Is juicing one meal a day more effective than a full juice cleanse when it comes to weight loss? The short answer is yes.
But in order to fully answer our question we have to discuss what effective weight loss is. But first let’s talk about the benefits to be gained from juicing. Next, we will briefly explain the reasoning and evidence supporting the use of juicing to lose weight. We will then synthesize this information to answer our stated question concerning whether juicing for one meal a day is effective. Lastly, we will end with suggestions for acquiring an effective juicer, followed by a 4-point summary. Let’s get started!
Benefits of Juicing
Several health and medical experts, as well as some nutritionists, agree that juicing, in moderation, is not a bad thing. The problems arise, and your antenna should go up, when you hear someone claim that juicing is the only way to stay healthy or that you should avoid solid foods. Another reason to have reservations about juicing is when individuals claim that juicing should be used instead of medicines for any major condition or disorder.
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When juicing is your sole source of nutritional intake, you are at risk for the loss lean muscle mass and may suffer from nutritional deficiencies; nonetheless, there are some benefits in juicing fresh vegetables and fruit. A review of several sources reveals that in addition to weight loss, there are the following benefits (Brissette, Delchier and others):
• Good way to consume your required servings of vegetables and fruits.
• Helpful for those who have swallowing or chewing difficulties.
• The fresh juices maintain a greater amount of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are in the “whole” versions of the vegetables and fruits.
• One nutritional study found that fresh vegetable juice retains an acceptable amount of folate, as compared to whole fresh vegetables (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0963996913002962).
• Great for people who can only tolerate smaller sized meals.
• A quick and portable meal when needed.
• Allows your gut to rest, because it doesn’t have to work as hard or long to digest the juice.
There are many other claimed benefits of juicing; however, the benefit that we will examine next is juicing to lose weight.
Juicing to Lose Weight
Before starting any weight loss plan, your safety is your number one concern. This means that it is important for you to consult with your primary physician, and other healthcare providers, to determine what is best for your needs. You do not want to exacerbate any condition or suffer any adverse effects brought about by some unwise weight loss actions.
Individuals can expect to lose a few pounds after going on one of the extreme juice cleanses or juice fasts.
Unfortunately, the weight loss is usually temporary. What is most effective is to have a longstanding and sensible weight loss plan.
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A sensible and longstanding weight loss plan is one where you consistently take in fewer calories and lesser amounts of food. Eating balanced meals and snacks from a variety of healthy and nutritious foodstuffs tends to work best. Doing this, in combination with some approved physical activity, is a sustainable method for losing weight.
There are some benefits of juicing for weight loss such as juicing one meal a day; however, there are some disadvantages and risks in going on a juice cleanse or juice only diet for longer periods. According to experts, the disadvantages of juice-only diets include:
• The loss of nutrients and loss of fiber, which could interfere with digestion and elimination.
• It may increase your hunger and cravings when prolonged, therefore defeating the purpose of losing weight.
• When the fiber is removed, there is more concentrated sugar left in the liquid. Higher levels of concentrated sugar are prolonged in a juice cleanse.
• It can cause you to have an upset stomach, which includes gas, cramping and hyperacidity.
• It may cause an acute kidney disorder called oxalate nephropathy, which is due to an increased intake of oxalate-rich fruit and vegetable juice obtained from juicing (Getting JE, Gregoire JR, Phul A, Kasten MJ). The longer the period and amount of juicing, the greater the opportunity for increased oxalate levels.
Clearly, as it is with any weight loss method, there are both benefits of juicing as well as risks. Extended periods of juicing are not recommended due to the health risks involved. This leads us to the answer for our main question: Is juicing one meal a day better than a juice cleanse?
Is Juicing One Meal a Day Better Than a Juice Cleanse?
Based on the available evidence we have presented concerning the juicing method for weight loss, one can see that a juice cleanse, which is a restrictive diet of fresh vegetable and fruit juices consumed for days to weeks, is dangerous for your health.
Juicing one meal a day, however, would not pose the same risks. That is because it is done in moderation.
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Neither of the sources we reviewed had any objections to moderate juicing such as juicing one meal a day or juicing once a day. In contrast, they did have concerns about prolonged juicing such as occurs with juice cleansing. Here is how to go about juicing one meal a day method, which are:
• If you eat three meals a day, replace one meal with juice.
• If you eat two meals a day, juice either before your first meal or in-between meals.
Now that we have established that juicing in moderation or juicing once a day is OK, and we have received some instructions on how to proceed, let’s find out what type of machine you need to make your fruit and vegetable drinks. In other words, which juicer should you use?
Best Juicers for Beginners
There are many machines available for making fresh fruit and vegetable juice drinks. They include the juice makers and blenders as well.
Prices for juice makers range from approximately $40.00 to hundreds of dollars. This is why selecting the best one can be quite a challenge.
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Beginners and seasoned juicer aficionados like one of the mid-price range and top of the line centrifugal juicers, which is the Breville BJE510XL. It can be purchased from Amazon.com for approximately $180.00.
Now, let’s move to the end and review what we have learned in a “bite-size” summary.
In conclusion, we have learned that:
1. Juicing is safe and beneficial when it is done in moderation such as juicing once a day. But, when juicing is prolonged and extreme, as during a juice cleanser or when your diet only consists only of juice, there is a high risk for dangerous health consequences.
2. Juicing may lead to weight loss because there are fewer calories being consumed in each glass of blended fresh juice.
3. Sustained and effective weight loss can be achieved through a one meal a day juicing method; however, prolonged periods of juicing lead to temporary weight loss.
4. As with any weight loss regimen, there are risks and benefits. It is important to consult with your doctor before starting any weight loss program. The juicing method for weight loss may not be safe for everyone, especially those with pre-existing conditions and disorders.
Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of Childhood and Adult Obesity in the United States, 2011-2012. JAMA. 2014; 311(8):806-814. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.732
WebMD. Juicing for Health and Weight Loss. Anna Nguyen, Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD on February 25, 2014
Am J Med. 2013 Sep; 126(9):768-72. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2013.03.019. Epub 2013 Jul 3.Oxalate nephropathy due to ‘juicing’: case report and review. Getting JE1, Gregoire JR, Phul A, Kasten MJ.
The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Juicing – Examined Existence. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://examinedexistence.com/the-ultimate-beginners-guide-on-how-to-start-juicing/
Fate of folates during vegetable juice processing — Deglutamylation and interconversion. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0963996913002962