The movie chronicles Joe, a man who started the movie with an autoimmune disorder and other health problems. Joe realizes that his health problems might have something to do with his diet, which up until this point has been high in processed food, takeout, and large portions. Joe decides to embark on a 60 day “juice fast” in order to lose weight and improve health. Along the way, he interviews people across the US about health, nutrition, and weight - two of which he inspires to also start a juice fast. One woman does a shorter 10 day version and then regularly incorporated juicing into her diet afterward, while the other gentleman decides to embark on the full 60 days. Both Joe and the second individual, Phil, lose dramatic amounts of weight during their juice fast.
What I didn’t like was the major emphasis on juicing. I think many people might take it as looking for a ‘quick fix’ to their weight and health problems. A healthy rate of weight loss is somewhere in the range of a ½ pound to 2 pounds per week – not 9-15 pounds in a week as shown at some points in this movie. I as much as the next person love dramatic transformation stories – who doesn’t? – but in reality, we put weight on gradually, and we should take it off gradually. I know that probably wouldn’t sell as well – I don’t picture many people running to the theater for a tagline of “Watch this guy lose 4 pounds in a month!” But rapid weight loss can lead to health problems like gallstones, headaches, fatigue and more. Now, did those happen in this movie? Nope. Would they happen to everyone? Nope. But my personal and scientific beliefs are that we should make sustainable, lifestyle changes that promote weight loss – not trying a low-cal juice diet for 2 months because it could result in quick weight loss.
On that note, throughout the movie there were recommendations to do just a 7-10 day juice fast or incorporate juicing into a balanced diet, rather than the more extreme 60 day cleanse. While I personally wouldn’t recommend a 7-10 day juice fast – I think people tend to feel overly deprived and often overindulge after that week – I also don’t see much harm in a week of this if you believe in it or feel that it would be beneficial for your body. And incorporating it into a balanced diet with whole produce, whole grains, beans, etc.? Sure, why not! It certainly could help you boost your micronutrient and phytocemical intake – you are combining tons of them into an easy to drink option.
Let’s touch on the definition of types of nutrients for a minute, because the video misses the mark a bit. Throughout the video, Joe calls fruits and veggies “micronutrient foods” and everything else “macronutrient foods.” That’s not true. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals. Macronutrients are carbohydrates, fats, and protein. So yes, fruits and veggies contain many vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) but they also do contain carbohydrates – a macronutrient. Along the same lines, lean beef provides a lot of protein (a macronutrient) but also provides iron – a micronutrient.
The problem with relying on just juicing for too long is that you’re missing out on some essential nutrients. With many juicers, you extract the juice and separate out the pulp from your juice – so you’re missing out on the fiber in the foods. In addition, you’ll also fall short on protein and essential fatty acids. Again, for a few days or maybe a week, this wouldn’t be a major concern – but I certainly don’t think it’s healthy to do so for 2 months. Remember, weight does not always = health. Even though Joe’s medical monitoring and blood work showed no problems in his story doesn’t mean it would work the same for every individual.
I also wish they had touched on what diet they were eating afterward. At the beginning of the movie, he said that he was going to focus on fruits, veggies, beans and nuts afterward – but there is really none of this shown or mentioned again in the movie. I would’ve liked to see what his post-juicing diet was like.
I guess the point of all my rambling here – why not just focus on eating more whole fruits and veggies rather than looking for a quick fix? Focusing on making the majority of your meals plant-based foods is useful, nutritious, and sustainable over the long term. And maybe it’s just me, but I like to eat! I’d prefer creating delicious, nutritious meals that I can sit and savor, rather than trying to get down a so-so green juice.
But those are just my thoughts. What about you? What did you think of the movie?