If you’ve been reading the My Body Updates series on here, you’ll know that I mentioned I’d been using Juice Plus. Juice Plus is a brand with a confusing name; they sell protein shakes, vitamin capsules etc. it is not a ‘juicing’ diet. I signed up with my partner for the four month programme, meaning we’d both be on it for 2 months in total. I had one shake for breakfast, mixed with almond milk, fruit and occasionally had honey with it. I’d then have a second shake for lunch mixed with water. For our evening meals we attempted to be healthy, in that most of the time we’d have a home cooked meal, made from scratch, but once a week we’d have a takeaway and/or go out for dinner. In between meals, healthy snacks are recommended. The majority of the time I’d have rice cakes with organic peanut butter, even though peanuts aren’t part of the plan, a piece of fruit, a nakd bar or homous and carrot sticks.
My bloating reduced considerably, which I think gave the impression of a large weight loss, when in fact only a few pounds had been shifted according to the scales. My stomach cramps and gas definitely reduced also, but I did find myself going to the bathroom more often than would be usual for me.
In terms of weight, I did notice a good weight loss within the first week of 3lbs whilst on Juice Plus, which I achieved without a single workout. Since the first week, my weight fluctuated around the same, but I did not see anything dramatic. I put this down to the fact that I wasn’t strict with evening meals, and the fact my shoulder injury prevented me attending the gym as much as I’d have liked to, or even at all for a good few weeks.
I found myself waiting as long as possible to drink my morning shake, starting work at 8am and trying to wait until 9:30am to actually consume it. This was to prevent hunger kicking in later in the morning. I’d have my rice cakes around 11am and my second shake with water around 1pm. I’d have some fruit at about 3:30pm, and my evening meal when Andrew got home from work, anytime between 7pm-9pm.
I found myself extremely hungry by the time I got home around 5:30pm. Most nights I was reaching for carrots and homous just to keep me going before dinner. If I had been fit enough to go to the gym, I most certainly wouldn’t have had the energy to complete a workout. Because of my lack of energy, I craved carbs and takeaway as well as sugary snacks.
I also took the capsules throughout the period, 1 vegetable, 1 fruit and 1 berry. I did find these gave me an energy boost, but obviously did nothing to curb the hunger pangs I’d get early evening.
By the end of the programme, I found myself grumpy and miserable, which I think was down to the fact that I was so hungry come evening time. I didn’t find the days a struggle, especially being busy at work, but, my evenings were definitely a struggle. I possibly wasn’t consuming enough snacks throughout the day, but I definitely can’t carry on.
I think I’d be able to cope with the breakfast shake, as this had fruit added, making it a much more filling meal. The lunch shake was enough to keep me going for the afternoon at work, but not enough to curb my hunger until my evening meal. As soon as I noticed my mood being impacted by my hunger, I knew it was time to stop.
Overall, I think Juice Plus is a great idea for busy people to ensure you are consuming your vitamins via the capsules. I think the breakfast ‘smoothie’ shake would be sustainable, but two shakes a day, one being with water, is definitely not sustainable.
I have a feeling that eating healthy and having the energy to actually workout, will make more of a difference than simply a 2 shakes a day Juice Plus diet, I also doubt I could maintain it for four months, even if you drop to one shake a day (if only with water) for the last two months.