Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Juice Fasts and Juice Fasting

From my experience, using a juice fast for weight loss can be disastrous.

If you are going to fast, then remember, the key is to try and consume NO calories for a period of time (I like 24 hours).

Juice is loaded with calories, so it's like drinking liquid food, and much less filling...if you think about it, this is actually depressing - you get the calories without the my opinion this defeats the whole purpose.

A true juice fasts (really, it should be called a juice DIET) can actually be very low calorie when done properly, but it is NOT a true fast.

With high sugar comes insulin, and with insulin GH release is blocked and if GH release is blocked and insulin is released you can say BYE BYE to fat being released from your fat stores.

You can lose weight with a juice fast (if done PROPERLY) but you do lose the 'on/off' simplicity of a fast, you don't learn how to handle food cravings AND you lose the potent GH effects of true fasting.


A true fast (even a short one) can reap all the BENEFITS OF GROWTH HORMONE, a juice diet can not.

PS - To see a video of me answering this question visit - Juice Fasting

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Nathan said...

Hi Brad,

Thanks for keeping all of the great info coming!

Quick question. I'm sure you're familiar with the Warrior Diet. It's based on a four hour window, but during your 20 hour fast you're allowed to eat small amounts of fruit or freshly juiced fruits/veggies. For example, say you have 10-15 small blueberries (a pretty small handful) during your fasting period - does this small amount break the fast? Would this be splitting your fast into two shorter fasting periods and thus nullify some of the benefits of what should have been a 20 hour fast?

I know that the Fast-5 method recommends eating absolutely nothing during the fasting period, so I've been wondering about this and why the Warrior Diet allows small amounts of food during the fast. According to the book, it shouldn't be enough to take you out of fasting mode.

Would love to hear your take. Thanks!

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS said...

I liked this description...classic!

"if you think about it, this is actually depressing - you get the calories without the pleasure...."

Anonymous said...

So if someone is on a juice only fast for 5 days they may lose some weight from their fat cells. What about their muscles - will they stay intact?

Vy said...

Hi Brad,

First of all, I really enjoy the information, research and just thoughts that you blog about. It has really given me a different perspective in a field in which I'm very interested. Thanks!

I'm having the same thoughts as Nathan. Although I've been able to do the fast for 24-38 hrs with just water,green tea or black coffee (with a a good amount of splenda), there have been fast when I have eaten a few almonds or maybe 1 cup of cottage cheese to just kill any hunger pangs. Also sometimes on fast days I will do only water but before my workout, if not black coffee, I'll do a sugarfree energy drink that has between 20-30 calories(like Monster, Rockstar, FRS etc.).

I guess I'm wondering because if the goal is calorie deficit and not "cleansing", would this be okay?


Brad Pilon said...

Hi Nathan,

Make no mistake, eating very little is still a very effective diet. And the Warrior diet is based on a philosophy of eating that deals with the way historic man ate..(something I do not profess to be an expert in).

So while its an effective diet that will get results, I don't consider it a fast. When we start taking protein supplements during our fasts, we are dieting, not fasting.

As for 10-15 blueberries, I don't see the's not enough to fill you why bother?

Lastly, by doing this (little meals during your fast) you do not learn the important lessons you get from fasting, like why and when you eat.

I hope this helps,


Brad Pilon said...

Hi Anon,

This would depend on how much they are strength training, and how much they are eating (in terms of calories)

I know that for the first 3 days the answer would be 'not much' so I would guess that even after 5 days, the loss wouldn't be giant.


Brad Pilon said...

Hi Vy,

Thanks for the compliments - they are very appreciated.

While 10-20 Calories isn't 'horrible' the question is why bother?

One of the best things about fasting is the amazing sense of accomplishment when you finish one so I see the small amount of calories as unneeded and possibly counterproductive to the psychological benefits of fasting.

In the grand scheme of things its probably not a big deal..but I think the goal would be to try and push through.


Nathan said...


Thanks for the answer. It does make pretty good sense. If you can get by with the 10-15 berries, surely you can get by without them just as easily.

One other thing that is mentioned is that eating small portions of fruits during the "fast" will actually help detox your system. Is this true, or will your full fast detox be just as (more?) effective?

Thanks for all of the help!

sallyb said...

I feel so much better after fasting. I get free online nutrition support for a healthier life style.

SC said...

Hi Brad,

I am following your fasting advise but worried whether my muscle will grow or in fact shrink if I fast the next day after a heavy workout the day before. I trained in the late evening around 8pm after work. I finished around 9pm and then take a protein drink. I then fast 24 hours. Please advise.