If you’ve been very observant, you’ll have noticed some of your friends or colleagues may have talked about taking some special juice or tea to shed weight quickly.
If you haven’t noticed that, you might have seen social media adverts or celebrities promote several teas and juice plans that promise weight loss in an extremely short period.
The question that may come to your mind is:
‘Does this work?’
Well, the honest truth is that it may work but clearly isn’t recommended by doctors and nutritionists worldwide. In this article, we will be looking at the reasons why you shouldn’t juice to lose weight, you will also learn safer alternatives you can try that actually work.
1. It is not a safe way to lose weight
People make these dietary juices by blending some fruits and vegetables and then removing the fiber to produce a nicely colored and sometimes tasty juice. The promise many proponents of taking this method for losing weight give is that you could easily lose weight if you abandon other forms of food and stick with this diet plan to achieve maximum results.
While this may work, because you may be taking fewer calories, it can harm you. The truth is your body needs a balanced diet to stay healthy, that is a diet that contains all the classes of food in proper ratios. If one class of food is clearly missing (like carbohydrates or protein), your body could feel the negative effects of such deficiency. A diet that is made up of only juices may not give you enough energy to carry out your daily activities, it also may not meet up with your body’s demand for proteins to replace worn out body tissues.
2. You could easily gain back lost weight
Using juices as your weight loss method can work for a short period but once you stop the program, you can easily gain back the weight you have lost. The reason is that it often leads to a rapid and radical shift in your diet to just liquids, which may not be what you have been used to for years. So, when you attain your target weight and revert to your ‘normal diet’, you may overcompensate by eating more than you should. It is certainly better if any weight loss program you opt for is sustainable and useful for years to come.
3. You may not get enough dietary fiber
One important content of our regular diet that helps our digestive system take in food and prevent constipation is fiber. Fiber is often removed when preparing juices, and hence the bulk of what you’ll be taking in are mainly liquids.
Any diet that lacks fiber can increase the risk of developing diarrhea, constipation, hemorrhoids, and even anal tears. Fiber is like tough mesh that adds bulk to our stool and is found in whole fruits, grains, and many other foods.
4. There are safer alternatives
If you want to lose weight safely, go for a balanced diet, one that contains all the classes of food, don’t starve yourself in the name of getting fit. You should also spend some time exercising and increasing your general physical activity, like walking and using the stairs.
A combined effort of a well balanced diet (you can lower the carbohydrates a bit) and exercise will go a long way in helping you lose weight.
This can also be inexpensive, instead of spending so much money on special diets that are sold on the internet, you can use your gas range at home to prepare cheap meals and warm them later with your electric oven range.
You should also discuss with your doctor, dietitian and fitness coach about your desire, they will give you the necessary guidance and advice for weighing less safely.
5. You may even gain weight instead
It may be paradoxical to your mind. How is it possible for you to be taking only juices and still gain weight? Well, the answer isn’t far-fetched. People assume that fruits and vegetables contain absolutely no carbohydrates and are magical foods that have only positive effects. The truth is that some of these fruits contain a relatively considerable amount of sugar and other carbohydrates that can contribute significantly to your calorie intake each day.
If you take these sugar-laden fruits in high numbers, you may be taken in more calories than a regular meal. So, we still suggest that you shouldn’t starve yourself of any meal or take an excess of any class of food, instead, pursue a balanced diet, exercise often, and have medical professionals guide you in your weight loss journey.
Guest article by Dr. Charles-Davies OA, a medical doctor based in Lagos. He runs 25 Doctors, a health information website, and serves as an editor of 93 Treats, a food blog.