Juicing has gained a lot of media attention over the last year or two and is viewed by many as a ‘silver bullet’ to losing weight and getting healthy, but on its own juicing is NOT the answer.
There is no denying that juicing can have significant health benefits. Just take a quick look at some of my juicing success stories and you will discover how it has helped those suffering from obesity, PCOS, IBS, Crohn’s disease, cancer, high blood pressure, gout, skin conditions, sleep apnoea, diabetes, addiction, depression… The list is VERY long.
I am not saying juicing doesn’t work. It has been key to me reclaiming my own health – shedding over 5.5 stone (75 pounds) and beating multiple physical and mental health conditions. But juicing is just one part of my story and just one part of the success I’ve seen with my coaching clients and those who attend my courses.
In some ways, juicing reminds me of something else that is in vogue right now – the selfie stick.
It is hard to go to a big event or tourist attraction these days without seeing someone with a selfie stick, fully extended and snapping a quick memento to remind them later that they were there.
The selfie stick is a great invention and works wonders in the moment, but on the flip side it requires the person using it to constantly be in control and focused. It takes effort to use and is unlikely to be the tool of choice for those who have studied the art of photography, picture composition and how to get the best longterm results.
The problem with the selfie stick is it only has one ‘leg’. It is a tool for a specific task, but it is not the ‘magic bullet’ for every situation.
Juicing is the same.
When I say juicing is the same, I want to define exactly what I am talking about. See juicing has become a term with multiple meanings. For me, juicing simply means extracting the liquid from plants and drinking it. For many, it means extended periods of living on juice only, often referred to as a juice cleanse, juice fast or reboot. The latter is what I am comparing to a selfie stick.
Juice cleanses can create rapid results, but so often these results are not sustainable. I am often contacted by people who have tried a period on juice only, shed pounds and felt better than they have in years, only to reverse this when they start eating again. I’ve also been contacted by people who have juiced for extended periods without following an appropriately structured plan and experienced negative side effects such as hair loss.
28 days or 60 days on juice only, lose weight get well. Return to old behaviours, gain weight feel rough. Repeat.
The biggest concern for me is juicing as the latest yo-yo diet. Sure, you will NEVER here those who are ‘juicing’ calling it a ‘diet’ but if you look at the pattern they follow that is EXACTLY what they are doing. 28 days or 60 days on juice only, lose weight get well. Return to old behaviours, gain weight feel rough. Repeat.
It took me a couple of years, lots of research and a few personal f*ck ups to figure out what was going on, but I now believe there are 3 things we need to master to be in control of our own health. Ironically this is similar to the number of legs on the professional equivalent of the selfie stick.
Professional photographers will typically use a tripod. The three legs give strength and stability to support their cameras long term. The photographer does not need to put all of his effort on supporting the camera, but can instead focus on using it. What if instead of focusing on how to support and fuel your body, you too could focus on enjoying and using it?
So what are the 3 things?
Well 2 of them have big industries built around them. Every January these industries see a big rise in customers as people rush to undo the excesses of Christmas and New Year (and Thanksgiving for those in the US).
The first port of call for many is the fitness industry and they flock to join the gym. Movement is critical to health, problem is that joining a gym doesn’t get results, going to the gym does. By mid February many abandon their plans, slip back into their old habits and cease using the gym.
It is worth noting here that research also shows that going to the gym can make people fat! Why? Because they overeat thinking they can treat themselves after they exercise. This leads me onto the second industry because…
You Can’t Outrun Your Fork
In other words, you can’t out exercise a bad diet. There is a huge diet industry worldwide, which in the UK alone is worth £2 billion each year (compare to £100m per year in the late 1970s).
Diets can work, regardless of the type of diet used, but they are generally not sustainable. Fixing your intake alone will not create lasting change because it does not address the number one issue.
Ever heard the saying you are what you eat? Well, I believe that you are also what you THINK.
The real answer to obesity and the rise of western disease is education and a change in our beliefs and behaviours. If you don’t address your mindset (something I refer to as your attitude) then you have not dealt with the root cause of behaviours such as a sedentary lifestyles and emotional eating.
When you have your own tripod (Attitude, Intake and Movement) in place then you too can focus on using the equipment it supports to create something beautiful.
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