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Is It Wise to Go On a Fruit and Vegetable Fast?


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I've gained a ridiculous amount a weight and thought it was a good time to try a fast that someone told me about. Instead of not eating anything, you drink water and eat various fruits and vegetables.

I'm already a vegetarian so this isn't a huge stretch but is it extremely unheallthy? I know that many fruits and vegetables are low calorie so I assume that I'd lose a little.

What do you think?

Edited Aug 03 2013 11:02 by coach_k
Reason: locked to prevent unnecessary zombie bumps
29 Replies (last)

No. Whole grains & protein sources (like tofu, tempeh, beans, nuts, fish & eggs if you eat them) are important part of a balanced diet. If you just have fruits & veg, you are getting a lot of fibre & vitamins but you'll be missing out on other important things.

Well, as far as I know the whole point of fasting is to not eat a lot in order to lose weight or, in some cases, grow spiritually (depends on what your purpose it). Anyway, I don't think you'd really be fasting if you added all that other stuff in like the beans, tofu, fish, and eggs. I'm no expert and I've personally never fasted myself. On the other hand, the closest I've ever come was last week when I came down with a cold/allergies and everything tasted so bland that I didn't even want to eat. I did end up eating soup on those days though and altogether I lost 5 lbs.

So, in a nutshell, I don't think it would hurt you to fast for no longer than 2 or three days. I think that you'd be ok healthwise during that time too as long as you slowly go back to eating a well balanced diet afterwards. During my accidental fast, I felt fine (other than having a cold, lol) and I don't think I hurt myself at all. Of course, I'm also no health professional, but those are my 2 cents. Smile

You could do a 'no junk food/processesed food' fast.  For a couple of days, eat nothing processesed - no box cereals, just oatmeal, no soda, no juice that has added sugar, no canned soups, no pre-packaged breads or snack bars, just water, fresh juice, fruits, veg, and homemade meals that include your necessary fats and protiens - just make sure you get at least a minimum amount of fat and your recommened amount of calories - you can't process vitamins without some fat, so eating only fruits and vegs alone would be nearly pointless, except for the fiber content.

I did this. Last year I ate as much fruit as I wanted throughout the morning ate an avocado salted midday and then raw veggies plain in the evening for a week. Then I drank freshly squeezed fruit juice all morning (as much as I wanted-about 80 oz) then 3 liters of water, 16 oz kombucha midday and later about 80 oz of veggie juice during the evening for four weeks. After the first week of juice I was fading, so I drank about 6 oz of homemade keifir with agave nectar to sweeten every night after my veggie juices for the remaining three weeks of juicing. On the sixth week, I went back to the whole fruits and veggies thing from the first week with some juice thrown in here and there. When that week was over I went back to eating a mostly raw foodist diet complete with oils and nuts (and a daily whole milk cappuccino)

I went from 165lbs to 139 lbs. When I went back to eating other things I evened out at about 145. I've bounced between 145-160 throughout the year since my cleanse. It's not about loosing weight. You really gain all of it back from a cleanse like that. A cleanse is a temporary state. It is not a lifestyle change. Weight loss is a lifestyle change. Easy come easy go is a cleanse.

I did get one very important thing from my cleanse...my face. I had horrible "before picture" acne all over my jaw. I looked like a pizza. Now I have zits, but they're normal. Like normal people get a pimple from eating a chocolate or from not washing your face in a week. I've heard similar stories about people who had horrible eczema and they just cleansed till it was gone.

The thing about cleansing is you have to listen to your body. The people that hurt themselves are the people who are too serious and strict and they don't allow themselves things like when I needed that keifir. Also, if you are too lax and let yourself eat too many cheat foods you won't see the benifiets. You HAVE TO LISTEN TO YOUR BODY....

Don't cleanse to loose weight.

Cleanse to cleanse.

Check out this website:http://www.thefruitpages.com/weightloss.shtml

I am not sure how accurate or anything that it isbut since you already don't eat meat, give it a try, its basically a vegan diet. I had a friend who went vegan for medical reasons and lost a lot of weight (not on purpose)

I do this every couple years. Usually, it's after having a bad junk food week and just feeling out of whack. I do it for 3-5 days, just fresh fruit, vegetables, and fresh juice from my juicer. I have no sceintific basis for doing this other than I feel better afterwords. There's literature in the natural health world which supports it, the medical profession tends to not find merit in it....I'm usually skeptical of both. Bottom line is, you'll be fine, despite running some nutrient deficits for a few days.

