Juicing has been touted as an easy way to shed pounds. But, do you know what is in the average juice? Large amounts of sugar!
Juices do not provide the fiber and protein you need for sustained energy levels and cause blood sugar spikes and crashes. Also, juices don’t fill you up like solid food, so you may overeat later in the day.
However, not all juices are bad. In this blog post, we will explore how to make healthy juices to lose weight. I’ll teach you the techniques and ingredients that are necessary for you to be successful at juicing!
What is Juicing?
Juicing is a way to extract the liquid component of fruits and vegetables to make them more quickly digestible. It can be a refreshing shortcut to eating more fruit and vegetables.
The juicing diet is a diet that aims to lower your daily calorie intake significantly by restricting solid foods.
While on this diet, some juice occasionally, with or without solid foods, and others make it a regular practice.
But before you decide to take up juicing, make sure you are informed, and physically and mentally ready for what it all entails.
Do Juices Help You Lose Weight?
When consumed consciously, juice can be good for weight loss. As with anything in life, it depends on moderation and your other healthy living choices.
However, the weight loss may be temporary and have possible adverse side effects. I personally do not recommend that you do a juice cleanse to lose weight. Here is why:
If all you consume during the day are juices, you are most likely consuming only about 500 calories in a day. That means your body is going to go into starvation mode.
When this happens, your HGH hormone (muscle-building and fat-burning hormone) will slow down, and your cortisol hormone (belly-fat hormone) will take over.
Furthermore, when you juice, you remove all the fiber. And fiber is what helps keep you full and satisfied.
When you only juice and don’t consume solid foods, you are also at risk of not getting all the necessary nutrients your body needs to function correctly.
If you are serious about losing weight, actually eat the whole fruit and vegetable! I recommended that you check out my blog post “How To Lose Weight On A Plant-Based Diet” for on comprehensive step-by-step guide.
If you still want to try juicing, after all I just said, your weight loss potential will depend on the juice ingredients you choose.
How Do I Start Juicing to Lose Weight?
A study of popular weight-loss strategies shows that juicing for beginners leads to weight loss due to the low-calorie intake.
Replace a meal or snack with a juice, rather than adding a juice to your diet on top of three large meals. Or else you will only be consuming more calories than you already are. Remember, to lose weight, you have to consume fewer calories than your body burns.
It’s best to make juicing a regular part of your diet, rather than stopping and starting all the time, which may lead to yo-yo dieting.
Keep your juicer or blender busy by trying different combinations and finding what tastes best for you.
Once you find a juice you love, you will enjoy more tremendous success with your juicing diet in the long run.
When it comes to juicing, less is usually more. Simple juices with a few healthy ingredients can fill you up and give you energy for the day.
The best ingredients are going to be vegetables. Fruit has too much sugar, more calories, and will not provide you with the nutrients that vegetables will.
However, I understand that a juice from only vegetables might not be appetizing. So I suggest you try the 80/20 rule.
The 80/20 Rule
Estimate three times as many vegetable pieces as fruit pieces. So if you have 1 cup of fruit, you should have 4 cups of vegetables.
Putting 80% of vegetables and 20% fruit into your mixture prevents excessive sugar from fruit (fructose), prevents liver and pancreas overload, reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance, helps to lose more weight, and reduces inflammatory reactions from sugar.
Before you get started, learn which vegetables and fruits have the lowest calories by going here:
When Should I Drink Juice to Lose Weight?
Ideally, you should drink a juice on an empty stomach or before a meal to maintain a healthy digestion process.
Also, try starting out your day with a juice in the morning to give your immune system a boost.
But ultimately, you just need to stay in calorie deficit to lose weight, so that time when you juice is not important.
How Can I Lose Weight Fast With Juicing?
To lose weight faster by practicing juicing, keep track of the calories in your juices and the rest of your diet. Plus, participate in a few energetic, fat-burning workouts!
For ideas on how to burn more calories check out my blog post “How To Workout To Lose Weight!“
So how much weight can you lose by juicing for 3 days? You can expect to drop about 1 pound over the first few days, with a calorie deficit. If you keep up, and make an effort to exercise, you could drop about 5-10 pounds in 30 days.
Which Juice Is Good For Weight Loss?
When looking into making healthy juices to lose weight, you’re probably wondering which juice is suitable for a flat stomach. Anything with minimal calories and low sugar can make a difference!
Chugging a bunch of pre-packaged fruit drinks with high sugar content from the store won’t give you the same results as drinking clean, freshly blended juice drinks to begin each day.
I suggest you start out with a Green Juice due to its low calories and high vitamin content. You just need six ingredients: kale, cucumber, ginger, lemon, celery, and apples. Swap out ingredients as you see fit.
