Fat, Sick, And Nearly Dead: A Guest Post Review

Don’t ‘Reboot with Joe’ A guest post by dietetic intern Shalini.

A little while back I was told about this “life-changing” documentary that I had to watch; it was called “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.”  It fell within my scope of interest, so I watched. The cartoon illustrations between the major segments were amusing, but overall I found the content of the documentary to be extreme: a 60-day juicing fast to lose weight? Really? Of course! It all comes back to what extreme measures we can come up with to further destroy our bodies and minds.

In the documentary, Joe wants us to ‘reboot’. He explains to us what that means:
A Reboot is a period of time where you commit to drinking and eating only fruits and vegetables, herbal teas, and water in order to regain or sustain your vitality, lose weight and kick-start healthy habits that recharge your body and get your diet back in alignment for optimal wellness.”

Well, that sounds fantastic, right? Nope. It sounds more like a disaster waiting to happen! A 60-day all fruit and vegetable juicing diet goes against what our body needs to sustain itself.  With this “diet” we are only getting simple carbohydrates, which digest quickly and do not keep us feeling full throughout the day. Staying hungry all day sounds like a pretty miserable way to spend the day. Our bodies need a mix of carbohydrates (simple and complex), protein, and fat in order to properly function. By cutting out complete food groups we are not only harming ourselves physically, but we are also training our minds to believe that we need to treat our bodies unhealthily to look healthy? Wait… That doesn’t make sense! 

 Even though fruits and vegetables should be a part of a healthy diet, we need more that just that.  Even in the documentary, the individuals who began the “reboot” program felt miserable when starting their juicing way-of-life.  By restricting ourselves, we are just setting ourselves up for future disappointment and loss of control.  When we are hungry, we need to eat; when we are satisfied, we need to stop. That’s it.

If you are trying to lose weight, the best thing you can do is follow a balanced ‘diet’ (and I use the word ‘diet’ loosely), consisting of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.  We should not punish ourselves by having only juiced fruits and vegetables every day, being unable to enjoy the foods we desire!  Is that any way to live? (No, its not.) There are so many creative and tasty meals we can incorporate into our day that can be part of a balanced lifestyle. And guess what? It’s okay to occasionally eat foods that have zero nutritional value just because they taste good – that’s what they are there for!

 By restricting yourself from the foods you love, you will only be setting yourself up for a feeling of failure and regret. Don’t do that to yourself!

 Well, from a nutritional perspective you’ve heard why I don’t feel these quick fixes are a good idea… Do you have any other reasons why you think this ‘reboot’ is a terrible, awful, horrible idea?


  1. I have to say, I agree with your post 100%. Ive always been against anything thats taken to the extreme specially when it comes to our bodies!! I feel sorry for people that take those extremes to loose weight only to find that their bodies will bounce back to their pre-juicing status faster than they can count to 10. Im with you on this! A BALANCED way of life is the way to go.

  2. Cool post Shalini! I had to do a project on various fad diets for my program – I ended up with a detox diet with a high degree of social interaction on their website.

    I think you’re 100% right here, but it also could be important to talk about the appeal of these diets – because sometimes folks do feel better after doing them. I would wager that these positive feelings are less about what we’re putting in our body and more about telling yourself you’re going to do something and sticking with it.

    For people that are trying to regain control of their lives, a diet is an easy way to think about that. BUT maybe it’s also effective and healthier to set some different behavioral goals – regular exercise, journaling regularly, setting aside half an hour to an hour each day to read, going for walks, documenting whats going on in your front yard, learning a new bug each day….the opportunities for healthy behavior change are numerous; they need not be necessarily diet oriented (although a healthier diet is certainly an exciting and worthwhile goal!)

    Garnet Bruell

    Coordinated Program in Dietetics

    Eastern Michigan University

    Class of 2013


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