With a new year ahead and holiday celebrations behind, many will embark on a juice cleanse, fast or detox, the practice of avoiding solid food and drinking only fruit and vegetable juices and water for a few days to as long as several weeks.
Juice cleansing, which is now a multi-billion dollar market, originated thousands of years ago in India as both a spiritual practice and method of body detoxification for preventative medicine. In fact, most religions traditionally practice some type of cleansing or detoxing ritual.
The concept has gained newfound popularity in recent years with mainstream marketing and celebrity endorsement.
A few years ago, I was prepared to jump on board and defend my place in the wellness industry as a dutiful juice cleanser.
After several failed attempts, I determined that juice cleansing is not the path to health for me.
I made the decision I was finished with trying to live on a steady diet of juice for days at a time and go the route of clean, healthy, solid food for a lifetime
These are my reasons why:
1. Juice cleanses are like crash diets.
If you ate too many holiday cookies or partied too hard on vacation, a juice cleanse has become the go-to quick fix to rectify poor choices. I advocate changing your overall eating habits. This way, even if you go off the rails for a day or two, your body will self correct by craving whole foods.
2. The liver and colon are self-cleansing.
Given clean, healthy, balanced nutrition, the kidneys, colon and liver know how to cleanse and, like super computers, they’re quite efficient at it. They don’t respond to perceived starvation as punishment.
3. It perpetuates a love-hate relationship with food.
Many women already harbor a love-hate relationship with food; something I struggled with myself for years. An all-juice cleanse can encourage such an attitude among groups of women. Explore why you’re drawn to juice cleansing in the first place. Are you treating your body poorly otherwise? Do you want to lose weight, constantly feel bloated or have bad skin breakouts? All of these are symptoms of potentially bigger problems a juice cleanse can’t solve long-term.
4. Sugar isn’t cleansing.
Many commercial juices have high sugar content; not something you want to consume in large quantities for days at a time. For starters, it spikes and crashes your blood sugar. If this goes on regularly intervals, it can permanently mess with your metabolism.
5. The weight loss isn’t real.
For those looking to lose weight with a juice cleanse, know that what you lose will most likely come back. Weight loss on an all juice cleanse is mainly water weight and muscle. For long-term weight loss, I recommend adopting healthy, sustainable habits.
Feel like an all-juice cleanse isn’t for you? You’re certainly not alone. You can reset and clean your system with real food, drink green juice daily as part of a healthy diet and still experience a healthy glow, clear skin, less bloating and incredible energy.
Give it a try!