You may have heard that juicing is a good solution for binge eating, orthorexia, or another form of eating disorder. Juicing is a trend that has gained popularity in recent years, and most juice cleanses call for eliminating solid foods and only drinking fresh juice for 3-10 days. Does this reset really support our bodies and eliminate binge eating disorder?
Healing binge eating disorder and other disordered eating is not about willpower or a total body reset. How many times have you attempted to go on a new diet, only to end up back in the binging cycle? The excitement of trying something new is completely valid, and often we feel a strong surge of hope that this will be the one solution to end all of our eating problems and help us lose weight.
Unfortunately, disordered eating and binge eating cannot be cured by a week or more of drinking juice. The work goes much deeper, addressing our thought patterns, behaviors, and history of eating. Our relationship with our food and body is so nuanced, and takes time to untangle.
An essential part of the healing journey is learning to trust your body. Part of this process of building trust is providing adequate, consistent nourishment to your body.
Speaking of trusting your body – part of that is knowing that your body is complex and wise. Our organs are hard at work for us every day. The liver oversees more than 500 essential tasks in our body! These functions include flushing toxins from our body and keeping us healthy in a number of ways. Our kidneys also play a role in regulation and toxin removal. If you don’t have any outstanding medical conditions that include these organs, your body is doing the work for you. You don’t need any special juice or super food for this – just regular hydration, nourishment, and self care.
Juice does contain some great nutrients, but it is stripped of fiber – the one component that allows for increased satiety. Some antioxidants and nutrients that are bound to fiber are also lost in the juicing process.
Drinking nothing but juice may lead to higher ups and downs, as our blood sugar levels are less stable. Many people experience “hanger” or moodiness and irritability with these chaotic levels. Have you ever felt cranky or angry – only to have the black cloud lifted with a snack or meal?
This is because consuming nothing but juice leaves out both protein and fat, nutrients that support balance and feeling full and satisfied. You may also find yourself thinking about food frequently while on a juice cleanse — which ultimately can lead to a binge in itself.
Long story short: if you like the taste of juice and want to drink a glass – go for it! But using juicing as a method of “detoxing” and curing binge eating is dangerous and generally causes more harm than good.
PS. This is my professional opinion and not suited for all people. You know your body best!
If you need support in your next steps – nutrition therapy may be right for you.