After the enormous feast at Thanksgiving or the pre-Christmas celebrations, you might be considering detoxing your body before the next big party. You might also want to start the new year with a new resolution of living healthy and shedding those pounds (happens every time this time of the year). In such situations you tend to try out different diets and cleanses that will make you feel less guilty about gulping down the extra glass of wine or pigging out on the extra slices of cake.
A juice cleanse seems to make perfect sense to those of you who want to flush out all the toxins from your body and drop a few pounds in the process. What could be healthier than consuming the liquid form of fruits and vegetables—the healthiest foods in the world?
Before you go on a juice cleanse, you need to know what it is all about in order to make a conscious decision.
What Is A Juice Cleanse?
A juice cleanse or a juice fast is a type of fast in which you consume only fruit and vegetable juices. There are different types of juice cleanses that can last a few days to several weeks depending on what result you want to achieve—lose weight…
…detox your body, or boost immunity. You are not allowed to eat anything else while on the fast.
Debunking Myths About Juice Cleanses
1. Myth: A Juice Cleanse Detoxifies Your Body
A juice fast helps remove toxins from your body. When you do not consume solid food for over 12 hours, your body will automatically go into cleanse mode. Since you consume all-natural, healthy juices throughout your fast, your body is rid of all harmful chemicals by the end of it and will function better than before.
The Truth: Your Body Does Not Need A Detox
Contrary to popular belief, your body does not need a juice cleanse to remove toxins from your body. Your body is well equipped with organs—lungs, skin, kidneys, liver, and colon—that automatically detox your body.
Consuming proper nutrients and enough calories will ensure that your organs function properly and you will not have to worry about detoxifying ever again.
2. Myth: A Juice Cleanse Is A Healthy Way To Lose Weight
A juice cleanse is one of the healthiest ways to lose weight. While on the diet, you will be consuming very little calories but will be loaded with important vitamins and minerals.
The Truth: A Juice Cleanse Is Not As Healthy As You Think
When you are on a juice cleanse, you will be consuming less than 1200 calories a day. This restriction in calories will make you lose weight, but it is not a healthy alternative to proper diet and exercise. When you consume such less calories, your body enters into starvation mode and it will try to hold on to your fats. If the diet continues for an extended period of time and you have depleted most of your fats, your body will slowly eat away your muscles in order to survive (leaving you with skin and bones).
Most juicers leave the fiber out while juicing. The fiber in foods helps you feel full. So, juices leave you hungry and you will have a tendency to binge eat. After you stop the diet you will have a great tendency to gain the weight back again.
3. Myth: Your Metabolism Improves When Your Body Is Cleansed
When your system is clean, your metabolism goes into beast mode. You will burn more calories even when you are resting and will feel more active as a result of your increased metabolism.
The Truth: Your Metabolism Slows Down When You Are On A Juice Cleanse
As your body enters starvation mode, your metabolism tends to become sluggish (your body has always been wired to function this way). This dip in metabolism will make it more difficult for your body to lose weight, and you will have to strictly restrict your calorie intake and continue the diet for a longer period of time.
Eventually, you will reach your desired weight goal but at the cost of losing muscles and important fats that protect your vital organs.
4. Myth: You Will Break Unhealthy Habits When You Cleanse
If you want to get rid of your habit of unhealthy snacking, drinking alcohol, or smoking, then a juice cleanse is perfect for you. A juice cleanse will purify your body and make the process of breaking out of a habit easier.
The Truth: A Juice Cleanse Does Not Affect Your Habits
There is no scientific evidence to show that a juice cleanse helps you break out of a bad habit. It is purely psychological.
If you do break out of a habit, it might be because you believe a juice fast helps you do so and you do not want your efforts to go to waste.
5. Myth: A Juice Cleanse Lowers The Risk Of Heart Disease And Cancer
Due to many unhealthy eating habits and free radicals in the body, you are susceptible to heart disease and cancer but a juice cleanse lowers those risks to a great extent. Juices will provide you with healthy nutrients and antioxidants that will automatically make you less prone to heart diseases and cancer.
The Truth: There Is Not Much Research Done On Juices And Diseases
Not much research has been done to show how juices can lower the risk of heart disease and cancer. To lower the risk of such diseases, it is advisable to eat healthy and be active. The benefits that can be provided by juices can be more efficiently obtained from the whole fruits and vegetables (that too with more nutrients and fiber).
To Cleanse Or Not To Cleanse?
You always need to listen to your body if you want to lead a healthy life. If you feel that you need to cleanse your body with juices, then you can definitely do so but remember to equip yourself with proper knowledge and not to give in to fads. You know your body best and will know when a particular diet is not working for you.
Fatigue, nausea, and headaches are not typical of your body when it is cleansing. You will need to exercise caution and discontinue the cleanse if it gets overwhelming. The best way to stay healthy is to consume nutrient- and fiber-rich foods and to lead an active lifestyle.