Doing away with solid food for three days seems impossible, especially for a fat fuck like me who doesn’t usually spend more than an hour without some sort of solid intake.
But I like experimenting with healthy shit like this.
I was first inspired to try juicing last year after watching the Netflix documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. The protagonist spends two months juicing and loses at least half his body weight.
I immediately bought a juicer and a NutriBullet and spent at least a few weeks replacing some meals with delicious (and some rather disgusting) juices.
It felt good, especially when some weight loss kicked in. But it got old quite quickly and after a few months I was back to my usual unhealthy ways of eating.
Part of the problem was having to remain fully stocked with huge amounts of fruit and veg. And then you have to make sure you’re consuming enough of it before it goes bad, which in Malta takes about three hours.
So when Lovin Malta was asked to try a juice cleanse, I wasn’t averse to the idea.
In fact I prepped myself a few days before by reintroducing juices and adding more fruit and veg to my diet. I felt prepared.
Needless to say, I wasn’t
...was ok. The juices were delivered the night before. Eight juices to drink throughout the next day. They looked beautifully prepared and appetising.
Being able to juice without having to prepare my own juices played deeply into my convenience fetish. And eight juices seemed legit. I had been worried the allowance would be smaller.
Sure enough, the day went by without a hitch and I got a huge buzz from being able to tell everyone I was juicing.
The juices themselves were delicious. I especially loved the breakfast juice made of apple, lemon and ginger, and for lunch there was another awesome one with pear. Most of them were green juices, which may be a bit frightening to somebody who has never juiced before. It’s an acquired taste but I’ve grown to love them.
So far so good.
I woke up feeling good about myself for detoxing the day before. I lost 2kg overnight which is always an awesome boost. I also had the lightest poo in months. I felt light as a feather, which is a weird feeling for someone who weighs more than 110kgs.
It didn’t help that these three days happened to be some of the most tiring and mentally draining that I had had in the past few months. Still, I got through it, only cheating by eating a few grapes in the evening.
Sure, I was now 3.5kg lighter but I was also light-headed as fuck. The heat and the humidity had taken their toll.
Without wishing to go into too much detail, there was another problem. There were moments when I found it hard to judge whether I was passing wind or passing detox fluid. No-one likes to live with shart dread. I guess my body wasn't prepared for this after being accustomed to a relatively unhealthy diet.
A third problem was the fact that people quickly got bored of me bragging about juicing. As I’ve experienced with every single diet I’ve ever tried, unsolicited advice quickly elicits a bitter sense of anger. People are almost offended by the idea of juicing.
Meanwhile, my two colleagues who were also juicing had become the most insufferable people in the world. We were all desperately craving solid food.
So yes, we failed. All three of us. I decided I would die if I didn’t have a small portion of spaghetti for lunch. It brought me back to life. I think Chucky and Ann did worse, but I won’t tell on them.
Day 4: (the aftermath)
...was the worst.
I started eating again but when I went out to a friend’s party in the evening, my body collapsed. I got an all-out anxiety attack - sweating, palpitations, dizziness – and thought I was going to die. For real this time. I had shocked my body into healthiness too quickly.
One week later I already weigh the same as I did before the juice cleanse. So really, that's not what it's all about. I also know I’ll never do a juice cleanse again unless it’s winter and I can take three days off. You can’t do heat, work stress and juicing all at the same time.
However, I am seriously considering starting one detox day a week, which I think could help me bring down my weekly calorie count and get me closer to ‘the zone’. That’s the biggest problem with leading a healthy lifestyle. There are times when you’re totally in the zone and ready to be disciplined. There are others when you don’t give a fuck about eating a KFC bucket.
10 Tl;dr tips for juice cleanses
1) Going three days without solid food is difficult but probably not impossible.
2) You will lose weight but you’ll put it back on immediately if you don’t try to maintain a healthy balance.
3) Never time a juice cleanse with the height of summer.
4) If you do, make sure you don’t exert yourself too much.
5) Being around other newbie juicers doesn’t really help. You all become intolerable after a while.
6) Having freshly prepared juices for you takes the hassle and cleaning out of juicing, but it also means it costs more. (Approx. €25 per day.) But factor in the fact that the juices are delivered right to your door, and let's face it – you're realistically never going to source 100% organic ingredients yourself.
7) Perfectly balanced and delicious juices prepared by experts are more enjoyable than the lethal kale and spinach cocktails you’ll make yourself. (My colleagues didn’t necessarily agree with this one but they tasted different juicing ‘programmes’. And to be fair I don't think they've ever tried green juices before.)
8) Brace yourself for unsolicited advice/harassment. This is peak veganism and you will be shamed for it.
9) Don’t shock your body with a juice cleanse. Start preparing for it a number of days before by replacing some meals with juices.
10) Don’t stuff yourself with fried chicken the day after. It’s probably best to wean off the juices slowly and try maintain some healthy balance to your life.
If you think it might not be a fart, it’s probably not a fart.