I second what hgharmon said.  But since you ask, you probably have doubts.  I don't think it's right to fast to lose weight, but it's nice to take a break from it all. More of a spiritual thing for me when I undertake a fast.  If you do it with losing weight in mind it's "restrictive" and often can cause the "bounce back" in weight when the fast is over.  I've seen it in family members...  Good luck.

Why would cutting out 2 of the 3 essential macronutrients be a good idea?

Well, you wouldn't be completely cutting out any macronutrients by sticking to just fresh fruits and veggies. However, I agree that your fat and protein intakes would be low. As I said, I don't know that I could provide any concrete evidence as to the merits of a short fruit/veggie fast other than I just feel better afterwards. Sometimes I just have a crappy food week, overindulging in processed or fried foods and I just need a day or two to get my body back in order. A short raw fruit/veggie fast seems to do the trick. For whatever it's worth, Dr. Andrew Weil and other integrative medicine practitioners, see nothing wrong with an occassional fast.

 

Original Post by hgharmon:

As I said, I don't know that I could provide any concrete evidence as to the merits of a short fruit/veggie fast

Because there is no evidence to suggest that a fruit/veggie 'fast' has any merits whatsoever.

Original Post by hgharmon:

other than I just feel better afterwards.

Feeling better after doing something doesn't mean that that something is good for you.  Coke addicts feel much better after snorting coke but that doesn't make it a wise health decision.

Original Post by hgharmon:

Sometimes I just have a crappy food week, overindulging in processed or fried foods and I just need a day or two to get my body back in order.  

 What makes you think that eating an incredibly unbalanced diet for a couple days will 'get your body back in order' better than eating a clean and balanced diet during that time?

Perhaps it's more of a mental discipline thing for me. I kind of helps put the breaks on when my I allow myself far too many indulgences. I don't really disagree with what you're saying, but I'm not going to drop dead from a occasional fast, especailly when I otherwise eat a really well-planned diet.

That being said, you could make the case that a large swath of the population eating the standard american diet probably live day to day with nutritional deficits and other imbalances.

 

Like Madamebones, I also fasted last year to cleanse my system.  I did it with juices and smoothies from fruits and vegetable.  I fasted for 6 weeks, then transitioned to a raw veg diet, and finally back to norm.

Although weight loss is an affect, I highly do NOT recommend this if that is your motivation.A better idea is to begin to incorporate more raw fruits and vegetables into your regualr diet.  Stay away from salad dressings, if you can.  I like juicing because it's easier for me to consume massive quantities of veg without adding dressings, etc.  I mix juices from greens with some fruits to make it more palatable.

Also, be very weary that most fruits are very high in sugar, and this could easily cause weight gain.

Oh, I forgot one key point...  When I went back to a normal diet, I regained all the weight I had lost. (I am not an overweight person to begin with.)

Frankly, it is a rubbish idea. Eat for health, not misery.

Original Post by mashed_tatties:

Frankly, it is a rubbish idea. Eat for health, not misery.

Saying someone's ideas are rubbish is a bit insulting.  I think juice fasting, for the right reason, is a great idea on occasion.  There are many studies which show its benefits for certain ailments and conditions.

That said, I will restate that a juice fast is not a great idea if your goal is long term weight loss.  To achieve this one needs a lifestyle change..  modify the diet and increase exercise.

Original Post by gpat919:

There are many studies which show its benefits for certain ailments and conditions.

Such as? 

Here's one:  www.google.com

haha Tongue out

Seriously, I've read much information on juice fasting (and water fasting) on the web, and in books such as "The Raw Food Detox Diet" and "Green for Life" 

Changes of faecal flora in rheumatoid arthritis during fasting and one-year vegetarian diet
R Peltonen, J Kjeldsen-Kragh, M Haugen, J Tuominen, et al. British Journal of Rheumatology. London: Jul 1994. Vol. 33, Iss. 7; pg. 638, 6 pgs

Brief case reports of medically supervised, water-only fasting associated with remission of autoimmune disease
Joel Fuhrman, Barbara Sarter, David J Calabro. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. Aliso Viejo: Jul/Aug 2002. Vol. 8, Iss. 4; pg. 112, 3 pgs

Both studies showed postive outcomes in treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Original Post by gpat919:

Here's one:  www.google.com

haha Tongue out

Seriously, I've read much information on juice fasting (and water fasting) on the web, and in books such as "The Raw Food Detox Diet" and "Green for Life" 

 Does this mean you can't provide any examples of the 'many studies' you claim to exist?

Original Post by hgharmon:

Both studies showed postive outcomes in treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

 Yet, neither study examined juice fasts which gpat919 claims has been shown to help all sort so ailments.

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