Because green juice cancels out beer… right? And a juice fast? That’ll cancel out an entire weekend of mojitos and quesadillas. I mean, let’s be honest, what’s a juicer for except to save your soul {or your stomach} from pain and anguish the morning after.
I’ve thought it. You’ve thought it. We’ve all thought it.

In fact, between myself, my friends, and my clients, years have been spent bouncing back and forth between these two extremes: {booze, burgers, bags under eyes} <—–> {kale, cucumber juice, and serious calorie restriction}. One day, we allow complete indulgence and the next, we punish ourselves by skipping meals and living on liquids.

If any of this sounds the slightest bit familiar – listen up!

Now you might already be wondering – isn’t juicing good for me?

Well, of course. Juicing can provide incredible amounts of nutrients in addition to a balanced diet, and even fasting can serve a purpose here and there. HOWEVER I want to tell you one big reason why juicing and/or fasting to “make up for” whatever “bad” thing you did the day before only leads to trouble. And I’m talking weight gain, bad mood, and a zero percent chance of developing a healthy relationship with your food and body.

Picture this:

8 am Monday morning – you’re getting a fresh start after a weekend of late nights and beers on the beach. Your goal is to make it through the day on only liquids…you know, green juice, herbal tea, lemon water… all the stuff you’ve read about in health blogs.
10 am – You’re going strong. Your co-worker’s jokes and recounted sexcapades keep you distracted.
2 pm – You’re feeling proud of yourself for making it through lunch, which gives you the push you need to turn down your usual afternoon treats.
5 pm – The busy workday ends. “Hm, this isn’t so bad,” you’re thinking. You head home, walk in the door to an empty house, and in that moment you remember just. how. hungry. you. are. 

And then what? You say “Screw it. This wasn’t doing me any good anyway,” and proceed to ransack your kitchen. It feels just as amazing as you thought it would, initially at least. But a half hour later you start feeling sluggish. You’re wondering why you had to take it so far {WHY!?}. You’re feeling like a complete and utter failure. You have one more chocolate chip cookie before hitting the sack, because why not, one more won’t make a difference. And besides, you’re determined to start from scratch the next morning.

Are you recognizing the pattern here? It quickly becomes a vicious cycle.

And like I said… the consequences are nothing but trouble:
 1. If your body can’t rely on you for consistent nutrition, it’ll hold onto everything that comes its way {aka weight gain}.
2. If you restrict yourself to liquids, you’re probably not getting the nutrition you need for stable energy, which ultimately makes you feel tired and depressed {aka bad mood}
3. If you expect your body to do all it can to process booze and junk foods and then punish your body with next to nothing the day after, the mutual respect between you and your body will be thrown a bit out of whack, no? {aka zero chance of a healthy relationship with food + body}

OK, so let’s talk solutions. How do we change the pattern?

Well, start by knowing this: It’s not what you eat some of the time, but what you eat most of the time that matters. We can only restrict and overindulge for so long. I consider myself a pretty strong willed person, and the longest I’ve ever fasted is 3 days. 3 days. And I’ve been alive for about 10,000! Did those 3 days give me a full body detox? Absolutely not. Or what about that night I stayed up until 4 am dancing and snagged two slices of pizza on my walk home? That must have thrown my body for a loop, no? NO! Because it’s not a handful of days that makes a difference. Not even a few handfuls of days. Rather it’s what I’ve done with the other 9,000 days {give or take a hundred} that has really mattered.

So, ask yourself – how will you up your game “most of the time” so that the “some of the time” doesn’t make its mark?
For instance, commit to having full nutritious meals {breakfast, lunch + dinner} three times per week. Or you could focus on including fat, protein, and carbohydrates at at least two meals a day. Or maybe you cook at least one meal per day at home.

Be specific and be reasonable. Start with a small goal you know you can manage and build from there.