Juice cleanses have become relevant for a reason: they detox the body, help curb cravings, and can support weight loss. However, not all juice cleanses are created the same.
There are several factors that should be examined—length, health needs, etc.—before participating in a juice cleanse. Doing so will help you get the most out of your juice journey. Here are some things to consider when it comes to picking the right juice cleanse for you, as well as personal care through the entire process:
1. Determine The Duration
When choosing how long to cleanse, first assess your health goals, your lifestyle, and your capacity for commitment. Your physician can even help decide if you are fit enough for a juice cleanse, especially if you experience particular ailments. Next, if you are cleared to participate, decide how long your juice cleanse will be. Cleanses generally last 3-7 days. A 3-day cleanse is ideal for beginners and a 5-day cleanse might be necessary for people who prefer a longer-lasting approach. The 7-day option is for experienced cleansers looking to make big lifestyle changes through juicing.
2. Reduce Foods Beforehand
It’s important to give your body a chance to adjust to the extreme change in diet. For this reason, be sure to reduce the intake of certain foods 1-2 weeks before taking part in your juice cleanse. If for whatever reason you are not able to change your habits this far ahead, try make dietary changes at least 2-4 days before your cleanse. Here are some foods and substances to stay away from leading up to your juice cleanse:
- Processed/Packaged Foods
- White Foods (sugar, dairy, rice, white flour, etc.)
3. Manage Your Mornings
Mornings are perhaps the most important part of the day for you during your cleanse. It’s when you have the opportunity to give your body a boost as it detoxes throughout the day. When you wake up, the very first thing you can do to support your body is pretty simple: drink a solution of juice squeezed from half a lemon and 10-12 ounce of room temperature water. Fresh lemon water helps to alkalize your cells, allowing you to jump-start your body’s detoxification.
4. Water Is (Still) Important
Juice is the main attraction, but water is still relevant to having a successful cleanse. Drinking at least 24 ounces of water before drinking your first juice for the day will ensure you remain hydrated. Consuming water throughout the day is still a great decision, but starting your day off with a sufficient amount of water will help you continue to function at your best while your body works hard to adjust.
5. Time Your Intake
Pacing your juice intake throughout the day can cut down on feelings of hunger and fatigue. Timing when you drink—preferably every 2 hours—will help you keep track of when you drink your juice and how much. Timing will also assist with drinking enough water; having water after each juice is important to replenish your system.
6. Drink Dairy Alternatives Last
While some juices include strictly fruits and vegetables, other juices include dairy alternatives such as almond milk and coconut milk. While these substitutes aren’t off limits entirely, it’s best to consume these drinks last in the day. Doing this can promote relaxation as well as deliver protein to the body before resting for the night.
7. Have a Back-Up Plan
Even when you go in with a plan, there is still a possibility that your plans may change. That’s what the back-up plan is for. If for whatever reason you are not able to have a juice (or feel like you absolutely need something other than a juice) you always have the option to consume something else that is water-based. Whether you choose to have a smoothie or vegetable broth instead, keep your back-up plan ready and close by in case the unexpected happens.
8. Don’t Rush to Solid Foods
When you finally finish your juice cleanse, don’t be too quick to pile on the solid foods. To help your body smoothly adjust back to consuming solid foods, use the first day and a half to eat heavier liquid-based foods such as healthy soups and smoothies. And of course, adding in some more juice wouldn’t hurt.
9. Replenish With Nature
It’s fine to make the transition to solid foods once you feel your body is ready. In doing so, include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and water to give your body what it needs after the transition. Keeping things natural and healthy is the best way to continue experiencing the benefits of juicing.
Juice Cleanse Conclusion
There’s a juice cleanse out there for you. Knowing your health needs can help you find it, and following through will deem you successful. Advance your health journey with juices!