Mix it all up in the juicer or blender to achieve a tasty morning drink aimed at noticeable weight loss!
If you are looking for specific health benefits, try the following foods:
- Akalizers: beet greens, lemon, spinach
- Anti-inflammatories: pineapple, sweet potato, cucumber, ginger
- Antioxidants: apple, berries, pepper, beet, tomato, guava
- Colon cleansers: celery, cabbage, dandelion greens, kale*, spinach*
- Detox aids: parsley, melon
- Fiber sources: avocado, banana, potato
- Immune boosters: carrot, citrus fruits
- Protein source: potato, spinach*, broccoli
(*High in oxalates, not recommended for people prone to kidney stones)
Some of these may not be juicy enough or too creamy for juicing. In this case, juice them from the least to most juicy. For hard fruits and vegetables, cut them into smaller pieces before juicing.
Are Homemade Juices Good For Weight Loss?
Homemade juices are the best for weight loss. All you need to get started a juicer or a blender, plus some fresh fruits and veggies.
You can pick up the main ingredients at your local farmer’s market or stop by the store on your way home.
Homemade juice recipes for weight loss may be tailored to suit your taste preferences. You can add in seasoning or extra hints of fruits or veggies, depending on the flavor profile.
Tips for Healthy Juicing
Knowing how to make healthy juices to lose weight is simple with these few handy tips.
- Best vegetables to Juice: kale, celery, ginger, and bell pepper work really well in the juicer for a smooth, satisfying drink to quench your thirst and help with weight loss.
- Vegetables to avoid juicing: while you can experiment and juice whatever fruits or veggies you’d like, some break down better for juicing than others. Apples, bananas, and berries may not break down as well as other fruits, so that’s just something to remember if you need a super-fast juice.
- What to do with the juicing pulp: There’s so much you can do with the leftover juicing pulp. You could turn it into frozen popsicles for a refreshing treat, or make veggie burgers or patties. Juicing pulp also tastes excellent in energy balls, granola, bars, baked goods, and soup broth.
- Juicing without a juicer: if you want to get into juicing without spending a lot of money on a fancy juicer, all you need is a blender, fine mesh strainer, spatula, and bowl. After cutting up the fruits and veggies, blend well and strain the juice and leftover pulp, using the spatula to mix.
What You Need To Start Juicing
Here is what you need to start juicing:
- Successful juicers benefit from mental stamina like motivation, self-discipline, and consistency.
- You also need a good juicer and disposable income since fresh fruits and vegetables can get expensive.
- You’ll need time to plan, prepare and clean up. The first few days will often test your determination with food cravings and hunger pangs.
The Benefits Of Juicing
One of the benefits of juicing veggies is that you will Increase your nutrient uptake, which is even more critical on low-calorie diets. While juice cleanses cannot directly lead to detoxification, they can boost and support the body’s natural capability to detox itself.
Here is a list of the benefits juicing can promote if done in moderation:
- Promotes weight loss
- Renews energy
- Boosts immune system
- Clears up the skin
- Gives the body a break from junk foods
- Facilitates toxin removal by supporting the body’s natural detoxification process
- Faster nutrient absorption
- Increases good bacteria in the gut
- Reduces inflammation
- Provides proper hydration
- Better overall health
Types Of Juicing Methods
Going entirely without solid food makes the diet more extreme and requires more caution. This method has advantages, including quick weight loss. Still, it may lead to more hunger pangs and fewer nutrients such as fiber and protein.
Weight loss also might be temporary and could return once the food is re-introduced. It also could be time-consuming and expensive.
A juice cleanse with solid food may lead to slower weight loss but fewer hunger pains and more nutrients. It doesn’t mean you can eat anything: you still must reduce an adequate number of calories to lose weight.
Make sure to plan your daily food, so total calories are still up to what your body needs. A juice cleanse can be low in fiber since the skin and pulp are removed. This is okay for short-term juicing, but it’s wise to supplement this for more extended periods.
Blending instead of juicing is tempting since it can add more bulk (fiber) to juice. However, the lack of fiber in juicing is what makes nutrient absorption faster. If you think there will be a significant loss in a specific nutrient, consider a dietary supplement that complements your juicing diet.
Full juice fast (no solid foods)
Advantages: faster weight loss
Disadvantages: may lack nutrients (fiber and protein), weight loss is temporary, time-consuming, expensive, frequent hunger pangs
Juice cleanse (with solid foods)
Advantages: weight loss is more long term if consistent, little to no hunger pangs, more nutrients from whole foods (fiber and protein)
Disadvantages: weight loss is not as fast
For How Long Can You Juice?
A 1-day juice fast without solid food is for beginners who want to try a juicing.
