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Cleanses are designed to detoxify the body, though weight loss is often a happy side effect

Should I do a juice cleanse? Is it safe?

Kay Curtis (Burbank, CA) on Jul 9, 2012
For most people, a pure juice cleanse raises insulin levels and wrecks blood sugar levels. You don't want that to happen, because it encourages insulin resistance. It's best if you get a really high-quality whey protein and add that to your juice. You also need to avoid eating too much fruit. Try kale and beet tops mixed with a little carrot and apple. Berries are also OK, but again, avoid eating too much fruit. A little fat such as flax oil added to it will help make the drinks keep you full longer. The best whey protein is made by Standard Process.
Elizabeth Patton (Saint Louis, MO) on Jul 9, 2012
I recommend against doing a cleanse. As long as you are healthy, your body is very efficient at filtering out waste products on its own. Focus on a well-rounded diet composed of mostly healthy foods and include regular exercise. You won't need one!
Natasha Uspensky (New York, NY) on Jul 9, 2012
A juice cleanse can be a wonderful and perfectly safe detoxification for your body, and a great way to kickstart weight loss. That said, for first-time cleansers, you may want to complete a juice cleanse under the supervision of a nutrition professional. Depending on your body type and specific health concerns, you may experience serious detox symptoms that can be intense for some people. Another mistake many first-time juice cleansers make is consuming too little throughout their cleanse. You should consume a juice once every two to three hours to ensure that you can maintain healthy blood sugar and energy levels. A store-bought cleanse like Blueprint or Organic Avenue can be a great way to ensure you are getting enough nutrients throughout the day. For those that want to make their own juices, do some research or purchase a book with recipes that will guide you through the process. Detox symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and crankiness are normal and usually only last a day. After a juice cleanse, you will feel lighter and cleaner, both mentally and physically. Opt for no more than five days of strict juice cleansing (three if it's your first time).
Michaela Ballmann (Altadena, CA) on Oct 15, 2012
Juice cleanses can play a role in "jumpstarting" healthy eating, but there are other more healthy ways to transition into a new lifestyle. Juice cleanses are marketed as an easy weight loss solution, but much of the weight lost in the few days is water, and the remaining pounds are a combination of muscle and fat. I do not recommend these products for this purpose. Slow, steady weight loss of about 1-2 pounds per week by making sustainable changes to your diet and activity level is the way to go.
Marina de la Torre (Brooklyn, NY) on Aug 8, 2012
Great question! There's a lot of buzz these days around detox and cleansing programs; many of these include juice cleansing. Doing a juice cleanse in general is a good idea because you give your digestive system "a break"; you ingest plenty of nutrients and the effects are tangible: you loose weight (mostly from retained water), your skin glows, you have more energy, etc. Things to consider before doing a juice cleanse are: - If it is your first time, you want to take it slowly (e.g. only for a day or two, etc). Your body is not used to it and it will complain. - Juicing should include mostly vegetables and only some fruits. Be ware of jumping into a fruits-only juice feast (fructose- sugar in fruits- is processed in the liver and too much of it can cause triglycerides' level to rise ) - Make sure you can have a juice on a regular basis: if you work in an office 12 hours a day you may find it difficult to drink your juice when needed. Ideally, you want to drink your juice freshly juiced. How you store your juice is important as oxygen (air) will oxidize the juice and nutrients deteriorate rapidly. If you have to take your juice with you do so in a glass container, tightly sealed and refrigerate. - Do not buy pre-packaed juices from the grocery store (they are filled with sugar and their nutritional value is very poor) There are many ways to cleanse your body. Cleansing the body does not have to be extreme (for some people juicing only is extreme); it can be done easily while eating plenty of whole, real foods . An elimination diet followed by the incorporation of primarily seasonal fruits and vegetables is a great way to detox, especially in spring time. If you decide to do a juice cleanse "listen" to your body, pay attention to how you feel and gauge if this process is right for you. Only you can determine if something is good or not for your body. Note: when you start any kind of cleanse, the first days you don't feel great and this is because your body is, well... 'cleansing', getting rid of the toxins. After the first couple of days you start ripping the benefits. Finally, getting out or a juice cleanse is as important as getting in. Avoid eating a big meal and alcohol the day you decide your cleanse is over. Gradually, start incorporating solids into your diet. There are so many juice cleanses to choose from, make sure you do your research and pick one that suit your needs and lifestyle.