Detoxes, extreme calorie deprivation and juice cleanses are among some of the more popular quick fix post holiday weight loss methods. Before jumping on the juice cleanse wagon, consider these 3 facts before deciding whether a juice cleanse is right for you!

-1: The weight most likely won’t stay off: Sure you will drop weight on the scale, but chances are, that number is reflective of water weight and not fat loss weight.  Don’t expect lasting weight loss once your cleanse is complete. You will be in a severe calorie deficient for the duration of your cleanse, which can actually cause your body to go into starvation mode and slow down your metabolism. Once you go back to eating your regular diet, your body will save many of the incoming calories for storage in case you put it through a cleanse again or another perceived starvation period.  

-2:It won’t fix all of your health problems: Believe it or not, our bodies have built in detoxifying enzymes and organs that specialize in “cleansing” your cells and tissues. If you were eating nutritionally neutered foods before your cleanse, along with drinking alcohol, having too much caffeine and skipping out on other healthy habits like hitting the gym and getting some sleep, you will most likely fall back into your unhealthy habits and patterns once you stop the juice cleanse. No amount of green juice can undo all the years of poor dieting, overindulgences and unhealthy lifestyle habits.

-3: You might be missing out on important nutrients: Depending on what kind of juice you are drinking during your cleanse, many of the fruits and vegetables important fiber, mineral and vitamin contents have been removed, along with the pulp and the skin. You are losing many of the nutrients that are found in the original state of the fruit and veggies. You are also missing important fatty acids and protein from your diet during your all juice cleanse.

So what should I do instead of a cleanse?

Instead of going on a juice cleanse for 3 days, just eat real food! You don’t need to juice everything you see in the produce isle, you can chose to eat these foods ALL YEAR LONG!

You cannot undo all of the unhealthy choices and “toxic damage” you’ve done to your body over the years in a mere 3-7 days (the typical amount of time for a cleanse), in the same way that 3-7 days of healthy eating is going to heal your entire body. Health is a lifelong journey, you need to continually invest in your health and learn about your body and its nutritional needs.

If you can see cleansing as a bridge that will put you on a path to a healthier lifestyle, instead of a quick fix, then your reasoning for doing so can be justified. You should learn some basic healthy lifestyle principles from cleansings, such as choosing to eat whole, real foods, found in their most natural state, that are also minimally processed. You should incorporate more fruits and vegetables, keep your sugar intake low and focus on increasing your fiber and water consumption.

Replacing your morning bagel for a morning juice will surely help jump start your wellness journey, but make sure that you can see yourself continuing this change for months down the road. If you can’t see these changes having a lasting effect on your life, then you are simply taking a quick-fix approach towards health, when in reality you should be making small and lasting lifestyle changes.

by Brianna Diorio

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