During the course of the holiday or summer seasons, most of us become guilty of the same crime, the crime being overindulgence in delicious holiday foods that are full of carbs, fats and, more often than not, we even reach for the notorious processed foods – for comfort. Then, with the change of the seasons, we realize that both the extra weight and the sluggishness that comes along are unbearable and that change must be ushered in. We declutter our pantries from all the tantalizing snacks and vow to take a healthier approach to nutrition. This is where a juice cleanse comes in really handy as it helps flush out all those toxins that have been piling up for months. Yes, our body is smart and capable of shedding a certain amount of these toxins on its own, but it needs a little helping hand, and this is where the official cleanse steps in, so let’s get the skinny on what it really is, what it does and how to do it in the healthiest way possible for the best results.
Juice cleanse 101
The process is pretty self-explanatory – a juice cleanse is just that, cleansing the body by consuming only fruit and vegetable juices for a certain amount of time. This means no other food – just all the liquid goodness that comes out of all the delicious and beneficial fruits and veggies, and water and herbal teas, of course. Although many people who opt for this type of cleanse do it for extended periods of time – anywhere from one to several weeks, the recommended amount of time is up to five days and the reason for this are the health risks you could be putting your body through if you deprive it of fiber which is stripped down when your chosen ingredients are turned into a juice. Fibers are essential for proper metabolism function and normal cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and the protein (crucial for virtually every body part and function) that is also frequently at large during the juice cleanse can cause shrinking of the muscles, chronic fatigue, loss of energy and a drop in concentration levels, which is why you should never go overboard with your detox.
The safe approach
One of the best routes to take is the cold pressed juice cleanse and having your juices customized for maximum benefits. You see, as healthy as fruits are, you’re familiar with the expression ‘too much of a good thing’. Fruits contain large amounts of sugar – fructose, which can actually be dangerous as your glucose levels may skyrocket and you may experience a huge spike when it comes to your blood sugar and the thing we’re familiar with as ‘sugar rush’ can lead to dizziness, lack of concentration, hyperactivity and then an incredible plummet of energy levels and irrational food cravings – it can be a rollercoaster. This is why going for a customized option is the best as in that case you get to decide on the amount of fruits, and more importantly, the amount of vegetables that go into your juice. Vegetable juices should be predominant during the cleanse, and the fruit ones should be seen as ‘dessert.’
This is something you should also be very diligent with if you intend on doing this right. The correct amount you should drink per day is four to eight glasses, so make sure you don’t exceed this number because as we said – too much of a good thing. Of course, you can still drink water, but don’t overdo it as there is also such a thing as too much water and aside from making you frequent the bathroom more often, excessive amounts of liquid come with their own set of potentially highly severe consequences, so always do everything in moderation.
If done right, the juice cleanse will enable you to shed a few pounds quickly, free your body of toxins and give you a kind of a ‘fresh start’, all thanks to the high level of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants present in the fruits and veggies. However, this isn’t your happy ending, it’s only the beginning. You’ve done the juice cleanse in order to give your body a clean slate, so once it’s done you’re going to have to keep eating healthy foods in order to maintain and further pursue both your health and fitness goals. The ending of this short journey is just the layover – your final destination is still miles ahead, so don’t give up, but persevere and be consistent. Rome wasn’t built in a day and a healthy body can’t be built in a week.
Contributing Author: Claire Hastings is Australian designer, writer and regular contributor at ripped.me. She’s been writing as long as she can remember, and she is very passionate about fashion, running, other cultures, and her cat. Social media links: facebook, twitter