A 3-day juice fast without solid food is said to be the maximum duration for weight loss and reduced bloating. Beyond this is considered unhealthy and difficult to sustain.
A 7-day juice cleanse with some solid foods is believed to be ideal for weight loss. Solid foods can be kept to a minimum to keep calories low.
A 14- or 21-day juice cleanse can lead to more significant weight loss. It requires more planning. But can also help one adopt healthier food/drink habits.A 30-day juice cleanse is for those with the discipline to stay on a restrictive diet. If you’re willing to go on more prolonged periods of less food for the sake of weight loss, this might be optimal.
How To Have An Optimal Juicing Experience
Consider implementing the following tips for a better juicing experience:
- Create a juicing plan that’s challenging but realistic, safe, and sustainable. Start out with your starting weight, set a target weight and a calorie limit.
- Juicing may limit daily calories to as little as 1000 kcals, depending on your target weight and goals. You can also gradually reduce normal daily calories until you reach your limit.
- Plan daily meals in advance for the right nutritional balance before you shop.
- Write schedules for when you should take your juice blends. If solid foods are included, create a window for when you should and shouldn’t eat.
- Choose a good juicer.
- Consider a cleansing enema to remove toxins from your colon as a preparation.
- Detox with a sauna or massage. This improves circulation and facilitates natural detoxification.
- Start a food journal for your cleanse.
- Make your juice at home — bottled juices can be high in sugar or other additives and could counter weight loss goals.
- Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables with a ratio of 80% veggies, 20% fruit.
- Don’t dilute your juice with additives.
- Consume juice as soon as possible since it can spoil and oxidize fast. If you can’t finish a batch, store it in the fridge in an airtight, light-proof container. Make sure to finish within 24 hours.
- Drink 4-6 servings of 60-20 oz of juice daily, plus the same amount of water.
- When including solid foods, drink your juice on an empty stomach.
- Stock your pantry with fruits and veggies. Remove all junk and processed foods to avoid temptation.
- Bring juice to work or social events.
- Refrain from fast-food restaurants.
- Avoid strenuous exercises.
- Schedule rest time, especially in the first few days when you feel like you have no energy.
- Slowly return to your regular diet. Reintroduce foods in small amounts.
- Eat light. (Heavy meals can strain organs after a period of juicing)
- Avoid junk and processed foods.
- Restart exercise routines gradually.
Foods To Avoid While Juicing
These are the foods that a juice cleanse aims to clear your body from. So it only makes sense to avoid them during and after the process. You can gradually reintroduce them back to your diet. However, if you want more long-term benefits, steer clear of these foods for good.
- Salty foods
- Sugary foods and artificial or refined sweeteners
- Processed, artificial, and refined foods
- Wheat (too heavy)
- Oily foods
Going on a juice cleanse can help you adopt a healthier eating habit, free from these food items. Why not continue that habit?
What To Expect While Juicing
Keep in mind, the more drastic the diet change is, the more severe the possible side effects.
- Fatigue/tiredness or sleepiness. For the first few days, you’re likely to feel more tired than usual due to the reduction in daily calories. Without junk foods, your body will work harder to cleanse itself. Not everyone will experience this, but if you do, it should last a few days. After that, you’ll get a renewed feeling of energy.
- Hunger. A common effect of juicing is craving unhealthy foods, especially if your usual diet includes them. One way to help is to start reducing your daily food amount at least a week before juicing.
- More bathroom breaks. An increase in fluid intake will create the need to empty your bladder more often. If it’s not possible to stay home until you finish your juice cleanse, make sure there’s a toilet nearby.
- Constipation/diarrhea. A sudden change in diet may disrupt your digestive system. A large increase in liquids and lack of solids will usually result in diarrhea. Constipation can later occur because juices lack fiber. Either condition can be dangerous if it persists for a few days. For constipation, try apple or prune juice or fruits with sorbitol like a peach. For diarrhea, cut back on fruit juices.
- Mood swings. These happen when blood sugar levels shift. Sugars from fruits and vegetables become liquified when juiced and make absorption faster.
- Skin breakouts/rashes. As your body eliminates toxins, it may release some through your skin. The lack of (healthy) fats can also make skin more prone to breakout. Consider fruits and vegetables rich in zinc and vitamin C.
- Insomnia. A juice cleanse can disrupt the body’s balance for a few days. This usually happens when you get a surge of energy. Sip on chamomile tea before bedtime and avoid anything with caffeine. Exercising can give you something to spend energy on during the day, so you’ll feel the need to rest by nighttime.
