We understand if even the idea of a juice fast makes you instantly crave the first solid food you set eyes on. However, there is a way to use the idea without totally depriving yourself — and still get incredible weight loss and gut health results.
A traditional juice fast usually calls for consuming only juiced fruit and veggies for three to 10 days. They might also allow for coffee and tea (without any add-ins like milk or honey), plus maybe some bone broth thrown in for extra nutrients. Basically, if you can chew it, you probably won’t find it on a juice cleanse.
Although there is a lot of debate on the validity of these fasts, one small study found that following a juice fast for just three days allowed their participants to lose weight, restore their gut health, and improve their overall well-being — and maintain it for the next two weeks of observation after eating normally again. This was achieved by only consuming juice for those three days, but the results were significant enough to indicate we can get the similar benefits by simply replacing one meal a day with juice for three days rather than a fully restrictive fast.
Think of it as an easy way to get more fruit and veggies in your daily diet. It helps provide a boost of gut-healing fiber and polyphenols. Along with weight loss, the study authors list potential perks like reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer.
Like any juice fast, it’s important to make sure you’re not overdoing it on the natural sugar in fruits and vegetables. You should also watch out for consuming extra calories during other meals. But by only replacing one meal instead of all of them, you’ll have a better chance of balancing things out and avoiding serious problems like malnutrition, kidney stones, fatigue, or dizziness that are often associated with more traditional juice fasts.
You should also talk with your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet, even for a short period of time. If you get a thumbs up, you can give it a try with a healthy mix of nutrient-rich fruits and veggies like leafy greens, beets, celery, and carrots.
Here’s hoping we can all sip our way to better gut health, weight loss, and overall well-being!