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Juicing is not for everyone- check out these alternative detox plans

Juice cleanses tend to go through periods of popularity as people look for new ways to lose weight as quickly as possible. And there are pros and cons on both sides of the issue. The problem with drinking your meals is that much of the health benefits from fruits and vegetables are actually lost through the juicing process.  This separates the juice from the fibers. Cold-pressed juices and newer juice machines that extract more of the fiber content help to eliminate some of this, but nonetheless juicing tends to rely on a lot of water content and sugar for feeling satisfied rather than actual nutritional value. Plus, juice machines and ready-made cold-pressed juices are not exactly budget-friendly.

Juice cleanses aren’t meant to be a long-term diet. Instead, they typically last anywhere from 3-7 days. Because you aren’t getting all the nutrients of a varied solid food diet, including protein, it’s recommended that you ease up on exercise and practice nothing more than gentle yoga while on a juice detox. For many people, skipping their workout is only part of the problem. Juicing eliminates a lot of your daily calories.   Most people feel constantly hungry, leading to feelings of weakness and “hanger” at best, and also headaches.

Instead of thinking that juice cleanses are your only way to detox your body to prepare for a diet or lose a few quick pounds before an event, consider some alternatives that are healthier and more satisfying.

Soup Cleanse or “Souping”

Souping is a very similar process to juicing. For a set number of days, you consume nothing but soup. Unlike juicing, souping is considered nutritionally sound.  This is because you eat broth-based soups and the vegetables are blended or eaten whole so that you don’t lose out on vital nutrients. If you enjoy cooking, then you can whip up your own soups, using a vegan or vegetarian base mixed with beneficial herbs and spices and then pureeing your soup so that it can be eaten on the go. You can also find soup delivery services that specialize in soup detox diets so that you don’t have to cook, but can enjoy the benefits of a soup cleanse. Although soup is readily available in cans and convenience stores, salad bars, etc, it is generally recommended that you avoid these soups because of their high sodium content.

While on a souping cleanse, you will likely lose weight.  This is because you are consuming fewer calories, but you likely won’t experience the problems of juicing, like getting a sugar high, headaches, or hungry.   You are getting vital nutrients in your meal, like fiber, which helps you feel full for longer.

Eat Clean Whole Foods

Another way to enjoy the benefits of a detox is to eat clean, whole foods. It can be difficult to sustain a regular daily diet this way, especially if you don’t cook for yourself or travel a lot. So whenever you get the chance, eat lean proteins and organic vegetables for a few days as a way to cleanse your system of toxins and processed foods. You can find delivery services that specialize in whole food diets or cook them for yourself.

Elimination Cleanse

If you have specific health concerns, such as: bad skin, poor digestion, allergies, low energy, or feeling a little foggy, then you may want to try an elimination cleanse. An elimination cleanse is just what it sounds like: you eliminate certain foods from your diet to find out if you’re having a reaction to them. Most elimination cleanses have you cut out certain food groups (dairy, wheat, eggs, soy, alcohol, processed food) all at once for around 21- 23 days to find out if your symptoms improve. You then reintroduce the food groups and note how you feel. If cutting out a lot all at once is daunting, then you can also try eliminating fewer food groups. When you add them back, any time that you don’t feel well, you can assume that it’s because you have an allergy or intolerance.  In this case, you should avoid them in the future. Although an elimination cleanse can seem daunting, it still allows you to eat most foods. This is without too much sugar and not enough nutrients or suffer from other side effects, which can happen with cleanses. You just have to spend more time consciously shopping and cooking your food.

Either through souping, eliminating, or a clean eating plan, you enjoy the benefits of a detox diet without the drawbacks of juicing.

 CarlyWritten by: Carly Zinderman