When you think juice cleanse, do you automatically associate the phrase with warm weather? Maybe you associate the phrase with sand and sun-kissed bodies by the ocean? Well, you’re not wrong. A lot of people cleanse in the summer. The pressure of looking good half-naked is certainly real. But cleansing in the winter is a thing. And if cleansing in the winter isn’t your thing- it should be. Here’s why:
People gain an average of 2-4 pounds during the winter months
There are many factors to blame for this seemingly unfair weight gain. We will dive deeply into some factors later on, but for now we’ll focus on three major culprits: decreased physical activity, decreased happiness and increased television viewing. How many of you tend to be less active in the winter? Majority of humans are, and most mammals, are less active in cold weather. Unfortunate for us, we can’t hibernate and still pay the bills. So we carry on: just not as cheerfully. Have you ever noticed that people tend to carry extra large chips on their shoulders this time of year? It’s a real thing: A lack of sunlight coupled with a lack of physical activity is a recipe for biochemical disaster. Keeping large neurotransmitter words to a minimum, the winter is hard on your feel-good vibes. It’s harder to wake up. It’s harder to fake a smile at work. And it’s way harder to force yourself to battle through a snowstorm to make it to the gym. Which brings us to our final culprit: increased television viewing. Need I say more?
In the winter months, people tend to eat more fat. You are what you eat, so they say.
A juice cleanse has very little fat. Really, the only fat that you’ll find is in the nut milk drinks, and even then, you’re getting a lot of protein and drinking good, natural fats. You may find it hard to believe, but studies have found that we eat more during the spring and summer months. However, the source of energy is different- more carbohydrates during the spring and summer months, more fats in the winter. I know what you’re thinking: carbs are the devil. How could eating more carbohydrate-rich foods possibly be better? It’s a fair accusation and question. In truth, I’m no expert. All I can provide you with are a few facts and tips to ease your unsettled soul. The first being that all carbohydrates were not created equally. There is a world of difference between eating 100 calories of fruit and 100 calories of refined, white carbohydrates. The second point being that carbohydrates are the most easily broken down energy source available to your body (interpret at your own will). Lastly, when you’re eating good carbohydrates, that is to say plant-based carbohydrates, you tend to eat less calorically speaking than when eating processed or unsound carbohydrates. That is to say you’re less likely to eat ten bananas in one sitting than to eat ten servings of potato chips. Even if you did eat the former, you would still be consuming cleaner energy than the latter. So get to cleansing!
The best part of winter is the holidays. The worst part of the holidays is the stress.
Everyone loves holiday parties. That’s a flat out lie- us introverts and anti-socials loathe them. But everyone enjoys the company of others or at least the gathering of good food and drinks to celebrate one of the dozens of seasonal winter holidays. However, with gatherings come some baggage. Stress in one way or another is bound to happen during this time of year. Whether you’re hosting a dozen family members, flying across the country/world, or just trying to put a Christmas tree up in an apartment with a half-dozen cats, stress happens. Stress has physical implications- you physically releases hormones that alert the body to store fat in times of distress. Cortisol levels are through the roof during the winter months for most of us. One of the most popular coping mechanisms for stress is eating. Sweet irony. The best way to cope with the stress of the holidays? Turn your attention, energy and potential obsession into a juice cleanse. Make conversation with all of your strange relatives about your latest indulgence- a week long cleanse. And last but not least, smile. Even if you don’t want to. Smiling is a way to alert your body that everything is okay, easily and quickly. Despite your less than optimal circumstances, you are still alive, alert and active. So smile. Feel gratitude. Dismiss the sorrow and stress.
In closing, the winter is a perfect time to juice cleanse. Say no thank you to the casual weight gain that these months usually bring, and be the talk of the holiday party (in a good way) by preaching health. Drink your carbs with a smile on your face.