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Do you like the idea of a juice cleanse but aren’t sure if it’s right for you? How long should you cleanse your body of juice?
The answer depends on you! There are loads of benefits to juice cleansing but it can also be hard going. If it’s your first time cleansing it’s best to stick to a shorter period of 1-3 days. If you’re a cleansing pro then maybe a longer period of time is just the challenge you need.
I have put together a handy guide to help beginners decide how long to cleanse.
We will look into the benefits and potential issues that can arise when you do a juice cleanse after I explain the different time options and which one will suit you best.
How Long Should You Do A Juice Cleanse?
When it comes to the length of time a cleanse should last, there are a lot of options. We can look at the most popular time frames a bit more in depth after selecting them.
1 Day Cleanse
A 1 day juice cleanse is perfect for the novice cleanser and is still a lot of benefits. A 1 day cleanse is ideal to give you a boost when your diet has gone off track, or to squeeze a cleanse in over the weekend.
The cleanse lasts for 24 hours and normally involves 6 juices. They should be drinking them every couple of hours with plenty of water. You can add in herbal tea, vitamins, and basic juices.
It is ok to have a small snack of fresh fruit or nuts if you are too hungry to function or if you are just too young. It is better to take a small snack rather than giving up the cleanse all together.
A cleanse can be done monthly or scheduled a week or so before a big event. It is a gentle option for first time users and can really show you the world of juicing.
3 Day Cleanse
If you are looking for a bit more of a challenge after the 1 day cleanse, then look no further. The three day cleanse is a test of determination and perseverance.
Similar to the 1 day cleanse, you will be consuming 6 juices a day. The first day is usually the adjustment period, but can be different for everyone. Some people find it easy, while others find it hard as they get used to it.
It gets easier once you keep up that determination. The mental barrier is easier to push through once you get halfway through day 2 and past the midway point.
The cleanse is a bit longer so it is important to be very careful with food reintroduced after. Go slowly and start with soups and salads. It’s important to give yourself a full week to get back to normal eating.
5-7 Day Cleanse
The 5 day or week long cleanse is not for the faint-hearted. It is important to add in a supplement to make sure you are not lacking on these when you are cleansing.
Don’t go to the gym if you don’t want to engage in physical activities during the fast. Adding in a workout is a good way to pass out if you are going for a long time without food.
The longer week long cleanse is a better option for people with chronic stress or people with bad eating habits who need a de-tox from years of bad eating habits.
The 6 juices a day is the same as with the shorter cleanse. You will be on day 7 wondering why you were ever concerned if you take it slowly.
2-4 Week Cleanse
The maximum length you should do a juice cleanse for is this. Some people have health reasons for continuing to the 4 week mark, even though 2 weeks is optimum. The juices in the second 2 weeks should be accompanied with cleansing foods if you want to go for the 4 week cleanse. To find out more, speak to a dietician.
The 2 week cleanse is the most difficult cleanse. When done correctly, it will cleanse out negative behaviors and trapped emotion from your body.
You will want to give up in the first week because you will be put through your paces. It’s important to be kind to yourself, monitor how you feel and be aware. Adding in some fruit, veggies, soup or nuts is fine if you are really struggling with the challenge. You won’t ruin the cleanse if you add these in occasionally.
Re-introduction of solid food will be gradual, even more so than the week cleanse. It is best to return to normal eating in 2 weeks rather than 1 week.
The results will show themselves when you get to week 2. You will feel lighter, more energetic and clear headed. It is a difficult option, but worth it if you stick to it.
Which Option Should I Choose?
There are so many options when it comes to cleansing, how do I know which is the right time for me?
Everyone is different, that’s what the answer is. Some people won’t necessarily fit in with others. You have to take into account a lot of factors, such as your current diet, lifestyle, and any illnesses you may have.
A rough guide to getting started can be found in this list of what length of time may be suitable for you.
1 Day Cleanse
The 1 day cleanse is perfect for first time users. It is a gentle way to ease you into the world of cleansing. It can fit in with a lot of lifestyles.
It is a great option for health nuts and fitness lovers. If you are on track with your diet and need a pick me up, then one day is plenty of time to get rid of your bad habits.
A boost before a date or a night out is the final option for the 1 day cleanse.
3 Day Cleanse
If you have the 1 day cleanse nailed, it’s ideal. Extending the cleanse to 3 days can give you the added benefits of a longer cleanse without it going on for too long.
If you have been on a short course of medication, the 3 day cleanse will give you enough time to really rid your body of any by-products that have built up.
The 3 day cleanse is a great choice if you fall off the healthy eating wagon after a holiday or if you have been on a holiday for a while. 3 days is a good amount of time to get yourself back into shape.
The last reason you may choose the 3 day cleanse is because of the stress of the time period. It can take a few days for the body to re-set after a short, intense period of stress.
5-7 Day Cleanse
If you have the 1 and 3 day one nailed, it would be ideal. A week cleanse is just the ticket if you want to set a bigger goal for your cleanse.
