As your juice cleanse comes to an end, you should feel cleaner, leaner, and more energized. You’ve purged thousands of toxins and reset your bodily systems over the past few days, setting you up for success down the road.
But now that it’s over, what do you do after the juice cleanse? How do you stick to those new habits that you’ve spent so much time building? Well, we’re going to show you what to eat (and not to eat), how to exercise, and continue with active mindfulness techniques so that you can reach your lifestyle goals. Let’s get to it.
What to Expect After a Juice Cleanse
Similar to the transition period before the cleanse, your body requires a few days to adjust from a cleanse regimen to your new eating, drinking, and exercise routines. As you reintroduce solid foods, you’ll likely experience changes in bowel movements, such as diarrhea. If you stepped on the scale during the cleanse, you probably noticed you were a few pounds lighter. Though not immediately, those few pounds, which are primarily water weight, will likely return over the next few days. And despite riding an energy “high” for the last 24 hours, your energy levels will also fluctuate quite a bit as you return to exercise and regular foods.
You may also find that certain foods cause stomach problems, headaches, acne, or other side effects as you reintroduce them to your diet. These food sensitivities are more pronounced after abstaining from them for days, meaning that your stomach aches or acne may return stronger. You should take it as a sign to permanently remove them from your diet to improve your quality of life moving forwards.
How to Eat After a Juice Cleanse
After only consuming fruit & vegetable juice for the last couple of days, it’s normal to be hungry. But instead of satisfying the first food craving that comes to mind, you need to be mindful of what you eat so that you can prolong the benefits of the juice cleanse.
What to Eat
There are three main keys to eating clean after a juice cleanse ends:
Gradually reintroduce solid foods so that your digestive system can comfortably adjust to processing solid foods again. This will reduce the likelihood of bloating, gas, and stomach cramps caused by fluctuations in blood sugar and the return of fats & proteins into your diet.
Eat small portions to prevent overeating, minimize weight gain, and avoid severe stomach pains.
- Eliminate unhealthy ingredients to sustain the detoxification results. Now that you’ve purged processed foods, seed oils, sugars, and other harmful foods from your body, you want to keep them out for good for the sake of your well-being.
During the transition phase, consume plenty of:
Raw fruits & vegetables – Continue supplying your body with the essential vitamins, nutrients, and fiber that it needs to aid digestion.
Lean proteins – After a few days off from any significant protein source, you’ll want to supply your muscles with lean proteins like tofu or chicken. The amino acids will kick start muscle repair & growth.
Healthy fats – Your body hasn’t had any fat in the last 48-72 hours, so it’s time to reintroduce those as well. Eat small portions of healthy fats like avocados & nuts to reduce cholesterol, regulate blood sugar, and reduce inflammation.
- Water – Your body will retain more water as you reintroduce solid foods, but you still need to drink plenty of water to aid bodily processes and maintain energy levels.
Each of these foods will play a significant role in sustaining healthy habits after a juice cleanse. But with busy work, family, and social schedules, it can be difficult to stay on the clean eating track. Once or twice a week, prepare your meals in pre-portioned containers to reduce the likelihood of binge eating, save time, and control portion sizes.
What Not to Eat
One of the primary goals of an organic juice cleanse is detoxification; and after spending days flushing unhealthy foods & liquids, the last thing you want to do is put them back into your body. The first few days after it ends are the most crucial, as it’s your first chance to implement the new eating habits without a rigid diet structure.
After the cleanse is over, you should refrain from eating foods & drinks that are:
- Made with seed oils
- Cooked with high & dry heat
If you introduce these back into your digestive tract, you’ll undo all of the hard work you’ve just put in. They’ll reintroduce harmful toxins, irritate your gut, cause energy spikes & crashes, and trigger unhealthy cravings. Not to mention, these will dehydrate you, forcing you to fight an uphill hydration battle.
Return to Normal Exercise
Your caloric intake during a juice cleanse is significantly lower than normal, which directly translates to lower glucose levels, and as a result, reduced physical performance. You can continue to workout during the fast, just be sure to take it easy. And if you’re a serious athlete, you probably can’t wait to get back to your normal training routine.
But again, you need to respect your body’s lower energy levels and prioritize recovery, easing back into workouts slowly. For the first few days, exert yourself at 50% of your normal capacity, then gradually increase over the next 2-3 days until you’re back to full strength. It may take a few extra days for some people to recover; that’s okay. Listen to your body and progress at a rate that’s comfortable for you.
If you don’t normally exercise, but you want to start after the cleanse ends, start out with light yoga or long walks. These low-intensity activities will get your body moving, burn fat, and improve your mental clarity.
Continue to Practice Mindfulness
Eating clean & exercising regularly is easier said than done, but they become much easier when you prioritize them as steps needed to reach your lifestyle goals. And when combined with meditation, journaling, yoga, and other mindfulness techniques, they’ll become second nature.
Once the cleanse ends, you’re technically free to eat anything you want, meaning you’ll have to frequently quell cravings. And as food sensitivities start to become more pronounced, you’ll be forced to navigate through those challenges and adapt in order to reach your goals. This period can be a bit frustrating, which is why mindfulness is so important.
You won’t be perfect; that’s okay. The key to building strong, lasting habits is patience, commitment, and consistency. Every time you prepare a healthy meal instead of ordering takeout or hit the gym instead of sitting on the couch is a win, and these should be celebrated, no matter how small. As you continue to stack up wins, you’ll find yourself closer to your health & fitness goals, which is what this journey is all about.
If you’re worried about what you’ll do after the juice cleanse ends, don’t over-complicate your routine. Practice mindful eating, ease back into exercise, and continue to keep your lifestyle goals front of mind. And if you have an accountability partner, you can help keep each other on track. The benefits of a juice cleanse can extend well beyond the 2-3 day period if you maintain these clean, sustainable habits.