The Juice Fast Experiement
*This is not a flog (although I will accept the LOL’s), rather an actual experience from last week I thought would be userful to people in the industry looking to adjust their diet and increase performance.
This past Thanksgiving break has given me the rare down time to focus on some non business related goals of mine. One of the downfalls of being an entrepreneur is an endless amount of work, often leading to crazy hours and an unhealthy diet. During the break, I happened to come across a movie on Netflix called “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” Enticed by the title, I felt compelled to watch the movie. The movie was more or less a documentary about the unhealthy standard American diet, and how it has made a generation of the most obese people ever. The main character, Joe Cross, went on a 60 day quest traveling the US and fasting by eating or drinking nothing other than the Juice extracted from the most healthy fruits and vegetables, extracting the juice using a standard Juicer. His results were pretty incredible, losing over 70 pounds in this 60 days period. He went on to show how the juice fast brought an obese 420 pound man to go on to lose over 200 pounds in just 6 months and entirely change his life. Aside from the weight loss, the juice fast allegedly is one of the best ways to rejuvenate your mind and body by detoxing, giving your liver a well deserved rest from processing food, and an immune system boost.
Granted, the movie was ultimately trying to sell you on buying Joe Cross’s products (the guys a hustler for sure), but I was definitely amused by the results. I have been making it a goal to eat healthier since I graduated from college, yet always found an excuse to put my diet and well being second to getting more work done. On top of this, for those of you who know me well, you know that I am an advocate of getting the most of what you have from a mental productivity standpoint. I wasn’t doing this as much to lose weight (although who wouldn’t want to get more cut) rather than to explore the apparent advantages the Juice Diet has on the mind. That was really the kicker to give this a go. I was doing this to see what kind of mental advantage I could gain to increase my productivity rate. I also think that being an internet marketer, this topic is highly relevant because I find more and more of my work friends living unhealthy lives, which can have all sorts of negative effects for them later in life.
One of the advantages of being an entrepreneur is that I have the ability to control my atmosphere. So I figured I would more or less lock myself away for 7 days, doing nothing but running my companies, working out, and juice fasting. I should also state as a side note that I did play 2 Division 1 Sports in college (Football and Track at Syracuse University), so I am pretty used to working out harder than most people are used to. I normally burn between 1000-1500 calories during my workouts with a good mix of intense cardio and heavy lifting in every workout, and fully intended to workout as normal, if not even more during the juice fast. I should also state that I am not a doctor in anyway, and have no idea how working out or the juice diet may affect you. So you’ll probably want to direct your questions in regards to the juice diet and working out towards a doctor. I am just here explaining what I did and how it affected me.
What I needed to get started:
1.) A Juicer – Please note a Juicer is much different than a blender. You cannot substitute the 2. You can buy your juicer online or in a local Bloomingdales. I bought my in Bloomingdales for $150, however there are some online that cost as much as $500. The $150 one I bought in Bloomingdales did the trick just fine for me.
2.) Expect to spend between $100-$150 a week on buying fruits and vegetables from the grocery store. I spent $139 for my entire 7 day fast, which ironically, is much cheaper than I have been spending going out for every meal.
3.) A strict, thought out juicer plan. You want to make sure you get the proper amount of nutrients in your drinks. Don’t forget that this is the ONLY thing you will be using to hold your body over from a food basis. I will provide some sample plans below as well as show you where to get more.
4.) NO Alcohol! Alcohol is probably the worst thing you can do while on this diet. If you are going to drink, then don’t even bother juice fasting.
5.) A gym and workout plan. If your goal is to lose weight, a good workout can definitely expedite the process for you during the juice fast.
6.) ALOT of freakin will power. Friends will make fun of you, and you will be tempted with every pizza shop you see, but if you want to get the full effect of this, you NEED to stick to the plan!
The Juice Fast:
Hands down, the hardest part of the whole 7 days was day 1. I was so hungry I couldn’t think. All I wanted more than anything in the world was a fresh, cheesy pizza. However, I knew this was going to be the hardest part and just kept drinking more juice until I didn’t feel the hunger anymore. I pretty much had to force myself to sleep the first night The next morning I woke up, made a juice immediately, and was fine. I needed to give my stomach a chance to shrink as well as get over the initial mental challenges of knowing I wasn’t allowed to eat food.
