The Juice Plus Diet Review
By WLR's Site Manager, Laurence Beeken
You’re bound to have seen Facebook postings and ads by UK Juice Plus agents – but what’s this MLM diet all about?
WLR Site manager Laurence Beeken reports on the Juice Plus diet, how it works, and what it’s good (and bad) for, plus some WLR members chip in with their reviews.
What is the Juice Plus Diet?
The full Juice plus diet (Juice Plus+ Complete) is a meal replacement plan. There are basically 3 elements to the diet:
- cut down on calories by substituting meals for shakes or bars
- up your fruit and vegetable intake
- supplement your diet with the juice based tablets
The supplements are also sold alone and claim to ‘bridge the gap’ when your normal diet doesn’t provide the recommended 5 a day of fruits and vegetables.
How do You Follow the Plan?
- Detox for 2 weeks
- Replace 2 meals a day for 2 weeks
- Take the Juice Plus supplements
What are Juice Plus+ Supplements?
According to company literature, the Juice PLUS+ capsules and chewables are the “next best thing to fruit and vegetables” and contain 26 varieties. The company claims they are formulated to give you all the phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals that your body needs, that’s a big claim that’s not really verified.
Juice Plus Food
“Nutrition is King” according to the welcome pack and you start with a pretty drastic two week detox plan. You follow this for 2 weeks to “cleanse your fat stores” and “rid your body of toxins”.
We entered a typical day into the WLR food diary to check the calories and nutritional breakdown:
- Calories: 1000
- Protein: 24%
- Carbohydrate: 19%
- Fat: 57%
So it’s not a particularly healthy balance of nutrients - far too few carbs and far too much fat. The only positive thing is the amount of fruit and veg that it contains. The low calories are likely also to leave you very low on energy and are below what we would recommend.
Juice Plus Recipes
Although the detox recipes appear to be interesting and varied, we found that some are pretty vague - e.g. chicken pizza with parsnips chips; it turns out this is chicken breast covered in tomato puree and peppers (although still no clue to the parsnips chips).
Snack suggestions on the whole are pretty sensible, (although I’d not class green tea, herbal tea and mineral water as snacks).
When your 2 week detox is over, you eat your normal meals but replace 1 or 2 with a Juice Plus shake.
However, Juice Plus allows you to have ‘baby’ cheat days and ‘daddy’ cheat days after the initial 14 days detox, just in case you find the whole thing too restrictive.
Now I have a problem with this straight away… Cheat is not a positive word and implies that your eating plan is rigid. The word itself implies that enjoying your meal is something that is forbidden, or against the rules – it has even been suggested that cheat days encourage overeating on those days as you try to make up for the preceding restrictive days.
The whole concept of cheat days is further complicated in the Juice Plus plan by breaking them down into Baby Cheat and Daddy Cheat days – so if you can’t cope with a small ‘cheat’ you can opt for a big ‘cheat’.
Then, Juice plus go on to restrict the ‘cheat’ - almost as though they have realized the error in their thinking and have attempted damage limitation. The cheat is time restricted, so for example, the baby cheat needs to be a snack that you can eat in 15 minutes - well I know people who can wolf down a whole meal in 15 minutes…
Juice Plus also advise you to drink water and take a supplement capsule to limit ‘the damage’ of the cheat. In addition, you’re advised to only eat healthy food, not count calories or worry about portion size – it just gets too messy for my liking.
Does the Juice Plus Diet Work?
If you can follow the diet you will lose weight as it is essentially very low in calories. Whether you’ll be able to keep it up long enough to lose a significant amount of weight is questionable. The diet is very restrictive and not easy to fit into real life.
It’s also unlikely that Juice Plus will help with long term weight control, since you don’t really learn about how to eat healthily in a normal, sustainable and enjoyable way. (You need WLR to help you do that – you can try it free)
WLR Members Juice Plus Reviews
Some WLR members have tried Juice Plus. A few even use the supplements, shakes or bars alongside WLR. Here’s what they have to say:
“I seem to have a plethora of friends on FB and some people at work who have all suddenly started doing/eating Juice Plus...
I've just had a look at their website (as I had no idea what it was) and it just seems to be like Slimfast (i.e. 2 shakes/soups a day, plus a balanced meal) - but it's £75 for 15 days worth of shakes/soups...
I honestly can't believe that people will pay those kind of prices. I suppose it's the same as a lot of the fad-type diets - fast weight loss without the effort (until you have to start eating actual food again...)” WLR Member
“I got rid of 3 stone last year using juice plus. It wasn't a deliberate choice. My marriage had broken down and I wasn't eating so juice plus was a good way of me having "meals" without having to think about it. When I came off it (I started missing food) I gained a stone back. I have chosen not to go back to it because I need to retrain my palette and learn the lessons for me gaining weight in the first place which meal replacements don't do. So Yes it works because you still follow calorie controlled programme but I personally wouldn't return to it. I do however still take the fruit and veg capsules because I am not a great fan of either so that way I get the nutrition from them. Hope that helps.” devondumpling72
“I lost 2 stone in 12 weeks in 2011 by eating a variety of foods, counting my calories and walking an average of 20 miles a week.
There's no magic to Juice Plus, it's just an expensive way of controlling your calorie intake. As a hater of MLM companies I wouldn't touch it anyway.
If you haven't time to plan/shop keep some ready meals in the freezer, they're not ideal but they're proper food.” Sooz68
“I went off plan for a couple of weeks due to lack of motivation etc. Then last week a friend of mine was raving about how great Juice Plus was! Well there was me thinking that would be great to kick start my weight loss again! So I spoke to the agent and found out the cost (blimey that stuff is expensive) and she told me how great it was and all the good things it can do for your body inside and out, and there I was thinking this is good I suffer from IBS and this stuff seems to sort it all out, and helps you lose weight.
Then another friend of mine posted this blog about meal replacement diets! I am so glad I read it as the agent did not explain all the chemicals etc in it. I guess as a grown up I should have known but I was sucked in to thinking it was a great idea to do this. I am glad that I did read this blog first as it has made me realise that the only way I am gonna loss weight is by getting off my butt and exercising and eating healthy meals!
So here I go again back on tracking and using the best healthy options possible” Shebay33
“I know several people who have lost weight using shakes and this is just another variant on the same theme. All are now bigger than they were originally AND that includes someone who sat through Christmas dinner with her shake. I think they must lose a lot of muscle using that system.” EnglishCountryDancer
Successful weight loss is all about getting the balance right and adopting a healthy lifestyle. With WLR you don't go on a diet, you learn about healthy eating with the aid of our tools and resources.