Juicing has become a popular way for people to lose weight quickly. The idea is that by drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices, you can get all the nutrients your body needs while drastically reducing your calorie intake. Some people claim you can lose up to 10 pounds or more in just 7 days from juicing alone.
But is this true? And is juicing for a week to lose weight safe and sustainable?
How Juicing for Weight Loss Works
Juicing removes all the fiber from fruits and vegetables, leaving only the nutrients in a liquid form. Proponents of juicing say this allows you to consume a large quantity of micronutrients from produce, without consuming all the calories. This creates a calorie deficit which forces your body to burn stored fat for energy, resulting in weight loss.
For example, you might get the nutrients from 6 carrots, 2 apples, a whole head of broccoli, and a handful of spinach in a single 16 oz juice. It would be extremely difficult to eat all that produce in one sitting!
Calorie Deficit from Juicing
To lose 1 pound of fat, you need to have a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories. To lose 10 pounds in 7 days through juicing alone, you would need a daily calorie deficit of 1,500 calories.
Most juice recipes contain around 200-300 calories per 16 oz serving. So by replacing breakfast and lunch or dinner with juices, you can reasonably get a daily calorie deficit of 1,200-1,500 calories needed for aggressive weight loss.
Possible Weight Loss from 7 Days of Juicing
Based on creating a calorie deficit of 1,200-1,500 calories per day solely from juicing, most people can expect to lose:
- 3-5 lbs of fat loss
- 2-3 lbs of water weight loss
- 1-2 lbs of muscle loss
This equals 6-10 lbs of total weight loss in a week. However, a significant amount of this is water weight and muscle loss, not just fat.
Water Weight Loss
When you dramatically reduce your carb and sodium intake, your body will flush out excess water weight. This is because carbs cause your body to store more water, while excess sodium causes water retention.
It is common to lose 2-3 lbs of water weight in the first 1-2 days of juicing, but this will taper off. You may continue to lose 1 lb of water weight per day.
Juicing is low in protein, which can lead to muscle breakdown. If you are not consuming enough protein, your body will start using muscle tissue for energy. You may lose 1-2 lbs of muscle over a 7 day juice fast.
The remainder of the weight lost on a 7 day juice fast will come from body fat. However, since much of the weight lost is actually water, you will probably only lose 3-5 lbs of actual fat.
Is Losing 10+ Lbs in a Week Safe?
Losing more than 2-3 lbs per week after the initial water weight loss is not recommended or sustainable long-term. Losing weight too rapidly can cause:
- Loss of muscle mass
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Fatigue and weakness
- Yo-yo dieting
If you lose a lot of weight upfront from juicing but then return to old eating habits, you will likely regain all the weight back.
Making Juicing Safe
To make juicing safe and sustainable, focus on slower weight loss and include these strategies:
- Keep total calories around 1,200 per day minimum
- Include some protein like whey powder, nuts or beans
- Do strength training to maintain muscle mass
- Drink juices slowly over several hours, not all at once
- Add some healthy solid food to your plan
Juice Recipes for Weight Loss
Here are some healthy juice recipes to include in a weight loss cleanse:
- 1 cucumber
- 5 celery stalks
- 1 cup kale
- 1 lemon
- 1 inch ginger
- 1 apple
Carrot Beet Juice
- 5 carrots
- 1 small beet
- 1 orange
- 1 inch turmeric
- 1⁄2 lemon
Berry Detox Juice
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 apple
- 1⁄2 cucumber
- 1 inch ginger
Sample 7 Day Juice Cleanse Plan
Here is an example plan for juicing to lose up to 10 lbs in a week:
Transitioning Off a Juice Cleanse
Ending a juice fast and transitioning back to solid foods is just as important as the cleanse itself. Here are some tips:
- Slowly reintroduce solid foods, starting with fruits, vegetables and healthy fats
- Don’t immediately go back to processed foods, sugary foods or excess carbs
- Drink juices for 1-2 days after reintroducing solid food
- Chew food thoroughly and eat slowly
- Pay attention to how different foods make you feel
Following these steps will help prevent digestive issues, bloating, and rapid weight gain after ending the juice cleanse.
Should You Juice for Quick Weight Loss?
Drinking only juices for a week can help you lose 6-10 lbs quickly. However, much of this is water weight and muscle loss. You’ll probably only lose 3-5 lbs of fat.
Juicing can be used to kickstart your weight loss, but should be combined with healthy eating and exercise for sustainable results. Aim for 1-2 lbs of fat loss per week with a moderate calorie deficit.
Furthermore, very low calorie diets and rapid weight loss from juicing are generally not recommended for more than a short time. Make sure to include protein during juicing to preserve muscle mass.
In general, juicing is not a miracle solution for shedding pounds of pure body fat. But as part of a healthy diet and active lifestyle, it can provide a nutritional boost and help you manage your weight in a healthy, sustainable way.