By now you’ve probably heard that juice cleansing is more than just a trendy diet; for many people, it’s a great way to reset your body and get back to a healthier diet. A three or five-day juice cleanse is particularly beneficial in the spring and summer months when your body is craving nutritious, cooling foods as the days get hotter. While a three-day kick-start to healthy might sound easy and quick, the secret to a successful juice cleanse is to make mindful food choices in the days leading up to and following the cleanse.
Before your cleanse, try to ease into a raw diet. Start by cutting out sugar, processed food, and dairy a week before the cleanse. Eat mostly raw vegetables two days before your first juice. Chowing down on a burger the night before your cleanse will make the first day of juicing extremely difficult!
Perhaps the most important part of a juice cleanse is how you re-introduce food to your body once your cleanse is over. These tips help me to maintain my post-juice glow and even keep off the weight that I shed during the cleanse.
Drink green smoothies
The day after my cleanse, I like to start the day with a green smoothie. I know this is probably the very last thing that you want to consume after a completely liquid diet, but it’s actually a great introduction to solid food. Smoothies are easy for your body to process and digest because they are liquid, but they contain the fiber that your body was missing during your cleanse. This fiber will wake up your digestive system and get it prepared for solid food again.
Stick to raw veggies
For lunch and dinner the first few days after a cleanse, it’s a good idea to eat as many vegetables as possible. Resist the urge to binge on pizza or French fries, and try to completely avoid food groups that could irritate your body and reverse the effects of the cleanse such as sugar, dairy and gluten. As your body gets used to digesting solid food again, introducing vegetables first supplies you with the same nutrients as your juices, so it isn’t too much of a shock to your system.
Take your time
Just because you did a juice cleanse doesn’t mean you have to cut out all the good stuff forever! When you are feeling good about eating regular food again, probably within two or three days of the cleanse, start introducing more foods into your diet. Start with whole grains and gluten, followed by dairy a day or two later, then finally sugar, if you like. This is the key to keeping off any weight that you lost during the cleanse for good. Be very mindful of your portion sizes, as well. Your stomach could become irritated and upset if you eat a huge meal. Plus, now that you are used to eating smaller portion sizes, it’s a great time to practice self-control and continuing eating just until you are no longer hungry.