The second day was much easier for me, although I have read others say day 2 was just as hard as day 1. Regardless it was still a challenge to avoid eating. It really helped me that I was able to avoiding smelling food, and didn’t need to watch anyone eat food. I avoided temptation at all costs. I should also add that a very big break for me was that I did have a bowl of carrots and celery next to me at all times, so the second I felt any hunger at all, I would throw a few carrots in my mouth and forget about it. Some may call this cheating since I still was technically eating something, however, it was the same food that I was drinking in my shakes that very day, and losing weight wasn’t my #1 priority in this experiment, so I let it fly. I saw no downside to doing this, and it helped my mentality tremendously.
The morning of Day 3 was great. I had an awesome sleep, and woke up as energized as ever. I had that “I woke up on the RIGHT side of the bed” feeling. At no point was I hungry, and was constantly drinking a juice. My workout that day felt great. I had so much energy that I actually had a hard time getting to sleep. This is likely from all the sugar from the fruits I have been eating, but none the less, I was on a constant energy high with no crash. I had an extremely productive work day, and when I did finally get to sleep, it wasn’t effected in anyway. My sleep was great for every day (except day 1) of the fast.
The final 3 days were very similar. I wasn’t really hungry, and was actually enjoying the juicing. I had plenty of energy and didn’t really have a temptation to eat until the last day when a friend stopped by eating chicken tenders. I was able to block that out mentally and successfully completed the 7 day fast.
The craziest part of this whole experiment was that i actually LOST 10 pounds in 7 days. Being the fact that I am only 180 pounds, I found this rapid weight loss to be pretty crazy. I figured a lot of it was water weight, however I only gained 2 pounds back when I started eating again. I really can’t imagine what someone who weighs much more than me would have lost. Granted, I did workout probably more than I should have (I was only in taking 500-600 calories a day), even half of that weight loss would be pretty ridiculous.
My natural energy level was actually higher than it has ever been. In turn, I’ve been more focused, even after I broke the fast. The best part for me was that this diet change really gave me a good changeup from my everyday norm of the “grind until I pass out” attitude and allowed me to accomplish more in less time. It was comparable to being on a constant energy drink, minus the negative effects.
Loss of Strength:
Although I was very energized during my workouts, I did notice that my normal weights I lifted were much harder to do. Being said, I can say it’s safe to assume I did lose some muscle during this 7 day fast, probably because of lack of protein intake. This didn’t really bother me though because I was more or less expecting this. Losing 10 pounds out of 180, the weight needs to come from somewhere.
The part of this experiment I feel the best about is the sense of achievement. This really wasn’t something super easy to pull off, however, I was mentally strong enough to get through the whole week. On top of this, I proved to myself that if I ever wanted to lose weight, I know exactly how to do it. It’s funny how much money there is in the weight loss supplement market, yet something as basic as eating healthy and working out hard is really all it takes. This fast also jump started a health kick for me, as I now am off the fast, I have been juicing for 2 meals a day, and working in chicken breast and turkey meatloaf, tuna and steak for my other meals. Low carbs, high protein diet. And as hard as I say the diet is, if you are someone who really, really wants to lose weight, stop complaining and just do this diet. Watch the movie, research it online, the juice fast DOES work, and surely is a better alternative than taking years off your life. Besides what’s the point of working your whole life if you can’t live long enough to enjoy the successes of your hard work.
Young, Rich, Healthy and In Shape = The Real American Dream
Here is an example of one day of my juice meal plans:
2 cups Blueberries
2 Kiwi Fruit
2 cups Mint Leaves, packed into the measuring cup
Protein: 5 g
Fiber: 4 g
2 Comice Pears
2 medium Fennel Bulbs
Protein: 4 g
Fiber: 1 g
16 oz Coconut Water, unsweetened
1 Green Apples
3 handfuls Spinach, 1.5 cups
6-8 Kale leaves, 2 cups
4 stalks Celery
Protein: 10 g
Fiber: 1 g
16 oz Coconut Water, unsweetened
2 Asian Pears
2 Green Apples
2 wedges Purple Cabbage
1 Piece Ginger (thumb sized)
Protein: 7.5 g
Fiber: 2 g
16 oz Coconut Water, unsweetened