5 reasons you should never go on a juice cleanse or detox diet

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Thinking about trying a juice cleanse or radical detox to lose weight or get faster? The allure of these diets can be strong. Of course you like the idea of clearing out your insides, hopefully to make yourself leaner and meaner. But as attractive as the idea of detoxing is, it's also not smart. Or healthy. Or supported by any science whatsoever.

While it’s true that drastically reducing your food intake as part of cleanse can have a couple short-term benefits, like lowering blood pressure, there are far more reasons not to undertake intense detox diets. Here are the five most compelling.

1/ You won’t lose weight long-term

Sure, radical cleanses result in quick weight loss - but the slim-down won’t last. “Anyone can follow a restrictive diet or cleanse for a certain period of time. Unfortunately, data shows us that, when the diet ends, most people gain back everything they lose plus more,” says registered dietitian Lauren Harris-Pincus. Save your body the rollercoaster ride.

2/ You’ll feel rubbish

Lots of detox plans - juice cleanses especially - seriously scale back your intake of fat and protein. That’s a problem, since those are two nutrients essential to any successful runner’s diet. Plus, drastically reducing the number of calories you eat will sap your energy.

3/ You’ll lose muscle

Another drawback of limiting protein: you’ll lose muscle mass (on a week-long cleanse, it can be as much as 1 pound of muscle mass per day!). “Then, when the weight comes back, it will most likely be gained as fat,” says Harris-Pincus. 

4/ You’re not actually detoxing yourself

Detox diets talk a big game, saying they’ll eliminate all manner of toxins from your body. But the truth is that your body doesn’t really need assistance in that department. “Our bodies were designed to detox themselves,” says Harris-Pincus. “Our liver and kidneys already do a great job of removing waste and toxins from our bodies.” How can you actually help your body run optimally? Just eat heathily, Harris-Pincus says: add more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and lean proteins and limit added sugars and highly processed foods.

5/ You’ll spend a lot of money for nothing

A three-day juice cleanse can cost as much as £X for three days of “food.” Just think about how many shopping trolleys worth of actual sustenance you can get for that amount of money. Don’t start trying to get healthy by getting swindled.


The article 5 Reasons You Should Never Go on a Juice Cleanse or Detox Diet originally appeared on Eat Clean.