Detoxifying at the start of the year: No food or coffee for three days, just juice, juice, juice instead: An experience report

Even though the holidays looked different than in previous years due to the pandemic, one thing remained the same: people feasted as much as they could.

Detoxifying at the start of the year: No food or coffee for three days, just juice, juice, juice instead: An experience report

Even though the holidays looked different than in previous years due to the pandemic, one thing remained the same: people feasted as much as they could. Lots of wine, meat and sweets that I consumed and ultimately led to dark circles under the eyes 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 cleanse from a Hamburg manufacturer, recommended to me by top-styled, toned influencers, whose call I heeded.

Although the turn of the year could only be celebrated in a small circle due to Corona, I knew that the still cheerful New Year's Eve party would be the final opponent of my unhealthy escapades. For this reason, I prepared myself and ordered the juice cleanse in advance so that I could start the detoxification straight away in the new year. Every day there were six different juices on the menu - the types and sequence were repeated every day. Highly motivated and after getting over my hangover, I started on Saturday, January 2nd. I decided to do the juice cleanse during my days off. On the one hand, out of fear of my mood and therefore to protect the people around me, and on the other hand, I was able to sleep in and not sit at my desk hungry at eight in the morning and have to struggle through the morning.

It was already twelve o'clock. I excitedly twisted the cap off my first bottle. A mixture of apple, cucumber, pineapple, lemon and mint juice was waiting for me. The juice is fine for my taste buds. However, immediately after drinking, my stomach responded. My stomach obviously didn't expect that the juice wasn't followed by coffee, breakfast eggs and rolls with thick toppings. He complained with growls.

I had mentally prepared myself for the worst: tantrums, food cravings, food envy, weakness and whatever else threatened. A friend previously told me about her experiences with the three-day juice cleanse. On the second day she argued with her boyfriend because he ate bread with salami late in the evening. After this story, I could also tell my friend's increasing internal panic. With a harmless stomach rumbling, I was still in good shape on my first day of the juice cleanse. Since I had spent 80 euros on the drinks, it was clear to me: I would go through with it.

"For juice? 80 euros just for juice?" my circle of friends said indignantly. Admittedly, that seemed pretty expensive to me. I received 18 bottles, each with 320 milliliters of freshly squeezed juice made from vegetables and fruit and a unit price of around 4.40 euros. After completing the juice cleanse, I was informed by Heike Niemeier, an ecotrophologist from Hamburg and author of the book “Essen gut, alles gut”, about the sense and nonsense of the measure. The price also shocked them. "The company seems to have a successful marketing strategy," she says.

Niemeier explains what is actually important when buying and carrying out juice cleanses: "It is important that the juices are not heated, otherwise the vitamins will be lost. The manufacturer should also use dark bottles, because vitamins do not like light." In my case, I used cold-pressed juices, but they came in translucent bottles.

However, Niemeier generally advises against fruit juice treatments. “Juices are fructose tsunamis,” she says. A detoxification treatment is about relieving and cleansing the liver. In this case, however, the liver has to struggle with a lot of sugar. Although you feel lighter, from a health perspective such treatments are questionable. The detoxification process does not take place to its full extent. Instead, it is better to use a low-sugar, protein-containing treatment. “Protein fills you up and ensures that the muscles are maintained,” she explains.

Back to day one of the treatment: I struggled through the next two hours, constantly looking at the clock 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 empty feeling in my stomach. The distraction was good. In this way I finally tried to make the first day fly by. Netflix series, cleaning the house and going for walks kept me busy.

The time between the 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 beetroot, ginger and carrot and the fifth of celery, cucumber and spinach - this turned out to be my personal hate juice. The sixth and final juice of the day suddenly surprised me positively. The mixture of almond, strawberry, date and salt tasted like a successful dessert that was supposed to sweeten my less than culinary day. Now I knew what to expect in the next two days, at least in terms of taste. “Doable,” I thought to myself and went to bed feeling hungry.

When I woke up the next day I felt like I did every morning: tired. The promises from my friends who had experienced juice cleanses were a long time coming: "You'll feel totally fit, simply full of energy." I didn't notice anything about it on the second day. However, my feeling of hunger had vanished into thin air and the scales showed a kilo less. Heike Niemeier explains the phenomenon: "Due to the calorie deficit, the body begins to flush out water and break down muscles because there is a lack of protein supply. However, that is not the goal of a good detoxification treatment." 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, that was actually OK. Towards late morning, juice was on the menu again. In contrast to the day before, I didn't constantly look at the clock and hope that the two hours would pass quickly and I could finally drink the next juice - I didn't care about the juices. All I could think about was how to distract myself and get through the day. My stomach never once reminded me that it was empty - which made the second day much more pleasant than the first.

I tried to keep myself busy with Netflix series, online shopping and walks. Things suddenly got tough when my friend was eating a perfectly baked, cheese-smelling pizza on the couch next to me. The only thing that stopped me from eating a piece was the thought of the 80 euros I had paid for the juice cleanse.

When I went to bed at night, I had a hard time falling asleep. Not because of a growling stomach or feeling hungry - I didn't know why I wasn't tired. Was that perhaps the energy my friends promised?

Even on the third day of my juice cleanse, I didn't notice any changes - no burst of energy, no sudden desire to run a marathon, no incredibly good mood. It was a day like any other - just without solid food. The only thing that visibly changed was the number on the scale: another kilo less.

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

Later my friend and I went to the Baltic Sea for a little walk. In my purse were three juices for the next few hours. On the way there I was faced with an ordeal. My friend suddenly felt hungry. We ended up driving through the drive-thru of a fast food chain. So fries, cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets got in as passengers and sat right next to me. I distracted myself with a juice and nervously looked out the passenger window until my friend finished everything.

When we got back home in the evening, I drank liters of tea and vegetable broth. When I bought the broth, I made sure that it didn't contain any sugar. I distracted myself by constantly drinking. I had a hard time falling asleep that evening too. 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 finally fell asleep.

When the alarm went off at half past seven because my days off were over, I was as annoyed as I was every morning and staggered into the kitchen to make myself some green tea. There was still no energy boost - but I wasn't hungry either. And after the third day the scales again showed a kilo less.

I finally decided to wait until I felt hungry before eating. Until then, I sat in front of the laptop and worked until lunch break - still not hungry. I didn't even know myself that way. The flawless, clear skin was also new to me. It seems as if the juice cleanse had something positive in addition to the feeling of cold, cravings and food envy. When I go shopping, I still pay attention to lots of fresh vegetables, few carbohydrates and little fat. I am highly motivated to continue eating healthy.

In summary, the positive results include the fact that my skin has significantly improved, the pleasant feeling of lightness in my body, the motivation to change my diet and the pride that I did it. I can imagine making a second attempt in the summer, as it would probably be easier for me to avoid solid food during the warmer days and 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.