For some reason you guys just aren’t as open to juice cleanses as my lady pals and I are, and we’re not sure why. That’s why today we’re here to debunk all the..well, bunk about juice cleanses. Ever wished you could just kill those French fry cravings? Had enough of those 3pm “give me all the caffeine you have” headaches? Good news, a cleanse can help.
Here are 5 myths about juice cleanses, all cleared up:
You’re just going to gain back the weight you lose.
A lot of people associate cleansing with losing a ton of weight dangerously fast…only to bulk right back up the minute you return to solid foods. The truth? It totally depends on you. Your body gets its energy by burning carbs; when it runs out of carbs, it turns to fat. When you’re not eating carbs or fat, your body has to burn what it already has in order to function. So, you DO end up losing some fat. And generally, you’re consuming fewer calories than you’re used to eating on a daily basis.
So, will you lose weight? Maybe. And will you gain it back and then some? If you order a large pepperoni pizza solo after draining that final day’s juice, probably. But if you use the time spent cleansing to reset your taste buds and set a new focus on eating whole foods that taste good and feed your body in a healthy way, then you’re golden.
And FYI, gaining some of the weight back is totally okay! That’s not the point of a cleanse, anyways. The goal of a cleanse is to rejuvenate your body, get rid of toxins, remind your stomach what “full” feels like, and jump start your taste for healthy, whole foods. Shedding some pounds is just a byproduct.
You will feel terrible the whole time.
Nah. The worst part is actually the lead up to the juice cleanse. At least three days before you go H.A.M. on juice (ew, sorry), you’re going to have to give up meats and poultry, refined starches – i.e., bread, white rice and pasta, dairy products, sugar, alcohol, and nicotine. Which, if you enjoy any of the above, pretty much blows. See exhibit me: last year.
Thankfully, by the time your cleanse begins, your body starts getting its groove back. Your energy will be back to normal, and even increase. Your cravings will disappear. Six hours of sleep suddenly start feeling like eight hours of sleep. Your mind will be clearer and you’ll stay focused without the help of that sixth cup of coffee.
It takes about three days for your body to get used to a new, lower calorie intake. Also consider that it takes 18 hour to digest and – ahem – eliminate a single meal. At three meals a day, every day, it takes some time to really clear out your body (that’s why your pre-cleanse actions is so important). Once this all happens, you will start feeling what “body rejuvenation” really feels like, and it’s worth the wait.
You’re missing out on elements of a balanced diet, like protein.
Have you avoided trying a cleanse because it means you can’t chow down on a steak for a few days? If you’re worried about the lack of protein, let’s talk facts. The juices in a typical cleanse go way beyond the apple and orange varieties at your breakfast table. You’ll find juices that incorporate such varied veg as broccoli, spinach, kale, watercress, and collard greens. Chew – or rather, sip – on that.
It’s an unhealthy crash diet with no nutritional value.
A lot of people confuse a juice cleanse with the famous/infamous Master Cleanse: a 10 day diet allowing only a mixture of water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and Grade A maple syrup. Yeah, that’s called fasting. That’s not the kind of cleanse we’re talking about here.
We’re also not talking about those “juice cleanses” where people just drink cranberry juice all day. That’s also called fasting. Starting to see the difference?
Juice cleanses on the market today come stuffed with vitamins, antioxidants, and all the goods your body loves that come from vegetables like kale, spinach, celery, apples, beets and whatever else is in the specific concoction you’re drinking.
Oh, and for those griping about the price? Trust me, I get it, but you seriously won’t believe how many fruits and vegetables go into a single bottle of juice. You can try to make your own at home, but expect to buy about two grocery bags full of greens for make one green juice. And that doesn’t include the time it takes to buy said-groceries, get them home, clean ’em, and – finally – juice ’em. I’m a big believer in weighing the opportunity costs, and for a 3- or 5-day cleanse, it seems worth it to pony up for someone else to do all the hard work for you.
That said, if you want to supplement with some vitamin D or flax seed (get those fats in) while cleansing, go for it.
I already eat clean, so a cleanse won’t help me.
If you’re already on a super healthy diet of clean foods: congratulations you’re in better shape than most of us. But! Unless you use all-natural cleaning products in your home and grooming products on your body, you still have toxins to ditch. What kind of shampoo do you use? Do you use natural laundry detergent?
Do you know what’s in the bathroom cleaner you’re inhaling at work? What about the fork you ate your dinner with at that restaurant – what soap was it washed with? Yeah, no matter how clean you think your body is, it could be cleaner.