Last week my body told me that I needed to go on a juice fast. I’ve gotten really good at listening to what my body wants over the years. Doesn’t mean I always listen to it… but I do hear it!
I personally find that when you “get the calling”, the fasting process is much smoother and easier than if you plan it mentally. Though, having said that, every single one of my fasts (and I’ve done a lot) have been completely different.
I’ve mostly done dry and water fasting – for some reason I just always struggled with juice fasting. After just a few hours I was normally STARVING!
This time, however, I’ve been doing it for 6 days now (and still ongoing) and I’ve been absolutely ecstatic. I have no idea why exactly it’s so amazing this time, but I thought I’d share a few things that I’m doing in case they help anyone who wants to give it a try.
Disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional so please fast at your own risk. Don’t do anything that isn’t recommended by your doctor.
So, first thing’s first, let’s answer the most common question people ask…
How much weight can I lose on a juice fast?
The amount of weight loss that MAY occur during a juice fast can be anywhere from 0.5kg-2kg per day.
However, it depends on many factors, such as, but not limited to:
- Your genes and body structure
- How much you currently weigh (you might find it easier to lose weight at the start if you’re significantly overweight to begin with)
- Your emotional state! This is something that many people ignore but is SO important! I once did a dry+water fast (i.e. nothing whatsoever but water) for 2 whole weeks and I didn’t lose a single kilo because I was heartbroken and needed the physical (fat) protection around me until I healed the emotional pain first. Once I was emotionally stable again, I lost 10kg without doing a single thing differently
- How much you’re currently exercising and how much have you exercised throughout your life
- What kind of fast you’re doing
Also, something to be aware of, a lot of the weight you lose during a fast is water. I usually calculate it this way – if you lose 10kg, you’re likely to put 5kg back on again, so just bear that in mind.
When I started this, I purposefully chose not to weigh myself (I haven’t done so in a few years now) because I don’t want to obsess over numbers. If I’m happy with what I see in the mirror, that’s all that matters, and I love my body as it is right now.
Now, onto a few tips on how to survive juice fasting…
Set your own rules
Whether you want to do just green juices, mix juices and smoothies or even add some vegetable broth to the mix if it help you – set your own rules and stop googling “will drinking tomato juice break my juice fast”. Ultimately, there are many reasons why you might consider a juice fast, so do what your body is asking of you. Without being silly of course, blending pizza isn’t going to work!!
This time round I decided to mix both juices and smoothies because I like a change in consistency. I also tried something completely new to me and I had home-made vegetable broth one night, but to be honest, it did really satisfy my cravings, but it tasted awful so I decided to stop. Salt is the only thing that made it taste tolerable but I didn’t want to add too much as that isn’t ideal for a fast.
Exercise as much as you can
It’s not recommended to do HIIT or any form of vigorous exercise, but a 30 min mild workout (I just type in “no jumping” into YouTube) in the morning and a 20 min walk in the evening is better than nothing… which is what I’ve always done previously during a fast.
Exercise has never been part of my routine, but 11 weeks ago I called up a friend of mine and asked if she wanted to exercise with me in the morning over Zoom every weekday. Her and I have very similar body types, eating habits and attitudes, so it was the perfect mix of motivation, friendship and early morning therapy lol! I’m so glad that I got into that habit before my fast as I don’t think I would have done anything otherwise.
Consider using an enema to clean out your colon
Perhaps a controversial subject (but then again, what isn’t these days?), but I highly recommend doing enemas during a fast. If you have no idea what that is, an enema is basically a bag of water and a hose. The hose goes up your butt and cleans out your colon of all the rubbish that’s stuck up there. This is particularly helpful during a fast. Whether you believe the theory of autointoxication or not, I urge you to test it out for yourself. Personally, I’ve tried fasting with and without and I find it MUCH easier to fast when I do enemas. I feel happier, less clogged up and cleaner in every way.
