In your quest to be a more healthy version of yourself, have you considered putting down the snacks that pair perfectly with Netflix binging to try one of those juice cleanses? There are skeptics out there who wonder if juicing does anything good for us, but powering through a cleanse actually helps shed some pounds and rid bodies of unwanted toxins, including chemicals, fats, and alcohol. It’s not a quick fix, though, and shouldn’t be dragged on for more than a few days. The Huffington Post says, “If you do this to your body enough, you could permanently lower your metabolism—as if it’s not tough enough to lose weight as it is.” That’s why you hear of most people juicing for three days—a manageable process. And it’s just enough time to do what it needs to do.
So, if you’re ready to get going, take a look at our six ways to survive a juice cleanse:
Look at your calendar
Before the very first sip, take a look at your calendar to pick a time where you’re less likely to run into social conflicts. Elle magazine recently featured co-founder of Suja Juice, Annie Lawless, where she gave her tips on surviving a cleanse or detox as painlessly as possible, with one being to look at your calendar. She says, “Only do a cleanse when you know you can do it successfully. If you have a friend’s wedding, a romantic vacation, or a holiday coming up, don’t try to be on a juice cleanse while everyone else is eating delicious food and you are surrounded. Be realistic about your goals and set yourself up for success by planning to cleanse when you have the time and break in schedule to do so.”
Explore your taste buds
During your juice cleanse, you will find out which vegetables and natural ingredients you really, really like, and which ones you would rather go without. There are so many variations—from recipes with apple, kale, Swiss chard, and lemon, to others with romaine lettuce, celery, cucumber, and cilantro. Consider this as something to look forward to, something that will help you get through it! And as far as the days go, associate editor and writer for LaurenConrad.com said, “I enjoyed the taste of the fruits and veggies even more on the second day. I also noticed that my taste buds were more in-tune to the flavors that popped out in the different juices.”
Fight the caffeine
If you’re one of those “I need coffee on the days that end in y” people, then this may be the most difficult challenge of the juice cleanse—not being able to consume caffeine. Shape magazine says, “If you’re a caffeine drinker (one to two cups daily), withdrawal may rear its ugly head since you have to cut out coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate during a cleanse. Caffeine is a stimulant to the central nervous system, and regular consumption causes some degree of dependence on it.” So, what can you do to avoid headaches, insomnia, fatigue, and the rest? Drink tons of water, especially warm lemon water in the morning, get extra sleep at night, and naturally boost your energy with a quick workout.
Another way to survive the juice cleanse and set yourself up for success is asking friends and family to support you or do it with you. If that’s not possible, find other juicers on the web, follow a blog, or watch YouTube videos. Being able to confide in someone who’s going through the same withdrawals, temptations, and cravings as you, but rising above them, will give you the strength you need. Jeannie Ralston with Prevention magazine had the support of a Facebook group, saying “I learned that I could stave off cravings with distraction—brushing my teeth before preparing meals so I didn’t nosh as I cooked and sipping water when the urge to snack hit. I was also inspired by the discipline of other cleansers, one of whom reported icing a chocolate cake without licking a single finger.”
Listen to your body
During your cleanse, listen to your body—what’s it telling you? This process is believed to be beneficial for the body and mind, which is why it shouldn’t negatively interrupt your everyday life. If it does, consider adding whole vegetables to your diet or replacing one juice per day with a small, raw meal. Robin Hoffman, health coach and contributing writer to the Huffington Post, talked about her experience, saying, “When it came to the cleanse, my body knew the way. When my mind felt scared, I turned to my body to check in and see if I should keep going. I was so afraid of taking a week off of my intense exercise program because I worried about losing momentum, etc. But what my body needed was rest. My body needed this time to reset itself and experience peace and stillness and take naps!”
Slowly ease your way out
Three days of juicing done, now what? Should a thick cheeseburger, slice of pizza, or plate of french fries be your congratulatory meal? We think not. Annie Lawless of Suja Juice continues by saying, “Don’t use the first few meals out of your cleanse as a reward for being disciplined. Your digestion has been shut down for a few days so shocking it with complex combinations and heavy foods is a good way to overload your system and slow you down.” When you remember that your digestive system is empty and needs a gentle wake-up call, you’ll be able to pick the best foods to break your cleanse. The Chalkboard Mag suggests “soups, vegetable purees, superfood smoothies, steamed vegetables, and gluten-free grain bowls.”
You might be surprised that a majority of juice cleansers feel healthy and amazing after the three days are up, especially since they felt some discouragement along the way. That’s exactly why we wanted to share tips to help you survive! Remember Robin with the Huffington Post? She shared her results on the fourth day: “I had originally decided I would start eating again Monday morning, but I decided to keep going because I felt so good! At that point I had lost seven pounds, two inches off my hips (due to the relief of bloating and gas), 1.5 inches off my waist (again, bloating) and I felt amazing.” Well, there you have it! If you’ve gone through a juice cleanse and can tell us more ways to get through it without a bite of food, please share them in the comment section below!