To Lose Weight Fast and Keep It Off, Just Start Juicing, Studies Find
When June comes around faster than a bullet train and we still haven't shed the extra padding from a winter of working from home, what is there to do but look for healthy ways to detox? One often-cited study shows that the best way to jumpstart weight loss and improve gut health (to lower inflammation) quickly is a short but deliberate juice fast, even if you only swap out some of your meals for juicing.
By increasing the number of fruits and vegetables you intake, by juicing, you can positively impact your gut's balance of micro-organisms, which make up your microbiome, to switch it over toward healthy bacteria–which feed on vegetables, fruit, and the fiber they contain–from those that feed on saturated fat, meat, dairy, and toxins. That means you will not only lose weight but create a cascade of health benefits throughout the body that include opening up your blood vessels, delivering more oxygen to the muscles (with nitric oxide from the fruit and vegetable juice), and allow yourself to feel more energetic, recover from workouts faster and feel all-around more like Superman or Superwoman, all from just adding plant-based foods to your diet, the more the better.
According to the study, just three days of juicing is enough to switch over the gut microbiome from inflammatory bacteria to good bacteria, meaning you train your body to shed pounds and hit reset, fast.
There's no better way to lose weight and do a healthy cleanse, the study tells us than to start juicing, at least one meal a day. Juicing, especially with a variety of vegetable juices from beets, dark leafy greens, and other intensely colored vegetables, adds important plant antioxidants, present in the pigments of the juice, called polyphenols that not only help us shed fat faster but detox all those extra empty calories and unhealthy gut bacteria from a long weekend of over-indulging (with booze, meat, sweets, and whatever else we allowed ourselves in the name of enjoying the long-awaited chance to socialize with friends). Juicing works by adding fiber and nutrients to your body and allowing your gut to empty itself of bad bacteria that metabolize meat and dairy to the so-called healthy gut bacteria that fights inflammation, and literally start fresh.
"Vegetable and fruit juices provide polyphenols... fiber, and nitrates (especially in beet juice), which may induce a prebiotic-like effect," the study authors state. They set out to find out if three days of juicing would have significant health benefits and found that on day four, all serious health markers were improved, including weight loss.
The study put 20 healthy adults on a juice diet for three days and then had them eat normally afterward for 14 days, and the weight loss from the juicing lasted until the end of the experiment, so even after the subjects went back to their customary diet, the juice fasting weight stayed off, indicating that this type of new healthy gut microbiome was doing its job.
"On day 4 we observed a significant decrease in weight and body mass index," the authors reported, "which was maintained until day 17. On day 4 the proportion of the phylum Firmicutes and Proteobacteria [bad bacteria] in stool was significantly decreased and Bacteroidetes and Cyanobacteria [good bacteria] was increased compared to baseline and was partially reversed on day 17."
Also on day four, they reported that "plasma and urine nitric oxide was increased by 89 percent and 360 percent, respectively," while the number of unhealthy lipids in the body had fallen by more than 20 percent, which meant that heart health was also improved. "General well-being score was increased at the end of the study," the authors concluded. "In summary, a 3-day juice-based diet altered the intestinal microbiota associated with weight loss," which stayed off for 17 days of the study, and an increase in Nitric Oxide, plus a decrease in lipid oxidation.
This was so significant that even a partial juice fast is likely to benefit you. Here is how to make a healthy green juice based on this study, with green vegetables, and a small amount of mint, cucumber, and lemon juice to sweeten the drink enough to make it palatable.
For five detox juice recipes to cleanse your body and lose weight, click here.
- 1 head of celery, stalks removed
- 1 bunch of mint
- 1/2 bunch of parsley
- 1 cucumber
- 1 lemon
- Put it all through a juicer and drink immediately.
Beet juice, specifically, carries more health benefits than other vegetables or plants, because of the fact that it contains a plant pigment that makes it an intense color or red called betalains. These phytochemicals are believed to give beets the ability to keep blood pressure low by helping blood vessels stay supple, open, and allow blood to freely flow through them. But they are also indicated in studies as helping the body in fighting cancer, a fact that experts agree makes beet juice a uniquely powerful ingredient to add to your daily routine.
“Beets get their rich color from betalains, which are water-soluble antioxidants, according to a study published in 2016. "Betalains have chemo-preventive capabilities against some cancer cell lines in the body,” explains Shannon Henry, RD, a registered dietitian with EZCare Clinic, an online healthcare service. Betalains are thought to help your immune system search for free radicals and neutralize unstable cells in the body.
In yet another recent study, researchers gave obese female patients a mix of dried fruit and a high-fiber drink of vegetable concentrate and found that the effect of the phytochemicals, or plant-based nutrients, from the fruits and vegetables helped to reduce blood sugar and lower insulin resistance, so fiber from dried fruit can be beneficial as a snack while you are juicing since the fiber can also act as a prebiotic to improve gut health.
- 2 beets, trimmed, scrubbed, and rinsed
- 1 green apple, rinsed
- 3 carrots, peeled and rinsed
- 1/2 lemon, rinsed
- Juice ingredients or add them to a high-speed blender filled with water.