If your immune system or metabolism needs a good kick up the bum, a juice cleanse could be the answer.
During a juice cleanse or fast, all meals are replaced with specially made raw pressed juices. You can stock up for a cleanse lasting anywhere from a day to a week, but if this is your first cleanse, the recommended maximum length is around 3 days. Benefits include increased energy and vitality, as well as removal of toxins from your body.
A juice cleanse isn't for everyone, but if you're interested, here are our top tips to ensure things go smoothly and you make the most of your hard work!
1. Choose your timing wisely
Make sure you double and triple check your calendar before starting your cleanse. If you have a big event like a birthday or party over the next couple of days, you'll just be miserable watching everyone else eating and drinking like kings. Likewise, if you have an especially busy week at work, it might be better to delay your fast by a few days.
2. Don't tire yourself out
Bear in mind that your energy levels may drop at points during the cleanse, as your body is running on less fuel. Excessive exercise is definitely not a good idea, but a gentle workout is still okay. Sweating is the easiest way to expel toxins from your body, so if you don't fancy that aerobics class, get to the sauna instead.
3. Catch up on rest
Use these few days to really look after your body, allowing it to focus on detoxifying. Getting a good night's sleep also allows your body to better manage its energy levels.
4. Know your limits
If you feel dizzy, faint or shaky, don't ignore it. You might feel it's "cheating" to eat something solid, but your body will thank you for the fuel injection. Try a light salad, some steamed veg or some sweet potato for a quick fix that won't ruin the detox. A 3 day fast is not for everyone so be mindful of your body and how it is responding.
5. End the fast gradually
All you've had for three days is juice – that McDonalds is sounding mighty good right about now. But try to use the first few meals after your fast to gently ease your digestive system back into its normal routine. A large, heavy meal will overload your system and leave you feeling bloated or even ill.