No doubt you’ve seen the many adverts and testimonials singing the praises of juice cleanses. Many of them seem almost too good to be true, so we want to consider how healthy juice fasts really are and the safe way to do them.
The most popular cleanses promise unbelievable weight loss results and ultimate detoxification for the body. During a cleanse, you are required to limit your diet to only fresh fruit and/or vegetable juices over a set number of days ranging between 2-9 days.
So you’re pumping your body full of fruit and vegetables and cutting out the junk for a short period of time. Can it really be that harmful? The problem with juice fasts is that when done correctly, they can offer benefits and kick-start a weight loss programme, but because of this success when completed properly, it can lead to people misusing the fast and causing more harm than good. Time limits are provided on juice fasts for a reason. A lot of studies suggest that in order to feel a benefit and not cause harm, three days is the maximum period a fast should last.
A juice fast can really help to boost your body when you need a bit of a cleanse. Carried out correctly, cleanses have been shown to aid in promoting better digestion and allowing the body to really heal itself. It’s also a really good way to divert yourself away from undesirable habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol and fatty foods. That being said, not everyone is suitable for a juice cleanse so it is always worth seeking medical advice before undergoing a fast to ensure your health is up to it.
By only having juices, you will inevitably benefit from weight loss. However this weight won’t stay off if you return back to your original eating habits before the cleanse. To keep the weight off you need to ensure you have an effective exercise routine and nutritional diet in place to follow after the cleanse.
By juicing you are essentially cutting out essential elements from your diet that your body needs to function properly in the long term, especially if you are embarking on a fitness regime. Muscle builders and gym bunnies still need carbohydrates and fat in their diet to ensure optimum recovery. Typically a juice cleanse will provide between 1000-1200 calories per day. This will get you through a normal day but it won’t pull you through a workout. You won’t be able to exercise to your best ability and you risk putting your body into starvation mode which will not leave you looking your best in the long term!
A healthy body wants and needs food. A short fast shouldn’t cause you any harm as long as your are healthy to begin with, but if you prolong it you risk permanently affecting your metabolism and leaving yourself malnourished.