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Everything to Know Before Starting Juice Fast

A juice fast is a great weight to kickstart a weight loss journey, boost your energy levels, and help your body to detoxify.

It comes with a ton of other health benefits too, including giving you healthy glowing skin and boosting your nutrient intake, especially if practiced with intermittent fasting.

A juice fast typically lasts between 1 – 3 days and there is a right way and a wrong way to do one. Juice cleansing involves drinking the extracted juices of fruits and vegetables and little else.

Juice cleanses are thought to be a good way to reset your body and could be used to lose weight as well as to help someone eat a more balanced diet.

Starting a juice cleanse can be daunting, especially if you’re not sure what to do so we have made a quick guide to everything you should know before you start.

What Is a Juice Fast?

A juice fast is a period of between 1 – 3 days where you only drink fresh-pressed juice extracted from fruits and vegetables.

The time period is kept short and other food is kept to an absolute minimum to give the fresh juice the time to work its healing on your body.

The idea of juice cleanses (and other cleanses, like a green smoothie cleanse) is to flush out any toxins that have built up in your body and help your body to detoxify.

Detoxification diets, like juice cleanses, help to support the body’s detoxification process further than a normal diet will.

Juice fasts are also used to lose weight and reset your regular diet to be more healthful.

A juice cleanse may be classed as a complementary and integrative health remedy and should be used in conjunction with a healthy regular diet filled with whole foods.

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How to Do a Juice Fast Successfully?

Completing a juice cleanse successfully is mostly about the prep. If you prepare your body and your mind for a cleanse, you’re likely to stay on track.

You should also organize your recipes and ingredients in advance to give yourself less opportunity to give up.

With all of the beneficial effects of a juice cleanse, trying one out is a good idea if you’re trying to kickstart weight loss.

Take a look below to find some tips on how to successfully complete a juice cleanse.

One week before starting a juice fast decrease the portions and eat more raw fruits and veggies

Before beginning a cleanse, you need to prepare your body for a period of lowered calorie intake. This means eating smaller portions in the run-up to your cleanse.

Along with smaller portions, your body will be dealing with less dietary fiber, so upping your fiber intake in the week preceding a juice fast can help to balance this out.

There are a few foods you should stay away from before a juice cleanse too.

Abstain from certain foods a few days before juice fasting

Foods you should avoid during the run-up to a juice cleanse include caffeinated products, refined sugar, meat, wheat, alcohol, and dairy products.

These foods are likely to cause headaches, hunger cravings, and withdrawal symptoms during a juice cleanse so removing them from your diet for a week beforehand can help to reduce these side effects during your cleanse.

In the weeks preceding a cleanse, try to eat mostly whole foods and minimally processed foods along with lots of fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.

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Plan your recipes for juice fasting in advance

Having a plan of exactly the kind of juices you’re going to have each day of your cleanse is an easy way to stop you from giving into cravings.

By having a plan, there is no room for improvisation and less chance you will reach for comfort food instead. It will also allow you to have all of the ingredients you need prepared and ready.

While some prefer to plan out juices based on what they like, others look to the benefits of the juices. One thing we would recommend is using high-quality ingredients.

Choose organic fruits and veggies for your juice fasting

The best ingredients for a juice cleanse are organic fruit and vegetables. Organic produce is the cleanest option you will find and you want clean ingredients for your cleanse.

While mainstream farming uses lots of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, these are banned from organic farms. Fruit and vegetables from non-organic farms may contain harmful chemical residue from these growth agents that can affect human health.

Choosing to get your fruit and vegetables from organic suppliers means protecting yourself from this harmful residue and keeping your fruit and vegetable juices as clean as possible.

Use mostly veggies to experience the full benefits of juice fasting

It is important when you’re making up your juices to lean heavily towards vegetable juices over fruit juices. Though fruit is very healthy, vegetables are preferable on a juice cleanse.

Great vegetable options include spinach, kale, carrots, beets, and celery. You could also add some nutrient-packed herbs like ginger, turmeric, basil, and mint to add flavor and goodness.

Make sure to stay hydrated when doing a juice fast

One of the most essential parts of a juice cleanse is to stay hydrated with water. As your body adjusts to the cleanse you will need to replenish any water lost and stop any feelings of burnout you may experience with the lower calorie intake.

Drink homemade nut-milk beverages to replenish some lost protein during the juice fast

Drinking homemade nut milk is a good way to replenish some of the protein your body is missing as well as some healthy dietary fats.

Make sure the milk is homemade so that there are no hidden sugars or sweeteners.

During the juice fast engage only in light exercise

During the fast, it is important that you don’t push yourself too far physically. Engaging in strenuous activity could result in feelings of dizziness and fatigue.

As you take in fewer calories, your body is more likely to become exhausted so only light activity should be done as you fast.

You can start to reintroduce more exercise along with foods as you finish up your cleanse.

Slowly reintroduce the solid foods to avoid overeating and gaining back all lost weight during the juice fast

Once you finish up your cleanse, ensure you add solid food back in gradually. You may be inclined to eat lots once you’re finished but this will result in weight gain as your body savors the calories it has been missing.

Ensure you slowly build up the amount of solid food you eat to allow your body to readjust.

Is juice fast healthy?

A fast can be incredibly healthy when done properly.

While consuming only juices from whole fruits and vegetables, you’re consuming a lot of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that you can only find in plant foods.

These nutrients do wonders for your body by boosting your immune system, helping to fight oxidative stress that is linked with many chronic illnesses and helping you to kickstart weight loss and improve overall health.