- Headaches. If you usually consume caffeine and sugar, you’ll get withdrawal symptoms, including headaches. Cutting calories quickly can trigger these too. Reduce caffeine and sugar gradually before you start cleansing. Try a warm shower and breathing exercises. These side effects are temporary and vary. Your diet before juicing contributes to the severity of these side effects. Severe cases of these side effects require immediate medical intervention.
Who Should NOT Try Juicing?
If you are or have any of the following medical conditions, juicing may not be the safest choice. But consult with your health care provider before following a juice-based cleansing plan.
- Anyone younger than 18
- Pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive
- Currently undergoing medical treatment
- Taking certain prescription drugs or medications
- History of eating disorders
- Mental health issues
- Digestive issues
- Chronic illness
- Weak immune system
- Food allergies
- Kidney or liver problems
- Require high fiber and/or high protein diet
- Taking certain weight loss pills
- Have a yeast infection
- Recovering from a major injury or major illness
While many of the aforementioned medical conditions may be aggravated by juicing, others may be helped by it, including excessive weight; bloating, skin issues, and fatigue/sluggish feelings.
When To Stop Juicing
Even if you’re a good candidate for juicing, your body may tell you to stop. If you experience any of these symptoms, consider seeking medical attention.
- Diarrhea and constipation for more than two days
- Fever that doesn’t break
- Severe rashes
- Abdominal pain
- Chest pain
- Stomach pain
You can avoid most of these with good planning. However, there are rare instances when a juice cleanse is just not for you, no matter how much you prepare.
Ready-to-drink cleansing juices are convenient but may be high in sugar, honey, or other additives. Check the labels, try to find organic and cold-pressed juice brands without additives.
Some recognized brands include:
Plant-Based Green Juice Brands
● Project Juice (no additives, no dairy, no gluten, 100% vegan, USDA organic, cold-pressed)
● 1915 Organic (USDA organic, cold-pressed, non-GMO, gluten-free, BPA-free bottles, no added sugar)
● 7-Select Go!Smart by 7-Eleven (USDA organic, cold-pressed, non-GMO, Fairtrade, gluten-free, no additives)
Raw Juice Brands
● Juice From The Raw (USDA organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, soy-free, nut-free)
Best Juicers For Juicing
I want to end this guide by recommending some of the best juicing machines for juicing.
I personally prefer slow juicers for nutrient preservation, but I’m sure some of you would like it fast! So here are some of the best brands from both (with a bonus for citrus lovers!):
1. Centrifugal Juicers
Pros: perfect for small batches, no need to pre-cut fruits and veggies, fast juicing process
Cons: noisy, short juice shelf-life, less nutrient preservation
1. Breville Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt (800JEXL)
Features: Dual-speed for both hard and soft fruits and vegetables, titanium blades, 13,000 rpm spin speed, 40,000 filtering pores
2. Black & Decker 400-Watt Fruit & Veg Juice Extractor (JE2200B)
Features: dual safety lock mechanism, collects up to 300 ml of juice, removable and dishwasher safe parts
2. Masticating Juicers/Slow Juicer/Cold Press
Pros: juices are less prone to oxidation or spoiling, quiet, enzymes and nutrients are preserved better, higher juice yield
Cons: slower than centrifugal juicers, bulky, expensive, creates pulpy juice
1. Aicok Slow Juice Extractor
Features: Spin speed 80 rpm spin speed, 60-decibel noise level, heavy-duty, dishwasher-safe, easy to operate
2. Omega J8005 Nutrition Center
Features: dual-stage juicing system, 80 rpm spin speed, auto-pulp ejection, also functions as a food processor, grinder, pasta extruder, and homogenizer.
3. Citrus Juicers
Pros: maximizes extraction of citrus fruits, cheaper
Cons: no versatility
1. Black & Decker 32oz Citrus Juicer (CJ650W)
Features: self-reversing cone, pressure activated, container includes measurement, easy to clean, dishwasher safe
2. Cuisinart Pulp Control Citrus Juicer (CCJ-500)
Features: adjustable auto-reversing reamer, final-spin feature, BPA-free, with cord storage, easy to clean, dishwasher safe
Factors To Consider When Buying A Juicer
- Size of feeder and collector
- Multiple speed
- Noise level
- Ease of use
- Easy to clean
- Price in consideration of use
Tip: Keep your juicer clean and dry after every use. This will not only give it a longer life but will keep your juices clean too.
Juicing to lose weight is not a sustainable weight loss solution. Not only do you miss out on all the fiber, but you might also not get all the nutrients your body needs.
However, if you’re going to juice for weight loss, make the most of your time and money by sticking with juices that are low on sugar, and in which vegetables are the main ingredient.
This way, you can still get some of the benefits without worrying too much about adverse side effects or not getting enough calories from just drinking juice alone.
Have you ever tried juicing to lose weight? And if you have, did you see any positive results?