I’ll try (almost) anything once. Bad news for me: A lot of things suck. Good news for you: I can tell you which things suck so you don’t have to do them yourself. What I’ve learned in terms of juice cleansing is: Do it if you want, and don’t do it if you don’t want. It doesn’t freaking matter.
Here’s why I say that:
I have done a 3 day cleanse and a 7 day cleanse, and I am proud to say I did not cheat one single time during either. Some people like to eat one solid thing (like a protein) while they cleanse because it really freaks them out to “not eat” and they can’t just drink juice for a large amount of time, but a real juice cleanse involves zero solid food and definitely no meat. I have done this for 3 days using Blueprint juices and for 7 days using a combination of Trader Joe’s juices and juices I made myself (based off the Trader Joe’s ingredients). I never drank more than 5 juices in a day, even though most cleanses will give you six. This wasn’t because I felt superior and decided I only needed 5 or because I wanted to see better results, it was because 1. I am not awake enough hours in the day to drink that many juices (I wake up at 8…) and 2. I wasn’t hungry enough to drink the last juice.
Juice cleanses generally try to convince you that they cleanse your body of toxins and make you feel amazing and can possibly solve all these ailments you may have and blah blah blah, yada yada yada. This isn’t necessarily true. Your body does a damn good job of “detoxing” your body all on its own without any “cleanses.” So, that part is false. The curing of ailments may happen for some people, largely those who have very poor health and could benefit from any type of healthy clean eating diet, not just a juice cleanse. For more info, log on to your BFF Netflix and watch “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” or the sequel, and see what I mean. But I’m not totally trashing juice cleanses. Just because they technically aren’t necessary and don’t necessarily do what they say they will, doesn’t mean there isn’t anything good about them. Here are my top reasons to do and not to do a juice cleanse, or drink juices at all:
Reasons to Drink Juice/Do a Juice Cleanse
There Are Worse Things You Could Do
Ever spent too much money at the grocery store buying unhealthy crap you didn’t need? Or dropping $40 +++ on brunch and eating yourself into a food coma? Yeah, me too. If you’re willing to spend money to put horrible things into your body, you could also spend money to put fresh, whole foods into your body, via cold-pressed juice. If your main complaint is that juicing is too expensive or that it isn’t even that good for you, well, you’re probably a hypocrite.
It Kills Cravings
Initially, it will be tough to do a cleanse. You will feel the same way you have felt every time you have ever tried to start any new diet: Like you want to eat everything and also, sad. BUT, it gets easier as early as day two. The longer you juice, the harder some things will become and the easier others will become. For me, juicing is the best way to get myself out of a rut because it annihilates my cravings. It’s one of my favorite ways to start a new healthy routine (which I find myself doing often…) and the quick results are usually just what I need to motivate me to keep going with the healthy thing. In my 7 day cleanse, I remember staring at an online ad for pizza for an inappropriate amount of time, but this was toward the end and yeah, it was getting hard to not chew anything.
It Makes You Feel Better
You lose mainly water weight while on a juice cleanse and will also usually feel less bloated than you are normally because you’re eating foods that are easy for your body to digest and then on top of that you did all the work by juicing them, too. If you just got off a long binge of unhealthy eating, you may want to do a quick cleanse to instantly feel better. Or, if you’re just feeling bloated before a big event, you may want to do a cleanse to cut down on the bloat and feel more confident for an evening. The results don’t really last, and you will gain weight when you start eating normally again, but hopefully you’ll have a renewed spirit or won’t have tons of events to go to.
You Need More Fruits and Veggies in Your Life
People tend to forget that you can drink juice without cleansing. You can even use it as a meal replacement without cleansing. Adding a juice to your breakfast or lunch is a great way to get a lot more fruits and vegetables in your diet. If you’re on the go and can’t find many healthy options, a juice could be the perfect snack or meal until you can find something healthy to tide you over. If you’re not a fan of cleansing, then consider just adding a few juices to your regular diet to get some added nutrients.
Reasons Not to Drink Juice/Do a Juice Cleanse
You Think You Need One
You don’t ever need a juice cleanse, since your liver takes care of the detox thing. If anything, you should WANT to do a cleanse, for personal health and satisfaction reasons. The results are temporary and likely will not improve your overall health in just a matter of days, so please don’t ever think you “need” to do this. If you think you need a cleanse you should probably see a doctor because there are most likely bigger issues there.
You Want to Lose Weight
Again, you lose mostly water weight on the cleanse and the results are temporary. If you only desire temporary results, go for it. If you think you want to do a cleanse for a week so that you can lose 15 pounds and then go be happy with your life, don’t waste your money. You’ll gain the weight back and just be angry at the world and everyone in it. Juice cleanses should never first and foremost be about losing weight, the TEMPORARY weight loss is just a perk for all your hard work and determination.
You Think it Will Make Up for Poor Nutrition
Please see numbers 1 & 2 here. Cleanses are temporary. If you want to use one to kick off a healthy eating plan, I think that’s a great reason to cleanse. If you want to use it because you don’t eat well in general and think you can make up for it with a cleanse and then go back to your old habits, just quit now. Juice cleanses are not long term solutions for anything. At all.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever do another juice cleanse because honestly, I just love to eat too much. But I did always love the effects of cleansing, no matter how short lived, and I always felt 100 times better after a cleanse than I did before. They are pretty expensive, but you can find ways to do a short cleanse for cheap. (Hint: Buy your own juicer. I got mine on sale for $50.)
If you’re curious about cleansing or just want to feel better in a matter of days, try a juice cleanse! If you think they are expensive and stupid and restrictive, then don’t do a juice cleanse. It really doesn’t matter either way and I don’t get why people tend to get so angry when stating their views about it. At least the juices are made of good, healthy foods. If people want to drink nothing but good, healthy food for several days at a time, I think that’s a great thing.