There are many ways a juice cleanse may improve your health. However, if it is your first time doing a juice cleanse, you may find it helpful to take certain steps to maximize your chances of success.
The information provided on this page is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult the advice of your doctor before changing, starting, or stopping your diet.
It’s not recommended to jump into the juice cleansing process unprepared. Doing so could cause some side effects and health issues. You should always consult the advice of your doctor or health care professional before starting a cleanse or changing your diet.
If you are interested in learning more about cleansing, here are some tips for starting and finishing a cleanse successfully.
Make Your First Juice Cleanse a Short One
Before you start a juice cleanse, decide how long you want it to last.
Experienced juice cleanse aficionados may choose week-long cleanses. Some even cleanse for ten days or more.
If you are a beginner, you may want to opt for a much shorter cleanse period, such as three days. You can still get many benefits from a short cleanse.
Also, it gives you a chance to get used to the cleansing process. Later, you can opt to try a longer cleanse if you wish.
Slowly Eliminate Caffeine Before You Cleanse
Caffeine is a common stimulant. Most people enjoy coffee, tea, or soda throughout the day to get a bit of a caffeine kick start.
If you are one of those people, you may want to wean yourself off caffeine slowly before you cleanse. Cutting out caffeine at once can cause unwanted side effects, such as severe headaches.
It may help you to reach a point where you are comfortable going without caffeine for at least a few days before you start a juice cleanse.
Change Your Eating Habits Before You Start A Cleanse
It is not usually a good idea to go straight from eating unhealthy foods to juice cleansing. Eating a large “last meal” before a juice cleanse can also be detrimental.
Instead, prepare your body properly for the process of juice cleansing. Several days before your intended cleanse date, begin making healthier diet choices, like eating smaller meals.
Also, avoid fast food and other unhealthy meals. Switch to eating more healthy foods but in smaller, more regularly scheduled amounts.
Examples of such foods include:
- Steamed vegetables
- Baked potatoes
- Fresh fruits
Change Your Drinking Habits Before Your Cleanse
Much like going “cold turkey” from eating unhealthy foods to a cleanse can be difficult, so can transitioning from unhealthy drinking habits to drinking fruit and vegetable juices.
Therefore, you may find more success if you slowly reduce your intake of unhealthy beverages before you start cleansing. Consider eliminating alcohol, soft drinks, and overly-sweetened drinks.
It may also help you avoid cravings during the cleanse if you wean yourself away from drinking milk-based drinks before your cleanse begins.
Go Through Your Fridge and Pantry Prior to Cleansing
A juice cleanse can often cause you to have certain food cravings, especially for unhealthy foods. If those foods are already in your pantry, you might give into these cravings more easily.
You can often avoid that problem by getting them all out of the house before the cleanse period ever starts.
Many cleanse plans allow, and even encourage, healthy snacking in addition to juicing during the cleanse period. Certain types of trail mixes can be acceptable to consume during some cleanses, for example.
You can also usually eat fruits and vegetables during your cleanse. Stock your fridge and pantry with types of items ahead of time so you always have healthy snacks to fall back on while you cleanse.
Be Aware of Your Social Calendar
You may not feel like having company or going out much during a juice cleanse. The process can cause mood swings and changes in energy levels.
A juice cleanse also tends to increase urination, which means you may not want to stray far from restrooms.
Additionally, certain types of social engagements, such as weddings, can be stressful. You may not want added stressors while you are trying to cleanse.
Try to choose a period when you have no travel plans and few social engagements planned for the best results.
After a Cleanse, Reintroduce Healthy Solid Foods Slowly
One of the worst things you can do after a cleanse is get back into eating unhealthy foods. Another is sitting down and having a large meal.
Instead, slowly reintroduce solid and healthy foods into your diet once your cleanse is done. If you are seeking to add protein back in, avoid red meats at first. Your body can more easily adjust to poultry.
Also, look for other easy-to-digest foods to help you slowly start the process of eating normal meals again. Some possibilities include:
- Cooked vegetables
As your body adjusts to those foods, you can slowly add others to the mix. After a few days, you can begin to add more difficult to digest foods back in, such as milk-based products.
However, you still may want to stick to healthy foods. Returning to drinking soft drinks or eating sugary snacks negates the progress you have made.
Keep a Food Journal as You Finish Your Cleanse
Have you ever experienced repeated indigestion, rashes, or other seemingly inexplicable symptoms? If so, you may have sensitivities to certain foods.
The week or so following a juice cleanse can be a great time to try and identify trigger foods. You are only adding in a few new foods per day, so if you see symptoms, you can more easily narrow down the root causes.
If you do notice symptoms, consider the most likely food triggers first. Common allergen sources include milk and nuts.
Listen to Your Body
One of the hardest parts about doing a cleanse can be knowing when you are ready to go back to eating completely normal solid meals again. Each person is different, so you need to listen to your own body.
A general rule is that it takes several days to transition back from liquids to solids safely, but you may not fit that general rule. Eat small meals and take your time, as you add in the foods you feel comfortable eating.
If a certain meal makes you uncomfortable, scale things back a bit until you are ready. Once you are fully back to eating regular meals, take the opportunity to ensure continued success by sticking to healthy food choices as much as possible.