Are Detox Cleanses or Juice fasts a good way to lose weight?

Detox Cleanses are all the rage these days. Many of my clients have read magazines, reporting celebrities using Detox Cleanses or Master Cleanse to shed weight fast, and they ask me: should I be doing a Detox Cleanse?

My answer is: No.

While detox diets are all the rage these days, are they necessary or safe?

Specifically, there is no evidence that these types of strict diets do any detoxification at all. We already have a special organ, the liver, that knows how to deal with toxins and remove them efficiently from the body. As I explain in my book, Eat More To Lose More, the liver is “the boss of the body” and deals with everything that we ingest. The primary role of the liver is detoxification! It is done on a continuous basis and the best way to assist the liver in this important job, is to avoid loading it down with toxic substances. In fact, up to 25% of the energy we expend every day goes towards detoxing! (I explain in more detail in my book). That explains why we feel so tired after eating an unhealthy meal or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

Unfortunately, juice fasts or cleanses don’t really help you lose weight beyond the first few pounds of water weight, which you can lose with any type of caloric reduction and increase in activity. One of the biggest problems with these “detox diets” is that they are extremely low in macro-nutrients and will most likely contribute to the loss of lean muscle tissue. This, as I explain in my book, is something you want to avoid at all cost! The more lean mass you have, the more you can eat without gaining weight as muscle burns calories even at rest, thereby increasing your metabolism.

Going on a liquids-only, severely restricted calorie diet will also lead to headaches, lower tolerance of cold, reduced immune function and inability to concentrate. The low energy levels which will make it hard for you to exercise and will further cause muscle loss. Again, not what we want!

As our bodies are programmed for survival, after a few days of a detox fast, you will be so hungry, that your recovery may induce overeating causing you to regain the fat you lost, and possibly more, as your metabolism has undoubtedly slowed down.

In summary, the best way to “detox” is by eating small, regular meals comprised of organic produce, clean sources of protein and healthy fats. Avoid any and all processed food and sugar. If it comes in a box, don’t eat it. You should also increase your intake of pure water to flush out toxins naturally. To learn more, please consult me directly at unnigreene@gmail.com or purchase my book.


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