As some of you may have gleaned, I stay on a diet or some form of conscientious eating — also known as a DIET.
Ever since I was a kid, I felt some type of way about my body and have wanted to change it. I was in just about every sport I could get into: soccer, tennis, basketball, volleyball, you name it! I even started working out regularly at my school’s gym my senior year.
It seemed like nothing I did ever helped me lose weight. It didn’t help that I had a twin sister who, after becoming a cheerleader, lost a good amount of weight and looked like me cut in half.
The pressure to be thin and look a certain way has only increased as I’ve gotten older. Although there are incredibly talented people in mainstream media right now who are touting the wonders of a full figure, such as Lizzo and Danielle Brooks, I still can’t help but want what I’ve always wanted: a flat stomach and toned limbs. With all of the advertisements we’re subjected to on a daily basis filled with beautiful and unattainably thin women, who can blame me?
Nonetheless, it’s so hard to maintain these get-thin-quick schemes — the adamant exercising and the rabbit food diet. After a bout of “healthy eating,” I find myself inhaling a whole bag of chips just to feed my hungry, hungry soul.
Let’s be real. We don’t just eat to live; we eat to LIVE!
Let’s be real. We don’t just eat to live; we eat to LIVE!
This whole back-and-forth with food has me feeling like I may have an unhealthy connection to it. To combat that mentality and maybe lose a little weight, I went on a three-day juice cleanse by Raw Generation.
Let me start off by saying that it’s advised to eat a plant-based diet prior to starting the cleanse. I did not, in fact, eat a plant-based diet the day before I started juicing.
It was a bit of a hectic day, so forgive me. I was on the run for a good bit of it, so I had some handheld fried foods as any busy 21st century woman would. I did have a bowl of fruit for breakfast that left me ravenous and a huge, homemade chicken salad for dinner that led to me also eating two Domino’s cinnamon breadsticks for dessert. It’s all about balance, people.
Anyway, the juice cleanse started off exactly as I thought it would, with me being beyond hungry and more than pissed about it. It was my first day back at work after a long weekend, which is never a good time to stop eating, if you ask me.
I had to deal with some annoying clients when all I wanted to do was binge watch “The Hills: New Beginnings” and cry about how much I missed food. It was a perfect storm of rage and fatigue that threatened to end me, but alas I persevered.
I drank three juices between the hours of 9:30 a.m and 6 p.m., then chugged the other three at around 8 p.m. I was worried that if I drank them too soon, the end of the day would come and I would be left with no more juice and a frighteningly empty stomach.
I wasn’t too sure how to space them out, and the website didn’t give much direction other than drink when you’re hungry. If they really wanted me to do that, they would’ve given me 10 juices a day.
Nearing the end of the day, I started to get cramps. It felt like my stomach was rebelling against the juice cleanse, and I couldn’t blame it. I felt weak and way too tired to do much of anything, which wasn’t surprising except for the reviews that claimed an increase of energy from this cleanse.
People experiencing energy boosts and other health benefits during a juice cleanse is common, but it also isn’t entirely attributable to the cleanse itself, according to Audrey Heist, a registered dietician and Director of Health Engagement at AtlantiCare. In a conversation with USA Today, Heist said these perceived benefits are more due to the reduced consumption of processed foods than to the juice itself. These cleanses can actually do more harm than good.
Ysabel Montemayor, a registered dietician and Nutritional Director at Fresh ‘n Lean meal delivery service, said these cleanses can cause nutritional deficiencies and starvation. After only a day of cleansing, I couldn’t help but agree.
The next day was just as bad as the first, if not worse, for the compounding of hunger after a whole day of not eating. The cramps persisted, as did the rage.
I was sitting at my desk at work when I had an epiphany: I could just quit. I could stop drinking and start eating! What a concept! I immediately ordered udon noodles and scallion pancakes. I had made it a solid day and a half, and I was pretty proud of myself.
I didn’t find the cleanse to be terribly effective. After a whole day of drinking the juices, I had lost 0.6 pounds. By the end of the three days, after having given up in the middle of day two, I had gained 0.6 pounds. That’s to be expected with a juice cleanse, though.
“Once a cleanse is completed, participants typically go back to their usual eating habits and gain back the weight they lost,” said Montemayor. And even if your purpose for doing a juice cleanse was to detoxify your body, it’s unnecessary. Our kidneys and liver naturally remove toxins from our bodies, so all we really have to do is eat more fruits and vegetables and drink more water — groundbreaking stuff, I know!
If I had to choose one thing I gained from doing half of this juice cleanse, it would be the ability to withstand hunger longer. I no longer give in to my base desire to eat every five minutes, and I have spaced out my meals so much that I often don’t even eat dinner.
That single day of choosing juice over food over and over again has helped me to be more mindful and eat what I should more than I eat what I want. I will most likely carry elements of this juice cleanse with me, but I will definitely never do it again.
You know what feels better than being skinny? Being full.
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