More than ever, we are collectively starting the New Year with a health kick, as we treat our minds and bodies to a little reset. Whilst you probably know it’s important to go back to the gym and dose up on the greens this January (and the rest of the year too, folks), finding a healthy eating plan that actually works can be a little trickier.
So let’s go back to the basics. What are the main methods that make up most health plans? Often, it boils down to one of the following three concepts: Fasting, Detoxing, and Juice Cleansing. Whether you’re following a 5:2 diet, trying a soup cleanse or eliminating alcohol and caffeine, it all boils down to these 3 concepts.
So we’ve decided to take a look at the key differences between Fasting, Juice Cleansing and Detoxing. What does each method involve and do they actually work?
What is Fasting?
Fasting is when you stop eating for a certain stretch of time. Whilst it’s known as a form of religious observance, fasting is increasingly taken on for health reasons.
Think of regimens such as Intermittent Fasting (IF) — where your eating varies in cycles of fasting and eating — or a 5:2 programme — where you eat normally for five days, followed by a reduced calorie intake for the remaining two.
What is Juice Cleansing?
Juicing involves extracting liquid from fruit and vegetables to make a nutrient and vitamin-rich drink. It’s quick and easy, aids weight loss and gives your digestive system a rest from breaking down heavy foods.
Juicing is a variation of fasting and detoxing and can be added as an accompaniment to your day to day or to replace meals completely by following a juice cleanse.
What is Detoxing?
Detoxing aims to help the body’s natural “detoxifying” processes i.e. helping the liver to clear pollutants and filter out harmful substances.
Detoxing can be done, for example, through fasting, eliminating alcohol or changing the foods you eat to an anti-inflammatory, plant-based diet.
Which plan is the best for reaching your goals?
For Weight Loss
We recommend both 52 Intermittent Fasting and low calorie juice cleansing for reducing calorie intake to a fraction of your average daily consumption, helping to drive weight loss and increase the release of fat burning hormones.
More Nutrients and Vitamins
A juice cleanse is jam packed with nutrients and vitamins. Make sure to get a cleanse with cold-pressed organic juices. You can also get immunity boosting shots like ginger or turmeric.
Detoxing allows your system a chance to restore itself by aiding the clearance of toxic waste too help you feel fresher and less sluggish and experience less bloating.
Intermittent Fasting, such as the 5:2 diet, can help to reduce cravings in the long run. You will begin to listen to when your body actually is hungry and the reduction in food means you are likely to be satisfied with smaller portion sizes.
What should I be aware of when choosing a juice plan?
The high acidity in juice cleansing has the potential to cause gastric upset, therefore it’s best to only follow a programme for a day or two. Even better, choose a premade plan such as Plenish’s Cleanse Programmes. The ingredients have been carefully chosen to carry you through the day and are available in packages ranging from a 1-day cleanse for first timers, through to a 3-day option for more experienced juicers.
Whilst fasting, ensure to keep your liquids high. Drink plenty of water and herbal teas in order to keep your system fresh and energised. Be aware that your body may feel weaker than normal — try to take it easy and rest in a comfortable environment.
Detoxing is the most broad concept, therefore a detox plan can come in many different forms. Watch out for misinformation and make sure to follow a thoroughly researched plan. Better yet — consult your GP first to find a plan that works for you.
If you have any concerns or health conditions, we strongly advise you to consult a doctor before embarking on fasting, juice cleansing or detoxing.
Lastly, be aware that every person’s body has different requirements — what may work well for some, might not be effective for you. Listen to your body, make healthy choices and try not to take too much on whilst your body is low on food.