Weight loss is the trend of the day. From intense training to strict and fasted diets to liquid diets, you name it they have it. Since the history of humans, now is the only time when people deprive themselves of food for weight loss to look good and fit. However, most people have done it all wrong. Our ancestors were healthy and fit not because of depriving themselves of food but because of leading a more active lifestyle while eating any edible food they can find in the wilderness. Since we’re no longer as active as they once were, obesity is on the rise.
To combat this weight gain, we often follow the quick fix path to maintain a healthy weight without having a clear perspective of the possible dangers up ahead. We set out for the journey only to find ourselves entangled in situations we thought can only happen to someone else and not us. Time is precious and we can’t turn it back.
This is what happened to a 40-year-old woman in Israel. With only the intention of losing weight and keeping her body healthy, she strictly followed the recommendation of an alternative therapist. For three weeks she consumed nothing but water and liquid juices.
According to reports, she suffered from severe malnutrition, with a weight of less than 40 kilos, and possibly irreversible brain damage. Her diet resulted in a severe salt imbalance in her body leading to hyponatremia, a condition caused by low sodium levels in the blood due to drinking excessive water. When there is a low sodium level in the blood, the body tries to balance the sodium concentration by moving the water in the cells. However, this can lead to swelling in the cells, which could lead to serious damage when the swelling happens in the brain. This can lead to coma or death.
Water is important for our overall health. But experts recommend not to drink it in excess to avoid hyponatremia. That is why runners opt for a sports drink that contains electrolytes to avoid the potential dangers of hyponatremia.
Juice cleanses and liquid juices diets start to become popular even for Hollywood celebrities. Well, they seem to be okay. But how far can you go and how to know if you’re doing it right? And are these processes safe?
The juice fats, which others prefer to call it, are created to detoxify your body and get rid of accumulated toxins. Dieters drink 6 to 12 glasses of juice cleanses for three days up to three weeks. It all depends upon your plan. Some plans require not taking any meals other than the juices while some require foods as either snacks or meals. The common ingredients of these juice cleanse include cayenne pepper, lemon juice, water, and maple syrup.
While this can look promising in your weight loss goals, health expert Liz Applegate says the body doesn’t need any help to get rid of toxins. The liver and kidneys are designed to handle these toxins. The body is such a brilliant machine that knows what to eliminate from its system. Applegate goes on to describe the potential dangers of drinking only water and juice cleanses as a quick fix for weight loss.
Potential Dangers of Water and Fruit Juice Diets
1. Protein deprivation
The contents of fruit juices don’t have protein in them. Or if they do, it’s only to a minimum, which is lower than what your body requires for a day. Protein is important in building healthy immune cells and regenerating muscles after intense training. Those some fruit juice may have nuts or cashews in them as a protein and fat source, yet it’s still not enough to supply what your body requires.
Drinking fruit juices alone for three days may not hurt but there’s the possibility of getting sick due to low protein intake. Fruit juices diets are also not recommended for older adults since they have lower protein stores. Doing so may lead to infections and other health problems.
Additionally, fruit juices don’t contain fiber, which is important for your digestion and in making you feel full. When in a weight loss regimen, your body needs enough fiber to reduce your cravings for food.
2. Low calories
The body needs to consume about 800 to 1,200 of calories a day. The fruit juices don’t contain in their package this much. If you drink only fruit juices for 10 days, this can lead your body to a survival mode. By feeling starved, it will slow your metabolism and conserve the calories.
Because of this low-calorie diet for a longer period of time, you may lose a little weight. However, most of them can be water weight. Once you finish the number of days in your diet plan, you may tend to go binge eating since you have starved yourself of food for a time. Consequently, you may gain more weight than you lose.
3. Changes in bodily functions
Since the purpose of fruit juices is to detox yourself, you may visit the bathroom more often than you usually do. The changes in your bowel movement may also be accompanied by feelings of fatigue, headaches, moodiness, foggy thinking, and even bouts of hunger.
Juice cleanses are also not recommended for people who have a sensitive digestive system and those with diabetes, since it may interfere with your blood sugar levels.
4. Psychological payoff
Following a diet plan is challenging. And it’s more of a challenge when you eat or drink nothing but fruit juice for three days in a row. Once you accomplished this extremely challenging task in the name of weight loss, you may feel more fulfilled physically and psychologically. Still, the psychological payoff doesn’t outweigh the fact that you’re depriving yourself of nutrients like protein and others.
5. Body punishment
People who are heavy drinkers or unhealthy eaters may want to get rid of the toxins in their body through fruit juices and juice cleanses. But this doesn’t mean they need to go to the extreme of punishing themselves by eating only liquid foods for days in a row. This extreme act may cause more harm than good to your body and wellbeing.
If you’re one of these people, you can clean your act by adding fruits and vegetables on your diet and slowly eliminate the unhealthy foods you consume from your diet. This can avoid your body from getting a shock caused by the two extremes. Drinking heavily and eating poorly to completely not eating at all other than the fruit juices.