Is a juice cleanse the answer? With the number of celebrity endorsers stating that they maintain their stick thin figures by using a combination of juice cleanses and fasting, the average person may feel like this is the answer to those extra pounds that never seem to come off. But is it?
Juice cleanses involve replacing solid food with juices made from fresh fruits and vegetables for a period of time. This form of detoxification diet is rapidly becoming more and more popular and is often touted as an easy fix.
People have been fasting and cleansing for as long as there have been civilizations, usually for religious regions. Hatha Yoga recommends a few days of fasting per month, where the yogi only consumes very little water while meditating and resting. Juice cleanses have been touted as the health solution due to a large intake of fruit and vegetables and their vitamins and minerals. Keep in mind that the health benefits have not yet been proven.
Juice cleanses can help kick start a weight loss plan and encourage healthy eating habits. It is a relatively easy diet because the suggested fruits and vegetables are easy to find, no matter where you live. They are available at the local supermarket.
Many cleanses advocate cutting down on food even before starting the diet and generally put an emphasis on healthy eating. They recommend cutting down on sugar, caffeine and animal products at least two weeks before the fast and gradually moving to a more vegetarian-style diet.
Combining fruits and vegetables ups your antioxidant intake. Since most cleanses recommend using organic fruit, this also reduces the amount of pesticides you consume. Juice cleanses also recommend drinking large amounts of water (6 glasses) per day. The combination of this can keep a person feeling full, which can prevent binging and craving.
The reduced caloric intake (cleanses recommend that you consume the juice gradually throughout the day in 2 to 4 ounce doses) will definitely help you shed pounds. If combined with colon cleanses, you may end up shedding 10 to 15 pounds a week.
In some extreme cases, juice cleanses can be accompanied by enemas or colon cleanses to clear out the intestines. Extreme juice cleanses that last for long periods of time can lead to loss of muscle tone due to the lack of protein as well as a marked decrease in metabolic speed. Sudden weight loss can also lead to ketosis, a metabolic imbalance that can lead to fatigue and dizziness.
Individuals who may be trying a juice detox diet for the first time can experience dizziness and fatigue, headaches and sudden acid reflux, especially if too many citrus fruits are consumed during the course of the cleanse. Bad breath is surprisingly another common side effect. If you eat too much solid food too suddenly after a cleanse, the body may “rebound” and you will end up gaining back all those hard earned pounds.
People with health a condition like diabetes should avoid juice cleanses because of the large intake of fructose (simplified sugar). They may, however, reduce the amount of fruit and focus more on vegetables.
Before embarking on any diet, make sure to consult your physician about the type of action you want to take. Be wary of “fad” juice cleanses that tell you to invest your money in miracle juices. Done correctly, a juice fast may be beneficial but it is not for everyone.
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