If you’ve been into juicing for any amount of time or have been, well, alive for the past 5 years or so you’ve probably heard about juice fasting. But, have you heard about juice feasting?
There are most definitely some important differences between juice feasting and juice fasting, and in this article I’m going to highlight what they are and talk about which one of these juice cleansing techniques we prefer.
If, at this point, you’re not even sure what a juice cleanse is, you’ll want to click on over to this article and introduce yourself to juice cleansing first.
You can come back after and read this article, here, which will then make a whole lot more sense. If you’re already acquainted with juice cleansing, then read on.
The Amount of Juice You Drink
This is the first major difference between doing a juice feast and juice fast.
- During a juice feast it is recommended that you aim at drinking a minimum of 1 gallon of juice each day. Generally speaking, though, it is suggested that you simply drink as much juice as you want. If you feel hungry, drink more juice.
- During a juice fast it is typically recommended that you drink between 64 ounces to 96 ounces of juice a day. 64 ounces is generally the minimum recommended amount and some do suggest that 96 ounces should be the maximum amount you’d want to drink on one day.
What About Water?
Typically, both recommend drinking around 2 quarts (64oz) of water each day along with your juice.
The Mentality of Both
Both a juice feast and a juice fast are done for different reasons. Generally, people do either of these to lose weight in a healthier way, to detoxify their body, to increase energy, to combat a disease or condition they currently suffer from, to change their palate, or simply to reset their body and give it a break from the task of digestion or dealing with processed or junk foods that come from an unhealthy diet.
Before we get into the mentality of either, I wanted to put it right out there that we recommend juice feasting over juice fasting. This is how I was personally introduced to juice cleansing, and I wouldn’t do a juice cleanse any other way. I don’t believe in starvation diets and I don’t believe in placing a limitation on the amount of juice you drink each day during a juice cleanse.
Juice feasting has been a big factor in how I’ve lost weight and also how I’ve ridden myself of the auto immune disease psoriatic arthritis.
One quick note. I have done research into it and have found that drinking 3 and 1/2 to 4 gallons a day of liquid over an extended period of time is not good. I will tell you this right from the start. Most people, and by most I mean almost everyone, will not even be able to drink that much juice in one day! I drink a lot of juice each day during my juice cleanses and even I top out at around 2 gallons of juice in one single day.
So I guess you could technically say that the one limitation recommended by juice feasters is to not drink 3 and 1/2 to 4 gallons of juice every day for an extended period of time. No one’s going to, so no worries there. 🙂
Ok, back to the topic at hand.
Juice Feasting Mentality
Juice feasters believe in an abundance mentality. More is better. The whole point of drinking juice during your juice cleanse is to get the nutrients from said juice into your body. Most juice feasters wonder why on earth you’d hold back and only drink a small amount of the exact thing you’re looking to heal yourself with.
You’re aiming to cleanse your body with nutrition, not starve it by giving it less nutrition. I’ll get more into the details of why that statement is important soon enough.
Juice feasters feel that by going into a juice cleanse with an open and expansive state of mind, you are opening your arms up to healing and weight loss rather than folding your arms in or squeezing tightly and “white knuckling” or gripping hard onto “just trying to make it through each day.”
I personally feel like the stress caused by this is reason enough alone to drink more juice each day during your juice cleanse. Stress doesn’t help weight loss and it doesn’t help with healing either. I’m also positive that stress over any other factor will cause someone to give up on their juice cleanse prematurely.
More is better is the general mantra for juice feasters during a juice cleanse.
Juice Fasting Mentality
Unfortunately, “less is better” is the mantra for those who advocate juice fasting over juice feasting. You can go search for yourself on youtube or elsewhere and you’ll find many juice fasters that believe drinking less is better. 64 ounces of juice each day is truly the maximum amount a lot of juice fasters aim for. You’ll also find many more complaints of people who are feeling starved, are “hangry,” or who give up early because they just couldn’t do it.
Some “hack it out” and “make it through,” but if you listen to them it’s like they’ve been holding onto a rope dangling over lava praying for their dear life!
A Few Thoughts
I’m not 100% positive, but it’s possible that the starvation mentality has been carried over from the whole eat less and lose more weight thing. While it’s true that you want to keep your intake of food down on a regular diet when trying to lose weight, it just doesn’t hold up when juice cleansing.
When I first began juice cleansing for weight loss, I had a hard time trying to understand this. I would argue with my partner, Liisa, about how it didn’t make sense that you would lose weight by drinking more.
Then I started actually doing juice cleanses myself and found that I was losing more weight than I imagined possible! All of this while drinking as much juice as I wanted to each and every day.
Some Of The Science Behind It All
Now I’ll get into some more cold hard facts about juice feasting vs juice fasting.
