If you're asking the question, "I finished my juice cleanse; now what do I do?" You've come to the right place. With our "Now What?" series, we're answering your questions about what you should do now that you've accomplished something wonderful.
So, maybe you did the Jus by Julie cleanse or Joni Juice cleanse. Maybe you found some recipes on another site and decided to do it yourself. How do you keep being heathly? How do you keep the weight off and make a new you? Here's what you should do now.
Don’t Over Eat.
You have to take it slow. You have been running in a condition of serious caloric and nutritional deficiency. Any carbs and fat and protein you put into your body will be instantly put into storage. Your body, having gone through something that is honestly pretty stressful for your body, will think there’s no food anywhere. So it will conserve everything. This is why you rebound when you “fast” or “cleanse” or go on one of those trendy diets. You eat everything in sight afterwards. This is natural, there’s not need to beat yourself up. But that does mean you need to continue working on it.
You have to remember, your body doesn’t know the difference between a fast and starvation. To your body, they’re exactly the same thing. So you need to be cautious about everything you eat. This is why you need a plan.
Make sure you’re eating high fiber foods. Make sure there are thick, leafy greens. Make sure you’re eating slowly and not shoveling food down you’re gullet. Make sure to throw away sugary snack foods. And make sure your plan is in order.
Rebuild a New You: Build a New Diet
The best thing to do after a juice cleanse is to add more plants to your daily intake. You’ve had plants and fruits for the last few days, make sure they stay in your daily food intake. Swap snack foods with fruits and veggies. Incorporate them into your meals.
This is where you need to be aware. Not hypervigilant, but just aware. I’m going to use a weird example, because I’m not going to tell you to only eat food cooked at home. You don’t need to live a celebrity life to put more fruits and veggies in your life. You want to go out. You want to have a life. And you can do it normally.
Take, for instance, the now currently maligned Chipotle (Disclaimer: I just came back from eating lunch at Chipotle. What can I say? I was hungry and had work to do). Get a burrito with only a tortilla, steak, beans, rice, cheese and sour cream. Voila. You have created carbo load heaven. This burrito has undone a good portion of what you just did during your juice cleanse.
At Chipotle, you can also get another burrito. This one has a tortilla, rice, steak, fajitas ingredients (the peppers), pico de gallo (all the tomatoes), corn, cheese and lettuce.
These burritos are from the same place, but one has veggies. These small, slight changes just added a bunch of fruits and veggies to your diet without having to sacrifice the convenience of a fast meal. But that’s not the only change.
Stop “Finishing Your Plate”
This is a bad habit that is especially profound in America. I have a theory that it’s related to Great Depression eating habits during times of scarcity that have continued on, unabated, to the 21st Century.
Most of us had one or both parents utter these words, “Finish your food.” Why? I’m full. Why do you want me to keep eating? Some of it is a means to get children to finish their veggies, but I have a feeling it is, culturally, a lot more than that. The biggest problem is that that it teaches us to ignore our body’s natural signal that says, “Hey. We’re full here. We don’t need any more calories.” And instead we are culturally taught to chow down until the plate is clear. And these are big plates.
Remember that second burrito I mentioned? It’s probably going to be a lot thicker than the first one. But the thing is: you don’t need to finish it. If you’re deskbound for work (like me) think about how many calories you burn just sitting there. Your brain requires a large amount, but it will use around the same amount of calories whether you’re running around or just sitting in front of the computer. Your heart and lungs aren’t doing anything beyond just basic maintenance, and your gut is just digesting. You’re thinking you need a lot more food than you actually need.
But that’s ok. You can change that. Just remember, you’re full when your stomach is full, not when your plate is empty.
So take your time, relax, and plan out how you’re going to get more fruits and veggies in your life. Consider telling your office manager for that next grocery run to get bananas instead of cookies. Get a meal that has fruits and veggies in it.
And remember: you don’t have to finish your food.