There is a lot of talk recently about juice fasting. Juicing is increasing in popularity due in part to documentaries like “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead”. There is an ever increasing range of juicers, books, DVDs and websites to support people who want to juice. But what exactly is juice fasting and how does it differ from regular juicing.
Fasting generally means to go without food. Many cultures and religions practice fasting but juice fasting is different. The reason is that juice fasting allows you to consume freshly made fruit and vegetable juice. So you are in fact not fasting in the traditional sense. You are actually replacing regular meals with juice.
When someone performs a juice fast they consume nothing but juice. This can be used to aid in weight loss and many overweight people doing a juice fast report significant weight loss. The purpose of juice fasting may not be weight loss however. Many people juice fast to detoxify and rid their body of toxins.
It should be said that anyone thinking of doing a juice fast should consult with their doctor and make sure they are getting all the vitamins and nutrients they need from the juice they will be consuming.
It’s also important to carefully plan out your fast and establish how long you aim to fast for, what types of juice you will consume and recognize any warning signs that mean you should stop. Many people report getting symptoms such as headaches, rashes and nausea when starting a juice fast. These can be effects of withdrawal from caffeine and sugar and should be carefully monitored.
Many doctors see juice fasting as extreme and question its benefits. This is often because people seek to abandon their unhealthy diet to go on a juice fast but then rebound and end up back on their unhealthy diet.
It’s important to realize that juice fasting is not a miracle cure for diseases. But it can be used to shed a few pounds and kick start a change in lifestyle. The long term benefits of juicing far outweigh the benefits of a short juice fast, so consider carefully what it is you want to achieve by fasting.
A juice fast will allow you body to rid itself of toxins and may help you lose some weight. But the question to ask yourself is why do you need to rid your body of toxins? What put those toxins there in the first place?
If the answer is an unhealthy lifestyle then why not consider changing that lifestyle. Juicing can be a part of a healthy lifestyle and help you reach optimal nutrition without poisoning your body with foods that taste good but contain many substances harmful and toxic to your body.
The hard part is realigning yourself to a healthy diet. Because so much of what we eat today is an addictive cocktail of sugar, fat and salt which programs our brains to want and consume more of the same. The key is to break this cycle of consumption and retrain ourselves to enjoy and consume natural foods that aid our bodies instead of hampering them.