“Cleanses aren’t effective for long-term weight loss,” Patton says. “The weight you lose from a cleanse is a result of losing water, carbohydrate stores and stool, which all return after you resume a regular diet.”
How does a detox work?
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Before you decide to cleanse and spend big bucks on a magic drink or pounds of freshly juiced fruits and vegetables, Patton says to be sure to weigh the benefits and drawbacks.
Sounds great, right? What you may not realize is that our bodies naturally detox! Our digestive tract, liver, kidneys and skin are responsible for breaking down toxins for elimination through urine, stool or sweat. Here we talked to registered dietitian Kate Patton, MEd, RD, CSSD, LD, to get the low down on detoxes.
Whatever you decide, remember that your body is meant to detox itself. “A balanced diet of whole foods such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains and legumes is healthy for your entire body and won’t interfere with your ability to exercise,” she says.
Solid foods are often replaced with drinks like water with lemon, maple syrup and cayenne pepper; green tea; or freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices. Cleanses can last from a day to a month.