Whether you’re looking to shed a few pounds quickly, or jump start a bigger weight loss goal, juicing is a great option. It’s simple math – to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume. It can be a challenge to get all of the nutrients you need to perform your daily tasks while keeping your caloric intake at a deficit. Adding some nutrient-rich juices and smoothies will go a long way in helping with that goal.
There are a lot of reasons we gain weight. The most common is from consuming more calories than we burn. Many of these are usually nutrient-poor calories. The effect of poor diet choices is that it starts a domino effect. It goes something like this: Stress, rushing to eat, grab convenience foods that are non-nutritious, still hungry because body didn’t actually get any nutrients, eat more. Poor digestion, poor elimination, no time for exercise, poor sleep, hormone imbalance, skin problems, medication, side-effects of medication, diminished capacity (both physically and mentally), and so on. Next thing you know you’re getting your gall bladder removed or the lap band procedure or some other extreme management of symptoms, none of which have solved the problem. There is also the possibility of undiagnosed food intolerance, which could be playing a role. Other signs of this would be new allergies and lowered immunity. Hormonal imbalance is a probability in overweight people, again often due to their diet. Toxic buildup from food, the environment, medicines, personal care products, unfiltered water, and bad habits like soda all contribute to an unbalanced and unhealthy body. No matter what your situation is, juicing is likely a great way to start getting back on track.
First you need to decide what your goal for juicing is. That will help you determine how long you need to juice, as well as plan your menu and budget. It is not advisable to go for a juice fast if you are new to detoxing. Cleansing and detoxifying your body is a necessary step in regaining your health and a normal weight. A great documentary to consider watching is Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. Start with small steps such as cleaning up your diet, kicking some bad habits, budgeting in more time and money for fresh, organic vegetables. You can add juicing to these efforts to boost the effect and the results, which will boost your willpower.
By definition, being overweight means your liver is overworked. The liver is where fat is metabolized, but that job gets put on the back burner when it is overworked with more important tasks. So, for any weight loss plan to be successful, you also have to nourish your liver. You do that by 1.) removing toxins it has to process, such as that Sweet’N Low in your iced tea and that aspartame in your diet soda, and 2) eating nutrient dense food and lots of green leafy vegetables. Some of the foods you should eat are obvious, such as the cruciferous vegetables for liver health. Other things are less obvious, such as olive oil and nuts, both of which have more calories, but since many weight problems include an inability to digest fats, that makes up for fat cravings. By supplying your body with healthy fats, your probability of cheating on your diet goes down.
Guidelines for juicing to lose weight
1. Use only raw, organic vegetables. You want to avoid toxins and add enzymes. Superfoods are key to getting as many nutrients as possible. Examples: carrots, kale, cucumbers, acai berries, etc.
2. While juicing, it is important to stay active. As you lose weight – water weight, toxins, fluid retained due to inflammation, etc., you want to keep moving with some light to moderate exercise. You want to lose fat and toxins, not muscle. Also, your lymph system has no pump to save your feet, so get moving.
3. Maximize your budget. Buy local, organic vegetables and fruits that are in season. They are fresher and cheaper, allowing you to extend the amount of time you can juice.
4. Research recipes. Be sure you are getting more vegetables than fruits so that you don’t offset your work by increasing insulin levels. This is where you’ll need to add things like avocado, chia or flax seeds, protein powder, banana, nuts. You want to be sure you’re eating a balanced diet. Branch out. This is a great time to get your digestive tract some new material. Consider juicing veggies you wouldn’t like to eat. Beats, for example, are a powerhouse of nutrition, with lots nutrients you don’t find from many other sources. They are delicious juiced or in a smoothie.
5. Be sure all of your avenues of elimination are working properly – sweat daily, move your bowels, drink plenty of water to urinate frequently and flush out those toxins. It’s not uncommon for women to experience a shorter cycle after juicing. This usually means you have eliminated some of that stored estrogen, another marker your juicing was a success. Consider taking some baseline readings before and after your adventure, such as weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, measurements, etc.
Be sure your diet includes: cruciferous vegetables, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, sulfur rich foods, and fiber. Eliminate sugar and all its relatives (including all artificial sweeteners), bad fats such as fried foods, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, and gluten. There are some links below that lead to some nice recipes, or look online.
Support your efforts. It’s a good time to meditate. Consider trying an emotional detox at the same time. Consider drinking some detox tea, or other herbal tea. Go to a health food store and find some high quality whole food based supplements to support your health. As they say on the airplane – put your own mask on first. You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself. Have some fun indulging in better health.