Zak’s Juice Fast Update: Four Weeks

May 22nd, 2013 | Posted by Alison Spath in Weight Loss

Alternate Title: The Incredible Shrinking Man

So here he is in all his glory (with his underwear strategically hidden behind red squares, for your viewing pleasure) –  Zak the Juice Fasting Maniac:

April 22, 2013

Juice Fast Day 1

May 13, 2013

Day 22 Juice Fast

And today, one month exactly from the juice fast start date,

May 22, 2013

Juice Fast Day 31

(Don’t mind the toys on the floor that we failed to kick out of the way for this picture.)

A little excel spreadsheet chart to see his weight loss trend:

Juice Fast Weight Loss Chart

(missing data points are dates he didn’t record his weight)

And some Biggest Loser style stats (cue beeping scale!) he’s lost 13.6% of his body weight so far.

According to this ideal body weight calculator, as a 5′ 10″ man with a medium frame, his ideal weight is between 151 and 163… so he’s still got a little way to go before he reaches “ideal”.  (Awww, he’s already ideal to me!  Corny, I know.  Shut up.)

While putting this post together I asked him when the last time was that he weighed this little.  He guessed high school (that’s the early to mid 90’s, folks.)  He’s definitely the smallest I’ve ever seen him in our 15 years together – it’s crazy to wrap my arms around him and I try not to say “where did you go?!” every time.

Even though his continued weight loss is expected, I’m still amazed by it all.  I think I’m also amazed that he’s gone so long without eating.  Like many people, I’m sure I *could* do it… I just don’t want to.   I want to eat.

While we’re talking about juice, I’ve got another new juice recipe from this week – Orange Juice.  Orange in color thanks to orange and red vegetables, no actual oranges.

orange juice ingredients

A bunch of carrots, two sweet potatoes, half a cantaloupe and a whole red pepper.

(Speaking of the early 90’s, does “cantaloupe juice” remind anyone else of this Friend’s episode where everybody tried Carol’s breastmilk and Ross totally freaked out? “It tastes like… cantaloupe juice.”)

(Kaz DOES really like cantaloupe, for what it’s worth.)

Moving on, sweet potato juice isn’t nearly as weird as I expected it to be, and cantaloupe in juice is really good!  Cantaloupe also makes surprisingly little pulp.  This is a great combo of ingredients and flavors if you’re looking to try something different.

This quantity of ingredients made enough juice to last him all day!

orange juice

I’m resisting the urge to worry, but he’s drinking a lot less juice now than he was at the beginning of the fast.  He often points out that he’s very sedentary with his 9 – 5 desk job and doesn’t burn a lot of energy throughout the day.

He also says he’s become very aware of when his stomach feels contentedly full.  He use to drink a 16 oz glass of juice each time, but has cut that down to probably 12 – 14 oz per glass now. (Again, trying not to worry!)  He says he drinks when he feels hungry, and he’s also added coconut water (for the potassium and electrolytes) and drinks plenty of water, tea and Kombucha sometimes too.

FAQ #4 What About Protein?

Where are Frequently Asked Questions 1 – 3?  Here!

He’s been getting the protein question a lot lately, people are asking me this question too!  According to Joe Cross (The Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead guy) green juices have some protein.

I really like that Joe says:

if you decide to do a Reboot and it works better for you to add more protein, then you should do so! A Reboot is meant to be personal so it really is about creating what works best for you.

Joe also lists spirulina as a source of green vegetable protein.  When I read that I ran out and bought him a green kombucha and made him drink it while standing in front of me.

Green Kombucha

1 gram of protein per serving? (click to enlarge)

A Little Protein

I’m not impressed, Spirulina.

FAQ #5 What Kind of Juicer Do You Have?

We have the Breville Juice Fountain Plus. We are also the new owners of a hand-me-down Omega Masticating Juicer from my mother who just recently upgraded hers.  It is a lot slower than the Breville though and needs the vegetables to be cut into small pieces, so he’s been sticking with the Breville for now because it’s easier to use and any juice he makes doesn’t sit around for more than 12 hours.  We’ll probably play around with the Omega more once his juice fast is over.

More juicer questions?  This guide is really helpful and answers a lot of common questions about the differences and pros and cons between juicers.

FAQ #6 Can You Make Juice in a Blender?

Yes, but you’ll need a nut milk bag to strain out the pulp.  Further explanation here.

9 Days to Go

Today was the first day I heard him say that he’s looking forward to the juice fast being over.  He’s joked that the he’ll be breaking his fast with a cup of coffee and a piece of chocolate!  (I started drinking coffee again a few days ago.  Coffee, I missed you.)

If I might weigh in here (har har) I would guess that he’ll gain some weight back once his juice fast is over at the end of next week (Friday, 5/31 will be the last day, it will be time to chew on June 1!) but in my own opinion based on our lifestyle and the kinds of meals that I prepare, as well as some of his new awareness with fullness cues and working to be a more mindful eater, I don’t think he’ll have much trouble keeping most of the weight off… but of course, time will tell.

