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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How long should a juice fast generally go for? i.e. 5 or more days?

    Related Topic
    I am currently doing a juice fast and was originally thinking of doing it for 10 days- however have read conflicting information stating that the first time you do a juice fast it is a good idea to start slowly- i.e. 5 days. Im currently on my 2nd day and feeling much better than the first!
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  • 1




    Catherine Saxelby

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Accredited nutritionist, media commentator, blogger and author. Passionate about making healthy eating easy for busy women. Read more: View Profile

    I firmly believe juice only fasts are for the healthy and fit. Don't stay on them for more than 7 days maximum and ideally less than 5 days. They are often offered when you go to a health resort or spa, usually for less than a week, sometimes only for the weekend.

    The theory behind juices is that we can ‘cleanse’ and ‘purify’ our body by removing ‘wastes’ and eliminating ‘toxins’ (which are never defined).  By following a strict regime based around juices (and eliminating all caffeine, alcohol, refined carbs, meat and dairy), the toxins will magically be flushed out and glowing health and energy will be your reward.
    Be clear about WHY you’re doing a juice fast. It’s supposed to improve a whole range of common conditions such as indigestion, heartburn, poor immunity, fatigue, headaches, allergies, muscle aches and even acne, dry skin and puffiness under eyes.  The claim that sucks most women in is the promise of weight loss, radiant skin and clear eyes.
    What’s missing from all these claims is proof – despite all the hype, there’s no proof that a detox diet really does clean out the body nor that the average person needs to fast at all. That said, given our overconsumption of processed foods and alcohol, a few days of little or no eating can do us all good – but it’s not a formal detox!
    I feel compelled to point out that these fasts are not a solution to permanent weight loss. They are only a quick fix (often promoted to “kickstart” your diet) but they don’t re-educate your eating patterns – once you finishing, you go back to your former (fattening) way of eating and the weight comes back on

  • 1




    Angela Jackson

    Exercise Scientist

    I have qualifications as an Exercise Scientist, Herbalist and Health Coach, with over 10 years experience in the preventative health industry helping people to improve … View Profile

    I actually don't recommend juice fasting at all. You can provide your body with a thorough cleanse using whole foods and herbal medicines. Having only juice is taking out whole food groups from the diet, and I don't see how that can be beneficial. Juicing also removes the fibre from fruit, which means that the body can absorb the sugar from the fruit very quickly and you'll see a spike in blood sugar levels. If you're only consuming juice then your blood sugar levels will be going up and down all day, and the pancreas will be working overtime trying to produce insulin to keep things under control. I'm not against juice, I just think it should be consumed in smaller portions, up to 1 cup per day (which provides us with 2 ‘serves’ of fruit. The foundation of the juice fast is to provide the body with a high level of nutrients, and cut out the junk, this can be achieved with lots of veges, salads, quality proteins etc. You can find my detox program at to see the way I recommend cleansing the body safely and sensibly.

  • 1




    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    I think that Catherine has summed things up well.

    To my knowledge, no advocate of “detox” has provided a coherent explanation of what the alleged “toxins” are nor what the physiological basis of their removal by any “detox” procedure may be.

    Purification rituals are aspects of many religions: Ramadan in Islam, Yom Kippur and Pesach in Judaism and Lent in some forms of Christianity are examples. Detox procedures are the secular equivalent of these purification rituals - they may provide some psychological comfort but that is it - there is no evidence that they are physiologically effective.

    If you want advice about eating in a healthy way then talking with an Accredited Practising Dietitian is the way to go.

  • Sharon Brooks


    Sharon, a Registered Nutritionist RNutr and Food Scientist runs a nutrition consulting business that specialises in proactive nutrition and disease prevention.Sharon runs corporate, school and … View Profile

    I agree with the responses listed; there is currently no solid evidence to suggest juice fasting is an effective solution for weight loss, disease risk or illness prevention. If you are a healthy person with no liver or kidney issues; these organs do a fantastic job of filtering out the ‘toxins’ without the need to avoid solid foods.Consuming plenty of fresh, unprocessed foods with a mainly plant based diet will stand you in good stead.  

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