Weight loss cleanses are extreme dietary approaches that promise rapid weight loss through very restrictive eating patterns.
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Additionally, even juices without added sugar tend to be high on the glycemic index, which means your blood glucose levels will spike and then fall dramatically after consuming them, particularly without other food in your stomach to blunt this effect. That can lead to hunger and fatigue. Also, says Gans, “If you’re on them too long, you’ll be missing out on important nutrients, which can put you at risk for malnutrition.
The terms “detox” and “cleanse” are mostly used interchangeably, and most plans fall into one of three major categories: those that replace solid food with liquid sustenance (juices, smoothies, or soups, sometimes with herbal supplements thrown in); those that claim to support your body’s natural detoxification systems by supplying nutrients that boost liver and kidney function; and those that focus on cleansing your digestive system from the opposite end, the colon.
Generally, cleanses focus on eliminating unhealthy or highly allergenic foods while replacing them with nutrient-dense, whole foods to support overall health.
One of the worst decisions I ever made was to try a 5-day juice cleanse my senior year of college. Maybe it’s one of those things you just have to do once to know it’s a terrible idea.
I started my day with a glass of warm water and lemon, followed by six bottled juices throughout the day that would supposedly “cleanse” me of toxins. The juices were super high in sugar (some have added sugars like maple syrup) and were very low in fiber. A proper healthy diet should provide the exact opposite of these.