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No food or coffee for three days, just juice, juice, juice instead: a field report

Detox, cleansing, detoxing - it all sounded good, our author thought. She was lured in by advertising promises and influencers and embarked on a three-day juice cleanse. Find out how she fared and what the expert thinks here.

Instead of solid food, our author only ate juice for three days (symbolic image)
Instead of solid food, our author only ate juice for three days (symbolic image)

Detox at the start of the year - No food or coffee for three days, just juice, juice, juice instead: a field report

Even though the holidays looked different than in previous years due to the pandemic, one thing remained the same: we feasted like crazy. I consumed huge amounts of wine, meat and sweets, which ultimately led to dark circles and tight pants. Every year in January, all the diets, cures and sports programs call my name. This year, it was the three-day juice diet from a Hamburg-based manufacturer, recommended to me by top-styled, well-trained influencers, whose call I heeded.

Although the turn of the year could only be celebrated in the smallest of circles due to the coronavirus, I knew that the New Year's Eve party would be the final boss of my unhealthy escapades. For this reason, I had prepared myself and ordered the juice cure in advance so that I could start the detox right in the new year. Six different juices were on the menu every day - the types and sequence were repeated daily. Highly motivated and after overcoming my hangover, I started on Saturday, January 2. I had decided to do the juice cure during my days off. On the one hand, I was afraid of my mood and therefore wanted to protect my fellow human beings, and on the other hand, I could sleep in and didn't have to sit at my desk at eight o'clock in the morning, hungry and struggling through the morning.

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Day one of the juice cleanse:

It was already twelve o'clock. I eagerly twisted the lid off my first bottle. A mixture of apple, cucumber, pineapple, lemon and mint juice was waiting for me. To my taste buds, the juice was fine. Immediately after drinking it, however, my stomach made itself known. My stomach had obviously not expected that the juice would not be followed by coffee, breakfast eggs and bread rolls with thick toppings. It complained with growling.

I had mentally prepared myself for the worst: Tantrums, ravenous hunger attacks, food envy, bouts of weakness and whatever else threatened. A friend had previously told me about her experience with the three-day juice cure. On the second day, she argued with her boyfriend because he ate a sandwich with salami late at night. After this story, I could see my friend's increasing inner panic. With a harmless stomach rumbling, I was still in a good position on my first day of the juice cure. As I had spent 80 euros on the drinks, it was clear to me that I would go through with it.

"For juice? 80 euros just for juice?" my friends were outraged. Admittedly: That seemed pretty expensive to me too. I was given 18 bottles, each containing 320 milliliters of freshly squeezed juice made from fruit and vegetables and costing around 4.40 euros each. After completing the juice cure, I asked Heike Niemeier, an ecotrophologist from Hamburg and author of the book "Essen gut, alles gut" ("Eating well, everything's fine"), about the sense and nonsense of the measure. She is also shocked by the price: "The company seems to have a successful marketing strategy," she says.

Niemeier explains what is actually important when buying and taking juice cures: "It is important that the juices are not heated, otherwise the vitamins will be lost. The manufacturer should also use dark bottles, because vitamins don't like light." In my case, I used cold-pressed juices, but these were supplied in translucent bottles.

However, Niemeier generally advises against cures made from fruit juices. "Juices are fructose tsunamis," she says. A detox cure is about relieving and cleansing the liver. In this case, however, the liver is struggling with lots of sugar. You may feel lighter, but from a health point of view, such cures are questionable. The detoxification process does not take place to its full extent. Instead, it is better to use a low-sugar, high-protein diet. "Protein fills you up and keeps your muscles healthy," she explains.

"I fight my way through the next two hours"

Back to day one of the cure: I struggled through the next two hours, constantly looking at my watch and trying to distract myself with a walk - only then did juice number two follow, consisting of apple, carrot and lemon juice. I got used to the unpleasant feeling of emptiness in my stomach. The distraction was good. In this way, I finally tried to let the first day fly by. Netflix series, cleaning the apartment and going for walks kept me on my toes.

