Calories still matter and why I hate green juice and keto cookies now.
Right at the beginning I want to share this one fact of my personal diet history to give you a better idea of where I’m coming from.
I tried living on juice only once — I almost did it to 60 days, on juice and coconut water and nothing else. I had a juice-detox company in Thailand some years ago. I was a raw vegan for 4.5 years. I did almost 100% keto for almost 6 years. I’m an omnivore now. I’m a health, nutrition, performance coach with a few certifications and a decade+ years of experience under my belt and still learning.
I’m not here to say, that a week or a month on juice won’t make you lose weight. I’m here to say, that you’ll lose weight not because of some green-juice magic but because you’ll successfully eliminate most of the essential proteins, fats, loads of vitamins and minerals by eliminating solid foods, and there won’t be many calories either, and so your body will have to “eat itself” to get those essential nutrients and missing calories to survive.
There’s no green-juice magic. And calories do matter.
I have a friend who’s been trying to get into shape for the past 20 years of his life, doing religiously his yearly 3–4-week juice cleanse/fast/detox. And he’s still trying to make this approach work not believing that a more balanced approach to his nutrition and lifestyle throughout the rest of the year would have most probably brought him his ideal results a long time ago. No green juice required.
I have many girlfriends who think that drinking green juice for breakfast helps them to lose weight, to detox and look younger, to have vibrant energy levels through the day from dusk to dawn because of some magical nutrients that apparently we can’t get any other way but by cold-pressing the most organic greens you can find.
Somehow that green juice breakfast hasn’t helped them yet though. More green juice is needed? Or late-night dinners and these never-ending cravings for more food and desserts that creep up on them at night after “light-and-energizing” breakfasts have something to do with it?
I recently made this video about green juice and calories and why I never drink juice green or red or whatever anymore, and wouldn’t recommend it for anything except for an alternative drink you can have at Sunday brunch instead of mimosa.
Green juice has calories. And they aren’t magical. Green-juice calories don’t disappear in our bodies and the body keeps the score. Green-juice calories are still pure sugars even though they are extracted from vegetables, greens and very often from quite a lot of fruit. Green-juice calories bring zero satiety — we’re ready to eat as soon as we finish that green juice. Depending on the juice, the amount of calories per 330 glass or bottle will vary from 70–80 to 140, and if you drink 3 of these per day we are looking at 300–400+ calories of liquid sugars added to your meals, while you are still trying to figure out why the weight won’t change with all this vegan eating and counting “all” the calories (except for green-juice-magic calories of course).
It’s not about carbs, it’s not about sugars. It’s about simple mathematics. Calories count no matter where they come from and if you want to get leaner easier and faster, drinking your calories is probably not the best way to do it.
Now if you are into keto, thinking that it’s all about sugar — I got news for you! Fat calories count just as much (except that there are 5 calories more in a gram of fat compared to green juice sugars), and there are no magic fat calories or ketones that will switch on a fat-burning mode in your body without you doing the work. If we eat too much — it’ll catch up with us.
Eating low carb or even keto doesn’t make calories go away. If you aren’t in the body you want to be in, the answer might be not the carbs or green juices, not the ketones and counting carbs harder, but getting a bit better at managing your calories from any food source, getting a bit better at some “lean habits”, that helped me to stay in this great shape I absolutely love for years without yo-yoing.
My favorite tried-and-proven lean habits:
Manage added fats in your homemade meals, takeout and packaged foods and meals;
Measure calorie-dense foods precisely — 3 nuts can make a difference;
Eliminate hidden and magic calories — count everything.
In my 10+ years of practice I worked with people who had problems with hormones and blood sugar, inflammation, food sensitivities and disordered eating but more often than that I worked with people who simply need a better way to manage calories every day, a better way to stay consistent for life, a better system to make progress without making it complicated, a balanced way to keep going enjoying life too, creating more health and energy, creating the body that feels like a work of art and works like a AI-driven rocket.
As the conclusion, I’d like to say that no, not all calories are created equal. In fact, every single food will create different metabolic short and long-term effects in your body, eaten at different times, combined with different foods and lifestyle practices — it all matters. But just because all that matters we can’t dismiss calories altogether. Calories still matter. Do you know how to manage yours well?