What to know about weight loss juices, according to doctors

If you’re trying to lose weight, juicing can feel like a slam-dunk approach guaranteed to produce quick results. After all, juice comes exclusively from whole fruits and vegetables, so it has to be a healthy way to achieve a lean body, right? It is not so simple.

“We all know that getting our daily dose of fruits and vegetables is essential for overall health and well-being,” says Dr. Mahmud Kara, MD, who previously treated patients at the Cleveland Clinic and has since founded the brand of supplements. KaraMD. “Eating fresh fruits and vegetables can help with natural energy, improve digestion, reduce the risk of disease, boost cardiovascular health, and more.”

But there are plenty of caveats that complicate the issue. We asked experts for their opinions on juicing for weight loss. And while some of them were cautiously optimistic, others wouldn’t recommend juicing for weight loss outright. Ahead, here’s what the pros have to say.

What is juice?

Juicing is the practice of extracting juice from fruits and vegetables to make a drink. This process leaves the fiber in the machine (compared to blending a smoothie, which combines the entire product into the drink). You can choose to do this process at home or buy pre-made juices.

“The juice can be used as a supplement to improve nutritional status or as part of a juice fast,” says Dr. BreAnna Guana licensed naturopathic physician specializing in female hormonal health.

dr. Kien VuuMD, Concierge Physician and assistant professor of health sciences at UCLA says the removal of fiber through the juicing process is the major downside. “The main downside of juicing is losing the healthy fiber content of the fruit or vegetable in the process,” he says. “Fiber is important for lowering cholesterol, supporting heart health, regulating blood sugar and helping to nourish gut microbes.”

Is juice good for weight loss?

Experts offer a range of opinions on whether the juice is good for weight loss; generally, these opinions range from “in certain circumstances” to “no”.

Two factors can prevent people from losing weight effectively, Dr. Kara says. The first is eating excess calories. And the second is “not getting enough nutrients the body needs to perform key processes like metabolizing food,” he says.

Given these two factors, juicing can be beneficial for weight loss as it can help replace or supplement what might otherwise be a higher calorie meal during the day. Additionally, “the nutritional benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables can help promote feelings of fullness for longer, and these nutrients provide the body with the fuel it needs to thrive.”

But, warns the doctor, it is important to be careful when it comes to How? ‘Or’ What the juice is used for weight loss.

“In recent years, juicing or juicing ‘cleanses’ have been misrepresented as easy detoxes or ways to lose weight fast,” says Dr. Kara. “However, not only is this often an unsustainable lifestyle in which the weight is regained at a later date when the juice is finished, but the replacement of most or all of your quality meals with strictly juicing can lead to calorie deficits that can actually hinder weight loss.”

Dr. Vuu is even less optimistic about juicing for weight loss. “I don’t see juicing as a viable weight loss solution,” he says bluntly. “This form of calorie restriction generally slows metabolism and [although it] could potentially offer a bit of weight loss initially, is not a viable long-term option – it can lead to weight gain after juicing. (Instead, Dr. Vuu recommends intermittent fasting combined with good sleep, exercise, and stress management to lose weight.)

Dr. Guan also opines that “juicing can be counterproductive for weight loss, especially when using high glycemic index fruits and vegetables such as beets, carrots, apples, and vegetables. ‘other fruit’. These ingredients raise blood sugar, which makes it harder to break down stored fat and contributes to the potential for muscle loss.

Stephanie Nelson, MS, RD and MyFitnessPal’s Lead Nutrition Scientist, adds, “Remember that to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn, so drinking too much juice can lead to more sugar and overall calories than expected.”

Is juice healthy?

Our experts generally agreed that juicing is healthier as part of a healthy nutrition strategy, compared to juicing exclusively for a period of time. Instead of replacing a meal, our experts say juices can provide health benefits when they complement, not replace, your existing healthy diet and lifestyle.

According to Dr. Kara, “Using juice to replace quality meals can lead to extreme calorie deficits, while on the other hand, supplementing one meal a day, breakfast for example, with juice can be an easy and convenient way to benefit from the quality nutrients fresh fruits and vegetables have to offer.

Ultimately, juicing shouldn’t be seen as the end of weight loss and health strategies. Rather, it can be a healthy part of an overall strategic approach. “The juice is best when used to supplement your already existing health routine; it shouldn’t replace making healthy decisions,” says Dr. Kara, “If you continue to eat quality meals, exercise regularly and reduce stress, and practice other healthy habits , then juices can be a great addition to your routine. .”

Nelson agrees. “My takeaway advice is if you like juice, you can have it as part of your weight loss regimen,” she says. “But be sure to also consume whole fruits and vegetables, as they have a number of benefits that juicing does not.”

What’s the healthiest way to juice?

Not all juices are created equal for health. “The best juice is the one that comes from fresh and organic products fruits and vegetables,” says Dr. Kara. “Juicing pre-made or using preservative-laden fruits and vegetables may actually lead to more weight and overall health issues.”

Plus, suggests Dr. Kara, the process and type of device used to make the juice also makes a difference. When you include juice and pulp, you get more nutrients that can play an important role in weight loss.

Dr. Guan recommends that his clients use green juices as a way to support optimal hydration and energy levels, especially during the summer months when dehydration is more of an issue. “Green juices are a great way to provide needed electrolytes that can help improve athletic performance and endurance,” she says. “Low-glycemic juices such as celery, cabbage, kale, and spinach won’t raise blood sugar and will promote weight loss more.”

Who should avoid juice?

Dr. Guann says juicing can be dangerous for people with eating disorders. Those who are insulin resistant or diabetic should also avoid juices as they cause much higher blood sugar spikes compared to eating high-fiber fruits or vegetables, Dr. Vuu says. He adds this caveat: “Before making any major changes to your lifestyle or diet, it’s always best to consult with a medical professional.”

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