Drinking Juices 7 Days In A Raw
‘7-day juice diet to detoxify your gut!’ ‘Do this 7-day juice diet plan and watch the fat melt away!’ ‘Belly fat burning 7-day juice diet for weight loss!’
These are just a few of the many headlines that have continued to flood our social media pages with promises of weight loss, fat burning and gut detoxification. With such eye-catching headlines, it is no wonder that many people are researching a 7-day juice diet.
Juicing has become increasingly popular because many see it as a quick fix that promises dramatic weight loss in a relatively short time frame as well as health benefits such as ‘detoxing’ the liver and gut, clearer skin and an improved mood.
However, despite how well these eating plans have been promoted all over social media, some skepticism has arisen with many wondering if these so called juice cleanses do work? In this article we are going to find out the truth. Does the 7-day juice diet for weight loss truly work? Is juicing good for you or does it have more disadvantages than advantages? What does science and experts say about a 7-day juice diet?
What Is The 7-day Juice Diet?
A 7-day juice diet is one of the many variations of juicing or a juice diet. Some do it for three days while some prolong it up to 10 days. So what is it?
Also known as a juice fast, cleanse or detox, this is a weight loss plan that involves extracting and consuming the extracts from vegetables and fruits in an attempt to lose weight quickly and detoxify the body (12). These drinks can be homemade or store bought. Some of them may have the pulp in them, but many a time, they do not have any pulp in them.
How To Do A 7-Day Juice Diet Plan?
Here are the different variations on how to do a juice cleanse (11):
- Drink nothing but fruit or vegetable extract and other drinks for the duration. Other drinks include water and unsweetened coffee or tea.
- Combine your juices with dietary supplements. Since you will not be consuming any food on the 7-day juice diet plan for weight loss, dietary supplements come in handy as they add nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, and amino acids to your body (4). It should be noted that this eating plan does not suggest what supplements to take.
- Combining juices with procedures that cleanse and detoxify the colon.
- Using the drinks as meal replacements i.e., replacing your breakfast or dinner or both with this drink.
- Combining the fruit and vegetable juices with specific diets as a means of promoting weight loss. These specific diets are more often than not very-low-calorie diets, which are usually no more than 800 or 900 calories a day.
- For those new to this type of cleansing, you are allowed to have smoothies and small amounts of vegan food.
Can You Do A 7-Day Fruit Juice Diet?
Some people may prefer this option because fruit juices taste infinitely better than plain vegetable juices or a mixture of both vegetable and fruit extracts. However, ordinarily, the 7-day juice diet should include drinks made out of both vegetable and fruit juices, preferably in one cup. If not, then half of your daily intake should be a green vegetable drink (12).
On their own, fruits are an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, vitamin C, and folate and they are high in dietary fiber. They also provide a wide range of health-boosting antioxidants, including flavonoids. A diet high in (whole) fruits and vegetables can reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, inflammation, and type 2 diabetes (10).
Disadvantages Of Juices
However, despite all these benefits, drinking fruit juice everyday is not good for you. Here is why:
1. They are high in sugar
Compared to vegetables, fruits have a much higher sugar content. The amount of sugar in a glass becomes even more if you are using store-bought juice for your 7-day fruit juice diet, since pre-packaged drinks almost always have added sugars. Added sugars have been shown to cause high blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver disease – all factors that can eventually lead to heart attack and stroke (9).
2. Could lead to weight gain
One of the quickest ways to gain weight is by drinking your calories. As stated above, fruit juice has a higher amount of sugar and this has been linked to weight gain. These drinks are also known to be high in calories. The added sugars and high caloric intake could lead to weight gain (6).
3. Lack of dietary fiber
Unlike actual fruit, fruit drinks lack dietary fiber, especially if the drink has no pulp in it. Dietary fiber is important in your diet as it helps keep you fuller for longer thus preventing weight gain. It also significantly lowers your risk for developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases (5).
Should You Try The 7-Day Lemon Juice Diet?
Also known as the lemon detox (14), lemonade diet, or the master cleanse (13), it is another variation of a juice cleanse. It involves replacing your meals with a drink made of a mixture of 2 tbsp lemon juice, cayenne pepper, 2 tbsp maple syrup, and water. Like all other juice cleanses, it is touted to help you lose weight and remove toxins from your body. However, despite these promises, it is not advisable to try the 7-day lemon juice diet. This eating plan:
- Leads to unfavourable side effects such as mood swings, dizziness and fainting.
- Does not provide you with enough nutrients or calories, since food is not allowed.
- May cause gallstones.
- Any weight loss achieved during the 7-day lemon juice diet is not sustainable. You are mostly likely to regain all the weight back (if not more) in a few days or weeks.
7-Day Juice Diet Recipes To Try At Home
If you do not want to consume the same drink for a whole week, here are 7 different recipes that you can make for your 7-day juice diet. Please note that while you could use a blender to make any of these drinks, it is best to use a juicer instead. Using a blender would need you to later strain the juice making your job even harder. On the other hand, blended unstrained juices retain some of the fiber and health benefits of the fruits and vegetables which juicing and/or straining remove.
Option 1 – Celery Juice
Ingredients: 1 green apple, 1 medium celery stalk (about 8 inches long), juice from half a lemon, 1 inch peeled ginger, 1 medium-sized cucumber
- Separate and wash the celery stalks. Shake off any extra water.
- Cut the leaves off the top of the stalks. Put the stalk in the juicer.
- Once you are done with the celery, put the apple, lemon, and ginger through the juicer.
- Drink it right away, or save it in an airtight mason jar for up to 3 days.
