It’s that time of year again. The time of year when we say we’re going to commit to exercising and losing weight. A not-so-traditional way to rid your body of toxins, and shed a few pounds, is a juice cleanse.
A cleanse program is a pretty simple concept. You drink five or six juices per day, for X amount of days, to rid your body of toxins and trigger weight loss. Most people will start start with a three day juice cleanse to see what’s it’s like.
Increasing the fruits and vegetables in your diet can help you break unhealthy habits and improve your diet. But there isn’t much research on juicing, so you may be unsure if it’s the right thing to do. A study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology concluded that juicing may make it easier to to ingest too many calories, but did not rule out a juice cleanse altogether.
So, before you start weighing the pros and cons of juicing, here are five tips for you to consider if you’re planning to start the new year with a juice cleanse.
Juice Cleanse Tip 1—Talk to a Dietitian
If you’re goal is weight loss, you’ll want to talk to a dietitian to help you get on track. Not only can a dietitian tell you if what you’re doing is healthy, they can also help you do things like:
- Determine a healthy balance of fruits and vegetables for your cleanse
- Develop a “post cleanse” meal plan
- Help you set long-term diet goals
Juice Cleanse Tip 2—Find a Buddy
You’re probably going to need someone to talk to when you start thinking about jumping into a bin of junk food. It probably will happen, but if you have a friend who made the nutrient-dense decision to do a juice cleanse with you, you can work through it together.
Juice Cleanse Tip 3—Drink Lots of Water
This is especially important on day 2 of your juice cleanse. Many people say you’ll most likely be craving a meal because your digestive system is no longer breaking down meals from the previous day. You may also start getting headaches from caffeine withdrawal, so drinking water will not only help to make you feel full but can help flush out toxins faster, too.
An easy way to make sure you’re staying hydrated is by keeping an eye on your urine color during your cleanse. If your urine is clear, that’s a good sign you’re hydrated; if it’s more yellow, drink a glass or two of water.
Juice Cleanse Tip 4—Mix it Up
Mix up the produce you’re using during your juice cleanse. This will ensure your juice contains a variety of nutrients. An easy way to keep track is by paying attention to the colors of the fruits and veggies. They‘re a reflection of the nutrients they contain.
Juice Cleanse Tip 5—Buyer Beware
If you’re buying your juice, be sure to check out the ingredients and nutrition information. The NY Nutrition Group recommends a drink containing:
- 50-100 calories
- Less than 10 grams of sugar
- At least 3 grams of fiber.
You can also try to follow the 80:20 rule, meaning 80 percent of the ingredients are veggies, while only 20 percent are fruits. Limiting the fruit in your drink can help keep insulin levels stable.
Passing on processed foods to get more nutrient-dense meals into your diet is a good. If you’re like the majority of people, you’re probably only getting one or two servings of fruits and vegetables each day. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommends five servings per day. A juice cleanse can be a good way to jumpstart your intake.
If a juice cleanse is not your thing, but you’d like more tips on eating healthier, download our free guide: “5 Steps to Healthier Eating.”