HOW TO: Survive a juice cleanse

Planning is crucial

"Look at your calendar and find a week when you won’t have any social obligations. Breakfast meetings, lunch dates or dinner catch ups are a big no-no during a cleanse. If everyone around you is eating delicious food and you are sipping on a juice you could feel a little deprived. Only do a cleanse when you know you can do it successfully. Be realistic about your goals and set yourself up for success by planning to cleanse when you have the time and break in schedule to do so.

Try not to go too hard on exercise

Commencing a new form of exercise like boot camp or cross fit isn’t a great idea when you take on a juice cleanse. But exercise is still important to do. 20-30 minutes of moderate activity like yoga, brisk walking, swimming, or bike riding will help your mood, digestion, and energy levels while on a cleanse. But going too hard on exercise will burn too many calories and may make you feel weak, fatigued and hungry.

...Sweating is still important though

The skin is the body’s largest elimination organ and a great way to remove toxins is to sweat them out. Get to hot yoga, the steam room or sauna in your gym, or even booking into a special infrared sauna will help detoxify your body of pollutants while relaxing your muscles and boosting circulation. It does help with the headaches too.

Make a date with your pillow

"Getting lots of sleep is important during a cleanse, as it is gives your body the time to rest and regenerate. Allow time for extra sleep, and you will probably find you will have extra time too, as you are not doing any food shopping or cooking. Use this fasting period as a time to take better care of yourself and allow your body to focus on the task of detoxification. Sleeping is also great natural way to get rid of headaches, rather than taking painkillers.

Booking in some extra hands

Lymph fluid is moved during a massage, which promotes healthy elimination of toxins and circulation. This is particularly helpful in offsetting some of the flu-like side effects of toxins being released into the bloodstream.

Listen to your body for warning signs—and don't feel guilty about breaking.

"Each time you do a cleanse will be different from the last. Maybe you sailed through the first time, but the second time you are really struggling. This does happen and does depend on your diet leading up to cleanse as well your current environmental factors, like stress. If you feel shaky, starving, and 'off' don’t ignore those signs. Have a light salad, steamed veggies, an avocado, or raw nuts to help replenish and sustain you without hindering detox.

Don’t reward yourself with cheeseburger

"You made it! And you have been craving a big greasy cheeseburger to reward yourself for finishing! But try to hold yourself back. Don’t use the first few meals out of your cleanse as a reward for being disciplined. Your digestion has been shut down for a few days so shocking it with complex combinations and heavy foods is a good way to overload your system and slow you down.

It isn’t “all or nothing”.

Don’t beat yourself up that you had a handful of nuts on day 2 of your cleanse, or you had a salad on the last night as you ended up having an impromptu dinner. The point of cleansing is to feel better and do something good for yourself. Being rigid and creating guilt is not a positive way to approach the healthy impact you have had on your body.


Catherine Craig
Catherine Craig

Author