Benefits, weight loss, and downsides

Benefits, weight loss, and downsides

The 21 Day Juice Diet is a weight loss plan touted as an easy and effective alternative to cliched diets.

In fact, the plan’s creator claims that the diet is linked to a long list of benefits and can help improve sleep, keep your skin glowing, boost energy levels, and boost weight loss almost instantly.

However, there are many serious downsides associated with this program, and it may do more harm than good in the long run when it comes to your health.

This article will take a closer look at the 21-day smoothie diet, how it works, and some of the negative risks and side effects that may be associated with it.

The 21 Day Juice Diet is a weight loss plan developed by health coach Drew Sgutas.

The plan involves swapping out two of your meals each day with smoothies, and the principles of the program are outlined in “The Smoothie Diet” e-book available online for $47.

The e-book includes 36 smoothie recipes, meal and snack ideas, shopping lists, weekly schedules, and tips for preparing smoothies and maintaining long-term weight loss.

According to Sgoutas, a 3-week diet plan can help promote healthy eating, boost immune function, detoxify the body, improve skin and gut health, and increase energy levels.

Sgoutas also claims that the diet can promote weight loss. In fact, some testimonials presented on the site claim that the plan resulted in a loss of up to 9 lbs (4 kg) of weight in just 3 days.


The 21 Day Smoothie Diet is a 3-week diet plan that involves replacing 2 meals per day with juices. The program claims to boost immunity, increase energy levels, improve skin and gut health, and increase rapid weight loss.

The 21 day smoothie diet involves replacing 2 portions of your meal each day with juices using the recipes in the e-book.

There are 36 recipes in the book, created using ingredients like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and almond or coconut milk.

In addition to these two smoothies, the plan allows you to eat one solid meal a day and two healthy snacks.

Solid meals should consist mostly of whole foods, and snacks should be low in sugar and high in fibre, with about 150-200 calories per serving.

You are also allowed one cheat day per week where you don’t have any juices, although meals should mostly consist of whole, minimally processed foods.

Optionally, you can start the plan with a 3-day detox program, which requires you to have juice in place of your three daily meals, with two healthy snacks in between.

According to the program’s website, the diet works by creating a calorie deficit, which means you expend more calories than you consume each day.

The diet is also rich in fiber and is claimed to help reset taste buds to reduce sugar cravings.

The program is scheduled to be followed for 3 weeks but can be repeated as many times as needed until you “reach your target weight”.


21 Day Smoothie creates a calorie deficit by replacing two portions of your meal with juices and eating one solid meal and two snacks per day. The plan should be followed for 3 weeks and can be repeated as many times as needed.

The 21-Day Smoothie Diet encourages nutrient-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables while limiting processed ingredients.

food to eat

Most smoothie recipes included in the 3-week program consist of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds mixed with coconut milk, coconut water or almond milk.

Additionally, the plan emphasizes minimally processed whole foods for the remaining meals and snacks while on the diet.

Some specific examples of foods encouraged in the 21-day smoothie diet:

  • the fruit:Banana, pear, apple, orange, pineapple, raspberry, strawberry
  • vegetables: Spinach, kale, cauliflower, peppers, carrots and broccoli
  • Protein foods: Chicken, turkey, salmon, eggs, legumes, greek yogurt
  • All grains: Brown rice, quinoa, oats, buckwheat, popcorn
  • Nuts and seedsFlaxseeds, almonds, walnuts, chia seeds and nut butters
  • Drinks: Almond milkCoconut milk, coconut water
  • Herbs and spices: Vanilla extract, fresh ginger, parsley and mint cinnamon
  • other ingredients: Unsweetened cocoa powder, unsweetened coconut flakes, vanilla extract, granola, honey

Foods to avoid

On the 21-day smoothie diet, you should limit your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and processed foods, including processed meats, refined grains, and fried foods.

