Juice Fast: The Conclusion
It's almost a week after I finished my three day juice fast now; I wanted to give myself time to think, to properly process the experience and also to allow the results to show in full.
I went into the juice fast wanting to shift a tiny bit of weight and just feel a bit healthier and better in myself after three weeks of enjoying myself. It's worth saying that I am fanatically healthy anyway in my life around 90% of the time, and I genuinely like being this way, so those three weeks were just a bit more wine than usual and the odd plate of pasta or so - not really that sinful. So, on day one of the juice fast when I started to feel quite headachey, tired and run down I felt a bit put out. I knew to expect to feel a bit ropey (the 'toxins' beginning to come out and your body withdrawing from sugar, caffeine etc) but this felt unfair as I didn't think of myself as that toxic to start off with!
Day two came around and I woke feeling dreadful with a very sore throat, bad headache and a tired achey body. The good thing about the Nosh programmes is that there is constant support on hand, so I spoke to them and they said that annoyingly I wasn't just experiencing the usual juicing side effects but that I must have had a dormant illness just waiting for its chance. As soon as your body stops running on adrenaline and you give it time and space to recover and regroup, you tend to have to deal with all the underlying bugs - like how people are always ill at Christmas or some much needed time off work.
Aside from the illness, I got on ok with the juices themselves. Nosh ask you your likes and dislikes ahead of your programme, so I had lots of lovely tropical fruits and the four juices per day are actually surprisingly filling. Remember to keep drinking water and good quality herbal teas (caffeine free) to help you out too.
The tricky part is being around actual food. I would say that if you struggle with willpower then a juice fast is just going to be a waste of money, so bear this in mind. However, if you are stubborn, determined or just really really desperate to lose weight and clean up your act then this is a good option. And believe me, it gets so much easier by the end of day two. You're feeling energetic, virtuous and the finish line is in sight. Day three is a breeze and you can content yourself with thinking about all the food you will eat the next day.
Weirdly, I didn't eat anything until a banana around lunchtime once I'd finished my fast - I just didn't want anything and I couldn't even face drinking the coffee Rich brought me in bed. I went down and made a hot water and lemon instead! Candice, the nutritionist at Nosh says that this is common and you automatically want to make healthier choices post-fast. My stomach had also shrunk a lot, so the vast amounts of tapas I'd been dreaming about ended up being more like a small plateful.
As an aside, don't weigh yourself obsessively during the fast. You will be drinking so much that the scales will be misleading and you will get downheartened! Weigh yourself the morning you start and the morning of day four so you can see the difference. I actually found that most of the weight took a few days afterwards to show on the scales thanks to water retention, but in total I lost around 4lb. I lost an inch round my waist too. Not bad for three day's work.
You can read more detailed accounts of days one, two and three here.
*Thank you to Nosh for giving me the opportunity to try their Beginner's Juice Fast and for kindly providing their juices and services on a complimentary basis.