The time between juices passed faster and faster - but the fruit bombs also became increasingly unpleasant in taste. The third juice consisted of avocado, spinach and pear, the fourth of beet, ginger and carrot and the fifth of celery, cucumber and spinach leaves - this one turned out to be my personal hate juice. The sixth and last juice of the day suddenly surprised me in a positive way. The mixture of almond, strawberry, date and salt tasted like a successful dessert, which was to sweeten this not very culinary day for me after all. Now I knew what was in store for me over the next two days, at least in terms of taste. "Doable", I thought to myself and went to bed feeling hungry.

Day two of the juice diet:

When I woke up the next day, I felt like I did every morning: tired. The promises of my juice-cure-experienced friends were long in coming: "You'll feel totally fit, simply full of energy". I didn't notice any of this on the second day. However, my feeling of hunger had vanished into thin air and the scales showed one kilo less. Heike Niemeier explains the phenomenon: "Due to the calorie deficit, the body begins to flush out water and break down muscles, as there is no protein intake. However, this is not the aim of a good detox diet." Other side effects can include feeling cold, diarrhea and fatigue.

Instead of boosting my energy levels with coffee as usual, I drank green tea. Surprisingly, it was actually OK. Towards the end of the morning, juice was back on the menu. Unlike the day before, I didn't keep looking at the clock and hoped that the two hours would pass quickly and I could finally drink the next juice - I didn't care about the juices. I just thought about distracting myself and getting through the day. My stomach never once reminded me that it was empty - this made the second day much more enjoyable than the first.

I tried to keep myself busy with Netflix series, online shopping and walks. The only time it suddenly got tough was when my boyfriend ate a perfectly baked, cheesy-smelling pizza next to me on the couch. The only thing that stopped me from eating a slice was the thought of the 80 euros I had paid for the juice cure.

When I went to bed at night, I found it difficult to fall asleep. Not because of a growling stomach or hunger pangs - I didn't know why I wasn't getting tired. Was it perhaps the energy promised by my friends?

Day three of the juice cleanse:

I didn't notice any changes on the third day of my juice cleanse either - no energy boost, no sudden desire to run a marathon, no incredibly good mood. It was a day like any other - just without solid food. The only visible change was the number on the scales again: another kilo less.

I started the last day of my juice diet with green tea again. Then I started to imagine what I would eat when the cure was over. My thoughts only revolved around pizza, pasta and other treats. However, I planned to continue my healthy diet in the coming days.

Later, my boyfriend and I went to the Baltic Sea for a little walk. I had three juices in my handbag for the next few hours. On the way there, I was put to the test. My boyfriend was suddenly overcome with hunger. Finally, we drove through the drive-in of a fast food chain. My fellow passengers were now fries, cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets and were sitting right next to me. I distracted myself with a juice and nervously looked out of the passenger window until my friend had eaten everything.

When we got home in the evening, I drank liters of tea and vegetable broth. When I bought the broth, I made sure it didn't contain any sugar. I distracted myself by drinking all the time. I also found it difficult to fall asleep that evening. I was very cold, although I tried to keep warm with a hot water bottle and two blankets. Even when I was half asleep, my thoughts revolved around the food that was waiting for me the next day. Eventually I fell asleep.

The first day after the juice cure:

When the alarm clock rang at half past seven because my days off were over, I was annoyed as I was every morning and staggered into the kitchen to make myself a green tea. I still didn't get the energy boost - but I wasn't hungry either. And even after the third day, the scales showed another kilo less.

I finally decided to wait until I felt hungry before eating. Until then, I sat in front of my laptop and worked until my lunch break - still not hungry. I didn't know myself like this. The flawless, clear skin was also new to me. It seems that the juice diet had a positive effect alongside the cold feeling, ravenous hunger and food cravings. When I go shopping, I still make sure I buy lots of fresh vegetables, few carbohydrates and little fat. I am highly motivated to continue eating healthily.

In summary, the positive results include the fact that my skin has improved significantly, the pleasant feeling of lightness in my body, the motivation to change my diet and the pride that I have managed to do it. I can imagine starting a second attempt in the summer, as I could probably do without solid food more easily during the warmer days and would prefer cool juices or shakes instead. However, I will then use protein-rich products and not be blinded by influencers and marketing strategies - after all, it's the content that counts, not the packaging.

Steam juicer test: Click here for the steam juicer comparison.

Slow juicer test: Click here for the slow juicer comparison.

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