Here are some examples of foods to limit or avoid while following the diet:

  • Processed meat: Bacon, ham, pepperoni, cold cuts, salami
  • Refined grains: White rice, white pasta, white bread, tortilla
  • Fried foods: French fries, mozzarella sticks, donut, fried chicken, fish sticks
  • Processed foods: Convenience meals, cookies, chips, pastries, baked goods
  • Sugar-sweetened drinks: Soda, sweet tea, sports drinks and energy drinks


Processed whole foods are slightly encouraged on the 21-day juice diet, including fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. In the meantime, the plan limits processed foods like refined grains, convenience meals, and sugary drinks.

According to the creator of the 21-Day Smoothie Diet, the plan provides a total of about 1,500 calories per day.

Consuming 1,500 calories a day leads to weight loss for many people. However, this may vary based on many different factors, including your age, body size, health status, and activity level (1).

The diet also encourages a variety of nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, all of which are high in fiber.

Fiber moves through the digestive system slowly, helping you feel fuller for longer, which may support weight loss (2And the 3).

However, despite being low in calories and high in fiber, the 21 Day Smoothie is very restrictive and can be difficult to follow.

Furthermore, research suggests that liquids, such as juices, are less filling than solid foods, which means you may feel hungrier when you drink juices daily (4).

Not only that, but some studies show that weight loss programs that use meal replacements may be associated with an increased risk of regaining weight once regular diet is resumed (5And the 6).

So, while replacing some of your meals with juices may lead to weight loss in the short term, it is not likely to be effective in the long term.


The 21-day smoothie diet is low in calories, as well as high in fiber, which may lead to short-term weight loss. However, studies show that juices may be less satiating than solid foods. Additionally, the plan can be difficult to follow and can increase your risk of regaining weight.

In addition to being restrictive, unsustainable, and difficult to follow, the 21-day juice diet can have many downsides and side effects.

Increases the risk of nutrient deficiencies

Eating only one meal per day and replacing the remaining two with juices may increase the risk of nutritional deficiencies.

Although the smoothie recipes recommended in this program contain nutrient-dense ingredients such as fruits and vegetables, they also eliminate or limit many foods that are included in a balanced meal, such as whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins.

Some of them are also low in protein. For example, Green Detox juice made with kale, coconut water, banana, ginger, and lemon contains less than 4 grams of protein per serving.

This makes it difficult to ensure that you are meeting your protein needs, which negatively impacts tissue repair, muscle growth, immune function, and more (7).

Additionally, although the diet claims to provide about 1,500 calories per day, most smoothie recipes are very low in calories and unlikely to provide enough calories to meet the needs of most healthy adults.

Consuming too few calories per day can slow your metabolism and cause serious negative side effects, including hunger, nausea, headache, and fatigue (8And the 9).

May contain high sugar content

Many of the smoothies in the 21-Day Smoothie Diet contain multiple servings of fruit, including bananas, pineapples, peaches, and strawberries.

Some also contain other ingredients that are high in sugar, such as honey or granola.

Although these ingredients can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet, the large amounts included in this diet may not be suitable for everyone.

In particular, people with diabetes may need to monitor their intake of foods rich in carbohydrates, such as fruit or honey, to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels (10).

Not based on evidence

One of the biggest drawbacks of the 21-Day Smoothie Diet is the lack of research to back it up.

While juices can be a great addition to a well-rounded diet, there is no evidence to prove that consuming juices in place of other nutrient-rich foods can improve your skin, gut health, or immune function, as the diet claims.

Moreover, the diet’s official website is full of customer testimonials who claim that they are losing significant amounts of weight very quickly.

Not only is this unrealistic and unsustainable, but it may also be harmful to health (11).


The 21-day smoothie diet is not based on evidence and may be associated with an increased risk of nutritional deficiencies. It is also relatively high in carbohydrates and sugar.

The 21-Day Smoothie Diet is a 3-week weight loss plan that involves replacing some of your meals each day with juices.

Although the diet encourages many nutritious ingredients, it is restrictive, unsustainable, and extremely low in calories and protein, which increases the risk of nutritional deficiencies and other side effects.

Moreover, it is not supported by research and is high in carbohydrates and sugar, which may not be suitable for diabetics.

Instead of cycling different diets to reach your goals, consider pairing a well-nourished diet with a healthy lifestyle for the best results.

This is more beneficial for weight management and overall health in the long run, and is also simpler, sustainable and effective.

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