I read that you should prep for a juice fast by limiting dairy and sugar a few days before to reduce withdrawal symptoms and prepare the body. Not eating was going to difficult no matter how you slice it so I pretty much said to hell with that and just went for it. On Sunday I ate the cheesiest Pizza you ever saw and after that, nothing but juice for five days. On day one I went to the gym but I gave myself a pass for the rest of the week. Physically, I think could have but If my stomach gets a digestion break then it seemed only fair that I get a gym break.
What I drank:
They say for a veggie juice the only thing acceptable to mix in with it is Apples. Something having to do with enzymes and sabotaging digestion. On Day 1 and Day 2 I drank 32 ounces of a Veggie based Mean Green combo of Apples Kale, Cucumber, Ginger, Mint and Lemon for Breakfast and Lunch. It took me most of the day sipping on it at work to finish. In the evening I switched it up to a fruit based combo of 12 oz of Pineapple, Apples, Oranges, Mango and Strawberries for dinner. On Day 3 after running out of the Mean Green concoction we juiced up 24 oz of Carrots, Kale and Apples for me to drink during the day. I could really reduce the sugar content by eliminating the Apples from the Veggie drink but I'm thinking it probably would have tasted awful without that sweetness and I just didn't want to go there. I also drank a ton of water on top of that. Can you believe that I was "over" juicing half way though day 3? I didn't want to make anymore so that night and the last two days I survived on Naked Juice. It was good but I liked our homemade juice better. It seemed thicker and more "hearty" so it kept me full longer. A Juicing diet has a lot more carbs and sugar then I realized. I should have known this because I know that is what fruits and veggies are made of. My Fat, Sodium, Fiber and Protein intake went down while my Carbs and Sugar went up. I got all the wonderful vitamins and nutrients that you get from fruit and vegetables but nothing else. I don't know how that could be healthy for you long term without supplementing for what you are missing out on. I estimate daily calories at around 1,000 or less.
Juicing isn't cheap because in general produce isn't cheap and it takes quite a bit to make an adequate supply of juice to live off of. I don't know exactly how much we spent on vegetables but we went to Sprouts and spent $16 to add to vegetables that Mj had already bought. It took five large carrots, 6 medium sized apples and some kale leaves to make 24 oz. It's definitely cheaper to buy the produce and make it yourself then to buy it. When I got lazy I it cost $5 on sale for 32 oz of Naked Juice. At that price it's about $7.50 for enough juice to last a day which is about $37.50 for the week at the minimum and more if you want more then 48 oz a day.
|What I survived on for Five days: Mean Green Juice, Fruity Juice Mix, Carrot Based Juice and Naked Juice|
I didn't start to feel hungry until lunchtime. By the afternoon I was feeling a little headachy but it didn't last. I went to the gym after work and had a decent work out. I actually felt really energetic for about an hour after but then my energy just dropped. By 8:00pm I was so sleepy I was falling asleep on the couch and the low grade headache came back.
I got some stomach growls in the morning and was very sleepy for most of the day. Caffeine is not recommended but I drank some anyways. Coffee doesn't really work on me for some reason. It never perks me up but I'm always hoping that if I think it could help that I can mentally trick myself into thinking it is. Plus, I like it in the morning. It was hard to tell if I was sleepy just because I was sleepy or if I was sleepy because I hadn't eaten. I didn't really crave food because I'd already made up my mind that I wasn't having it. The overwhelming sleepiness finally passed at about 5:30pm just in time for me to get off of work. I felt fine for the rest of the day. No headache. I just feel a hollow pit in my stomach where food usually is. It wasn't a hunger belly ache or anything like that. I was just constantly aware of being empty. The hardest thing about day 2 was that I lost my juicing partner in crime. Mj was super tired and couldn't continue working without eating so he had a bagel while he was at work and then came home and made pancakes for dinner. It smelled so good! Normally, I'd at least taste his food but I couldn't even have a single bite.
On Wednesday morning there was no hunger, no emptiness in the pit of my belly and no headache either. I did not feel like someone who hadn't eaten for going on 3 days. I've been way hungrier on some mornings after I've had a big dinner. I had coffee again. I just wanted it and so I did. I felt awake and just fine during the day and then the hunger pangs started to hit around 6:00pm but they passed by bedtime. Mj made a BLT for dinner and I went to bed with the tantalizing aroma of bacon in my nose.
I felt just fine in the morning. I had another coffee cheat. I wasn't hungry or tired. I wanted so badly to just have one little piece of one of the left over cookies from our meeting but I resisted. By the time I got off work I was feeling really hungry. Drinking my 16 oz of juice for dinner helped but by bedtime I was really hungry again. I literally dreamed I was eating Pizza that night.
This was the hardest day yet. I woke up feeling fine but as the morning wore on I just felt tired and hungry. There were cookies sitting out in the office and I wanted one so bad. I became very aware of how much we snack in our office. There were cookies, chocolate and pretzels in addition to the normal office organic popcorn that our boss gets for us. Normally, I'd be right there with them munching on something or other but I sipped my juice and blocked it out. I broke my fast that night with some raisins and as soon as my stomach got a hold of them it started growling louder then it had all week.
The food cravings weren't so bad because I'd already made up my mind I couldn't eat. What I missed most was the action of eating food. I missed the flavors and the enjoyment that I get from it. I missed snacking while I watched my favorite shows which is probably a habit I need to break anyways. In my opinion a liquid diet is way easier then a low Carb diet or even just eating in moderation. I tried low carb for three days last year and found that to be so much harder then five days on juice. With a liquid diet there is no margin for error and it's really clear cut. Either you ate food or you didn't. There is no extra cookie, five servings of tortilla chips, just a tiny piece of bread or whatever else you couldn't keep your hands off of to screw you up before you even realize it happened. If you drink an extra juice it's not a big deal, plus it's not like I was sitting there craving mean green juice or anything anyways so I drank my juice and when it was gone that was it. I wasn't running back to the kitchen for more juice or a "snack" as I might do if I was eating food. I lost 6.8 lbs in five days. It's not real weight though so I expect to gain some of it back.
Because of nutritional deficits like most extreme diets I don't see it as a realistic approach to weight loss and diet long term. Bottom line; you need to know how to eat right to maintain a healthy weight and body but there were some positive things about it. Juicing is great for hydration. I am so hydrated right now and feeling very regular if ya know what I mean. I eat pretty healthy most of the time despite what my Instagram feed might tell you but I do have a sweet tooth and sometimes I fall off the wagon and go on a bender and fill my body with a ton of crap. Sometimes all I crave junk. Eating Healthy is a lifestyle and a mindset and juicing helped me get back on the right track. I'm not craving chocolate at all like I was before. Five days was pushing it but I really wanted to see if I was capable of it. It actually was a fun challenge which is weird to say about not eating food but somehow it was. Call me crazy but I already have another one planned for May with another blogger but I'm only doing 3 days. There's a very good chance I will never do five days again!! If anyone wants to join in for motivation let me know.
Read about my 3 Day Juice Fast here.