To juice or not to juice?

K’s brother M has lost over 6 stone in the last 18 months by following a juicing diet. He’s become quite evangelical about it (not in a boring, just-shut-the-hell-up kind of way) and it’s clearly doing him the power of good. He looks like a different person, and now is just your average slightly overweight middle aged man rather than the clinically obese, on-the-verge-of-a-heart-attack middle aged man that he was. K has been watching his progress with at first a level of scepticism – M has tried many other fad diets in the past: Atkins, Weight Watchers, Slimming World, etc and has never stuck with any of them past the first 2 stone (which any diet savvy person knows is relatively easy in the first throes of a new regime) – and increasingly with interest at how he has maintained this incredible weight loss. He eats like a normal person at social gatherings and still enjoys meals out and the odd takeaway, but day-to-day he is a juice man and at his own admission will probably always be a juice man. He juices all day and then has a healthy meal in the evening.

K is nowhere near the size that M was but is definitely in need of losing a couple of stone. I have tried to encourage him to eat healthily with me when I have undertaken my own bouts of “dieting” and he has had some limited success, but he is almost childlike when it comes to food and hates to be left out when something nice is being handed out. This has quite often ended with me getting cross and using phrases like “I’m only thinking of you” and “well, OK …….if you really think you need it?”  Not a great situation for a healthy marriage.

In the summer we met up with M and his family at their house and M whipped up a couple of juices for us to try – in a bid to prove that it’s not all about green slime and odd looking glasses of stuff that shouldn’t actually be able to be in a glass. We were all quite impressed with the taste – even the kids were relatively keen. I suggested to K that he try one more time to lose some weight by cutting out the treats, etc and that if that didn’t work then he could give the juicing a go. There’s expense involved in juicing and my theory being that if you can lose weight naturally by cutting down then surely a juicer and spending lots of cash on mountains of excess fruit and veg shouldn’t be necessary.

Well, we are now at the start of a new year and K is at his biggest. Still not a massive issue (see what I did there?) but enough to be causing him to feel uncomfortable in his clothes and not wanting to go swimming with the kids. So, we have bought a juicer and a trolley load of fruit and veg and he has started today on a 5-day detox diet. The idea is that you consume nothing but juice all day – a ginger/apple shot first thing to get your metabolism going and then a juice for breakfast, one for lunch, another mid-afternoon and one for dinner. Then just water for the rest of the time. Hmm. Sounds do-able for just 5 days. Or so I thought. In an act of solidarity and to try and shift the excess 3 pounds that I gained over Christmas I agreed to do it with him. By 4pm I was willing to eat my own arm, I was that hungry. I caved and had some nuts and raisins (still healthy!) and am going to have to have a dinner tonight. I know it sounds feeble and I am quite surprised at myself as I am a big advocate of the 5:2 diet and have never felt such an urge to eat something on a fasting day. But I just can’t see myself managing this for 5 days. I will continue to support K and hope that he is able to carry on with it for the rest of the 4 days and hopefully beyond into the day to day regime that M follows.

Footnote: I am no slim-Jim myself and need to lose at least another half stone to get to a “healthy weight” so this is not a “holier than thou” attitude of mine. My weight has increased and decreased with incredible regularity over the years and I am not known for my willpower. I just know that losing weight takes a bit of hard work and dedication and the ability to say “No” to the biscuit when you have already eaten enough. So I will be as supportive of K as possible. Just maybe not as a juicing companion.

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