Weight loss is a hot topic with a million and one “solutions”, yet the problem just keeps getting worse (1).
More and more people are seeking out long term functional solutions to their weight loss woes and the answer simply won’t come from a magic pill. If you want to lose weight and more importantly, feel healthy and balanced, then you need to get nourished.
Even modern people living in developed nations are suffering from malnutrition at astonishing rates thanks to poor food choices (2).
I’m sure you know the logistics, in order to lose weight, you have to eat less calories and/or burn more calories. In theory it’s incredibly simple, in practice, not so much (3).
We run into problems when we start to become nutrient deficient, our energy plummets and we basically can’t help but throw in the towel.
No one wants to suffer, yet when we adhere to strict calorie counting programs that offer little real nutrition, we create some real problems.
Juicing can help with long term weight loss, it can supplement the nutrient deficit and rebuild the health of all your bodily systems (5).
The principle behind juicing for weight loss is that your body will have everything it needs, yet you won’t have to consume an excess of calories to get it.
When we juice regularly we also get a myriad of other health benefits. Juicing is great for cleansing toxins from the body, it can be helpful for diseases like diabetes and cancer, and in its nature it is incredibly preventative against a host of other problems and illnesses (6).
The Science Behind Weight Loss
Researchers have found that the optimum way to lose weight fast is to restrict calorie intake and increase calorie burning.
They’ve seen positive results from popular diets like Paleo and Atkins, as both these programs cut out all forms of junk and empty calories and replace them with nourishing substitutes. Ample protein consumption is important for long term weight loss and keeping energy levels up (7).
As is adequate amounts of key vitamins, minerals and enzymes which are fundamental to sustained energy and satiation (8).
There is a multiplied effect on weight loss when you add in exercise and strength training (9) which helps to burn more calories and speed up the metabolism.
How Juicing Helps Nourish Without Excessive Calories
Using these scientific findings as a baseline shows us that if we want to lose weight, yet not create an insufferable hell for ourselves then we need to do three things.
- Get lots of protein
- Get lots of nutrients with relatively low calories
Juicing is the answer to the latter, it is by far the best method for giving the body abundant, utilizable nutrients without excessive calories.
Instead of opting for obesity inducing fast food and skipping nutritious breakfasts for junk food lunches (10), try adding in a fresh juice.
Of course, you can’t live on juice alone, so the majority of your calories will come from high quality protein sources like lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds (11).
Raw juicing is pure fuel and will propel you with enough energy to live your normal life as well as add in some exercise without excessive strain.
Yum Yum Weight Loss Juice Recipe
6 celery stalks
Process all ingredients through juicer, stir and enjoy. This juice is high in diuretic foods which help the body to let go of water retention. If your feeling bloated and puffy, drinking this juice should help to release excess fluids.
The 3 Steps to Lasting Weight Loss
Before you jump right in to full time juicing and hardcore calorie cutting, lets talk about some key fundamentals to make your journey as pleasant as possible.
It’s important to know how our bodies store and release toxins (12) so that we can work our way into a juicing weight loss program with ease.
If you’ve been living within the lifestyle of the standard american diet (13), then you’ve got your work cut out for you before the weight will really start to shed. Here are the three keys to long term weight loss and vitality.
Our organs are like filters, they make sure nothing dangerous is able to pass into our systems and make us sick. Filters get clogged, they become less efficient and we start to notice some symptoms.
Everything from inflammation to thyroid problems, poor digestion to overall apathy can be caused from a build up of toxins in the body.
We store toxins when we have no way to get rid of them. Our environment is polluted in all directions (14), conventional food is grown with harmful chemicals and all of this accumulates in our bodies (15).
Before we can lose weight and feel great, we need to get rid of all that junk. Juicing is essential for providing our bodies the tools needed to release stored toxins.
Start slowly by first eliminating all sources of toxins from the diet, that means get rid of any and all refined sugars and carbohydrates, any product that contains MSG or has an ingredient listed that you don’t understand. If it can’t rot, don’t eat it (16).
Clean out the cupboards and fridge and get used to finding healthy substitutes for your old favourites. Conventional foods like crackers, chips, pop, frozen pre-made pizzas and microwave dinners, non-organic fruits, vegetables and dairy, these foods are all host to a multitude of chemical and GMO components that just aren’t doing us any good (17).
Once you’ve eliminated all junk food, start to replace the old standard with a new one based around whole foods.
If you feel sluggish mid-afternoon, eat a handful of nuts and some dried fruit. Start to incorporate at least one juice every day, preferably made from mostly greens which are incredibly cleansing and nourishing (18).
Some people experience symptoms of cleansing such as mild headaches, lethargy, brain fog, joint pain and inflammation and digestive issues.
These symptoms start to manifest when we draw toxins from the tissues where they are stored into the blood stream where they are released. Usually you won’t experience these negative symptoms for very long before you start to feel better than ever.
Once the cleansing phase is over we need to work on rebuilding our nutrient stores and nourishing our poor overused organs.
Juicing is the perfect antidote the pain we’ve inflicted on ourselves through years of careless or ignorant lifestyle choices.
Now is the time you can start to emphasize more juices and raw foods that will help with weight loss and sustained long term energy. Incorporate up to 3 juices per day, making sure they are rich in greens and predominantly vegetables.
When we reach the point where we’ve lost all the weight we set out to, it’s still vital not to fall back into the same patterns.
This is where balance comes in, you get to relax a little and ease up on the calorie restrictions you’ve been setting for yourself but don’t go off the deep end.
Keep up with a daily juice and regular exercise and you’ll have no trouble keeping the weight off. If you start to feel off kilter, you’ll now know what to do and how to help yourself (19).
Make healthy choices on a daily basis and you’ll save yourself from a world of health problems and unnecessary struggle.
