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Juicing for temporary calorie control? Advice, please...

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 26, 2013 at 1:31 PM

I have been trying to lose a bit of weight for awhile now (around 10 lbs). I've been paleo for over a year and have lost about 10 pounds (though, really hard to tell since my weight fluctuates so much). I started paleo at 152 and I am now at 139. I'm 5'4" female. I would normally say that I'm about 75% paleo, but since the beginning of March I've been trying to be 100%, I do drink a few glasses of wine on the weekends and I have had a couple of SAD cheats (popcorn and cookies on one occasion).

My goal has been to eat 1200 calories/day. I have been eating 3 meals without snacking and I workout 4x a week (usually burn about 300 calories I'm guessing). I do eat my workout calories as I don't want to drop below 1200 net. I thought I was doing really well calorie-wise, but I have been concerned with my slowwwww weight loss. I decided to load my meals into myfitnesspal and I'm shocked. I was at 1875 calories for the day yesterday (not large portions, I swear). At this point, I feel like I know absolutely nothing about how to lose weight. Prior to paleo I at "healthy" SAD food, which wasn't helpful in losing weight. Now, I feel like I'm eating wholesome food and feel pretty good, but I'm not able to lose the weight either. It's 10 fing pounds and I know it sounds stupid to worry so much about such a small amount of weight, but I am so tired of being unsuccessful when I'm trying so hard.

I am not normally into crash dieting in order to get into a swimsuit or whatever, but I am going on vacation in 3 weeks. I really want to lose a few more pounds prior to my trip in order to feel comfortable in my clothes and confident on the beach. I was considering doing a juicing-inspired calorie control program for the next few weeks and wondered if anyone has had any experience with it. I was thinking I would have a juice for breakfast and lunch and then eat a sensible dinner (slim fast style). Vegetable juices and do it for 3 days a week or something. Mainly to get my calories under control. Would this make sense or have I gone off the deep-end? Please be kind, I'm feeling like a big piece of shit.

If you think the juice thing is a shitty idea, what would you recommend? Cutting calories by eating lower carbs, less starchy veggies, more leafy greens? Swap out my three eggs in the am for one whole egg, two whites?

Also, had a full hormonal panel done and I'm reviewing it with my Dr today. In the past, all has been fine in that regard.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on March 26, 2013
at 10:23 PM

It was hard for me to cut cardio too because at the time I was exclusively running, and had painfully worked my mileage up to a level I was ok with (12-15 miles per week). But having quit it I never look back and feel a zillion times better.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on March 26, 2013
at 09:50 PM

I have to disagree on this one. Once you get to the desired weight/body composition, the hardest thing to do then is to be able to keep like this for long (ideally forever). And in fact, the higher you aim on your standards the harder will be to keep like this because the effort will probably be so hard that keeping forever is almost impossible. That of course depends on how challenging you goal is but most people aim high and keeping like this will need lots of dedication, dealing with life bad choices everywhere, strong will, etc... so better be prepared :)

3bc294cb7745a5e99612ff886ca00101

(1186)

on March 26, 2013
at 06:14 PM

I feel fine on those days, walking a lot is fine for example and energy is normal, but I don't know if I would try a heavier workout. No pureed soups,I guess I still see that as solid-ish.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on March 26, 2013
at 04:23 PM

Interesting. How do you feel on those days? Would you recommend light exercise or taking it easy on "liquid days?" There is an organic juice place near me that has vegetable juices that are made from celery/cucumber/cilantro/etc. They aren't sweet, but I'd be interested to see the nutritional info on them. Do you do pureed soups on those days?

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on March 26, 2013
at 04:21 PM

I've been doing this since February of last year. I have been learning and tweaking as I go. I haven't put a year into eating this way by not buying into the principles of Paleo. It's clear I have an adversarial relationship to food and calories. That's spelled out pretty clearly in the above post. As far as carbs, I am regularly under 75 at the most, but whenever I've logged into MFP, I am around 40or 50g.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on March 26, 2013
at 04:16 PM

Thank you for your insight. I agree with you on the lack of satiety with liquids. I am only thinking of doing it for a few days, so I am certain I can follow through. Still not sure it's a great idea, however. I do feel like once I'm at my weight goal, I will be able to maintain without much problem...it's the getting there that is such a struggle.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on March 26, 2013
at 02:52 PM

