A juice cleanse is something that nearly everyone could benefit from, however, they must be undertaken with care. All too often, people rush into a juice cleanse unprepared, and end up making themselves miserable and swearing them off in the future. This is a shame, because they then end up missing out on all the potential benefits for weight loss and improved health. The fact of the matter is, however, that you need to be taking steps before, during, and after the cleanse to ensure it is effective. Here are 10 keys to a successful juice cleanse:
Before The Cleanse
Key #1: Prepare In Advance
The reason many people fail their attempts at a juice cleanse is because they do not prepare adequately. Or they get through the cleanse, but they do it incorrectly and therefore don’t reap the benefits they could have. It’s even possible to hurt yourself if you make the wrong choices leading into your juice cleanse. That’s why it’s important to start with these four tips.
Key #2: Make Sure You Have The Right Juice
Before you do anything else, you need to know where your juices are coming from. Many people just decide to buy juices at the local supermarket, but it’s crucial to do some research first. Those supermarket juices are often packed with sugar, and many of them are pasteurized through heating, which destroys the nutrients within them. If you’re going to use sugary drinks that have no nutrition, you may as well do a soda cleanse! Yuck!
Other people attempt to make their own juices. While this is definitely better, there are still a number of reasons why it is not ideal. First, making your own juices can be a messy and extremely time-consuming process. You could make them all in advance, but since you are unlikely to have access to the pasteurizing and packaging technology a professional operation has, they may go bad over time. If nothing else, they will lose many of their nutrients.
Your best bet is to look for juice that is a) made by a reputable company, and b) cold-pressed. Cold-pressing preserves most of the nutrients by minimizing oxidation, leading to healthier and longer lasting juices. Look for juices that are not pasteurized, such as the ones at Mother’s Juice Café.
Key #3: Decide How Long You Want To Cleanse For
Once you’ve figured out where to get the juice for your cleanse, you can start by ordering something tailored to your needs. For example, do you want a very basic, 3-day cleanse? Or do you want to commit to something bigger, such as a full 12-day cleanse? You’ll have to decide what you want before you can order the juices.
Key #4: Eat A Healthy Diet Before The Cleanse
If you’ve been living on the standard, unhealthy American diet and you leap straight into your juice cleanse, chances are you will be completely miserable. You’ll spend the whole cleanse dealing with unpleasant hunger cravings as your body demands you give it unhealthy fat, sugar, and gluten. While you’re likely to experience this during the cleanse to some degree, it can be mitigated a bit by eating a healthy diet starting a few days beforehand. Drink a lot of water, eat lots of greens, and avoid too much processed sugar and fat. This will help you get a jump on the cleansing process.
During The Cleanse
Key #5: Stick To Your Juices
This one sounds obvious, but some people think that they can do their juice cleanse while continuing to eat the way they did before. While you’ll still get the benefits of your vitamin-rich juices, you won’t get the full benefit of giving your body a break from digesting food. The idea is for the cleanse to function as sort of a “reset” for your digestive system, and that means you have to consume only the juices! Some cleanses, however, can be a little less strict about this: you’re allowed to eat, but only occasional healthy snacks such as nuts and fruits. Either way, make sure you avoid salty, sugary processed foods or you’ll defeat the purpose of the cleanse.
Key #6: Expect Some Side Effects
Some people give up on the cleanse because they think it makes them feel horrible. Here’s the reality: it’s not the cleanse that made you feel that way! It’s years of an unhealthy diet of processed foods; those foods are addictive to your body in the same way that drugs and alcohol are, and you’re likely to suffer from cravings once you cut them out. People on cleanses have complained of headaches, nausea, irritability, and constant cravings for unhealthy snacks. This is the time to be strong: if you can get through these unpleasant feelings, you’ll start feeling better than ever!
Key #7: Take Care Of Yourself
Of course, a successful juice cleanse is one of the biggest steps you can take towards self-care. But they’re challenging to complete! That’s why, when you’re doing the cleanse, you need to care for your mind and body in other ways. First, any exercise you do during the cleanse should be light. You won’t be able to perform your normal gym routine; it just won’t be healthy. You should also make sure you get plenty of rest during the cleanse. As your body rids itself of all the built-up toxins and cleans itself, you’re likely to feel fatigue. Take it easy during this time; you can even treat yourself to a massage to further help cleanse the toxins from your body and help you relax.
After The Cleanse
Key #8: Keep Those Healthy Habits Going
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You have completed a successful cleanse and are well on the way to a much healthier body. However, having been without solid food for a number of days and having experienced cravings likely means you are ready to rush off and eat anything you can find. Make sure that you are careful during this time: you need to transition to a healthy diet. That means you can’t simply grab some fast food on the first day after your cleanse is over! Look for a diet rich in greens, fruits, and nuts, so that you don’t simply load your body back up with the toxins you worked so hard to get rid of.
Key #9: Reward Yourself
A juice cleanse, and a new diet, are a huge step, and you should be extremely proud of yourself for accomplishing it. From now on, you’ll need to be committed to a healthier lifestyle, but take a moment to reward yourself for a job well done. Note that this doesn’t mean going out and getting yourself a sugary treat! People often reward themselves with unhealthy food, but you shouldn’t do that: make your reward something like a new outfit, or maybe a trip somewhere you love to visit. Not unhealthy food!
Key #10: Make A Successful Juice Cleanse A Regular Part of Your Health Routine
Now that you have completed your juice cleanse and are transitioning to a healthier lifestyle, you should make similar cleanses a somewhat regular part of your routine. Some people do a three day cleanse every single month; others do one anytime they start to feel bloated, fatigued, and bogged down with the toxins that are present in modern-day foods. Whichever you choose, you should undertake an occasional juice cleanse to keep your digestive system in good working order.