The Power of Raw Fruits and Vegetables
Raw food is amazing, we humans only started to cook over fire 400,000 years ago. For thousands of years before fire humans ate predominantly raw food, and while fire is a paramount blessing, it’s still in our genes to require raw food for optimal health.
Many important vitamins are destroyed when treated with high heat (20). Enzymes, the activators of life, are destroyed and our bodies have to work harder to digest and assimilate foods.
When we incorporate raw fruits and vegetables through juicing we’re doing our systems a huge favor.
Not only is raw juice easy to digest and absorb, it’s also filled with key vitamins and minerals that wouldn’t be there if it were pasteurized.
These nutrients will make weight loss so much easier. When we get fewer calories and fewer nutrients our bodies actually go into starvation mode which cause us to hold on to fat stores (21).
However when all nutrient requirements are met, our bodies know that its okay to release fat stores.
Dr. Norman J. Walker was a pioneer in promoting juicing as a way of cleansing and rebuilding the bodily systems. He studied and wrote books on the topic for many years, before juicing was ever popular.
“Raw vegetable and fruit juices offer all the live enzymes and detoxicating qualities needed to keep our bodies strong, healthy and able to combat the many enemies of contamination and pollution in the world today. Our immune systems are kept at their peak when we consume “raw” vegetable and fruit juices on a daily basis. Vegetable juices are the “builders” of the body, while fruit juices are the “cleansers”. Every cell, gland and organ benefits from pure, natural form of nutrition. It is comforting to realize that by drinking raw vegetable and fruit juices every day, our diet is complete in all the vitamins and minerals it needs to remain younger, stronger and healthier.” -Dr. Walker
Weight Loss Allies
Along with juicing, there are some other powerful factors in achieving your weight loss goals. Sure you could probably lose weigh with juicing alone, but if you really want to get results fast try adding in some of these weight loss allies.
A high protein diet is the basis for many successful weight loss programs out there, such as the South Beach Diet, Atkins and Paleo. There’s something to it, the science shows that high levels of protein are more satiating and help with long term energy (22).
Traditional diet programs leave you feeling depleted and lethargic, leaving little room for the additional calorie burning power of exercise and weight training. We know that this propels our weight loss, but it’s so hard when we aren’t getting the nutrients our bodies need. The energizing benefits of juicing extend into the happy hormone induced state that exercise brings. We want those happy hormones, they help us reach our goals faster and with less pain.
Exercise and strength training also helps to build muscle which in turn helps boost metabolism and speed weight loss (23, 24). There are some great juicing recipes below that you can try to boost energy before a workout and to replenish electrolytes after.
Insomnia is a modern problem mostly created by a stressful lifestyle. Often exercise and a healthy diet are the first steps to better sleep. Science has proven that sleep has a pertinent effect on our capacity for weight loss (25). Those who sleep longer, lose more weight, and have an easier time coping with stress and anxiety. Sleep loss is also conducive to changes in sugar metabolism and appetite (26).
Try drinking a magnesium rich green juice close to bedtime. The magnesium helps the muscles to relax, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
What to Expect
You may be wondering what it will feel like to cut out junk and start living a lifestyle that is completely foreign to you and most people.
There are social, psychological and of course physical aspects to changing the norm and utilizing whole raw foods and nutrition principles to heal and lose weight.
Programs like weight watchers are a lot more widely accepted than using juicing as a method for weight loss. Here’s some tips from a seasoned veteran in explaining your health choices to others.
Don’t be apologetic, you need to do what’s best for you and if that means saying no to the cheesecake, so be it. Bring snacks and a juice to go when visiting friends and family.
When eating out, try and go to nicer places as there are usually more healthy options. Stick to the protein, a nice steak, grilled fish, and a side portion of salad or vegetables.
One recent study also highlighted the usefulness of social media and tracking with physical activity monitoring apps improved weight loss among the control group (27).
Perhaps its because these tools help us to feel more accountable, but I think engaging with others who are experiencing the same thing can be incredibly reassuring.
If you slip up, don’t worry about it just do better tomorrow, realize what triggered you to succumb to your old ways and the next time it happens you will be able to catch yourself.
Excess stress can actually be a huge trigger for caving into cravings (28). Find activities you enjoy that help you to unwind and reduce stress for optimal success.
This way you will learn to better know your body, you’ll notice things like how your clothes fit and how you look different in the mirror, but you won’t have numbers telling you you’re not good enough.
Amazing Green Juice
2 green apples
4 celery stalks
6 kale leaves
1 inch piece of ginger
pinch of cayenne
Process all ingredients through juicer, stir and enjoy. The ginger and cayenne in this drink have a thermogenic effect and can help to boost metabolism. The kale packs a nutritional punch and the lemon has a total body alkalizing effect.
3 red cabbage leaves
2 handfuls spinach
Process all ingredients through juicer, stir and enjoy. The natural fruit sugars will help fuel you through your workout and replenish electrolytes.
1 head of lettuce
1 inch piece of ginger
Process all ingredients through juicer, stir and enjoy. High amounts of choline in beet juice help to detox the liver. Ginger stimulates blood flow and improves digestion.
2 handfuls spinach
This juice is a super nutritious way to start the day. Process all ingredients through juicer, stir and enjoy.
4 kale leaves
1 handful parsley
1 handful spinach
1/2 lime or lemon
This green juice is simple but incredibly nourishing, a great drink to invigorate you when energy is low. Process all ingredients through juicer, stir and enjoy.
Post Workout Juice
1 C blueberries
1/2 C pomegranate seeds
3 celery stalks
1 C red grapes
Process all ingredients through juicer, stir and enjoy. This juice will help to rejuvenate your muscles and replenish lost electrolytes.