I want to say from the start that you’ll get a whole lot more out of all of this if you click and read this article right here first. In that article I explain why it’s important to not starve yourself when juice cleansing. I’ll do my best to sum it up here and add a couple of things as well.
A Lack Of Puts Your Body Into Starvation Mode
When you eat or drink way too little for an extended period of time, your body reads this as a signal. The signal it’s receiving is that “I don’t have enough food or drink right now and so I’m going to need you to slow down the amount of calories I burn off in a day.” The longer you starve your body, the more deeply it goes into what is termed as starvation mode.
A long time ago this was useful to us. Before modern times there would be periods when humans would go without food for days at a time. This “starvation mode” was and still is the body’s way of dealing with a lack of calories over a period of time.
So, to the mind it probably sounds legit that if you eat or drink less calories, you’ll lose more weight. The problem is that if you aren’t feeding yourself enough calories, whether it be through food or juice, you’ll also start going into this calorie deprivation mode.
Sure, most people should eat or drink less than they currently are doing and move more in order to lose weight but that doesn’t mean you should eat so much less that you’re starving your body of vital nutrition.
This is another difference between juice feasting and juice fasting.
The other problem with drinking too little during your juice cleanse is that you’re also shedding more muscle than you would be by drinking plenty of juice!
Unfortunately, this becomes a double whammy of sorts for juice fasters. They come off of their juice fast with a slowed down metabolism as it is already, then you throw in muscle loss to boot. To be fair the amount of calories that extra muscle burns each day isn’t as much as once thought, but it does help.
Juice Actually Does Contain Protein
Despite what you may have heard, juice does contain protein. The amount that it contains can vary widely and this is just one of the reasons why you want to drink mainly green juice during your juice cleanse. I say this because, generally speaking, vegetables contain more essential amino acids than fruit does. Green juices are loaded with vegetables and, therefore, do contain a wide array of essential and other amino acids which when combined form proteins.
To be fair, most juice fasters agree with juice feasters that you want to make a majority of your juices green juices during a cleanse. The amount of juice you drink is where they mainly differ. This does mean that you will be getting less protein into your body during a juice fast vs when you’re juice feasting.
Where The Media and Other Bloggers Get It Wrong
The starvation and lack of protein is what most negative juice cleansing articles focus on. This means that they are really talking about juice fasting, not juice feasting.
They really should mention that in their articles but, honestly, most people that write negative juice cleansing articles aren’t even really fully educated on what it is they’re talking about. They usually don’t even give a nod to the fact that there are two ways of juice cleansing, much less that when you do a juice cleanse you are mainly drinking green juice. Instead, on top of making it sound like all juice cleansers are starving and lacking protein, they make it sound like you’re dumping tubs of sugar down your throat, when this isn’t true at all.
This makes their bias completely apparent in my opinion.
Difference In Amount of Weight Lost
Honestly, I’ve looked all over and the amount of weight lost seems to be roughly the same. I have seen a few people who have reported a higher amount of weight loss than might have taken place during juice feasting, but what follows is them gaining a lot of the weight back after.
I mean, to me it would make sense that you might lose more weight DURING a juice fast. So, I’m actually surprised that I don’t find people reporting a higher amount of weight loss during a juice fast vs a juice feast. But, generally speaking, you don’t find this to be the case.
I also happen to know that some of that extra weight “lost” could be muscle. That leads to the problem that you hear many juice fasters complaining about. Also, some people who juice fast have eating disorders to begin with, such as, bulimia and the juice fasting mentality feeds right into this. I personally just don’t think this is a healthy combination.
Eating disorder + juice fasting = Probably not a good idea.
Whether you juice feast or juice fast, though, there are specific ways to keep the weight off after. Many people simply gain their weight back because they go right back to eating the same way they were before. This won’t work whether you do a juice feast or a juice fast.
Then There’s This
Ok, I couldn’t help myself. I wanted to add a little humor to this article.
If you remove the letter e from the word feast, you now have the word fast.
What could this possibly mean? I’ll leave that to you to decide! 😉
Hopefully, I was able to clear up the major differences between doing a juice fast and a juice feast. If you didn’t gather during your reading the article, we very much advocate juice feasting over juice fasting.
However, I do want to make it clear that everyone on this planet can make up their own mind as to what they do. Sometimes you have to do something for yourself before you truly understand all of the ins and outs. I have tried it both ways, and I know that for me juice feasting is what works. It is what has worked, long-term, for many others as well.
This article is not a juice fast bashing article. I know plenty of people who do juice fasts and advocate juice fasts and that’s their choice. I also want to illustrate that juice fasting for weight loss or detox is different than fasting for spiritual purposes. They have nothing to do with each other. I respect anyone’s rights to fast for spiritual purposes and am in no way at all downing on that.
I do firmly believe, though, that when juice cleansing for weight loss or detox that juice feasting is the most efficient and healthy way of doing so.
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