If you have had a long period of illness or have been neglecting your body for a while, then a week long cleanse is necessary.
If you manage to make it to the finish line, the results of the cleanse will be noticeable and last a long time, but it is not an easy feat.
2 Week Cleanse
The 2 week cleanse is an advanced course and only for pro cleansers. A 2 week cleanse is ideal for veterans and people who love to push themselves to the limit, but should not be attempted without consulting a doctor.
5 Health Benefits Of Doing A Juice Cleanse
A quick and effective way to re-boot your system is by cleansing your juice. If you just returned from a holiday where you had a lot of food and alcohol, you might be feeling bloated and sluggish.
Along with getting you back on track, juice cleanse have a number of benefits that make them worth considering.
Junk food and alcohol, although wonderful in the moment, is not kind to your body or digestive system long term. Your liver has to work really hard to remove all the toxins created when you over-indulge. The vitamins and antioxidants found in fresh juices help support a healthy liver and supplies it with the things it needs to work optimally and allow detoxification.
While on a juice cleanse, both short term and long term weight loss can be achieved. Excess water will be eliminated during the initial stage of the cleanse. A rapid loss of pounds is given by this. If you don’t follow the juice cleanse with a balanced diet, you can easily put the initial water weight back on. It’s a good idea to carefully watch what you eat after the cleanse to help you lose weight.
Immune System Boost
Vitamins and antioxidants are essential to keep the immune system working well. Fresh fruit and veg found in juices contain loads of good vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which help keep your body healthy and ready to fight off infection.
Although there are a lot of factors (like hormones, genetics, stress etc) that can cause acne, diet certainly can play a role in breakouts. Sugar or simple carbohydrate rich foods like chocolate, soda, bread and chips are known to aggravate skin. Another culprit for some people is dairy. I know from first hand experience that mixing dairy with sugar (such a delicious combination in ice cream or milkshakes) is guaranteed to make my skin angry. Eliminating these from your diet when you do a juice cleanse will help contribute to clearer happier skin.
Taking a break from processing food will make you feel lighter and more refreshed. If you get past the hunger you will start to feel better and your body will start to adapt to the juices. Your body will thank you if you drink lots of water alongside the juice.
Risks Associated With Cleanses
It is not a one size fits all when it comes to the benefits of juicing. There are potential side effects that can arise when you juice.
Underlying Health Concerns
If you have any underlying health concerns, then you may want to drink more juice. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, then juice cleanse are not a good choice. You should always check with your physician if you feel unwell or are on any medications.
Watch out if you have kidney issues. Leafy greens (like kale), beetroot and many other veggies used in green juices are high in oxalate. If consumed in large quantities then this can lead to kidney stones. If you’re concerned about these risks please make sure you consult a dietician or your doctor before you start a juice cleanse.
Blood Sugar Spikes and Drops
Plants have high levels of fruit juices. There is reason to be cautious here, even though these give you a good energy burst. The high sugar content of fruit causes your blood sugar to spike and then you will experience a drop between drinking juices because of the high sugar content. juice cleanse can be dangerous if you are on a medication that can affect your blood sugar levels. You should always consult your doctor before doing anything.
How To Cleanse
Preparing your body for the change diet on the run up to your cleanse is really important. Make sure you eat whole foods for the first few days of the cleanse.
Cut out processed food, fried food, and other foods that are high in fat and cholesterol. It is a good idea to avoid alcohol and caffeine.
Fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds are good for you.
Red meats and dairy are not good for you before a cleanse. If you are struggling without meat, then some grilled white fish or chicken breast is okay.
Make sure you drink plenty of water on the run up to the cleanse to help flush out toxins from your system.
You should drink juice every few hours to keep your energy levels stable during the cleanse. It is important to remember that a lot of your water intake comes from food, so even though you are drinking juice you can still suffer from dehydration.
It is important to avoid intense physical activity during the cleanse, but an easy walk or yoga class is fine. If you are prone to feeling lightheaded when you get hungry, then it is best to avoid anything that requires intense concentration on your cleansing days. If you schedule your juice cleanse for the weekend or a day off work, you won’t have to perform it while your body is working hard to flush out all that rubbish.
It is tempting to start your normal diet immediately after completing your cleanse. It is best to start with a small meal and drink. It can be hard to start eating normally after the fast because your stomach will have shrunk.
Just like before the fast is best, small frequent meals and plain foods again. For at least a week after the fast, you can gradually build up your calories by eating healthy foods and avoiding alcohol, sugar, and caffeine.
If you are strict about the cleanse, you will find that this continued period of healthy eating will gradually abolish cravings for unhealthy foods, allowing you to continue on this healthier lifestyle long term.
In conclusion, juice cleansing has many benefits and is a worthwhile pursuit.
The amount of time you should juice cleanse for is up to the individual. If you are new to cleansing, you should start with a manageable time frame and work your way up from there.
It is important to consider the risks associated with cleaning before you start, and always consult your doctor before a drastic change in diet.