Do Juice Cleanses and Detox Diets Really Work? / Nutrition / Healthy Eating


It’s no surprise that cleanses and detoxes are all the rage. Anything that can get weight off fast and with minimal effort is a sure-fire win for most. It’s alluring, the possibility/promise of weight loss without actually having to do anything but swipe your credit card and drink a beverage or pop a pill, right?

Trust me, I’ve heard most of it before. “But Elizabeth, the cleanse promises that I’m meeting over 100% of my daily nutrient needs. I swear, I don’t even feel hungry!” I’m sorry to say, most of this is excellent marketing aimed at getting you to lay down your hard earned dough in support of a pleasant thought of instantaneous weight loss.

It’s no wonder the diet business is a multibillion dollar industry that has the highest failure rate. Juice cleanses and detox diets often lack the complete nutrition profile that helps maintain your body’s internal hunger-fullness mechanism. Juicing often provides many of the essential vitamins and minerals you need, however, it lacks the fiber-filling content of eating a whole fruit or vegetable. As you know, fiber keeps you fuller longer, so when taking out this element, you’re left starving a short while after drinking the juice.

When looking at the facts, cleanses and detoxes are only beneficial when used as a kick start for getting back on track with total wellness. For instance, I have had clients dead set on using the three-day juice cleanse that was roaming around on Groupon. As their Registered Dietitian, I listened to my client’s needs but helped meet them halfway between their own agenda and my expert recommendation. Thus, I worked out a plan for them: after they complete the juice cleanse, they begin incorporating a whole food approach to achieve and maintain their weight loss goal.

I truly believe that if your ultimate goal is so be a healthier, happier person, try to focus on a realistic approach that can be life-sustaining. These simple quick fixes will only work for a short period of time, typically ending with an even greater gain in the end. Why set yourself up for failure when you have the opportunity to succeed by simply making a few changes in your current habits. Over time, these small changes will lead to big benefits in the long run!

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