Trendy Juice Cleanse Diets Are More Dangerous Than You Think

Health Check 8

juiceHave you ever been on a cleanse? Chances are that if you are over the age of 30, you have been. Trendy cleanses are the hottest rage. I guess it’s better than those high colonics that were all the rage in weight loss just a few short years ago.

Many people go on juice cleanses, hoping to detoxify their bodies and shed a few pounds. But the problem is an unbalanced diet is not a healthy way to detoxify or lose weight. It’s a good way to malnourish yourself. Yet, trendy cleanses have grown to a $5 billion industry thanks to celebrities that swear they got their perfect bodies that way. When it doesn't work, we just assume we did something wrong.

If you ask most people who have been on a cleanse, they will tell you that the cleanse made them feel great. They feel great because they know they are restricting their caloric intake. Common sense tells you that if you don’t eat, you lose weight. Come on, those of us who have suffered from eating disorders know this elation all too well. It’s a false sense of accomplishment. It’s proactivity in the worst way. It’s punishing your body to achieve some mythical body type that is ultimately unattainable. It is plain and simply dangerous.

Most people believe they can feel toxins leaving their body. They believe they feel this because this is what the celebrity endorsements in the commercial have told them will happen. What is really happening is that they are starving themselves and getting lightheaded.

Experts say that there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that cleanses remove toxins from your body. In fact, they warn people that cleanses are too restrictive and deplete your nutritional resources. Instead of making your body better and stronger, which is what people are hoping to achieve, cleanses make your body weaker and susceptible to illness and injury.

A three-day cleanse may help psychologically prepare a person to start a diet, but physically it's doing nothing but starving you. In case you didn’t already know this, starvation causes your body to go into desperation mode and hold on to fats.

I won’t lie, I fell for it. I tried a 10-day cleanse twice and both times I felt no bursts of energy. What I did feel was tired and hungry. My sister recently did a 10-day cleanse, which she followed up with a complete lifestyle change, and she lost 10 pounds in 10 days. Then, by changing her eating habits and upping her workout regime, she has now lost a total of 30 pounds in the course of three months. She looks great and feels amazing. Only I believe that her weight loss has a lot more to do with her lifestyle change and not much to do with the cleanse at all, but it did jumpstart her psychological diet and that made the rest easier.

I find it interesting that it's taken this long to debunk the cleanse myth by proving that it has no effect or benefit on your weight loss progress. It's basically starving yourself or enduring disgusting drinks for no reason. In fact, it may be harmful to your health. So why is it a $5 billion a year industry? Because we are all so desperate, we would swallow shards of glass if someone told us that it would help us lose 10 pounds. We don’t want to put in the time and effort to change our lifestyle, so we prefer to intensely punish ourselves for days. Then we ultimately go back to supersizing our foods, drinking alcohol, and living a sedentary way of life.

Would you do a cleanse if someone told you that you could lose 10 pounds in 10 days?


Image via Stuftelsen Elektroikkbransjen/Flickr

weight loss, diets

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nonmember avatar Cass

There is no such thing as starvation mode. Actual studies were conducted on human subjects in the 50's and 60's demonstrating that there is only a small dip in metabolism when the body is starving. It doesn't hold onto fats any more or less. If you want to lose that much weight quickly, try keto. It retrains your body to run off fat and has a slightly better record of fat loss than low-carb diets. Plus, keto foods keep you full longer.

bills... billsfan1104

What I hate about them is that you pay 100 dollars for the info on the cleanse and ten you are restricted to eat certain veggies or nuts etc etc. once the "cleanse" specialist told me to pay her 100 dollars and then I would have to buy 300 dollars worth of food, I said no thank you.

I find eating right and exercising, naturally cleanses my body.

OneAl... OneAllergicMama

I didn't buy a prepackaged cleanse.  My husband and I did a juice cleanse after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  Yeah well if I wasn't fat, sick and dead before - I certainly was afterwards.  Running to the grocery store every 2-3 days to stock up on products needed for the "Mean Green" was nearly impossible because it was hard for me to be away from a restroom that long.  At one point I was considering diapers because I was losing total control over my bowels.  Yeah, not healthy. 


We then moved onto a Food, Inc diet but no weight loss and then Forks Over Knives which was all but impossible given the allergies we deal with in the house (and DH gained a significant amount of weight).  Finally he moved on to low carb/high fat and dropped tremendous amounts of weight.  Years of struggling with bloating, heart burn, extreme environmental allergies - almost all gone.  And his numbers regarding cholesterol and such are insanely good as a result!

lalab... lalaboosh

When I need to cleanse I just eat raw, unprocessed, and vegan. It's easy, I just make a mix of dried fruits, raw nuts, and raw seeds to munch on all day as much as I want. I carry that and an apple or banana and carrots or something. In the evening I have a meal, like a nutty salad with a simple oil and apple cider vinegar dressing. If you cook you can either steam your food or use coconut oil for frying or baking. I ate as much as I wanted and lost two dress sizes in a week. It was a bridesmaid dress EMERGENCY! LOL!

nonmember avatar Pencils

No, I've never done a "cleanse" because the entire idea is stupid. There are no "toxins" in your body that you can get out by eating--or not eating--anything some snake oil salesman is pushing. And as the writer said, when you starve yourself for a few days all you mostly lose is water, which you promptly gain back when you go on a more sensible diet. If you want to lose a couple of pounds quickly for a night out, then go ahead. But real dieting to lose weight and keep it off isn't easy and it takes time. There are no shortcuts. And I really wish people would move on to the next fad from "toxins."

lalab... lalaboosh

Lol @ pencils.

Sherryl Rowinski

You are totally uninformed about the benefits of juicing. How can a diet of all green vegetables and fruits be unbalanced? It has everything you need and has helped to eliminate illnesses and their medications needed when the body was so beaten down by eating a "regular" diet! If you check into the health benefits of eating the things God actually created us to eat, you will see that you are wrong about your uneducated "opinion" in what you stated. I've never felt better, and my health is, overall, much better than before I started doing the best thing I've ever done with my eating plan.

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