The benefits and pitfalls of juice cleanses have been debated by many experts over the past few years. Some nutritionists say they are a way to get more phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables than you would normally get and that they give your digestive system a much-needed break. Others say they are unnecessary for ridding the body of toxins and actually pump you with more sugar (and hardly any beneficial protein or fiber) than you really need.
I see the pros and cons of each argument, but when a juice cleanse claims to help shed five pounds in just three days, I’m curious. Raw Generation’s Skinny Cleanse does just that, and I was up for the challenge. I also wanted to see what it was like because during the holidays, when my diet plummets and I need to hit the reset button, this could be a good option.
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Each day I drank six juices for a total of 1,000 calories a day, and surprisingly, I wasn’t feeling ravenous like I thought I would. I’ve cleansed before (never more than three days), but this one felt a little different. Maybe it was me and not the juices, but they kept me full and satisfied. There’s also a differentiating factor between these juices and some of the other brands I’ve tried: Raw Generation juices are 100-percent raw and flash frozen rather than pressurized using HPP (High Pressure Pascallization, a form of pasteurization), which helps preserve the nutritional content in each bottle.
I also really liked the flavor profiles (the pineapple one was especially delicious, but if you’re a fruit and veggie person like I am, you’ll be excited to drink all of them):
Energy & Endurance: apple, kale, spinach, collard greens, carrot, and lemon juices
Beauty & Brilliance: orange, carrot, lemon, and ginger juices
Slim & Strong: carrot, apple, beet, and lemon juices
Heal & Hydrate: pineapple, cucumber, and aloe vera juices
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As far as the weight loss goes, I didn’t lose five pounds—more like half of that, but I chalk it up to my lack of exercise (deadlines at work had me sitting almost all day during my cleanse). I also felt like my skin looked brighter after day two and for a couple days after it ended. One drawback I noticed was the headache I had the first night, which seemed to linger for a while. But I know I wasn’t drinking enough water, which is crucial when juicing.
It’s also important to note that although this juice cleanse claims to help you lose weight, that is not always the case with this type of detox method. It varies for each individual, and it’s not an effective form of weight loss long-term. If you think of it like a quick pick-me-up to get your body and your cravings back on track (post-holiday is a perfect time to do a cleanse) and manage your expectations, you’ll be that much happier with the result.
And if you just don’t think you can survive on juices only for three days, the brand is launching a new program (it will begin shipping on November 28) called SKINNY START, which marries its juices with raw foods (think raw protein bars and apples) and fat-burning teas, so you don’t feel as deprived, but you can still achieve a five-pound weight loss in three days.
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