Today is Day 2 in my juice fast. (The second day of raw juice and liquids only, that is—you’re supposed to ease into it with, e.g., tapering off to fruits, vegetables and juice first for a couple of days.)
I do not recommend fasting for weight loss, since you tend to “bounce back” once you restart eating normally; and because you might lose some muscle mass. (Bear in mind, when I say “fast,” I am not referring to consuming no food; I am drinking raw vegetable and fruit juice fresh from the juicer as often as I want every day, plus water, tea, and a multivitamin.) There are several reasons I’m doing this, though.
Frankly, for one, I felt like I was approaching Buddha status…and not in the good way! I had gotten my weight down to 205-ish for the GRAMMYs—as usual. And as usual, work and travel got me back on the fast food and beer plan.
So part of what I appreciate about fasting is how it really breaks up, and makes me aware of, how much we use food (and whatever we put into our bodies) for comfort, entertainment, relaxation and “medication.” Fasting for an extended period of time really gives me a good Whack On The Side Of The Head (to quote creative guru Roger von Oech’s excellent title), and puts me in “consuming things strictly for body maintenance” mode.
Today I added a half beet to some of the usual suspects: celery, cucmber, carrot, ginger root. The result looks pretty nasty; and it’s not a supremely tasty treat, but it’s not terrible. I treated myself to one serving of orange juice diluted with natural seltzer water, too. As much as you may want to use fruit juice for juice fasting, it’s not great for your blood sugar. (Anybody with blood sugar or diabetes issues may need to supplement with protein drink or something, but don’t fast at all without consulting your doctor…who will probably tell you not to do it.)
BTW—and thanks to Red Molly for mentioning this—it’s not recommended to do a juice fast during periods of physical exertion or stress, like work or something. So really, there’s never a good time. Ironcially, “they” suggest fasting during vacation.
“What, and give up my adult beverages and rich food…?!??”
Yeah, I feel ya.
Anyway, yesterday was pretty easy, but today I definitely had some fatigue in the afternoon. I tested my blood sugar, and it was 111 a bit after vegetable and orange juice servings, so that doesn’t seem bad. The couple of juicing books say that supposedly your body starts trying to detoxify early in the fast, and that headache, fatigue, etc., are to be expected—and I do seem to remember that from fasting before, although it’s been a while.
The longest I’ve done a juice fast before was, I believe, 21 days; and after the first bit it really was pretty easy. The kicker is easing back into eating. Of course, I went straight to the nearest Mexican restaurant, pigged out, and was in a great deal of pain from it. The correct method is to ease back in slowly over the course of several days, starting with soup, maybe a little bit of fruit, and so on, until you gradually build back up to “regular” meals. By then your stomach and appetite should have shrunk somewhat from what they were before.
Building back up slowly may also help prevent too much of a “weight bounce.” After all, your body has adapted to what it regards as starvation, and has adjusted your metabolism accordingly.
Soooo…although, ahem, I don’t recommend juicing for weight loss, I may see if I can get down to 185 before breaking the fast…but we’ll just see how it goes.