During a juice detox, you consume nothing but vegetable and fruit juice – and we’re not talking cartons of Tropicana here, more like a freshly-squeezed kale, spinach and apple juice washed down with a shot of wheatgrass. If it sounds extreme, that’s because it is, and as such it’s not suggested for a long-term fix, it’s typically done for around two weeks before reintroducing solid food.
It’s touted as an easy way to lose weight, with some programmes claiming that you can lose 5lbs in just three days. Combined with health benefits ranging from improved energy levels, better memory and increased libido it’s no wonder than John Lewis has seen a 60% increase in sales of juicers since 2013.
Breakfast: Carrot and apple juice made with 4 carrots, 2 apples and 1 lemon
Lunch: Green juice made with 2 apples, 2 cucumbers, a handful of spinach leaves, 2 sticks of celery and 1 lemon
Dinner: Beetroot juice made with 2 beetroots, 2 cucumbers, 3 carrots, 1 apple, 4 kale leaves, 1 lemon and 1” of ginger.
It’s a great reset for your body. If you feel like you’ve consumed too much crap recently and your body is complaining, doing a juice detox is a good way of getting back to basics.
You’ll be getting lots of nutrients. Fruit and veg are good for you, obviously, but how much do you eat right now? Chances are that it’s a struggle to even reach the government’s recommend 5-a-day target, but when you do a juice detox every meal is packed full of fruit and veg and you’ll definitely benefit from the increased amount of vitamins and minerals.
It gets quick results. Joe Cross (of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead) claims he lost 100 lbs in 60 days of drinking nothing but juice and now maintains his weight loss with a balanced diet that includes juices.
It’s expensive. In order to make enough juice for a day you need a lot of different types of fruit and veg and that’s not cheap. In our typical daily menu you’ll need 7 carrots, 5 apples, 3 lemons, 4 cucumbers, 2 beetroot, spinach, kale, ginger and 2 sticks of celery – and that’s only for one day. Plus that’s not even taking into consideration the fact that you need to buy a juicer.
There is no solid food. When you’re on a juice detox you don’t consume any solid food at all and although fans of juice detoxes say you get used to it, not getting to experience the satisfying textures of food can be pretty frustrating. This also means that you can’t eat out with friends, or grab something for lunch, no matter how healthy it is.
You still have to be careful with calories – take the fibre out of an orange and you’ve got a lot of fructose with little to slow its absorption into the bloodstream. Consequently, try and keep your juices mostly veg-based.
It’s a short term fix, or at best it’s part of a healthy lifestyle. The main reason why people who successfully lose weight and keep it off manage to do so is because they’ve found something that fits in with their life and they know they can keep doing it forever. But are you really going to be able to drink three to four freshly made juices a day for the rest of your life?
Dentists warn that juice diets can be very bad for the teeth. If you are drinking a lot of juice do so through a straw to lessen the damage to teeth.
Fat Sick and Nearly Dead – documentary from Joe Cross about his juice epiphany.
Jason Vale – recipes, products and pearly white teeth from the “Juice Master”.
Read about other popular diets in our guide to diet plans for men