I've also considered strictly doing my hot yoga class a couple of days a week with a couple of days of weight training. I keep thinking about it which makes me think that I should try it out. I am afraid of cutting cardio, like I said, but there has got to be something to just doing what makes you happy. I hate my cardio classes on most days.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on March 26, 2013
at 02:50 PM

io as well, but that's a scary thought. Xfit isn't for me (did it for 4months), but I do love lifting, so I'm considering contacting my xfit trainer from before to do personal training with me. As far as my actual weight...I don't really care if I'm 140 and lean, but I don't feel lean. I'm 139 and I still look like I have my postpartum tummy. It's been 3.5 years since I had my last baby, that shit needs to go! I am guessing my BF is at about 29%, but that's just a weird estimate I found on the internet, so who really knows. Thanks again for the insight, it's helpful.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on March 26, 2013
at 02:47 PM

Thanks for responding.I agree about juicing being a sugar bomb.I can't say I really buy into the health benefits, however it's been so hard to figure out what to eat within my calorie range I thought it might be good in the short term.As far as getting near 1200cal, i know how to do it when eating sad, but paleowise, I find it so difficult, especially b/c I'm worried about negatively affecting my hormones/metabolism. I am going to take your advice re: carbs/when to eat carbs, but I think I need to map out my entire day prior to the day to stay in my calorie range. I am considering cutting card

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6 Answers

2
3bc294cb7745a5e99612ff886ca00101

(1186)

on March 26, 2013
at 03:00 PM

Juicing the low-sugar veggies like celery parsley and greens, less of the sweet things like carrots, might be a good place to start. Have 1 or more of 'liquid only' days per week, include broth, teas, and then reintroduce solids with a clean sense of what your body craves-- I find it to be a kind of 'appetite reset' and overall IF thing.

3bc294cb7745a5e99612ff886ca00101

(1186)

on March 26, 2013
at 06:14 PM

I feel fine on those days, walking a lot is fine for example and energy is normal, but I don't know if I would try a heavier workout. No pureed soups,I guess I still see that as solid-ish.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on March 26, 2013
at 04:23 PM

Interesting. How do you feel on those days? Would you recommend light exercise or taking it easy on "liquid days?" There is an organic juice place near me that has vegetable juices that are made from celery/cucumber/cilantro/etc. They aren't sweet, but I'd be interested to see the nutritional info on them. Do you do pureed soups on those days?

2
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on March 26, 2013
at 02:37 PM

I think that body composition (how you look and feel) is more important than the weight, sometimes your body's ideal weight is just higher than you think it should be or what shows up on a web site. So I would double check your goals and make sure you really want to lose 10 pounds or if you're really just trying to lose inches or gain muscle tone. 5'4" 139# doesn't sound fat to me, and according to typical metrics you're in the normal range.

I think that fresh vegetable juices have a lot of nutrients, but also lots of sugar, and the calories hit your system in a big burst. To me this isn't really any different from your body's perspective than eating candy. I think the sugar/insulin spike you'll get from the juice will make it hard to lose fat since your insulin levels will spike. I found it easiest to lean out when I had a zero-carb breakfast (i.e. eggs or other protein) and had other carbs only after working out.

A guideline (really just a guideline, not a hard and fast rule) is to eat about 10 calories per pound of target weight, assuming that you are working out regularly. If you really want to lose 10 ponds down to 129 then 1290 calories would be the guideline, but it sounds like you're having trouble eating anywhere near that.

I personally find that when I eat less carbs, I eat less food, and find it easier to skip meals, which I do a few times a week. This is not to say that you should be super low carb or anything, but for me any sugary or starchy foods at pretty much any time of day besides immediately after a workout actually make me hungrier. So eating a somewhat low carb paleo diet naturally cuts my food intake because the food is satisfying and i don't get on the sugar/insulin roller coaster.

You did not mention what your workouts are, but something else that worked for me was to cut cardio completely and do only high-intensity strength-based exercises such as crossfit. This really caused me to lean out, at first I lost some weight but later gained some weight but my waist did not change, so I think I lost fat and gained muscle.

Good luck!

