Any time I post a review of a juice cleanse on the blog, my phone immediately blows up with friends and family members asking me questions. It seems like a lot of people are curious about trying out a juice cleanse, but are unsure of the best way to go about it. I could seriously talk about juice all day (when did I turn into such a bore??), so let’s cover one of those common juice uncertainties today: When is the right time to do a cleanse?
People do juice cleanses for a number of reasons, and to an extent, that end goal determines when the best time will be. You’ll frequently hear of someone doing a cleanse before a beach vacation or big event (wedding) as a quick way to shed some extra bloat and look his/her best. And that’s a totally valid use of a juice cleanse—I know I always think I look just a little leaner after doing one, and my skin glows by day 3 of a cleanse. But—and that’s one big, bolded, all-caps BUT—the subtle changes in your physical appearance are far and away NOT the biggest benefits of doing a juice cleanse.
Juice cleanses help you reset cravings, and are an amazing way to kickstart a habit of healthy eating. Every time I’ve finished a juice cleanse, the first thing I want to eat is…more juice. Maybe a nice salad. Some fruit. Roasted veggies. Processed, sugary foods don’t even sound appealing after juicing for three days. Your body craves the good stuff, and the best-timed juice cleanse will allow for you to act on those healthy cravings for as long as possible. And that is why, I would argue, you’re not going to get the most out of your cleanse (or money—cleanses can be expensive!) if you do it before a big event or vacation.
What comes with (most) big events and trips? Indulgence. And that’s ok! Maybe I’m just a degenerate, but no vacation or wedding of mine will be void of alcohol and dessert. Doing a juice cleanse and then going on vacation would be like washing my car before driving through mud. I know not everyone is like that, but the bottom line remains the same: To get the most out of a juice cleanse, do it to start a health “streak”, not to prepare for the end of one.
Now that I’ve painted the big picture, here are a couple specific things I consider when scheduling a juice cleanse:
- Social schedule: You don’t realize how social the act of eating is until you can’t do it. Food is involved in so many of our interactions with others, and I would never set myself up for failure by attempting a juice cleanse if I know I have to go to a friend’s birthday party one day or am meeting up with a relative for lunch the next. I pick a week when I have no social events planned—no FOMO, no problem.
- Workload: Do you tend to eat more when you’re stressed? I sure do. I try not to schedule juice cleanses during crazy work weeks. In addition, to echo the previous point, if you have a work event or even just a catered meeting, it may make a juice cleanse more difficult. The less you have to test your willpower, the higher your chances at success.
- The Weekend: The first few cleanses I did, I thought it was a no-brainer to do them on weekdays—much easier to avoid temptation. I’d get through them with ease and then…it’d be the weekend. So much for riding out that kickstarted health streak! I think the best way to do it (for me, anyway) is to plan a cleanse for a weekend when you don’t have any social things planned. This way, you’ll finish the cleanse with five whole days of routine, work and less temptation in front of you. This will allow you to stick to eating healthy and not immediately fall back into old cravings and poor eating habits.
- Delivery Times/Policy: If you’re ordering a juice cleanse (as opposed to making your own juices at home), when you start will depend on when the company delivers. Some only deliver Tues-Fri, and you will need to start the cleanse within a day or two of delivery—important logistics to consider when planning.
Hopefully that was helpful! If you have any other questions, leave a comment.
Have you done a juice cleanse before? How’d you time it?