing all the bad stuff out from your colon and hence improve absorption?
I think this is also another area where there is a lot of false information and bad science going here...
Our liver and kidneys are responsible for detoxing our body and this juice fast diet alone will not make your body detox better! Your kidneys and liver are designed to get rid of toxins and waste products!
You might argue that if it really doesn't matter taking bad foods like fast foods...
Sure, you can feed yourself with a lot of processed food, fatty food with loads of saturated fats, consume lots of dairy products with trans fats and take in a lot of fructose corn syrup but I believe a better alternative to the juice fast would be to stay away from these types of bad foods, drink the recommended daily amounts of water (which is about 8 glasses a day now) and eat fresh fruits (not ready made juices from the supermarket) daily.
"What is Juice Detox?"
Juice Detox - My Thoughts On It
What is Juice Detox?
Juice detox is pretty much the same thing as juice fasting but less intense and extreme. It is shorter in duration and it probably lasts one meal, half a day or a whole day max.
If I were to be slightly supportive of this whole "Juice Detox/ Juice Fasting" thing, it would have to be juice detox because it is in moderation and it definitely introduces more fruits and vegetables into our diet albeit in larger amounts.
Having said that, I would still be more inclined to drink freshly made fruit juice or vegetables in between meals or for breakfast to get a good dose of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre in our diet.
As for juice detox recipes, I would say that they are heaps of them around on the internet but I would rather have more fun making a variety of delicious juices because I don't subscribe to the idea of juice detoxing...
Final Verdict on Juice Fasting and Juice Detox
I believe that a lack of scientific information and a lot of anecdotal evidence have fueled the growth of juice fasting and juice detox
Some might argue that juice fasting/detox works and swear it on their life!
But until I do see proven scientific literature on the health benefits of either of them, I will not advocate juice fasting or juice detox. I don't think half the people around promoting juice detox or juice fasting understand how the body actually works let alone how each bodily system interacts with toxins, waste products and digestion.
There is still too much controversy about them and I am quite frankly appalled by even more "fad diets" coming out into the mainstream. More concerning is the fact that they are hungry for new supporters of their so-called diet without fully understanding how they work...