Last week I did a 5-day juice fast and I've been getting a lot of questions related to it.
Why should you do it? How do you do it? Is it hard? What are the benefits? Do you lose a lot of weight? Should I do it?
So here I have gathered all the information you need to know about juice fasting. Note, this is not a post on how to do a juice fast. A juice fast can do incredible things to your health, but it can also be very dangerous and if not done correctly, it can do more harm than good. DO NOT DO A JUICE FAST WITHOUT PROFESSIONAL GUIDANCE!
Why do a juice fast?
First and foremost, a lot of people think juice fasts is only about losing fat in a short amount of time, a "quick fix". And yes, you will, lose weight. Mostly water weight, maybe some fat and probably some musclemass. Will you gain it all back? This really depends. I find that I may only gain a little bit back, and most will stay off. But remember my diet just whole nutritious gorgeous food. I don’t overeat and I exercise. If you do a juice fast just to lose weight fast then go back to a not so nutritious diet – it can do more harm than good. Juice fasting is a way of reprogramming your brain, to separate you from the obsession with food and reflect on your health, how you feel and become more mindful about what you eat.
Juice fasting is about improving your digestive system and your overall health.
Reasons why you should juice fast
To improve your immune system – some studies have shown that you can actually “reset” your immune system if you fast for 72 hours (ref end of post)
To get rid of toxins and remove colon plaque – now let me make this point clear for you. You have probably read that your body is more than capable of removing toxins from your body alone, and this is correct. However, we live in a world now where we are exposed to so many different toxins, e.g. pollution, processed foods with too much sodium, additives, preservatives, alcohol, cigarettes etc. Unless you live in the sunshine, eating only locally grown food, our body can have a hard time to remove waste and toxins and may need a little bit of help.
To stop the obsession with food – Women think about food every 62 minutes, whereas men think about food every 38 minutes. Some of us get hangry, some of us can't stop thinking about food and we are literally addicted to food.
Juice fasting is a great way to kick start your health journey.
You just feel like an absolute bad ass afterwards!
What happens during a fast?
A juice fast can last from 3-7 days. Some even longer. The first days can be pretty bad. Most people experience severe caffeine, sugar, nicotine, fat and salt withdrawals. Many tend to stop the fast by end of day 1 or on day 2, as the detox symptoms can be quite severe for some. (I’ve quit before too) You can actually feel proper ill. But I find that most people experience just a bad headache and tiredness.
Symptoms that can occur are:
Skin breakouts or reactions
Aches and pains
Your bowel moments will change and most likely colon plaque will come out. This is claimed to be a combination of harmful mucus-like material and food residue that coats the gastrointestinal tract of most people. Now, there is no evidence backing up that colon plaque is a thing or is harmful to your health or digestive tract. But I have seen people who suffer from health conditions get better after this has entered the toilet, and myself (and clients) feel incredible as soon as the colon plaque is removed. And when you look at it, it certainly doesn't look right!
Last days of fasting
A few days in the fast and you will literally feel reborn. The feeling you get is empowering, your focus is incredible and you’re super energised. Day 4-5 is when your senses come alive. Your tastebuds feel like they’ve been rebooted. Everything tastes and smells better. You feel "free" from food and get's so much easier for you to make healthier choices when it comes to food.
Arguments why fasting is bad
You lose a lot of muscle mass.
Yes, this can be true. However, you also lose muscle mass when you go on holiday and don't go to the gym and maybe eat and drink a bit more than what you normally would. You also lose muscle mass if you take a break away from the gym. You lose muscle mass when you are ill/have the flu/cold. You can lose muscle mass when you don’t eat enough food.
So, this argument that you lose muscle mass won’t stop me from doing a juice fast to improve my health as you can put that muscle mass right back on.
It slows down your metabolism
Well – obviously. That’s how body physiology works. As soon as you lower the number of calories in such a drastic way your body does anything it can to keep on all the resources. Turning that metabolism on again is simple – if done correctly.
You don’t need to detox because your liver and kidney do that for you already
Yes, one of our kidneys and livers roles is to remove waste and toxins from our bodies. And if you are a fit and healthy person, who doesn’t drink much, nor take any medication and are stress-free, you probably don’t need to do a juice cleanse.
If any of the statements below sounds familiar, then your liver and kidneys may not efficiently remove all waste and toxins from your bodies. And this is why a juice fast can be beneficial for your health in the short and long-term.
You eat any of the following on a weekly basis: sweets, chocolate, crisps, fizzy drinks and junk food/ready meals.
You take some sort of medication or over the counter medication such as paracetamol and/or ibuprofen when you’ve got a headache or are hungover.
You drink alcohol most weekends.
You live in a city with heavy pollution.
You don’t drink enough water.
You consume processed foods such as cereals, biscuits and shop bought bread.
You don’t get enough sleep.
You are stressed, worried or suffer from anxiety and or depression.
You don’t consume enough macronutrients
No, you don’t consume a high amount of protein, fat and carbohydrates. But this is also the point. The point of the juice fast is to let your digestive system rest and to feed your cells with vitamins and minerals. And it's only for a very short period of time – you aren’t going to do any damage, only improvements.
A juice fast is not sustainable for weight loss
That’s not the point of the juice fast.
It can be dangerous
This can be true. If you don’t do it correctly or if you suffer from any health condition. This is why it’s important to always have professional advice and guidance before starting a fast.
There is no science backing up that a juice fast is good for you
WRONG! There is and the results are incredible! Although these studies have been relatively small and you can say there isn’t any convincing evidence that a juice fast actually remove toxins from your body or improve your health. But there has also been a lot of studies on the benefits of fasting (just consuming water). Which has shown some incredible results related to a boost in the immune system, reduction in symptoms of autoimmune diseases, reduced inflammation and so on (references below).
Even if there were any studies saying that a juice fast is bad – I wouldn’t stop it because every time I do it I feel fucking amazing.
Should everyone do a juice fast?
No. But most people? Yes. It's not something you do every month. Maybe 1-3 times a year max. Fasting is literally the quickest way to get your health back on track, but it's not easy!
I want to do a juice fast!
I have had so much interest from people who want to do a juice fast and I can certainly help. If you are interested in doing a juice fast, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your interest and I will get back to with different plan options and prices. Bear in mind I can only guide 5 people max through a fast at one time so first come first served.
Still don't feel like you got enough information? Feel free to send me an email!