This morning I was asked by Siobhan of Paris Here And There if there is anything she can do to avoid the hunger pangs on a juicing program and also to prevent her losing weight unnecessarily.
If you read my post yesterday, you’ll know that next Monday I am joining Jason Vale’s ‘Big January Clean-Up’ which involves doing the first 14 days of his 28 day SuperJuiceMe! plan (there is still time to sign up via the Juicemaster website, all coaching videos, shopping lists, recipes are free).
First, let me explain about hunger pangs.
It is normal to feel hunger in the first 3 days of a juice plan.
More often than not these are withdrawal pangs, not genuine hunger. Your body is getting everything it needs from the nutritionally balanced juices, blends and smoothies. What it is not getting is the caffeine, sugar, alcohol and hopefully nicotine it has become dependent upon and it is shouting at you very loudly about this restriction, as with any withdrawal from addictive substances.
And let’s make no bones about it: all these substances are addictive. Sugar has the same effect on the brain as crack cocaine and heroin!
Here are some tips and advice:
1. The way to reduce these withdrawal symptoms (headaches, cravings) is to taper off and finally quit in the 2 weeks before a juice-only program.
2. Once you begin the plan, keep well-hydrated, using herbal and fruit teas, warm water with a slice of lemon, as well as plain water; rest – go for walks in the fresh air, do yoga, rather than sessions at the gym – and watch or read inspiring films and books to keep you motivated. (See the suggested list at the end).
3. If you genuinely feel hungry, you can’t sleep for tummy rumbles etc. there are emergency rations you can turn to (see later).
4. The point of the plan is to give your digestive system a rest and allow your body to repair, renew and rest, so try to resist for the first 3 days.
5. Keep yourself occupied so you’re not thinking about food all the time.
6. Have your juices ready and don’t wait until you’re desperate before having them, then you won’t be tempted to grab a sugary snack or bag of crisps. Also, sip your juices slowly through a straw.
7. Try to find a juice buddy. If this is your first time, support is vital and you can either persuade a friend or family member to join you or find amazing support on Jason Vale’s Facebook page, where you can ask questions and get advice, or on Twitter/Instagram.
8. Keep reminding yourself why you’re doing it. Read up on the health benefits of juicing and arm yourself to fend off all the doubters and sceptics who will try to undermine your resolve.
9. Don’t be put off, the results will speak for themselves and will silence the naysayers.
10. Over 25 people, including some who tried to put me off, started juicing after they saw the amazing results from my first plan.
For those who don’t want or need to lose a lot of weight:
When I did the last 14 day juice challenge, I didn’t need to lose weight but this time after a cold, too much comfort food and lots of family visits/festive food I could do with it!
However, there are those who just want the re-energising health benefits or want to clear up their skin or reduce aches and pains and who have no wish or need to lose weight. I have compiled a list of things you can do if you fall into these categories.
You may still lose some weight just by the fact that you have cut out a lot of snacks and high fat/sugary foods during your juice plan, but you will slowly regain what you need when your body readjusts to what is normal eating for you.
You will generally only lose the weight you need to lose.
I do these juice challenges 4 times a year. My first 2 times I lost 2 1/2 stones (35lbs) altogether. Now, I lose about 5 lbs as I don’t need to lose any more.
And for those who really do suffer genuine hunger pangs, there are things you can eat to alleviate them, but only in a dire emergency!
Tips for emergency rations or to prevent unwanted weight loss:
1. To allay hunger pangs or to avoid a big weight loss, stick to plant foods and oils as your emergency rations. You can add an extra juice, or a tsp of flax oil or coconut oil to a glass of juice.
2. To prevent digestive issues, I reiterate: stay away from processed and sugary foods, meat and dairy, coffee and alcohol.
3. Half a ripe avocado either on its own in the evening with lemon juice and cracked black pepper or blended into a couple of juices a day (1/4 at a time) will usually do the trick. It is normal to feel hungry in the first 2 to 3 days but then your body adjusts.
4. Hunger and thirst can be confused. More often than not, it is hydration you need rather than food. Again, keep hydrated using herbal and fruit teas as well as plenty of water.
5. You can add a tablespoon of ground organic linseeds (or other seeds) to your juices (this also helps if you have any problems with constipation).
6. Half a very ripe banana in the evening can also help.
7. If out and about and the avocados and banana are not an option, a healthy version of a fruit bar can help, but make sure it does not contain refined sugar, dairy or other additives, just pure fruit and nuts.
8. My go-to emergency ration is one of Jason’s ‘Juice in a Bar’ snacks. These really do replace a juice if you need to and are very filling. Usually, I can manage only half.
9. You could add a higher calorie vegetable to your juices like sweet potato – I use these often in my own juices (usually to replace parsnips!)
10. Whatever you decide, always chew slowly and thoroughly, otherwise your tummy will object if it is already adapting to the juice program.
Bonus tip: Try adding some good quality pea or hemp protein powder to some of your juices to stave off the hunger and give your juices some extra oomph!
Most of all, remember that if you have to miss a juice or you do feel the need for extras, it doesn’t mean you have failed and you have to give up! Just pick up where you left off. You will still gain the benefits. Even if you just have one juice a day and cut down or cut out the processed, sugary stuff, you will feel more energy, your skin, hair and nails will benefit and if you need to lose some weight, then this will help.
I hope I have covered everything. If you have any other questions please ask in the comments and I will try to address them in another post. You may find the answers already in the Juicing Tips section of the Menu.
Finally, a list of films, books and websites for motivation and support.
These websites are excellent for books, articles, recipes, information, support
Juicemaster I recommend all of Jason’s books for their down-to-earth, lighthearted style in explaining how food works, how the food and pharma industries work, how juicing works.
Reboot with Joe Cross Aussie Joe is inspirational for his own journey, documented in his film Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. He also does guided reboots and his website has a wealth of information and advice.
The Natural Juice Junkie Neil is a leading Britsh juice exponent and lifestyle coach. His articles are informative, short and easy to read. He also does guided juice challenges.
My Goodness Recipes (Hanna and Jason Vale both rid themselves of the terrible symptoms of psoriasis through juicing and offer free plans on their websites)
SuperJuiceMe! The Documentary Jason Vale took 8 volunteers with 22 different diseases, some life-threatening, which were not improving with allopathic (conventional) treatment, some very overweight, others not. He put them on a juicing regimen of fruit and vegetables for 28 days. This documentary follows their path and I defy you to watch and not reach for the tissues then quickly determine to make some changes to your lifestyle.
Food Matters TV From 11th January, 2017 you can watch both the Food Matters and Hungry for Change films free for 5 days via this website. The Food Matters team have an excellent website bringing regular articles on current health topics and research as well as healthy recipes and tips for an all round healthier lifestyle, including environmental changes.
Copyright: Chris McGowan