Thinking about starting a juice cleanse and wondering how much weight you might lose, if any? The good news is that you will most likely shed a few unwanted pounds. But as for how many? That’s up to you and a few other factors, which we’ll break down here. Let’s explore how juice cleanses can help you lose weight, detail how many pounds you’ll probably lose, and explain how to squeeze the most weight off in just a few days. Let’s get right into it!
HOW MUCH WEIGHT CAN YOU EXPECT TO LOSE FROM A JUICE CLEANSE?
You can expect to lose anywhere from 3 to 8 pounds (on average) after a 3-day juice cleanse depending on a few primary factors. Your starting weight, cleanse duration, and your individual metabolism play a large role in the results you'll see, but other things like your activity level during the cleanse and perhaps most importantly, your pre-cleanse preparation will all play a role in maximizing your weight loss.
You’ll consume far fewer calories during a cleanse than in your typical diet, creating that caloric deficit required of any weight loss journey. Most of the weight lost in a 2 or 3 day cleanse will be water weight, so keep in mind that you may regain some of this back. This also depends on what kind of foods you return to when it's over, so hopefully you'll be setting healthier habits for yourself during the cleanse so that you regain as little water weight as possible. It is totally possible to continue accelerating your weight loss beyond the cleanse once you restart solid foods, but this depends largely on your decisions post-cleanse.
With that said, cleanses (of any kind) are not a magic ticket to losing 20 pounds before the weekend nor are they a sustainable weight loss solution. When it comes to shedding pounds, there is no substitute to healthy nutrition, avoiding toxic foods, and getting regular exercise. However, if you’re ready to kickstart a healthier path forward, lose a few pounds, or prepare for an event like a wedding in a short time, a juice cleanse will help you hit those goals.
FACTORS THAT AFFECT WEIGHT LOSS DURING A CLEANSE
There are a number of factors that will affect how much weight you lose during a juice cleanse. While every person’s body & lifestyles are different, these are 5 things that will have the greatest influence:
1. CLEANSE DURATION
The length of your cleanse will have the greatest impact on your weight loss. All things being equal, if someone cleanses for 1 day and another person does it for 3 days, it doesn’t take a genius to understand that the person who cleansed for 3 days will probably lose more weight. This is because they've reduced their caloric intake for a longer period of time, giving the body more time to burn off fat.
2. STARTING WEIGHT
Generally, heavier individuals will lose more weight than lighter people, regardless of whether the heavier weight is attributed to fat or muscle. This is simply because larger bodies burn more calories, even at rest, because of how their body utilizes energy. As a result, the deficit between calories consumed and calories burned is greater, contributing to more weight lost.
Your metabolic rate is the speed at which your body burns calories. Just as with regular eating habits, a person with a higher metabolism will lose weight at a faster rate than a person with a slower metabolism. Your metabolic rate will vary based on your age, gender, muscle mass, and level of fitness.
4. ACTIVITY LEVEL
Even without exercise, most people will be in a caloric deficit while on a juice cleanse. Adding moderate activity like walking or riding a bike will increase that deficit, accelerating weight loss. Please be cautious about this, we typically don’t recommend strenuous exercise during a cleanse as your body may not have enough fuel to sustain certain kinds of workouts.
5. PRE & POST-CLEANSE NUTRITION
Even though you’ll only be having juice & water during your cleanse, the foods you eat before and after the cleanse can have a massive impact on your results. For example, if you transition from a high-calorie, high-sodium diet right before you start a cleanse, you'll most likely be retaining far more water weight than normal. Your results may appear far better since cleansing will trigger a rapid decrease in excess water retention caused from those high sodium foods. Check out our post-cleanse recipes for advice around this subject.
Every person’s weight loss experience during a juice cleanse is unique, so it’s difficult to say which of these will play the greatest role in your journey.
IS IT SAFE TO LOSE WEIGHT DURING A JUICE CLEANSE?
Yes, (organic) juice cleanses are a safe way to get some short-term weight loss, but they’re not a sustainable option long-term. It’s completely normal (and expected) to lose a few pounds during the cleanse because of the caloric deficit and reduction in water weight. But if you’re ready to punch your ticket to an hourglass figure with a few days of any kind of juice, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
When done properly, a juice cleanse can help you break unhealthy eating habits, flush your system of toxins, and lose a modest amount of weight quickly & safely. But just as with any sudden change in your diet or lifestyle, you should still exercise precaution.
