Juice fasting is a short-term dietary strategy of consuming nothing but fresh fruit and vegetable juices, typically for a time period of 3-7 days. The idea is to gain a big nutritional boost from the concentrated fruits and vegetables while cutting the number of calories you usually consume.
The juices are both tasty and filling, making your juice fast a decidedly different experience than most other diets. While there is some controversy over the benefits, there isn’t any physiological harm in trying it out. Many people claim it has helped them immensely with both their weight loss and their general health.
What You Need to Get Started
- Equipment. The only piece of equipment you need is a juice extractor. There are several types of juicers, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Comparison shopping will help you decide which juicer is the best one for you.
- Fruit and vegetables. There are plenty of recipes online to get you started. Essentially, any fruit or vegetable is fair game (except for bananas and avocados, which can’t be juiced), depending on the quality and type of juicer you have.
- Expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $2,500. A decent juicer can be found in the $75-$100 price range.
- Experiment with different juices and combinations of juices to see which ones you like the best. For example, if you wish to include a vegetable you know you’re not fond of, you can mix that with other juices to derive a tasty result.
- Shopping for fresh, organic fruits and vegetables from your local farmer’s market can help you enjoy the best nutrition along with better prices.
Advantages of Juice Fasting
- Weight loss. You are bound to lose a fair amount of weight. This is especially true if you rely more on the vegetables and less on the fruit. If you’re watering down your juice, the number of calories can be quite low on this type of diet.
- Detoxification. Many practitioners believe that a juice fast rids the body of toxins more effectively than a conventional diet. Many medical experts dispute these claims, but the medical establishment has been wrong numerous times in the past. Only the future will provide the answer.
- Increased energy and clarity. Juice fasters frequently report feelings of increased energy and clarity. Many believe this is due to the lower amount of energy that’s being spent on digestion.
- Lack of hunger. Most juice fasters report not being hungry in spite of a low calorie intake. This fact may be one of the most attractive benefits to you, since many “diets” leave you feeling hungry.
- 3-4 pounds of fat loss per week is a reasonable expectation. The total weight loss can be much greater, but that would include water and glycogen loss, which is only temporary.
The most common schedule suggested to start with is vegetable juice (1/2 cup) immediately upon awakening and then alternating back and forth between fruit juice (1/2 cup) and vegetable juice (1/2 cup) throughout the day. The juice can be diluted with as much water as you like and you should get 6 total servings per day (3 each).
Juice fasting is highly regarded by many. So many people swear by the benefits, it would be a shame not to give yourself the experience; maybe you’ll be one of its biggest proponents someday.