Does Juicing Work for Weight Loss?

What You Need to Know Before You Try a Juice Diet

Directly Above Shot Of Strawberries In Electric Juicer
Lalaine Pere / EyeEm / Getty Images

Juicing to lose weight is popular, but does it work? Juice diet plans that include complicated blends of vegetables, different varieties of fruits and vitamin supplements sound healthy. But if you're trying to lose weight, there are a few things you should consider before you try one of these programs.

Is Juicing Good For You?

Juice drinks can be healthy. If you include some fruit or vegetable juice drinks in your diet plan you may enjoy certain nutritional benefits. 

For example, many of the most popular fruits and vegetables used in juice diet drinks provide a wide range of healthy vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Blueberries, for example, are high in vitamin C. Mango has plenty of B6 and vitamin A. And spinach is very low in calories and is a good source of dietary fiber, protein, and vitamins A, C, E. 

If you don't eat a good variety of fruits and vegetables in your regular diet, juicing might be a good way for you to get the nutrients your body needs. But there are some drawbacks to juicing as well, especially if you are trying to lose weight.

The Drawbacks of Juicing to Lose Weight

Many dieters struggle to stick to a juice diet for weight loss. Why? These simple plans are often easy to follow, but they also deny you the pleasure of eating food. Drinking your calories is not nearly as satisfying as eating them. And for many dieters, that challenge is too difficult to maintain for long enough for the diet to work. 

Denying yourself food can also increase your stress level. Diet-related stress can cause you to overeat, or worse, binge-eat and ultimately feel worse about your body

Even if you are able to manage the stress and the sensory experience of eating isn’t important to you, there are other reasons to think about before you try juicing to lose weight.

  • Excess sugar: Depending on how your juice drink is made, it may contain too much sugar. Even if you don't add extra sugar, most sweet fruits contain high levels of fructose. When you separate fructose from fiber (found in the meat of the fruit) the sugar is digested very quickly. You could end up becoming hungry and eating more a short time later.
  • Excess calories: It's easy to think that you'll consume fewer calories in a glass than you would on a plate, but juice calories can skyrocket when you're throwing gobs of stuff into a machine. If your juice drink is replacing a meal, then it's reasonable to consume 400 or 500 calories in liquid form. But for many people, the drink is an addition to their meals and snacks. If you're trying to lose weight, those calories could be a problem.
  • Whole fruits and vegetables are better for you. The whole forms of fruits and vegetables are really good for you and juicing may mean that you to eat less of them. When you eat fruits and veggies in their whole form, you gain all of the weight loss benefits of fiber. And because whole fruits and vegetables usually take longer to eat, you may end up consuming fewer calories in a sitting. Make sure you know the nutrient content, including grams of sugar and total calorie count, before you decide whether or not your juice drink is healthy.

    Juicing may help some dieters lose weight, but it's not a sustainable weight loss plan for most people. Before you try any juice diet plan, be sure to check the nutritional value of the drinks you will consume and discuss the plan with your health care professional to make sure that you'll get the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.