Although they are more associated with celebrity wellness, juice detoxes are popular with anyone trying to lose weight. But isn’t it dangerous to consume nothing but juices for five days or more? How do you know how a juice detox will affect your wellbeing? Luckily, wellness writer Ella Buchan decided to find out, and wrote a five-day diary about her experiences.
But first, how do you do a juice detox? According to nutritionist Sally Wisbey, ‘The key is to make sure you include lots of green vegetables as fruit on its own contains a lot of sugar. If you are looking to detox then it is a good way to start as it helps to give your digestive system a rest. It is also a great way to absorb lots of nutrients in one go so is ideal for people who don’t eat many vegetables. I do not see it as a good long-term way to lose weight. Juicing fruit alone can be so high in sugar that it may have the reverse effect on weight loss so don’t be fooled into thinking that all juices are healthy. Also anyone with medical problems or who is taking medication should consult their doctor before taking part in any juice cleanse.’
Now, let’s take a sneak peek inside Buchan’s five-day detox diary:
Day 1: Buchan notes, ‘Each morning starts with a glass of warm water and lemon juice followed by a tablespoon of colosan powder stirred into some of my first juice. After downing a dose of green super-foods powder mixed with water, which tastes like chocolatey grass, the rest of the day is simple. Just alternate juices with water and herbal tea.’
Day 2: ‘I don’t feel hungry but I think this is because of the huge amount of liquid I’m drinking,’ says Buchan. ‘I do miss solid food though and find myself eyeing up people’s lunches and snacks in the office. The juices are fine – zingy and fresh. I am also told to drink two cups of “pu’erh tea”, which is believed to have weight-loss properties but I’m not keen as it tastes fishy. Ridiculously on the back of the sachet of tea it suggests drinking it “after a rich meal”. It’s going to be a long week.’
Day 3: ‘The thought of no food all week must be getting to me,’ Buchan admits. ‘I become irrationally angry that my local supermarket doesn’t sell lemons and I have to traipse up the road to a fruit and veg stall. Also do my colleagues always talk this much about food or am I just noticing it more? As the rest of my desk discusses the best place to get a juicy burger my taste buds tingle in delicious anticipation and then recoil in disgust as I pour another beetroot, carrot and apple concoction down my throat.’
Day 4: Buchan enthuses, ‘I feel slimmer. My stomach is flatter and I feel “cleaner”. My skin looks fresher and plumper. I still haven’t had any hunger pangs but I really miss the taste of food. It’s difficult socially too. I can’t wait to go out with friends and have a drink on Saturday. Standing in a pub drinking water just doesn’t cut it.’
Day 5: Buchan concludes, ‘It’s the last day of my juice cleanse and I can’t help but be happy that I’ll finally be able to eat properly again. Yet when I step on the scales it suddenly all seems worth it. In just five days I’ve lost an astonishing 7lb.’