What is a Juice Cleanse?
A juice fast or cleansing process can be a way to jump-start, rejuvenate, or renew your body. Basically, it entails drinking a heck of a lot of juice and eating the occasional soup to push everything else out of the system. In other words, you’re cleaning out your pipes. Every day toxins can work their way into your body and be stored where they aren’t easily removed, but also where they can’t poison your system. Juice fasts not only send those toxins packing, they also boost energy and reduce stress.
What is a Juice Cleanse Not?
Going on a strictly juice cleanse is not a substitute for whole fruits and vegetables. Drinking a glass of juice should never serve as a meal replacement in the long-term. Rather, you should think of it as a complement to your diet like a daily vitamin. Some of the fiber and antioxidants found in the skins of fruits and veggies are lost in the juicing process. When you limit yourself to juice you deprive yourself of essential nutrients. It’s OK to go on a juice-only regimen for a weekend to clean your system, but it shouldn’t extend past a few days.
Cleanses and Weight Loss
Never look at water or juice detox techniques as a stand-alone method for weight loss. While a cleanse does cause you to lose weight by eliminating carbohydrates, you will gain all of it back the second you resume normal eating habits according to doctors. Juice fasts turn your weight into a yo-yo. The pounds you lose drinking liquids alone are all from water weight. It’s not an effective way to lose weight long term because you’ll inevitably gain it all back, which brings us to the next point.
The Risks of Liquid Cleansing
Whether you use the juice of fruit and veggies or just a mix of water and spices, know that there is no such thing as a healthy liquid-only diet that goes beyond a few days. Celebrity influence and hip status has helped make the Master Cleanse extremely popular among young women, but it can take a serious toll on your body if used improperly. You are particularly susceptible to cleansing abuse if you have had an eating disorder in the past. For some, it’s easy to become addicted to the liquid-based regimen and practice the lifestyle for well over the recommended minimum. People with strong type A personalities, for example, can feel extreme euphoria and a rewarding sense of control from juice fasts that makes them want to keep it up beyond just a weekend. Media contributes to the problem, because it broadcasts juice regimens as easy fixes to undo the effects of a weekend binging on junk food.
The best thing you can do if you decide to try a juice cleanse is to drink in moderation. Think of detox systems as an occasional way to recharge your system rather than a long-term diet plan. Similarly, think of a glass of green juice as a complement to your normal eating habits. Staying balanced can help you drink your way to your health goals.