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on March 26, 2013
at 02:50 PM

io as well, but that's a scary thought. Xfit isn't for me (did it for 4months), but I do love lifting, so I'm considering contacting my xfit trainer from before to do personal training with me. As far as my actual weight...I don't really care if I'm 140 and lean, but I don't feel lean. I'm 139 and I still look like I have my postpartum tummy. It's been 3.5 years since I had my last baby, that shit needs to go! I am guessing my BF is at about 29%, but that's just a weird estimate I found on the internet, so who really knows. Thanks again for the insight, it's helpful.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on March 26, 2013
at 02:47 PM

Thanks for responding.I agree about juicing being a sugar bomb.I can't say I really buy into the health benefits, however it's been so hard to figure out what to eat within my calorie range I thought it might be good in the short term.As far as getting near 1200cal, i know how to do it when eating sad, but paleowise, I find it so difficult, especially b/c I'm worried about negatively affecting my hormones/metabolism. I am going to take your advice re: carbs/when to eat carbs, but I think I need to map out my entire day prior to the day to stay in my calorie range. I am considering cutting card

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on March 26, 2013
at 10:23 PM

It was hard for me to cut cardio too because at the time I was exclusively running, and had painfully worked my mileage up to a level I was ok with (12-15 miles per week). But having quit it I never look back and feel a zillion times better.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on March 26, 2013
at 02:52 PM

I've also considered strictly doing my hot yoga class a couple of days a week with a couple of days of weight training. I keep thinking about it which makes me think that I should try it out. I am afraid of cutting cardio, like I said, but there has got to be something to just doing what makes you happy. I hate my cardio classes on most days.

1
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

on March 26, 2013
at 08:09 PM

Juicing concentrates calories. Eating whole veggies and limiting whole fruits is the way to go for calorie control.

1
6f4425e3c7dc0efe60da531c5d991487

on March 26, 2013
at 03:03 PM

From what it looks like, you aren't really eating in the spirit of paleo.
On top of that, you seem to have an adversarial relationship to food and calories.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest..... In my experience, lowering carb intake to 50g to 75g per day is when excess fat begins to drip off. You'll have to figure out how your own body responds through trial and error.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on March 26, 2013
at 04:21 PM

I've been doing this since February of last year. I have been learning and tweaking as I go. I haven't put a year into eating this way by not buying into the principles of Paleo. It's clear I have an adversarial relationship to food and calories. That's spelled out pretty clearly in the above post. As far as carbs, I am regularly under 75 at the most, but whenever I've logged into MFP, I am around 40or 50g.

1
048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

on March 26, 2013
at 02:47 PM

Drinking your calories will probably end in less satiety which may let you very hungry and fail in your plan unless you're really devoted to it and have a strong will.

If the juices will be made from mainly fruits, I guess it would be a bad idea because you would get a high load of sugar that will make it more difficult even if staying partially calorie restricted. I'd better eat a portion of fruit with it's pulp and you'd get less fructose and more fiber.

if the juices will be made of greens, then if you think about it you will more likely also have more calories because in the end it's the same food nutrition and calorie wise and now you can chop more of this because it is in liquid form. Also digestion would be faster in liquid form so less caloric expenditure to make digestion...

I'd bet for whole foods in the end. If you think that would control better by juicing, I'd suggest that you control by weighting all food before cooking so you know total calorie intake.

And for the food choices, few people cannot get slim by eating salad and chicken breast in a hypo-caloric diet and keeping their activity high. Move a lot, eat less and clean, and that should take you to your goal. But it's hard, that's why most people fails. I think Paleo is healthy and a good way to maintain once you get there and if you watch your food amount it's probably than can get to that even with a little bit high fat, moderate protein, low carb.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on March 26, 2013
at 04:16 PM

Thank you for your insight. I agree with you on the lack of satiety with liquids. I am only thinking of doing it for a few days, so I am certain I can follow through. Still not sure it's a great idea, however. I do feel like once I'm at my weight goal, I will be able to maintain without much problem...it's the getting there that is such a struggle.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on March 26, 2013
at 09:50 PM

I have to disagree on this one. Once you get to the desired weight/body composition, the hardest thing to do then is to be able to keep like this for long (ideally forever). And in fact, the higher you aim on your standards the harder will be to keep like this because the effort will probably be so hard that keeping forever is almost impossible. That of course depends on how challenging you goal is but most people aim high and keeping like this will need lots of dedication, dealing with life bad choices everywhere, strong will, etc... so better be prepared :)

0
1963db946ae415764d9044222fbf4c5b

on March 26, 2013
at 09:38 PM

I don't see any need for juicing, just eat low calorie on normal foods 2 or 3 days a week, e.g. egg based breakfast (no starches), skip lunch, meat+potato in the evening. Take a good omega-3 supplement on days when you don't eat oily fish, this sometimes helps losing fat and adding muscle.

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