Vitamin C is present in many fruits and vegetables and is more easily absorbed in juices, meaning you will up your intake of this vital vitamin too.

However, juice fasts should not be done for long periods of time with consecutive days. Two or three days a week should be the rule of thumb here, but always get a feel for your body reacts to new fasting methods.

Are There Any Health Benefits of Following a Juice Fast?

Since we know that juice cleanses are very good for your health, it is no surprise that they come with lots of benefits for your health. These benefits have been summarized below.

Juice fasting may aid weight loss

Juice fasting promotes a reduced calorie intake which can help to kickstart weight loss. By eating fewer calories, your body is more likely to burn fat off, helping to boost weight loss.

Losing weight can help to reduce your risk of certain chronic illnesses, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

It may help to repair the digestive system

One health benefit of a juice cleanse is that it may help to boost your digestive health.

When done properly, like most detox diets a juice cleanse will help to boost the good bacteria in your gut which is essential for good gut health.

Healthy digestion means that your body can more easily deal with the food you eat and help you to keep the weight off.

Juice fast may detoxify the body

Juice fasts can help to support the body’s natural detoxification processes by flushing toxins from your body.

Juice cleanses can help to improve kidney function too. The site of most detoxification in the body, the increased fluids on a juice cleanse help to kickstart the detoxification process in your body.

The immune system may also be boosted by juice fasting

As mentioned previously, drinking juice boosts the body’s absorption of vitamin C. As a vitamin vital to the body’s immune system, this helps give a good boost to your immunity.

Additionally, all of the vitamins and minerals present in fruit and vegetables can help to improve your body’s immune response and have antimicrobial, antibacterial, and sometimes antifungal properties to help protect you against disease.

Juice fast may also increase energy levels

Juice fasts give the body a break from the energy of digestion. Consuming a liquid diet of only juice eases the pressure on the digestive system and may help to boost your overall energy levels.

You will also find that the healthy dose of vitamins you get from juice fasts will help you to feel more energized.

Juice fast recipes that kick off the weight loss

There are lots of different juice combinations you can try out for your juice fasts but below we have listed some of our favorites.

  1. Orange morning

Packed full of nutrition, this recipe contains apples, carrots, lemon, and a good chunk of ginger for all of those important antioxidants. This juice is great for a morning boost.

Recipe: 2 green apples, ¼ lemon, 4 carrots, 1-inch chunk ginger root

  1. Detox lemonade

For a refreshing afternoon boost or a perky start to your day, try this energizing mix of lemon, ginger, and mint.

Recipe: 2 lemons, 1-inch chunk ginger root, 1 handful of mint, 2 teaspoons of agave

  1. Green Day

Green juice is among the healthiest choices when it comes to a fruit juice cleanse. Packed to the brim with nutrition, all of that green goodness nourishes and replenishes your body.

Recipe: 3 apples, 2 cucumbers, ½ lime, 1 handful of spinach

  1. The red juice

Beets are a good superfood to add to your juice and they can boost your energy levels remarkably. Try this vegetable juice on your cleanse for a healthy dose of goodness.

Recipe: 1 beet, ¼ lemon, 2 apples, 3 carrots

  1. Citrus smoothie

Citrus fruits are thought to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels as well as provide plenty of vitamin C. This is a refreshing recipe, perfect to perk you up in the afternoon.

Recipe: 3 oranges, 1 banana, 1-inch chunk ginger root, 1 small handful of dates, 1 small handful of hemp seeds

What Are the Drawbacks of Juice Fasting?

As with anything, there can be drawbacks to doing a juice cleanse. Though very few, you should be aware of them before setting out on your juice fasting journey.

Juice fasting may increase the likelihood of headaches and fatigue

Headaches tend to be a side effect of detoxing. As your body is getting loaded up on nutrients, you are also denying it elements that are addictive, like caffeine. Headaches are a symptom of withdrawal from these substances.

It can be expensive if bought pre-formulated juices

Pre-formulated juices can be expensive which is why you should avoid them unless necessary. A juicer may be expensive but could be more affordable in the long run if you use it often.

Doing a juice fast may promote an unhealthy relationship with food

Heavily-restricted diets can sometimes lead to disordered eating, leading some people to develop an unhealthy relationship with food. You should not do a juice cleanse if you suffered from an eating disorder in the past.

Who Should Not Juice Fast at All?

There are a few groups of people who should never do a juice cleanse. These people include

  • Children and adolescents – In theory, children’s systems do not need to be cleansed and so there is no reason for children to do a juice cleanse.
  • Pregnant people and people who are breastfeeding – A juice cleanse can lead to a lack of certain vital nutrients that are even more important when pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • People with illnesses like diabetes, kidney disease, and liver disease – Juice cleanses may affect people with these conditions negatively and so should be avoided unless you speak with a medical professional first.
  • People who have hard, or currently have eating disorders – Juice cleanses may encourage patterns of disordered eating that can be detrimental to anyone suffering an eating disorder and so are unsuitable for anyone struggling with one.

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There is a ton of benefits to doing juice cleanses. Weight loss is the biggest of health claims, but it can also help to boost immunity levels, promote good health, boost energy levels, and trigger the body’s natural detoxification process when done properly.

Some people may experience headaches while doing a fast, but if you prepare properly, negative side effects will be limited.

There are some people who would experience health risks if embarking on a juice fast and so should not try this method out, though it is a safe method of eliminating toxins and experiencing improved health for the majority.

Why not try one of the juice recipes we have listed here on your next juice fast?


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This is an evidence-based article that includes scientific citations. DoFasting’s professional writers and editors prepared the content, which a team of medical experts verified to be accurate.

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