Monday, April 7, 2014

Diets & Cleanses

When I moved to Sacramento, I wasn't expecting much to be different.  Sure, I'd be living in California.  But this is Northern California.  It's not the vapid, looks-obsessed, self-loathing community I picture Southern California to be.  Can you tell I have no desire to ever live in SoCal?  To me, Northern California is a sunnier version of the Pacific Northwest.

Courtesy: J. Smith

Boy was I wrong... kind of.

A hoodie and jeans are not acceptable work or dining out attire, people don't really bring their lunches-- or lunch bags full of ingredients to cook at work here, I haven't seen any co-workers ride their bikes to work, or post photos from their weekend hiking trip, and no one has brought in extra vegetables or herbs from their backyard garden to share.  It's definitely not as laid back like the good old Northwest-- and I find I'm having a harder time adapting to the lifestyle here than I thought I would.

Which brings me to the actual point of this blog-- since arriving here I've noticed a lot of people doing juice fasts and cleanses.  Before moving here, I had considered doing a juice fast.  But I wanted to do some research before committing to not eating for a few days.  Especially since I don't really believe in depriving your body of nutrients in the name of weight loss.

Courtesy: BeanaFoodie

After weeks of research, I learned the world is split on juice fasts:

Juice Fasting Pros

  • Easy way to get more Fruits and Vegetables
  • Helps strengthen your Immune System
  • Can leave you feeling refreshed
Juice Fasting Cons

  • Don't get enough Fiber and Protein
  • Run the Risk of Overeating-- because you're essentially starving yourself
  • It's not cheap.  Factor in the cost of a juicer if you don't have one, and produce is not inexpensive.
I also uncovered some juicing myths I'd like to bust for you:

Your body naturally detoxes itself, that's why you have kidneys.  So the excuse that you're detoxing actually isn't true because your body does that for you.  Depending on what you put in it, determines how hard the body has to work-- so more fruits and veggies is actually better for your body.

Juicing isn't the greatest idea for weight loss.  Sure, you will lose some weight during the juicing process-- because you're cutting out fats and lowering your calorie intake.  But once you're done with the fast-- and start consuming food you'll gain the weight back, and maybe even more.

Juicing is not healthier than just eating fruits and vegetables.  In fact, by turning them into juice you're removing some of the nutrients.  Though, consuming juice is much better than the fad cleanses that are honey and spices mixed with water.

So, there you have it.  I wanted to share the things I learned-- and then give you some of my opinions.  I don't think it's a good idea to starve yourself for any length of time-- especially if you're trying to lose weight.  I know I say this over and over again-- but that's because it's true.  The best way to lose weight is with a healthy, balanced diet-- and exercise.  That's it.  Juicing is a good way to add more fruits and veggies to your diet-- but it should be done in addition to your regular meals-- not in place of.

Courtesy: INTERShapes

To me juicing is like any other diet out there that people chose to do to lose weight-- it will work while your doing it, but once you stop, you run the risk of falling back into old habits.  It happened to me in the 4 months during and after the move.  I gained back 20 pounds!  It's about changing your lifestyle and sticking to it.  Choosing healthy, nutritious foods over carb-loaded fillers.  That isn't to say you should completely cut it out.  I believe in indulging cravings-- in moderation of course.

What do you think about juice cleanses?  Have you ever tried one?  What about diets?  Do you participate in diets, or do you believe in making life-style changes?  Leave your feedback in the comment section below.  I'd love to hear from you!

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