“When life gives you lemons, make orange juice out of it and leave the world wondering how you did it.” It is an inspirational quote by Mitch Griego, which suggests us to make the most out of any difficult situation that life throws at us. Some people may have taken to the literal meaning and resort to extreme fad diets such as juice fasting (only juices, no solid food) which can last up to a period of 3 weeks. On such diets, where only fruit and vegetable juices are allowed, contrary to the hype and belief, people do not manage to lose any significant weight, but they tend to lose their overall health in the process. Now, why does this happen? Aren’t fruits considered to be the powerhouse of nutrition? And experts do recommend to have around 5 portions of fruit per day. So, why does the scenario change when switching from fruits to fruit juices? There’s a lot of hype about how dramatic weight loss can be achieved by drinking copious amount of fruit juices through the day, most of them claiming to be detox cleanses and appetite suppressants. But the issue is when you replace whole meals with fruit juices and forget to count calories because fruits are considered to be healthy. With people divided on their opinions about cutting out large food groups, pinning all their weight loss hopes on certain “superfoods,” and of course vilifying carbs, many have placed a healthy halo on fruit juices and a good option to drop weight. But is this “juice formula” a good one? Most importantly, are fruit juices better than eating whole fruits to shed extra fat?
Why Fruits are Good For Weight Loss?
As we all know, veggies along with fruits are necessary elements of a balanced diet. Fruits like banana, pomegranate, blueberries, strawberries, oranges, watermelon, apple, grapefruit are rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and most of them are rich in fiber as well (which promotes overall weight loss). Fruits satisfy sugar cravings with their naturally-occurring fructose content. Also, the antioxidants, polyphenols found abundantly in most fruits neutralize the effect of free radicals and help reduce inflammation, and support cellular repair and rejuvenation. Fruits such as guava, kiwi, pineapple, etc., have minerals like copper that are absolutely needed in the fat-burning process. Strawberries, cranberries, pineapple are good sources of iodine that help the thyroid gland function smoothly, and boost metabolism. Banana, apple, and berries have vitamin B12 that boosts metabolism that in turn burns more calories. So, having a portion of fruit on a daily basis actually boosts the whole weight loss process.
Now, coming to the main question:
Should you eat fruits or drink fruit juices to lose weight? Breaking it up point by point:
Why A “Fruit Juice-Only” Diet is Not a Good Idea For Losing Weight?
1. Fruit Juices Cause a Sharp Spike in Insulin: Fruits have a naturally-occurring sugar called “fructose,” that raises blood sugar and spikes insulin release (which by the way is also a hormone that encourages fat storage). Also, do note that each fructose molecule has 4 calories per gram (the same as a gram of carb and protein). Some fruits like grapes, dates, pineapple, etc., have a higher glycemic index and when you juice them out (you lose the fiber content), which leads to a huge jump in blood sugar and subsequent insulin release, and all the extra calories would be converted into fat molecules. Also, most fruit juices are glorified sugar shots that manage to cause sharp spike in insulin, and giving a priority to fruit juices instead of whole fruits and solid food may actually place you in a pre-diabetic category, increasing the risk of insulin resistance which may lead to type 2 diabetes and obesity in future.
2. Fruits are undoubtedly packed with nutrients and are healthy, but when converted to juice, the liquid calories are difficult to count, and there’s a big chance you are consuming way too many calories without feeling full. Since fruits are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients, they are considered “free food” that can be eaten in unlimited amounts and juicing them out seems to be more popular than eating them whole. Please remember, portion control is essential for the healthiest of foods out there.
3. Consuming only fruit juices day in and day out is not a sustainable formula, it can be continued only for a short period of time.
4. In juice form, fruits lack fiber and this will trigger digestive and gut issues. As we all know by now, a healthy gut is the secret roadmap to successful weight loss.
5. You will miss out on other essential nutrients (such as protein and healthy fats), needed to run the fat-burning process, when you switch to a fruit juice only diet.
6. Frequent Hunger Pangs: When you separate fructose from fiber (which is found in the meat of the fruit), the sugar is digested very quickly. The big jump and subsequent crash in blood sugar after drinking fruit juices will make you hungry again within a short span of time.
7. People who deal with diabetes or have insulin resistance should avoid fruit juices because these are rich in fructose and without fiber, it will raise up the blood sugar.
Summing up, in the fruits vs fruit juice comparison, with fruit juices, it’s difficult to reach satiation, keep a tabs on the amount of calories, and most importantly, juices cause sharper spike in insulin (which is a fat-storage hormone as well). So, in the end, whole fruits in its natural form wins the battle. So, eat your bananas, apples, oranges, bananas, etc., instead of juicing them out. Fruit juices can be part of a whole diet, not as a single solution to lose weight. In fact, one can easily gain weight by having fruit juices. Contrary to what most people think, eating a wholesome diet that keeps you in calorie deficit would help burn fat, especially the Rati Beauty diet. If you are finding it difficult to drop a few sizes, check out the Rati Beauty diet now.