Juice cleanses and detoxes are a waste of time and money. Despite the marketing hype, and the various ways these programs are packaged up and sold to you, you need to know that they are nothing but a waste of time and money.
None of them have been proven as an effective strategy for long-term weight loss, and in fact many of them can get you into more trouble.
What is a juice cleanse or detox?
A juice cleanse or detox is a type of diet that aims to ‘detoxify’ the body. Juice cleanses primarily focus on you consuming the juice of fruits and vegetables, while detoxes can involve consuming juice as well as teas, herbs, and supplements.
Detoxes and cleanses are short-term interventions which promote the idea of eliminating toxins from the body. They often involve periods of fasting, followed by a strict diet. There is generally not much chewing of real food allowed on a detox or cleanse. Instead, the majority of your food is taken in liquid form.
Detoxes and cleanses can take many forms and may also include:
- eliminating foods or only eating certain foods
- using dietary supplements
- cleansing the colon with enemas, laxatives or colonic irrigation (colon hydrotherapy)
- reducing environmental exposures (whatever that means)
- using a sauna or exercise to ‘sweat’ out toxins
While these types of diets claim many things, in reality they’re nothing but fad diets and quick-fixes that fix nothing.
Why do people do juice cleanses and detoxes
Like they do with every other diet, the weight loss industry is really good at marketing cleanses and detoxes. Some of the things these diets claim to do include:
- resting your organs by fasting
- stimulating your liver to get rid of toxins
- promoting toxin elimination through feces, urine, and sweat
- improving circulation
- increasing energy
- improving nutrition
- accelerating weight loss.
Many of these also claim to help with digestive issues, autoimmune diseases, inflammation, allergies, bloating and even chronic fatigue.
Why juice cleanses and detoxes are a waste of time and money
Despite their claims, research into detox diets is seriously lacking, and the handful of studies that exist are significantly flawed. In other words, there is no credible evidence to suggest that juice cleanses and detoxes are effective for long-term weight loss, or any of the other claims they make.
Lack of weight loss results is just one of the many reasons juice cleanses and detoxes are a waste of time and money.
Your body already knows how to detox
While these types of diets claim to remove toxins from your body, they rarely specify which toxins are going to be removed, and how they will be removed. They just assume that you’ll take their word for it. However, the truth is there is little to no evidence that detox diets remove any toxins from your body. What’s more, your body is already capable of ‘cleansing itself’ through normal bodily processes, and ridding itself of toxins by going to the toilet, and sweating. Your body certainly doesn’t need a fad diet to enable this process.
Severe calorie restriction leads to binge eating
The reason people initially lose weight on a detox or cleanse is because of the severe calorie restriction. However, any weight lost is likely to be fluid and carbohydrate stores, rather than fat loss. Once you go off the cleanse, you’ll put all that weight back on. In addition, the severe calorie restriction these detoxes command will mean you’ll be starving which will increase the likelihood of you binge eating or emotional eating. Of course, this leads to an increased calorie intake which will lead to weight gain.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies and electrolyte imbalance
Following detoxes or juice cleanses means you’ll be cutting out particular food groups including lean protein, dairy, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. This drastically increases the likelihood of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, which can lead to a compromised immune system and low energy. Following juice diets can also create electrolyte imbalances which can cause a host of other health problems.
Juice cleanses and detoxes have been shown to be dangerous and even life-threatening for some people with an underlying health condition. These programs can be particularly dangerous for people with kidney problems, heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, gastrointestinal disease, colon problems or hemorrhoids.
Negative side effects
Detoxes and juice cleanses can also have some negative side effects that are not always discussed. These can include dehydration, cramping, bloating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bad breath, headaches, fainting, lethargy, and weakness. As you can imagine, feeling like this will make it almost impossible for you to exercise efficiently and to be consistent with any kind of exercise program.
It’s a diet and diets don’t work
Whichever way you look at them, detoxes and juice cleanses — even though they may be marketed as ‘healthy’ or part of an overall ‘wellness program’ — are still just diets. But as we all know, diets don’t work for long-term weight loss. As well as being ineffective, they waste your time, money and make you feel miserable.
It’s a short-term fix
Detoxes and juice cleanses are short-term fixes that won’t give you lasting results. Many detox programs claim that they ‘kick-start’ your weight loss. However, any kick-start is more to do with diet rules and restrictions, rather than weight loss. But as stated many times, following food rules and depriving yourself of food only backfires and causes you to gain fat. It’s better to live a healthy lifestyle by strength training and practicing good dietary supplementation.
You’re failing to deal with the real problem
Detoxes and juice cleanses might be packaged up and sold to you as the answer to your weight problem, but they’re not. Just like any kind of diet isn’t the solution. The real issues that need addressing are your habits, thoughts, and behaviors.
Some of this content was published here.