After careful contemplation, you’ve decided to embark on a juice detox. You’ve heard glowing reviews from friends who cleanse regularly, and you’re ready to get in the game and reap the health benefits your 3 days of hard work. You’re looking forward to getting compliments about how radiant your complexion is and baffling your colleagues with how you’re able to get through the day and even think clearly without a single shot of caffeine.
While all those benefits sound very tantalising, the journey there isn’t the same for everyone. It’s important to recognise your current eating and lifestyle habits and approach change slowly but surely. Take it easy with your maiden juice detox, you want it to be a positive experience as you continue making adjustments towards a healthier lifestyle. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Here are 5 of the most common pitfalls to avoid on your first detox:
#1 – Biting off more than you can chew
If you’ve never gone on an all-liquid diet, don’t get all gung ho and sign up for a 5 Day Cleanse on first go. Even if you’ve done a 7-day retreat on an idyllic island, don’t underestimate the impact of your environment on your self-control. Doing a juice detox while juggling your work and family commitments and being exposed to the familiar triggers of comfort food requires willpower.
We recommend first-timers to start with a 1 or 3 Day Detox.
#2 – Skipping the pre-cleanse
The pre-cleanse is incredibly important in preparing your body for the detox. It’s also a window for you to reduce your dependency on certain food or lifestyle habits such as reliance on caffeine, alcohol, sugary treats and smoking, so your body doesn’t go cold turkey when you start the cleanse.
Even if you lead a generally healthy lifestyle, reducing red meat and processed foods during the pre-cleanse will acclimatise your gut for the detox.
#3 – Overestimating self-control
You’ll be surprise how much of our social activity revolves around food. You may have clear your social calendar for a few days when on a detox. Don’t test your self-control by being in the thick of temptation – 2 days without food and the aroma of hot comfort food is a recipe for disaster. That hotpot dinner and afterwork drinks can wait till after your detox.
#4 – Not having a support system
Surround yourself with people who will support you on the detox journey. It’s best to detox with a buddy, that way you can encourage each other when the going gets tough. You can also sound out a friend who’s done a detox before to check in on you each day.
#5 – Unrealistic expectations
A detox really is about giving your gut a rest and your body time to work through its natural detoxification process. You may get some visible benefits right after a detox but they are mostly temporary. For example, any weight loss during the process is usually transient, due to water loss and due to the lack of solid food.
Your eye should be on the long-term health benefits that come with a wholistic approach to a healthy lifestyle which includes a balanced diet of whole foods and regular exercise.
Read more on why we detox and what to expect during a cleanse.