In the last several posts, we have discussed:
- “What is a Detox?” https://veronicashealthyliving.com/detox-what-is-it/
- “Why Should You Detox?”https://veronicashealthyliving.com/why-should-you-detox/
I have even given you several recipes to get your body ready for a detox:
Liquid or Juice Cleanses
Liquid cleanses are when you eliminate all solid foods from your diet for a period of time. Liquid cleanses have their place, and many people swear by them for weight loss and health improvement. As with anything new, always check with your doctor, first, especially if you are on medication, or have serious health issues.
Before choosing a liquid detox program, it is important to determine the reason why you want to go on a liquid cleanse. And once you have decided the reason, then research your options and choose the program that fits your needs and lifestyle.
There are many different kinds of liquid cleanses, but here are a few that are popular now. If you don’t see “yours” on the list, just mentally add it.
Kinds of Liquid Cleanses
- Water fast
- Juice cleanse
- Smoothie cleanse
- Bone/vegetable broth
- Shakes (like Isogenix, The Worx, Advocare, Shaklee, etc.)
- Soup cleanse
- Mixture of any of the above
If your reason is to primarily to lose weight quickly, then let me encourage you to look at other options for weight loss first. To completely stop eating for a period of time (more than 3 days), especially if you are eating the SAD (standard American diet), can set you up for failure, especially if you do not add whole food (notice I said whole foods, and not just foods) back in correctly. I discuss this in more detail below.
I do recommend a liquid or detox with clients from time to time. Usually I recommend these type of cleanses to someone who has a severe illness, like cancer, or is obese or diabetic, and needs to make a complete break from their lifestyle and food.
In my mind, the purpose of doing a liquid cleanse of detox is the give the body a rest from digestion. Americans have been taught to eat often for blood sugar, and to don’t allow yourself to be hungry. We have access to cheap food everywhere; our pantries, grocery store on every corner, convenient stores, restaurants, fast food places, gas stations, food trucks, even stands on the corner and along the side of the road. And Super-Size Me is apparent in every serving of food in your order, and in the foods we make and serve ourselves at home. WE EAT TOO MUCH!
Many of people today are taught to not allow their children to go hungry, so they feed them round the clock, and themselves, because they are afraid of getting hungry. What ever happened to parents saying “It is too early to eat. You will spoil your dinner”. Instead, what do we do, but give our children a snack, for fear that they might feel their tummy’s empty. These children grow to become adults who never know hunger, nor have ever felt their stomachs growl a true hunger pang.
I know. I understand. I encourage my clients to allow themselves to be hungry, to feel hunger, and live it when hungry.. And I encourage clients to skip meals, not eat between meals or at bedtime, just so they can experience what real hunger is. We are eating when we are not hungry, and therefore, gaining weight, and getting sick!
Liquid Cleanse Benefits
There are many benefits to a liquid cleanse.
- Detox (cleanse and eliminate) the body of toxins
- Improves digestion by giving the body a rest
- Increases energy
- Reduces and eliminates food cravings
- Resets the body on food choices
- Weight loss
- Convenient – no dishes (okay, maybe a few if you are juicing)
- Improves skin
- helps with sleep issues
- increase micronutrients
- by decreasing digestion, body has time to heal and repair itself from diseases such as cancer and other illnesses
I personally enjoy a 3-day juice cleanse at least two times a year. I feel absolutely amazing while on it, and really puts my health on a new level. I don’t do it for weight loss, although losing weight is a bonus. Why? Because, usually I gain weight back, when adding solid foods back in. I will write about my experience with juice cleanses on another day. But just know I recommend them often.
However, be careful to not build your juice cleanse around mostly fruits, as this could cause blood sugar issues. Some people with blood sugar dysregulations, such as insulin resistance, diabetes, of hypo and hyperglycemia may not do well on juice fasting, even with just vegetables.
Cautions of a Liquid Cleanse
However, as with anything there are some cautions to be aware of before starting a liquid cleanse.
As I mentioned in a previous post, these 4 things need to be considered before taking on any detox program:
Factors to consider before launching into a detox:
1. Health of your body – this can be determined by having an full health assessment with a Functional Nutrition Practitioner. Interested in have a full health assessment? Go here: https://p.bttr.to/361E25K
2. Metabolism type – (should you be eating more carbs, or more protein?) – to determine the metabolic type to see if you are a slow oxidizer or fast oxidizer. I usually perform a test called the HTMA on each client as we begin our work together. Interested in learning your metabolic type? Go here: https://p.bttr.to/361E25K
3. Previous diet? If you are eating poorly (SAD) or less than healthy, this should be taken into consideration, and prep work should be done ahead to prepare the body to eliminate toxins.
4. Lifestyle/time management/family/work commitments – how committed are you? Do you have a heavy work load that will restrict your eating choices? Family commitments that will keep you too busy or keep you away from home? It can be done, but you will need a plan to overcome these challenges.
Always check with your doctor before attempting anything new, especially if you are on medication, or have a chronic illness. Most liquid cleanses are designed to cleanse the body, and some may be too harsh for your situation. Many do not include enough nutrients, and long periods on a liquid cleanse could put you in serious mineral deficiency.
But the biggest thing I have against liquid detoxes is that fact that the majority of people have great difficulty adding real foods back in at a slow enough pace, without gorging themselves and bringing back their health issues, and more weight than they before starting the cleanse. This is very difficult and impossible for most people. Also, abstaining from solid food more than 5-7 days can mess with your metabolism, making it that much harder to go back to eating normally without adding a bunch of weight back on.
So, consider all of the pros and cons carefully before starting on a liquid cleanse, and always check with your doctor. And if you are comfortable staring on a liquid cleanse, you may want start small. Go for one day, or even one meal, and get your body used to the fact that you are taking care of it and not starving it.
Concerned you may be toxic? Do you need a detox? Go here to take the Are You Toxic? Quiz