AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Doctors believe many people are not seeing weight loss results from juicing because they're doing it wrong.
Since 2009 juicing has been a popular health trend for people to get in shape especially when bikini season is around the corner, but before you hit the juicer this spring there are a few things you need to know.
Beverly Lewis, Doctor of of Osteopathic Medicine, is an avid juicer herself but said a common mistake people are making is juicing more fruit than vegetables.
Vegetables should be the main ingredient in the juice because fruit juice is mainly sugary water, and consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
To sweeten drinks Lewis suggests using fruit.
"My recommendation is that you use a variety of different vegetables and try to pick different colors so that you get a variety of different nutrients that are exclusive to those different colors of vegetables," Lewis said. "People will often times add an apple, pear, or a banana to it just for flavoring and for a little bit of sweetness so that the vegetable juice isn't quite as bitter."
Most of the fiber we get from fruits and vegetables comes from the skin and pulp, but when those foods are juiced that nutrient is left behind.
"It's important to either add the pulp back to your juice so that you get that fiber back in your juice or you can use it in other forms of cooking," Lewis said. "Some people will add almond milk to add protein as well as flax seed and things like that."
Many times people will juice more fruits and vegetables than they would eat in one serving, which leads to a higher sugar intake.
"You want to remind them that they're juicing for a reason and a lot of times they'll use a lot of fruits because that tastes good and whenever you do that the sugar and calorie content begin to climb significantly," Lewis said. "Many people like to juice with exclusive fruits and that can have high calories and high sugar loads and that can be a particular problem if you have medical problems like diabetes and hypertension."
Doctors urge people to keep an eye on the juice they buy at the store as well because sometimes bottles can sit on shelves for extended amounts of time and vitamins are destroyed by oxygen exposure.
Lewis said people juicing need to balance it with their everyday diet.
"Just juicing is never OK as an exclusive way of health behavior," Lewis said. "When people say they just juice I think that their diet otherwise isn't healthy, so their drinking exclusively, like for a rapid weight loss program, or a detox, or something like that. That's probably not the safest way to be using juicing, it should be used in combination with a health life style and diet of complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats as well."
If choosing to diet doctors want you to do it in a way that's safe and beneficial.
"Always do it in moderation in combination with a healthy diet and exercise for the best benefit," Lewis said. "Try to vary the components of your juicing to multiple different colors of fruits and vegetables for the most benefit."