Five Days in Hell: The Story of a Juice Cleanse
FIRST THINGS FIRST: JUICE CLEANSES ARE NOT FOR EVERYONE. IF YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT STARTING ONE, TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.
Wanting to kickstart some weight loss, I decided to try a 5 day juice cleanse with Juice Programmes.
One of my biggest concerns going into this cleanse was the impact it will have on my metabolic rate. To get some more information about this, I consulted Krishan Thayalan. Krishan is a Registered Dietitian in training with a background in pharmacology and toxicology based out of Toronto, Canada. When I asked him about the cleanse and its impact on my metabolic rate, Krishan explained the following:
In terms of the effect on your metabolism, a 5-day juice cleanse is unlikely to have any long-lasting effects on your metabolism. However, you may experience a rebound effect once you come off it, in that the short-term weight loss of your juice cleanse (most of which is likely to be the result of water losses) is quick to reverse as the body tries to restore balance. Juice cleanses may also cause spikes in your blood sugar, which are usually curtailed by the fibre content in actual fruits and vegetables. This can actually have a negative role in your metabolism because your body is pumping out more insulin to lower your blood sugar, and causing more of it to be stored as glycogen and fat. You're also likely to experience an energy deficit, which may lead to protein breakdown and loss of lean body mass. If you choose to do a juice cleanse, one way to help ameliorate these effects may be to dispersing smaller quantities of juice throughout the day, as opposed to one serving every few hours. The goal is to continue to provide your body with energy, and prevent those huge spikes in your blood sugar.*
On day two of the cleanse, I made sure to sip more slowly and pace my juice intake throughout the day. Thanks to Krishan’s advice, day two was actually a lot better than day one. Day one was by far the most challenging day of the week. I was hungry, tired and had one of the worst headaches I’ve ever had. By day three, cleansing started to feel more normal. I had a bit more energy than the first two days, no headache and I felt motivated to get through this.
I messed up on Thursday night. My boyfriend was having a curry and I indulged in a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce... AND I had a small handful of ringolo... #oops. While I’m disappointed that I let my self-control slip, I’m also human so I’m trying not to beat myself up about it. Friday morning was a weird one. I felt quite sick from the slip up which worried me about transitioning back to food, but I also felt much less hungry and lightheaded than any of the other days.
The more I read about transitioning to food, the more I realised how bad my slip-up actually was. Apparently, after a juice fast you have to slowly ease your body back into processing foods by eating painfully healthy for the first little while. I found this extremely annoying as all I wanted was a big #treatyoself style feast.
Overall, I found the juice cleanse really challenging. I’m sorry I cheated on day four, but I’m proud that I got through it. I lost 7.8 pounds and 3.3% body fat. I’m pleased with this, but know that some of it is likely to come back quite quickly. I’m looking forward to continuing my quest to get healthy, but am more looking forward to eating some delicious cheesy pasta.
*Direct quote from Krishan Thayalan, a Registered Dietician in training with a background in pharmacology and toxicology.