Intermittent Fasting: Increase the Power of Your Fast with These 4 Drinks- Thomas DeLauer
MH Trials: Juice fasting
Lab rat #1
Profile:29, commissioning editor, lapsed gym-goer
Goal:Add definition for a beach holiday
Juices:Three-day clarity cleanse from plenish (£240 plenishcleanse.com)
Claim:Youll lose weight, beat bloating, increase immunity and improve your concentration
Sceptical doesnt do justice to the way I felt about juice cleanses. Sure Ill lose weight, I thought, but it will probably disappear in muscle and be repaid in fat once complete. To give you an idea of how large a role food plays in my life, I choose holiday destinations based on the quality of local cuisine; I recently spent £400 on a barbecue I could ill afford; a vast chunk of my salary is apportioned to eating out. As candidates for cleanses go, I was poor. But, like most men, I also had an intense desire not to be the fattest of my friends on the beach.
Plenish claims its hydraulic cold-press method creates a juice so fine, nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream within 10-15 minutes, for near-instant energy. Cold-pressing is also shown to retain 60% more nutrients than regular juicing, while ingredients such as cashew milk amp up the protein and fibre content.
But enough bumf how does it make me feel? Knocking back six juices a day is harder than it sounds. Particularly when a couple of them taste like soil tinged with notes of blood (Cherry Beets, Im looking at you). But hunger isnt the issue I feared it might be; six 500ml bottles per day leave me more or less sated. Its the initial fatigue thats the true killer. My concentration span shrinks along with my stomach. At 4pm on day one, it takes me half an hour to write one sentence. Those kind of word-rates do not, as my editor will attest, a magazine make.
But come day two, I feel energised. While swerving the gallon of industrial-strength coffee I usually drink, I am still alert enough to train near my usual weight and rep counts. Come day three, I feel pretty much normal, with clear skin and a notable 2% drop in body fat.
I cant argue with the results. My abs have reappeared, Ive lost weight from my face and I feel apologies for the cliche revitalised. Though the fact that I cap it off with a much-needed blow-out steak dinner may be defeating the object.
Lab rat #2
Profile:45, deputy editor, frantic father
Goal:Lose weight, keep clarity
Juices:Three-day time out (£207 rootsandbulbs.com)
Claim:Low-fructose juices reboot your body, minus the sugar spikes that floor your energy levels
My timing is, of course, impeccable. On day one of my fast, Im tasked with looking after my sons, who career about like amphetaminised Tiggers. The spaced-out sensations of hunger would be quite relaxing in a costly Austrian clinic, catching up on back issues of theLondon Review of Books. But its less than ideal for leading children across busy roads.
When I make lunch, the boys cheese and cucumber sandwiches take on the aspect of a Fergus Henderson-prepared chateaubriand. By teatime, though, I no longer feel hungry. I go to bed early and sleep fitfully, waking up phenomenally thirsty two or three times. We obviously get more water from food than I realised.
The juices are surprisingly tasty, adding fruit and spices to the usual worthy green mulch. The G3 (which I look forward to last thing at night) is delicious, reminding me of a pineapple and mint drink I had for breakfast each day on a holiday in Brazil. The same cant be said of the almond milk which has the sour tang of cleaning fluid.
The morning after the juice fast, I fix a breakfast of eggs and coffee. The flavours are dazzlingly intense, and the caffeine hit is like being sneezed on by Kate Moss. I feel sharper for the next two days; the return seems to justify the light sacrifice.
Overall Id recommend it, not just for the physical effects, but because it made me realise how reflexively I reach for coffee and a snack when tired or stressed. The devil is in the detail of integrating it with your lifestyle though juice is not the ideal mixer for work and fatherhood.
Lab rat #3
Profile:29, product development manager, gym evangelist
Goal:Maintain strength and energy while detoxing
Juices:Three-day fitness (£267 purifynecleanse.com)
Claim:Jack up on nutrients to power your workouts and recover faster
I like to eat. A lot. Training twice a day means I need 4000kcal to maintain my weight. As colleagues will testify, if I dont eat, I get hangry. But in spite of the amount I put away, I dont enjoy food all that much. Any programme that helps me maintain energy and strength without prepping and cooking suits me ideally.
The first day brings with it intense headaches. I consult the team at Purifyne and they assure me this will pass. I train at lunch and push on through my legs routine without any issues. My strength and performance remain within my usual range. But, frankly, Im a little irritable.
Then the hunger arrives. Being unable to sate it gets to me; Ive never deprived myself of food. In a single day, I drop 2kg and my strength falls by 6%. My mood also switches (I could have been a degree more polite when dealing with callers).
As the days pass, my protein shakes push me through the sessions, though my strength plummets. Sure, my six-pack is more defined, but Ive lost motivation to train. Weirdly, I can feel the energy there, but its as if its locked out of reach.
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