I do think he’s lost some muscle mass, and so I think at the very least he’ll regain some muscle weight as he starts eating more protein again.  He’s just recently begun to do some body weight exercises and kettle bell swings on a more regular basis, both activities he’s done on and off in the past.  Beyond that, any activity he does is pretty much limited to walking 1/2 to 1 mile per day – sometimes simply going for a walk,  as well walking to and from the bus stop for work twice a day, three times a week.

I guess that’s it for this update!  Zak had a lot of fun responding to your comments and questions in my last post about his juice fast, so feel free to hit him up with specific questions if you’ve got any in the comments!

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18 Responses

  • Jen says:

    I have loved reading about this! Thanks you so much for sharing your journey! You look great!

  • That is just incredible. Any idea what the caloric intake is with all the juice Zak consumes in a day?

    • zak says:

      Good question Chelsea. I’m not sure how many calories pass through the juicer and how many go to compost. I do know that 10-12 oz of juice keeps me feeling satisfied for several hours (depending on the ingredients). That part amazes me. And something like mental sharpness is difficult to measure but I swear my attention and focus has increased. Also I think my reflexes are faster, I seem catch things that are accidentally falling more often than I used to. We’ll look into the caloric amount. I’m curious to know too. Thanks for the question and support!


      • I must admit, you have me considering a juice fast! I love the idea of increasing my mental clarity with juice instead of a Gingko supplement. Also, smoothies tend to keep me as full if not more so than, say, a bowl of oatmeal, even though they’re fewer calories, so it’s nice that works the same way for juice.

    • My guess is less than 1200 calories – if you look at the side bar on page 2 of Joe’s three day reboot plan (the plan that’s juice only) he says it’s about 1200 calories, and it calls for a couple extra glasses of juice than Zak is drinking in a day… he doesn’t drink an “afternoon snack” juice or a “dessert” juice after dinner either. So maybe closer to 1000?

      (I once tried to figure out the calories in green juice and got 131 calories per 12 oz glass… but my calculations could be flawed, and obviously it would vary based on the ingredients that you used.)

  • Glad the juice fast is still going well!

    Do you think you’ll miss anything about fasting once it’s over?

    • zak says:

      Not if everyone keeps telling me how fabulous I look. 😉

      I look forward to eating again but I could always do another fast if I want to.

  • Greg says:

    That is awesome. I know exactly what you’re talking about when you mention the “where did you go?” reaction during hugs. It is a question I have been asked many times in the last several months as my weight has dropped significantly. I usually just tell people that “I left the rest of me in the car.”

    But even as I’ve gotten to a weight not seen since 9th or 10th grade (I’m 37 now), I’m still skeptical about those “ideal” weight numbers. When I weighed 270 lbs, I of course thought that the 180 lb ideal weight for a 6’4” man seemed absolutely ridiculous. But now that I’m 200 lbs, I still think that’s kind of a crazy number. I’m sure I could technically lose another 20 lbs if I had to, but I’m not sure where it would come from (maybe brain matter?), or if it would really be worth it. There are professional fighters at my height that have to cut weight to make fight weights of 205 and 185, which means they probably walk around at 220 or more. And their physical fitness is rarely in doubt.

    It doesn’t appear that you two are guilty of it, but I think too much emphasis is put on the numbers on our scales and not enough on how we feel (energy level, flexibility, strength, mental focus, low stress levels, etc.). Weight is a good metric to keep for the motivational benefits that losing unwanted weight can provide. But as I suspect you already know, it’s probably not the best overall measure of a healthy body.

    Congrats to Zak on his success with the juicing. I’m sure many of the benefits can and will be continued even as he begins eating whole food meals again. It will just take a little more chewing effort to consume the same nutrients. But chewing=calories burned, so…

    Happy Thursday. Have fun with it.

    • zak says:

      Thanks Greg, 70 lbs is no joke!
      Prior to the fast I had been really focusing on accepting my body no matter how it looked. So I’m with you on paying no mind to the numbers on the scale. If there was easy ways to measure energy levels, alertness, and the other nice benefits that I’m enjoying right now, I’d publish them too… But hey these results are for me. I feel better, so that’s good enough.

      Considering the fact that I only duke it out with a keyboard, I think 150 is probably a realistic “Ideal” weight. I still have fat on my belly and it just serves no purpose. I aim to continue to get leaner but it is not associated to what I think about myself.

      Thanks for your support!

  • Julie says:

    hey! just wants to say you look great zak, and i admire your stamina though all this! i would have lasted about 3 hours.

    • zak says:

      Thanks Julie,

      My secret is to tell everyone about it then I feel really obligated to follow through. It’s like there is no choice which is easy to accept.

      Thank you for the kind words!

  • That Breville is a monster isn’t it? And you just gave me an idea about the sweet potatoes, I shall be mixing those up soon. How is he feeling? Still the same level of energy? Keep up the good work!

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