When a Juice Fast Doesn’t Work – 5 Reasons Why

Juice Fast Results

Over the years, in my clinical practice I have observed hundreds of people undertaking lots of different detoxing protocols. In more recent years it’s been great to see people turning on to “fasting” as certainly for detoxing purposes there is potentially nothing more effective for quickly lowering cellular inflammation and re-balancing the body.

Whilst “fasting” taps into our extraordinarily ability to self-regulate and heal by simply doing less, for the process of “detoxing”  to unfold effectively, in my view it requires not only highly robust “detox organs” but exceptionally high nutritional support.

Juice fasting with simply vegetables and fruits alone can certainly be highly effective for some people but for many it doesn’t fully serve their needs, and for some may actually end up doing more harm than good.

juice fast

Determining if a “Juice Fast” was effective for you or not may be a particularly subjective one but to me the following are good indicators of when a “fast” has not been particularly effective;

1. You Fasted for only 2-3 Days.

This might seem a little harsh, particularly if you are new to fasting, but the point I want to make here is that benefits of “fasting” don’t really kick in until you have gone past 2-3 days.  Just resting your system, even for a 1 day certainly brings benefits but really in the first couple of days what is primarily happening is a “metabolic adjustment”. Headaches and lethargy are common at this time, but rather than being representative of lots of “detoxing” going on they are simply more “withdrawal symptoms” particularly from NOT consuming foods such as sugar & refined carbohydrates or caffeine. For most people those first couple of days of a past are marked by a lowering of cellular inflammation which is the “pre-condition” for the cells to then really start expelling toxins.

2. You were hungry the whole time

Periods of hunger are inevitable particularly in the first couple of days as the body goes through “metabolic adjustment” but once the body moves effectively into “detox mode” the sense of hunger should at least greatly diminish. For a start if the cells are getting what they need nutritionally, cellular inflammation lowers quickly and with it our sensitivity to leptin (“hunger hormone) and insulin (“blood sugar regulator”) is improved (thereby lowering “leptin resistance” and “insulin resistance”).

In other words this means those juices you are consuming satiate you better. Moving fully into “detox mode” also means that you are now efficiently burning “stored fat”. When you’re burning stored fat, this is a steady, calm energy. Cravings disappears and most of the time feelings of hunger are non-existent.

3. You felt terrible the whole time

Headaches, lethargy, nausea etc again are also often an inevitable part of the “fasting / detoxing process”. Within a day or two though these symptoms should pass, however it really depends on the state your “detox organs”, what level of nutritional support you’re getting and how effective your “elimination” is. The toxins that are released into the circulation once detox mode has been switched on are primarily what causes one to feel unwell. It’s therefore paramount to have a well functioning “detox system” which can quickly and effectively neutralise toxins, so that they can then be safely removed.

Your primary “detox organ” is the liver, which goes through a 2 step process when processing toxins. In the 1st step the toxin is converted into an “intermediate metabolite” which is often more toxic than the original toxin. In step 2 it is transformed into a water-soluble product that can then be put back into the blood stream in order to be carried to the kidneys for removal. For this 2nd step to proceed smoothly though the liver needs to be 1. in very good working condition and 2. needs lots of antioxidant support ( the more toxic someone is the more antioxidant support they need). Many of us are particularly toxic and whilst juices alone for some might provide enough antioxidant support, for most they don’t.

4. You were constipated (or didn’t eliminate much) during your Fast

The whole point of fasting is to eliminate toxins and reset metabolism. The elimination channels include the kidneys, lungs, skin and colon. With a juice fast, usually there is enough hydration to support the kidney adequately to flush out toxins via urination. With the bowel however, I’ve often observed that it either slows down greatly or worse shuts down altogether for people on pure Juice Fasts.

The lack of fiber can be a reason for this. Another cause is toxins trapped in mucus, which once sent to the bowel then mix with stool making bowel function more difficult. Thirdly, unless lots of extra water is consumed in addition to juices, dehydration is common during a Fast because the kidneys are so active, meaning that water is reabsorbed from the bowel making elimination more difficult. Whatever it takes to keep the bowel moving during a “fast” it’s important it be undertaken otherwise the benefits of the fast are greatly diminished. Including fiber in juices / smoothies or taking some some of laxative or doing colon irrigation, enhance the bowel function which is what you really want during your “fast”.

5. You didn’t lose any weight 

Whilst the point of “fasting” is certainly not about losing weight per se, some weight loss is a definite sign that your fast was effective. Stored fat, particularly around the mid-line is where we store most of our toxins. If you’ve moved effectively into “detox mode”, you begin efficiently burning this toxic fat fat (which previously was difficult to burn off) and with it by the end of your “fast” you should notice that your waist line is a little slimmer.

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Aaron Travers is the author of  The Boda Fast  a three step plan to lower inflammation, maximise fat burning and restore vitality”. Aaron writes at www.thebodacleanse.com.au and shares his ideas and experiences on health and wellbeing from his personal life and through working with clients clinically and those doing his “supported fasting” / intermittent fasting diet programs. Every Friday he sends out his newsletter, click below to subscribe. 

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