I am going to get straight to the point.
DO NOT EVER TRY A DETOX JUICE DIET OR ANYTHING OF THE SORT. They are one of the biggest scams out there. If you’ve already tried one then don’t worry you’re not alone. My wife did one just over a year ago and I have many friends that have tried them, not to mention the millions of pounds spent on them yearly. You haven’t done any harm, except to your wallet.
HOW are they a scam?
- They claim to detoxify your body.
THIS IS FALSE!
There is no research, no evidence, nothing to support this claim. More importantly our body cleanses itself.
Within our body we have so many systems that are constantly operating to maintain some kind of homeostasis. For example, we sweat to cool us down, we breath heavier and faster and our Heart pumps faster when we exercise to deliver more Oxygen to the working muscles. We already have a Liver and Kidneys that work as a filtration system to detoxify our body. They are operating right now and work every single day to extract waste and toxins from our blood. They also balance our body fluids and play a role in many important bodily functions. I understand some people do not have a healthy Liver and or Kidney(s) BUT this does not mean a juice detox is going to help.
2. They claim to aid/cause/promote weight loss
They can aid weight loss BUT…
It is not a healthy or sustainable way to do so. When my wife did her juice diet she was constantly hungry and didn’t even like many of the juices she had to chuck down her throat. Most packages ask you to ONLY drink their juices for a week or for a set period of time without eating, or they require you to substitute one meal a day with a juice. This combined with the fact that many juices contain laxatives means – Of course you are going to lose weight, you are creating a massive calorie deficit. A juice contains between 50-150 calories. Even 5 of these day will be under 1000 calories.
As soon as you go back to eating normally you will gain back all the weight you lost.
The FDA have actually taken action against some companies selling detoxes and juices because 1) their claims are false, and 2) their juices contain harmful ingredients.
If you read last weeks post you will also understand that by juicing fruit and or veg (NOT blending it into a smoothie) means that a lot of the fibre and nutrients is lost from the whole food.
Research and evidence shows that increasing your fruit and veg intake (whole foods) whilst drinking more water has far greater health benefits than any juice diet/detox.
As I wrote last week, I completely understand it is tough to eat the recommended amounts of fruit and veg. As a teenager up until my early 20’s I rarely ate veg. I still struggle today and it is something I am working on myself. So here are some strategies I have tried or found that have worked for others:
- Make your own smoothies – As I explained in last weeks post. Using a blending and making your own smoothies means that the fibre content and nutrients are not lost.
- Have at least one type of vegetable with every meal – This should cover approximately quarter of the plate
- Eat what you like – Sounds stupid but some people try to force feed themselves veg they detest and this obviously takes away the pleasure of eating and makes it hard to stick to.
- Try a different type of fruit and or veg each week – You can then find varieties you like and rotate these with meals. Otherwise eating the same vegetable every day is going to getting tiresome and boring quickly.
- Shop on the perimeter of the supermarket – This is where all the fresh and whole food ingredients are generally kept.
- Substitute starchy carbs for veg alternatives – I have done this lots and surprisingly grew to like it. I have swapped rice with cauliflower rice and spaghetti with zoodles (zucchini noodles).
- Add veg to sauces – Cut them into small pieces so they aren’t noticeable if you really hate veg. For example, when making a bolognese, chop carrots into tiny cubes and add them in.
Would love to hear your tips/suggestions on ways to improve your fruit and veg intake. It is certainly something I can get help with. Feel free to share in the comments.