Juice fasting has become an increasingly popular way to cleanse the body and lose weight quickly. During a juice fast, you abstain from solid food and only consume juice made from fresh fruits and vegetables. While juice fasts can vary, most last between 3-10 days. Learning what you can and can’t eat on a juice fast is key to having a successful cleanse.
Allowed Juices on a Juice Fast
The key to juice fasting is drinking plenty of homemade juices made from raw fruits and veggies. This floods your body with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes. Here are some common juices allowed on a juice fast:
- Fruit juices: Orange, apple, grape, watermelon, pineapple, etc.
- Vegetable juices: Celery, cucumber, tomato, carrot, beet, spinach, kale, etc.
- Green juices: Made from leafy greens like kale, spinach, parsley, etc.
- Root juices: Made from beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, etc.
- Citrus juices: Orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, etc.
When making juices, try to use a variety of fruits and vegetables. This will provide more nutrients and prevent you from getting bored with the taste. Organic produce is best since you eat the peels and cores during juicing.
Foods to Avoid on a Juice Fast
Since the point of a juice fast is to give your body a rest from solid food, you must avoid all whole foods during the cleanse. Here are the key foods to avoid:
- Grains: Bread, pasta, rice, oats, etc.
- Meat and poultry
- Fish and seafood
- Dairy products: Milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.
- Legumes: Beans, lentils, peas, etc.
- Nuts and seeds
- Processed foods
- Fried foods
- Caffeine: Coffee, tea, energy drinks
- Sugar: Honey, maple syrup, agave, etc.
- Artificial sweeteners
As you can see, juices are the only thing allowed on the menu. Some people choose to do a more relaxed “juice fast” where they have one small meal per day in addition to juices. But for a true juice fast, you must stick to juice only.
Sample 1-Day Juice Fast Menu
To give you an idea of what a daily juice fast diet looks like, here is a sample menu:
|7 AM||Beet, Carrot, Apple Juice|
|9 AM||Green Juice|
|11 AM||Cucumber, Celery Juice|
|1 PM||Orange Juice|
|3 PM||Carrot, Ginger Juice|
|5 PM||Apple, Spinach, Kale Juice|
|7 PM||Grapefruit Juice|
Drink juices slowly throughout the day as hunger strikes. Consume at least six 16-ounce servings of juice per day. You can dilute juices with water if the taste is too intense.
The Benefits of Juice Fasting
Now that you know what you can and can’t eat during a juice fast, you may be wondering why someone would want to follow such a restrictive diet. Here are some of the touted benefits of juice fasting:
- Weight loss: By abstaining from solid foods for several days, you can drop pounds quickly. Some lose up to 2 pounds per day on a juice fast.
- Toxin removal: Juice fasting gives the digestive system a rest and allows the body to use energy to flush out waste and toxins.
- Boosts immunity: The nutrient-dense produce floods the body with vitamins and minerals that boost immunity.
- Improves skin: Hydrating juices flush out toxins for clear, glowing skin.
- Reduces inflammation: The antioxidants in juice can reduce joint pain and other inflammatory issues.
- Increases energy: Your body gains energy previously used to digest solid foods.
- Alkalizes the body: Juice fasting helps remove acidic waste products and creates a healthier pH balance.
Keep in mind that the benefits will only last if you gradually transition off the fast and adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle going forward. A juice fast isn’t a quick fix if you go back to poor habits afterward. Be sure to introduce solids slowly after the fast.
Is Juice Fasting Safe?
Juice fasting is generally safe for most healthy adults for a short period of time. However, there are some precautions to be aware of:
- Consult your doctor before fasting if you have any medical conditions or take medications.
- Pregnant or nursing women should not juice fast.
- Juice fasting can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, so diabetics should avoid it.
- Some people experience dizziness, headaches, fatigue, or nausea while fasting. Discontinue if you have adverse symptoms.
- Don’t exercise heavily on a juice fast since calorie intake is very low.
- Fasting for longer than 10 days can cause nutrient deficiencies, so only do extended fasts under medical supervision.
Overall, be sure to listen to your body’s signals when juice fasting. Drink juices slowly, get plenty of rest, and don’t overexert yourself physically. With proper precautions, juice fasting can be safe for short periods.
Tips for Successful Juice Fasting
Here are some additional tips to help you get the most out of a juice fast:
- Stock up on lots of fresh produce before starting the fast.
- Get a good juicer that yields plenty of juice per veggie/fruit.
- Mix up juicing recipes to prevent taste bud fatigue.
- Drink juice when hungry and don’t follow a rigid schedule.
- Pay attention to your energy level and rest when needed.
- Drink herbal tea or dilute juices with water if you get tired of the juice taste.
- Distract yourself from food cravings by staying busy.
- Break the fast gradually by eating raw fruits and veggies first.
Juice fasting takes willpower and preparation but can be a great way to detox and hit the reset button on your health habits. Just be sure to keep nutrition top of mind when transitioning off the fast.
Juice fasting involves foregoing solid foods in favor of drinking fresh vegetable and fruit juices. While you skip foods like meat, grains, dairy and eggs on a juice fast, you take in a mega dose of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants from produce-based juices. Juice fasts typically last 3-10 days and can help you detox, lose weight, boost immunity and more. Pay attention to how you feel when fasting and be sure to ease back into solids slowly after the cleanse. With proper precautions, juice fasting can be a safe way to give your body a reboot.