Dr Roberts on juice cleanses and fasting (Part 3 in a series)
Desperation makes us susceptible to desperate measures, which brings us finally to the topic of juice cleanses and modified fasts.
Begin Soapbox 😉
I’m sorry for ranting here, but of all the unfortunate concepts that greedy weight loss companies have dreamed up to tempt us into spending money unnecessarily, juice cleanses may be the worst. Our intestine is designed to be full, not empty. And by removing all the solid matter from fruits and veggies, we eliminate the fiber that is so helpful for both weight control and gastrointestinal function.
These problems are bad enough, but when you add in the fact that a diet of juices prepared without added protein is going to cause muscle loss, my view is that we should enjoy juice as an occasional indulgence rather than anything we eat regularly for health.Our intestine is designed to be full, not empty. Click To Tweet
However, I put modified fasts — mini-fasts that include the right kinds of solid food — in a different category altogether, so much so that we now have a modified fast option for people in our Advance iDiet classes. This is an optional short-term technique we developed which participants can try if they wish, carefully and under iDiet Group Leader supervision.
Occasional, limited fasting
Occasional fasting for religious purposes has been something people have done for thousands of years. I would never recommend the extreme modern-day versions like fasting 2 days every week in order to try and eat normally on the other 5 days (which seems like a recipe for ruining your life), but as an occasional event, research shows that modified fasts beneficially boost insulin sensitivity, which in turn may reduce the risk of diabetes and possibly also help retrain your brain by making hunger more controllable. When I was personally working up the iDiet modified fast options we offer (which do include food, just less of it), I did experience these benefits, which is why I came to feel like it is a good option for occasional as-needed use. But again, this is not meant to be a trick to achieve rapid weight loss, but rather as a way to re-set your body and mind in the context of a longer-term healthy weight loss plan.
What works for you
In the end, the key thing to focus on when deciding what diet plan to follow is that it should be healthy, and feel easy and enjoyable for you — because if you can enjoy your diet, your weight loss will be sustainable. In the toxic food environment we live in, with temptation at every turn, weight loss is never something we can take for granted. But acquiring healthy new habits that you want to live with is the insurance policy that will help keep you in control and healthy.
Are there questions we haven’t answered in this series? Feel free to ask us on Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll work to add to this series over time.
Choose the program that’s right for you.