Juice fasting, no one thought about it in the 1930s, when the first juicing machine was invented, making juice from fruits, vegetables, and herbs has become one of the most popular ways for improving health.
The reason for it is that the minerals and vitamins contained in fruits and vegetables are more easily absorbed when you consume them in the form of juice.
In addition, many believe that juice cleanse helps to detox the body by removing the caffeine, sugar, refined foods and other harmful substances.
This type of detox diet is often called juice cleanse or juice fast, and it may include homemade fresh juices and vegetables, as well as juices bought from the store.
If you are thinking of trying this type of fasting and don’t know where to start, we have made a complete guide that has the answers to all of your questions, plus some helpful tips.
What is Juice Fasting?
Juice fasting is the process of consuming only fresh fruit and vegetable juice, herbal teas, water, and other clean liquids in a certain period of time.
When done correctly and carefully, juice fasting can not only improve your health and give you a sense of connection to your spiritual life but also help you to shed some pounds.
It is very important to properly educate yourself before practicing juice fasting to gain a clear understanding of the fasting process and have the right expectations about the result.
It is equally important to avoid liquids like coffee, soda, caffeinated drinks, milk, diet drink, etc. when you are fasting.
Usually, juice fast lasts 1-3 days, and during that time, you should drink only juice, water, and smoothies. There are three main stages of practicing juice fast:
Preparation stage: Before starting the fast, you should try to eliminate certain foods like meat, dairy products, coffee, sugar, etc. to make your diet transition easier and less painful.
This might take 3-5 days. Also, you are very much advised to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables during this period.
Cleansing stage: When you actually start your 3-5 days fast, you should drink at least 4 cups of juice or smoothies, half of which must be green vegetables.
Final stage: When your fast is over, you should start eating light meals and gradually add more foods during the next several days. Give your body some time to smoothly get back to your previous normal diet.
Fasting may have numerous health benefits, but it’s not so easy to do. You might experience headaches and weakness along the way.
To help you with that, here are some tips to reduce the discomfort:
Do some light activity: it is not usually advised to do intensive physical activities during fasting, but a simple daily walk can increase the blood circulation and make you feel more energized.
Incorporate mind/body practices: Stress can hinder your detoxication process, so it is advised to give your mind and body some rest through meditation, muscle relaxation or belly breathing.
Juice Fasting Benefits
The proponents of juice fasting claim that it allows the digestive system to cleanse itself, while you absorb all the minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables.
Juice fasting has various benefits including:
- Boosting your immune system: you will certainly feel a positive difference, as the fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals that improve the overall health.
- Anti-inflammatory effects: freshly made juices provide many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that boost the energy level.
- Removing toxins: the advocates of juicing claim that juice fast flushes the toxins from the body. However, there is no specific evidence showing exactly which toxins it removes.
- Improving digestion: the enzymes containing in raw juice improve the digestion and can help to reduce some weight already within the first 24 hours of juice fasting.
If you constantly have headaches, fatigue, skin problems, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, excess weight or any other issues, intelligent application of juice fasting may help you to get rid of those problems.
Juice Fasting Pros and Cons
First of all, you will lose weight. When you don’t consume salty food and carbs, the water weight in your body falls drastically. However, it can be easily regained after you break the fast.
The first day of the fast is obviously the hardest, as your body craves for the food it was used to. You might feel weak and have headaches throughout the day. But if you manage to fight the desire to break the fast right after the first day, then you will get incredible results at the end. It gets much easier the following days of the fast.
After completing 3-5 days juice fast, you will feel much more energized and be in a great mood.
You will notice that your skin has considerably improved and you don’t have many cravings. Many even claimed that their eyesight and hearing got better.
If you hope to lose weight while juice fasting, then we have good news for you. It does work! You will lose about 3 kg in 3 days. If you decide to do juice fasting for a longer time period, you should know that a loss of muscle can happen.
Research has shown that there is a considerable increase in the well-being of the 20 participants, who did juice fasting for 3 days.
Moreover, the juice fast increased the amounts of bacteria that help to keep the body healthy and decreased the ones that cause illnesses.
The participant also lost 1.7 kg on average, and after 2 weeks their weight remained low.
There are also several health risks related to juice fasting, such as kidney failure. We will discuss the dangers connected with juice fasting below so that you make sure to avoid them.
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Juice Fasting Plan
Juice fasting can be fun, as you get to experiment with new flavor combinations. But if you are a beginner in juice fasting, you can always start with some recipes, and when you are comfortable with fasting and juicing, you can modify the ingredients that best fit your taste.
Maximize your vitamin and nutrient consumption by blending various fruits and vegetables.
The organic juice made from raw fruits and vegetables is the key to a successful juice fast. If you feel that you cannot do the extreme juice fasting by drinking only juices, you may include vegan or gluten-free meals in your schedule.
If you often feel hungry and can no longer continue the fast, you may switch to the modified version and eat carrots, salad, or celery for lunch and dinner.
How to make juice?
First, you need to determine what kind of vegetables and fruits you would like to add to your juice and how many cups to drink each day. The recommended amount is drinking 4-6 juices, 500-600ml each and at least 2 liters of water.
Always aim to put more vegetables than fruits in your drink. The ideal is ratio is 80% vegetables and 20% fruits. For example, if you choose to include 5 ingredients in your juice, then you should put 1 piece of fruit and 4 pieces of vegetables.
80/20 Juice meal plan options:
- Meal Plan Option 1: Consume 100% fruit juice for breakfast, while other juices are made of mostly vegetables.
- Meal Plan Option 2: First 2 juices are made of 50% fruits and 50% vegetables and the other 3-4 juices are entirely vegetables.
- Meal Plan Option 3: Each of the 6 juices is made of 1-2 cups of fruit and 4-8 cups of vegetables.
Carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, and other starchy vegetables can add sweetness to your drink.
You can also add grapefruits or lemon to your vegetable juice to make it taste better, as citruses have very low sugar and may not be counted as real fruits.
Drink lots of green
It is important to consume mostly low sugar juices, so make sure that 50% of your daily juice ingredients or daily juices are made of green vegetables.
As every ingredient color has its own nutrient group, you should aim to consume different color juices throughout your day to make sure you get all the necessary nutrients.
For example, you could drink 2-3 colored juices and 3 green juices.
Low-carb fruits and vegetables
You should avoid juicing mostly fruits because they are high in sugar. To help you find the best ingredients for your juice, here is a list to choose from:
- Zucchini – contains vitamin B, vitamin C and keeps energy levels up.
- Celery – is good for the skin and digestive system.
- Spinach – provides vitamin K, which is good for bones.
- Green apples – gives the juice a nice flavor and has lower carbs than red apples.
- Red bell peppers – not only they are sweeter than other bell peppers but are also a great source of vitamin B6.
- Asparagus – helps to remove a redundant amount of fluids and salt from the body.
- Parsley – is rich in iron and chlorophyll, which help your body go through a low-carb diet.
- Fennel – reduces inflammation and gives a spicy flavor to juices.
- Kale – is a great detoxifier and is rich in vitamin C and vitamin K. It is good for heart and vision health.
- Lemon – apart from being a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants, it improves skin and helps to reduce weight.
- Berries – are high in antioxidants and help to protect our bodies from the negative effects of free radicals.
What time to have your juice?
Here’s an example of how a 3 day juice fast day would be scheduled.
Waking up: you can drink warm water with lemon
Juice 1: 9-10 a.m.
Juice 2: 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Juice 3: 1 – 2 p.m.
Juice 4: 3 – 4 p.m.
Juice 5: 5 – 6 p.m.
Juice 6: 6 – 8 p.m.
You should drink your last juice 3 hours before sleep.
3 day juice cleanse
If you are a beginner in juice fasting, it is best to start with a short 3-day juice cleanse, which you can do during the weekend. All the ingredients you can easily find at home.
It is importatnt to prepare your body 2 days before the actual fast. To do that, drink warm water with lemon and ginger in the morning and eliminate carbs, sugar, caffeine and processed food from your diet. Drink 1 cup of warm herbal tea before sleep.
When you start your 3-day juice fast, you will need to continue drinking warm water with lemon in the morning and herbal tea in the evening.
Here is a sample 3-day juice fasting plan with recipes:
This plan consists of consuming 5 juices per day and having 1 vegetable or fruit meal.
Breakfast: Ginger, apple, carrot juice
Mid-morning snack: Mean green juice
Lunch: Gazpacho Juice
Afternoon snack: Citrus juice
Dinner: Sunset Blend Juice
Dinner meal: if you are starving and exhausted, you can have a meal consisting of only fruits and vegetables.
When you break the fast, you need to continue having 1 juice each day, to help your body to smoothly get back to its normal state.
7 day juice cleanse
If you are more experienced in fasting and think your body can handle a 7-day juice fasting, here is a fasting plan, that you may find useful.
Day 1: carrot-apple-ginger juice.
Day 2: beet and ginger juice.
Day 3: cabbage, beet, and cucumber juice.
Day 4: tomato-celery juice.
Day 5: green juice.
Day 6: parsley, mint, and cucumber juice.
Day 7: apple-fennel-mint juice.
You can find the recipes of each juice here.
Juice Fasting Recipes for Weight Loss
Many who are planning to lose weight, are considering to apply juice fasting for several days.
Number 1 change that you will notice is that your excess fluids are flushed and you feel much lighter.
Recipe #1 Apple and spinach juice
What you need:
- 200 g of green apple
- 60 g of spinach
- 13 g carrot greens
- 1 wedge lemon
- Cayenne pepper – ¼ teaspoon
Apples must be cut in 6-8 slices and seeds should be removed. Put the carrot greens and spinach in the juicer first and mix. Then add apples and lemon. After mixing all the ingredients pour the juice into a glass and add the pepper.
Recipe #2 Green juice
What you will need:
- 400 g of cucumber
- 170 g of pear
- 1 lime
- 10-12 pieces of mint leaves
Wash the ingredients and blend. You will get an interesting mojito cocktail flavor.
Juice Fasting Dangers
Although juice fasting has numerous benefits, it is yet not suitable for everyone. Pregnant, nursing women, children, people with health issues such as kidney, liver or gallbladder problems or diabetes should not attempt this type of fasting.
The problems that may occur:
- Decreased blood sugar: as juices contain low calories, they lower the blood sugar. It may create headaches, dizziness, and weakness. It is especially dangerous for people with diabetes.
- Kidney stones: there are many ingredients in the juices that contain high levels of oxalate, which may create kidney problems.
- The risk of bacterial infections: as the juices are made of raw fruits and vegetables, not washing them properly may get people sick, especially the elderly people and children.
If you experience severe headaches and dizziness, immediately stop the fast and see a doctor.
Juice Fasting Tips
Be mentally prepared
You should understand the first few days of the fast are the hardest and it will get much easier over time. Don’t give up when you experience the first symptoms of the fasting.
Consult a doctor
If you are doing juice fasting for the first time, see your doctor first to make sure your body can handle fasting.
Open your refrigerator and get rid of all the foods that might be tempting during the fast. Keep your focus on your mission to successfully complete your juice fast.
Plan before you start
Prepare all the ingredients beforehand. Fill your refrigerator with everything you will need in the course of fasting.
Also, read about juice fasting before you start, make sure you have all your questions answered.
Regularly drink water to help your body flush the toxins out.