Do your research if you’re unsure of how to do it, in my culture, it’s something that we do since we’re kids so it’s a very normal practice for me. I’ve taught this to many many people over the years and everyone loves the feeling they get afterwards. It’s also great if you’re ill, e.g. food poisoning.
Avoid going into the office if you can and take it easy in general
It’s certainly much easier to do this kind of thing since many of us have been working remotely for the last year. You will notice that you lose energy throughout the day and may have the occasional crash. For example, I spent 20-30 mins cooking for my boyfriend on my second day and the intensity got a bit much for me so I had to go lie down.
Be gentle with yourself, take naps if you need to, wear comfy clothes, ask someone else to help you make juices.
Cook for someone else and/or don’t avoid the kitchen
This may seem counterintuitive, but I actually purposefully cook for my boyfriend for 2 reasons. One – it makes me feel like I’m doing something normal. I love cooking in general (have you got my raw vegan cookbook yet?) so then it doesn’t feel like a big shift in routine for me. And two – the smell makes things sooo much easier. I ran into the kitchen this morning because my boyfriend was making himself an omelette and I just stood there sniffing the frying pan because it honestly satisfied those cravings for me. I didn’t feel like I actually wanted to eat it, but there was something very soothing about the smell.
Watch motivational movies
Whether it’s Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, that’s directly related to juicing, or a documentary about food in general, like Forks Over Knives or Fed Up, watching something that motivates you can really be helpful, especially during the first few days.
Share your favourite movies and documentaries with us in the comments!
Remember that the first 2-3 days are the hardest
Day 2 sucks. You’re just going to have to deal with it. Keep reminding yourself why you’re doing this and know that you just need to get over this little hump for it to get easier. And trust me, it gets WAY easier. I don’t have hunger cravings, but the only thing I have are habitual cravings. Those are easily satisfied through smells or by physically making the dish for someone else.
How long should you do a juice fast for?
Totally up to you! If you’re new, I’d say start with 3 days. If you’re comfortable doing more, then do more! I’ve honestly got no goal in mind this time round, the plan is to do it for at least 10 days, but who knows? I’ll probably eat when I get bored and just want the flavours again to be honest.
How to exit a juice fast?
After 3 days, you should carefully consider how you stop the juice fast. Your body isn’t used to heavy meals anymore and you can really hurt yourself if you suddenly eat a burger after 7 days of fasting. I’ve always been careful and even still, one time I didn’t come out gently enough and I ended up with an anal fissure because my poop got so hard it cut the side of my anus. It was horrible, so since then, I’ve been anal (pun intended) about making people aware of how to exit fasts properly.
I’m not an expert at this section so I recommend you check out someone who is. I actually paid for a course on how to do this many many years ago but it was in Russian so probably not very helpful to you guys.
The course was for water fasting but some things will be applicable for juice fasting too. The main things I remember are: If you fast for 10 days, spend half that time (i.e. 5 days) in the transition period. If you’re doing a water fast, start coming out with diluted juices, followed by proper juices, then smoothies, then fully raw vegan salads, then half raw and half cooked (avoid frying) vegan meals. Take your time with the transition, please!
My plan is to eat fully raw for at least a week after I finish this fast, depending on how long I decide to do it, of course. Please avoid animal products, dairy and fried foods as long as possible as that will be quite a shock to your system.
Let’s do this!
Wow, this turned into a much bigger blog than I expected! And here I thought I might just fit it into a quick Instagram post…
By the way, in case you haven’t heard the news yet, my Instagram channel @liveloverawofficial got wrongfully deactivated because a few people I work with logged into it too many times from various countries, so now I’m posting on my backup account for the time being. It’s almost impossible to get your account back so please follow this one! I’ve also created a Minds.com account, which is kinda like the anti-Facebook that doesn’t censor stuff. I’m still figuring out how it works, but I will try to post there from time to time too. In the meantime, please subscribe to my newsletter in the footer as that’s going to be my primary way of communicating with you from now on.
Wishing you all the best!!