Just when you thought I couldn’t possibly have anything more to say about juice cleanses, here I am again with my most click-baity blog title ever. But please bear with me…this piece of information could TOTALLY CHANGE YOUR LIFE*.
*Warning: may not totally or in any way whatsoever change your life.
It’s been 5 days since the end of my 5-day Fuel Station juice cleanse and incredibly I’m still genuinely feeling the benefits.
- Smaller appetite.
- Better at telling the difference between hunger and craving.
- Less anxiety surrounding food.
- Continued weight loss.
This is surprising to me because I was so sceptical about doing the juice cleanse to start with. Wouldn’t it just make me hungrier and more likely to splurge afterwards? Actually, no. Quite the opposite. It’s actually given me more control over my hunger.
But enough of the waffle (mmm waffle). This is the one important thing you need to do to actually benefit from a juice cleanse…
Treat your juice fast as a springboard, not a shortcut.
That’s it! That’s the important nugget of information I wanted to share with you. Sufficiently underwhelmed? Good, that’s what life’s all about.
A lot of people are drawn to juice cleanses because they pretty much guarantee fast weight loss. Some people say they lose as much as 15lbs in 5 days, which is insane! That’s over a stone, which is, according to this fun time-wasting little website, the equivalent of 150 blueberry muffins (can you tell I’ve been deprived of baked goods for over a month now?)
Of course, the idea isn’t to be on a juice cleanse forever, so if you go back to eating how you did before the fast, you’ll eventually go back to your original weight. This is fine for some people, as juice cleanses aren’t always about losing weight – they can be used as detoxes for the mind and body. But if you are trying to trim down a bit, you’ll need to carry on burning more calories than you consume after the cleanse.
That’s why you should see it as a springboard. Seeing your fat come off so quickly will give you the motivation to keep going with it, as long as it’s healthy and desirable for you to do so.
The thing I liked about the cleanse is that it made me realise I can actually function highly on a fraction of the calories I usually consume. Despite living off around 400 calories a day, I was full of beans throughout the entire experiment.
I also learnt that hunger goes away – you don’t always have to immediately appease it. It’s like when a child falls over and starts screaming as though they’re dying, but then they realise they’re not actually hurt and they just get up and carry on with their activities like nothing happened. Hunger is a primal instinct so it’s very demanding, but unless you’re actually starving to death it will just wander off and do something else if you ignore it.
Needless to say, I’m not about to starve to death. I’m a healthy weight and a little hunger every now and then won’t do me any harm.
So how do you transition from juicing back to eating?
This is the rule I’m following, and so far it’s working for me:
- Eat around 1,500 calories 5 days a week.
- Eat around 500 calories 2 days a week.
On Mondays and Thursdays I’ll be consuming under 500 calories of juice and soup. The rest of the time I’ll be eating normally. This is an established and successful diet known as the 5:2 diet, developed by Dr Michael Mosely for long-term, sustainable weight loss.
So that’s my advice for anyone looking to keep weight off after a juice cleanse. The number of calories you consume on non-fast days will depend on your gender, sex and metabolism.
I’d like to finish this series of juice cleanse blogs by saying something important.
It’s taken me a long time to realise that I’m way too hard on myself for not adhering to one particular beauty standard. There are in fact a million different ways to be beautiful and not all of them involve having a flat stomach, or in fact any physical attribute shared by a super model. It’s beautiful to be different; it’s beautiful to be a kind person; it’s beautiful to notice and celebrate other people.
If you’re reading about juice cleanses because you hate the way your body looks – just know that other people don’t see what you see. Honestly – we’re all far too concerned about how shit we look to worry about how shit you look.
The ONLY thing that matters is that you are trying to be healthy. And healthy doesn’t just mean eating well and exercising. It means being kind to yourself. It means finding the parts of yourself that you’re grateful for; the things you’re good at.
The human body is an incredible structure that we don’t even fully understand yet, but the absolute best thing about it is that it REALLY wants you to stay alive. In fact every day it does everything in its power to keep you alive and well. It’s your best friend, it loves you more than anything else in the universe. Of everything in the universe, your atoms are resolute about being you. So don’t be so mean about your body next time you catch it naked in the mirror. It’s doing its best for you.