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Juicing for Weight-Loss: A Review of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

fat-sick-and-nearly-deadI absolutely love that there are more movies and documentaries on the market these days that talk about diet and fitness. First it was Super Size Me, whichbrought to light how bad fast-food is for our health. Then it was Food, Inc., which rocked my world (and changed my diet). And now the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, which features juicing as a way to radically improve your health, is causing quite the stir.

The story begins with Joe Cross, who goes on a cross-country road trip while doing a fruits-and-veggies juice fast for 60 days (60 days!). On his way to improving his health and losing weight, he meets and inspires Phil Staples—a 420-pound truck driver from Iowa—who just happens to have the same rare autoimmune disorder that Cross does. While the movie starts by following Cross’ journey, it quickly morphs into Staples’ tale of overcoming depression and getting his life back. Along with incredible amounts of weight lost, both men are able to go off all medication by the end of the movie. And it’s all done through nutrition, along with some exercise. (Preach on!)

Let me be clear, I have never done a juice fast, and here on FBG our little ears perk up and our butts twitch when we hear the word “fast” or “drastic diet.” But, and this is a big but (and I cannot lie…oh wait, that’s butts…) these two men needed something drastic to get back on track. They were both unhappy, totally unhealthy and facing early deaths. So the fact that they did something severe to deal with their life-threatening issues, I can forgive and even applaud. Not to mention that both of them continued eating (and not just drinking) tons of fruits and veggies along with other healthy foods after the fast, and they got their exercise on—as a way of life.

I know a few people who swear by juicing, in that it allows you to consume a ton of freggies in a glass. We’re obviously a fan of smoothies, which are just a watered-down (or protein-powered up, really) version of juicing. And we’re definitely in support of the idea that good nutrition and exercise can change your body and life inside and out. But two full months of nothing but juice? We’re more of the mindset that for most people—who aren’t making a DVD—should stick to the self-love eating philosophy of all good things in moderation.

With that said, the documentary’s complimentary Reboot Your Life program is interesting—and free. And the impact that juicing has on these guys’ energy, health and lives makes me want to give juicing a go, even if it’s just as a snack here or there. Now I just need to invest in a juicer… —Jenn




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  1. Debbie says:

    Jenn, thank you so much for featuring this! I can’t wait to watch it. I have a good juicer but a small frig (like twice dorm size) so it’s hard to store all the fruits and veggies. I must try using it more! Maybe this will motivate me.

  2. Sagan says:

    I was a big fan of this film too – sometimes this kind of extreme diet IS necessary for people who have as severe of health problems as the people featured in the documentary.

    I’m about a third of the way through my own little eleven-day green smoothie detox/”fast”! I much prefer smoothies to juice 🙂

  3. Louise says:

    This film was really touching, and sparked some major changes in my life! I’m a long time vegetarian/year old vegan that has put on a TON of weight after recovering from and eating disorder.
    I’ve had a tendency to lean toward ‘junk food veganism’, putting oil based spreads like Vegenaise on EVERYTHING, and have had trouble resetting my brain to crave uber healthy foods.
    I’m starting my juice fast tomorrow in preparation for my wedding, and couldn’t be more excited!
    Thanks so much for featuring this film:)

  4. Heather says:

    I’m a huge fan of the show myself. I am on day two and seriously struggling with hunger and mental and physical fatigue. I am trying to push through every hour at this point. I already eat very clean, prior to starting this process. I am hoping for some encouragment today. Will this get easier? My goal is 30 days. Can I eat anything during this juice fast?

  5. Two years ago I tried a 7 day juice fast. That was before this excellent documentary.

    I went on to lose 70 pounds, keep it off and went on to run two half marathons. Prior to juicing I could not run for 5 minutes!

    You can see the before and after photos on my blog runningonjuice.com if you want some inspiration.

    Good luck!

  6. Karen says:

    I just watched this excellent documentary on juicing. It inspired me so much. I have over 100 lbs. to lose, am a below the knee amputee, and in a wheelchair. I think this film could be just the ticket to get me going! 🙂

  7. One of the fastest ways to succeed in life is learn from others who have achieved success and then copy their methods. And we can apply this principle for juicing for weight loss.

    I agree with Jenn. The impact that juicing has on these guys’ energy, health and lives is very inspiring and engaging too. It makes us want to give juicing a go.

    Of course, our first move should be investing in a great juicer and a juice recipe book that best suits our needs…

  8. Kyle says:

    I watched this documentary a few nights ago after I had already started juicing. I’ve done a ton of research on juicing after recently being diagnosed with rectal cancer and seeing 2 different tv segments on the benefits of juicing, especially for cancer patients.

    I don’t think I will do a fast, but I do juice twice a day and have already seen benefits. I’ve lost 6 pounds in the past week.

    I figure that on my chemo days I’ll stay away from solid foods and do a bunch of juicing and make a bunch of smoothies. Great way to plenty of vitamins and minerals and with the smoothies I can use Greek yogurt to get extra protein. This way I don’t drink as many protein drinks with exta sugar I don’t need.

    I don’t expect miracles or results like in this documentary, but juicing is a great way to get in kale, spinach, and ginger without eating it. These are all great veggies to aid in fighting cancer.

    I’ve made some great tasting juices. Better than anything store bought from concentrate with all kinds of added sugars.

    I highly recommend juicing as a supplement. Well worth the effort.

  9. Jessica says:

    I absolutely loved the documentary. It was fascinating….even the scientific information was prevented in an exciting way (cartoons!), and I love that he went to New York, his favorite city to over-indulge, to prove he had the willpower to follow through with his fast. You could see the physical changes in both men almost instantly. They were positively glowing by the end. Though I am not overweight, I would absolutely try a short juice fast now and then to detox and give my body what it needs. If it’s done right and not for too long, I think it’s very healthy. And for those men, it was necessary.

  10. Ivori says:

    No one needs to watch Super Size Me for an education on why fast food is not healthy for you.
    I found the documentary absurd and insulting. I suggest you watch Fat Head, if you have watched Super Sized Me.

    Also, OF COURSE juicing had an extreme impact on these two men; they went from one extreme to another.

  11. Stephen J Vitolano says:

    Seen the movie fat sick and nearly dead, I am 47 years old. I use to scuba dive, mountain bike and fly airplanes. The last 3 years I just gained weight, and became depressed lost interest in everything. I have seen doctors, on medication, and I weigh 270Lbs. Well I don’t want to be this fat guy anymore; the movie is just what I need to see. I have the juicer now, and started filling up with fresh veggies, fruits, and make smoothies. The deal is it’s the only way out for me; I put it on now I have to fight to take it off. Its good to read every ones reviews, because I was feeling like I was alone, but to all those out there that are juicing for health KEEP IT UP …PEACE !

  12. Anne says:

    I have not watched the movie but have read and heard a lot about it and the tremendous changes this man made to his lifestyle and the health gained through juicing. Although I don’t necessarily agree with a lengthy juice cleanse/diet it certainly worked in this case. Well done and keep juicing!

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