Before committing to a juice cleanse, consult your healthcare expert especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions or have a history of food sensitivity. In the days leading up to it, slowly cut back on processed foods, caffeine, and alcohol to save yourself from minor withdrawals and extreme cravings. We give you all the pre and post-cleanse instructions you could possibly need including recipes in our Cleanse Guide.
During the cleanse, it's important to stay properly hydrated with good, clean water—preferably spring water—to improve digestion and curb the inevitable hunger during the first day. Even if you're a triathlete in peak physical condition, you should refrain from overly strenuous exercise during the cleanse. Your body won’t have enough fuel to power through a long run or heavy lift, and forcing yourself to “do it anyways” could lead to serious unintended consequences. Listen to your body in this regard to ensure the best outcome.
In the days after your cleanse, ease your way back into both your nutrition and fitness routines, introducing newer, healthier habits to further your journey to the cleaner, happier you.
HOW TO MAXIMIZE WEIGHT LOSS
DRINK IT COLD-PRESSED
Most juices are made the same way; add 2-4 easily accessible, non-organic, sugary fruits and vegetables to a standard juicer, blending and aerating the juice with sharp blades. While this is still better than nothing, centrifugal energy heats the juice with high friction and blasts air through it, ruining the flavor and defiling the delicate structures and bioelectric properties of the raw ingredients.
Most places like grocery stores may offer juice at the counter, but you’re relying on their employees to make you a balanced juice by eyeballing the recipes. In most cases, people like to add way too much fruit and not enough vegetables, countering some of the weight loss effects you’re after in the first place. If you’ve been wondering what ingredients are best for weight loss, it’s definitely true that some are far better than others.
CHOOSE CERTIFIED ORGANIC
At Raw Juicery, every single ingredient in our cleanses are certified organic. This means we’re third party audited to provide you, the conscious consumer, an important layer of quality assurance. It is extremely difficult to maintain organic compliance for 60+ raw ingredients year-round, which is why most juice companies never go this far. Not only is certified organic a higher quality standard, you don’t need to worry about inundating yourself with harmful, endocrine-disrupting synthetic pesticides, herbicides or petrochemical fertilizers like you do with conventional juice cleanses. There is certainly an argument that those kinds of chemicals will work against you and your weight loss goals. Certified organic juice cleanses are the cleaner and safer bet to lose weight compared to any conventional method.
Juice is hydrating, but your body still needs water to function properly. As a rule of thumb, drink 1 glass of water for every 12oz bottle of juice. This will help suppress your food cravings, dilute the natural sugars, flush out even more toxins, and help you avoid headaches - a potential negative side effect while cleansing. It might seem counterintuitive, but drinking more water will prevent bloating and water retention better than not.
REST MORE, EXERCISE LESS
Juice cleanses are most effective at healing your gut and crushing your habitual appetite when your body is at rest, giving it time to heal & revitalize. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep is critical for detoxification and to better manage leptin sensitivity and decrease ghrelin levels, the hormones responsible for untimely hunger pangs and ravenous appetite.
During the day, strive to keep your body active but unstrained. With fewer calories (less energy), your body won’t have the same amount of fuel to operate at the fitness level you may be accustomed to. This is still true even if it feels like you have more energy than normal. However, don't be sedentary either. You must still be active if you want the most weight gone, so swap out high-intensity exercises for low to moderate intensity movements like walking, yoga, jogging or cycling.
TO SUM THINGS UP:
In addition to a long list of other benefits, losing weight is quite common on a 2 or 3 juice cleanse. Individual results may vary, but the vast majority of people lose weight even after a day or two. Though the weight lost will likely be mostly water weight, it'll make a big difference in a short amount of time, such as before for a weekend event. Just remember, juice cleanses (or anything else for that matter) are not a long-term solution or a replacement to a healthy diet rich with raw, organic foods and regular exercise– but cleansing is a fast, safe, and amazing way to kickstart those health goals if you’re looking to make that kind of change.