Option 2 – Apple-Carrot-Ginger
Ingredients: 1 medium-sized apple, 3 large carrots, 20 g peeled ginger root, juice of a quarter lemon
- Thoroughly clean all your ingredients and set them aside to dry.
- Put the apple, ginger root and two carrots through the blender (in that order).
- Squeeze in the lemon juice to your cup.
- Serve with some ice cubes and garnish with a lemon (optional).
Option 3 – Red veggie punch
Ingredients: half cup chopped hearts of romaine, 2 tbsp chopped chives, 1 large tomato, half a small deseeded jalapeño pepper, 1/2 large red bell pepper, 1 large celery stalk, 1 small carrot
- Process the lettuce, chives, tomato, jalapeno, bell pepper, celery and carrot through a juicer in that exact order.
- Serve chilled with some ice cubes.
If you do not have a juicer, coarsely chop all the ingredients and start by blending the softer ingredients first. Add the larger and harder vegetables and blend them last. Once all blended, strain the juice with a cheesecloth.
Option 4 – Tropical-Kale Delight
Ingredients: 1/4 small pineapple, 1 large banana, 1 cup of kale leaves
Note: this is better done using a powerful blender.
- Cut the pineapple into strips and roughly chop the kale.
- Blend these two first and strain them. Put the liquid back into the blender and add the banana.
- You do not need to strain the liquid if you do not mind the pulp from the pineapple and kale.
Option 5 – Ginger-Lemon-Beet Immune booster
Ingredients: 2 medium-sized red beets, 1 large cucumber, 1-inch of peeled ginger root, 1 small lemon
- Thoroughly clean all your ingredients and set them to dry.
- Trim the tops off the beetroot and peel them – if you thoroughly scrubbed them then there is no need to peel them.
- Peel the ginger as well.
- Push everything through your juicer, alternating between the ginger, beets and the softer cucumber and lemon.
Option 6 – Sunrise Orange Mix
Ingredients: 1 medium-sized tomato, 1 medium-sized orange, 1 medium-sized apple, 2 large carrots
- Wash your ingredients and peel the orange.
- Cut all the fruit and vegetables into size-able chunks and push them all into the juicer.
- Drink the juice as it is or serve chilled with some ice cubes.
Option 7 – Green Juice
Ingredients: 1 and a half large cucumbers, 3/4 large green apple, a handful of spinach, handful of kale leaves, half a lemon, 15 g fresh ginger root, some parsley leaves
- Thoroughly clean all your ingredients, peel the ginger and then put all the ingredients through a juicer.
- Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and enjoy.
Is Juicing Good For You?
No, it is not. The only benefit of doing a 7-day juice diet is the fact that it lets you consume more fruits and vegetables.
- Some people argue that juicing could be good for you as the process makes it easier for your body to absorb the nutrients better. They also claim that it boosts your immune system, removes toxins from your body, and aids digestions. However, despite this belief, there is no scientific evidence that any of these claims are true (7).
- Juicing also takes away the important fiber that is found in fruit.
- This eating plan could lead to malnutrition or nutrient deficiencies. Some compliant foods and drinks allowed include raw vegetables, almond milk, vegetable broth and small vegan meals. These options are obviously lacking in protein which is an essential part or any weight loss plan. Since you can only eat small amounts of food during the 7-day juice diet, it could also lead to other nutrient deficiencies, not just protein.
- It could slow down your metabolism. As we initially stated, this eating plan is very restrictive only allowing fruit and vegetable drinks. Any other ‘less restrictive’ variation only allows a calorie intake of up to 1000 calories at most a day. Such severe energy restriction could lower your metabolism, decreasing the number of calories the body burns by as much as 23% (1).
What Are The Best 7-Day Juice Diet Snacks?
As stated above, the 7-day juice diet in most cases does not allow any food, however for you to do a healthy body detox, you must ensure to include healthy foods in your diet. Some of the healthy snacks that you could include in your 7-day juice diet plan include (3):
1. Hummus and vegetables/fruit
Hummus is made from chickpeas which is a great source of dietary fiber and plant-based protein. Consuming whole veggies and fruits will also help you gain some of the fiber lost from juicing.
2. Nut butter and fruits/vegetables
Like hummus, nut butters are a great source of protein. They also provide healthy fats which are otherwise missing from your juiced drinks.
3. Low-fat cheese
Unlike full fat cheese, low fat options have less fat and calories. Cheese in itself is also a fantastic source of vitamins, protein, calcium and other minerals.
4. Assorted nuts
Nuts provide your body with healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol in the body and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
5. Greek yogurt and berries
Berries are a great low-calorie snack that can be consumed on your 7-day juice diet plan for weight loss. Greek yogurt provides your body with high amounts of calcium, potassium and protein.
6. Boiled eggs
They are considered to be a complete protein which means that they provide the body with the 9 essential amino acids that it does not produce by itself (2).
Does The 7-Day Juice Diet Work For Weight Loss?
Yes, but only in the short-term and any weight loss during this 7-day juice diet is either from muscle loss or water weight, which is not sustainable. Like any other fad diet, once you quit it, all the weight lost will come back (8).
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, the 7-day juice diet is not worth it. You will put yourself through an extreme eating plan that will lead to the loss of water weight or muscle and not fat like you desire. If you are looking to start juicing, do not use it as a weight loss hack but instead use it as a way to get more fruit and vegetables into your healthy and balanced diet. Also, be sure not to use a juicer for this but use a high-powered blender instead and do not sieve the mixture. This will leave the pulp in, ensuring that you get more of the fiber, minerals and nutrients that the fruits and vegetables have to offer.
If you want your weight loss plan to be efficient, don’t forget to do some exercise