Why juice cleanses and detoxes are a waste of time and money

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Have you ever done a juice cleanse or a detox? Maybe you’re considering trying one to help you lose some weight, or kick-start your next diet.

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 that you bargain for.

Here’s why.

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 strict rules around what you can eat. But when we say ‘eat’ we use that term loosely. 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 faeces, 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.

But 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. To discover the best way of eating for weight loss, read our blog The 14 best foods to lose weight.

Potentially dangerous

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, diabetes, gastrointestinal disease, colon problems or haemorrhoids.

Nasty side effects

Detoxes and juice cleanses can also have some nasty 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 effectively, and to be consistent with any kind of exercise program.

It’s a diet — that won’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. To fully understand the impact that dieting has on your life, read our blog How diets steal your health and happiness.

It’s a short-term fix

Detoxes and juice cleanses are short-term fixes that won’t give you lasting results. We’ve already established that any weight you lose is likely to be fluid and carbohydrate stores, which you’ll regain as soon as you come off the cleanse. And you will come off it because it’s not a way of eating that you can sustain for the long-term.

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 we’ve said many times, following food rules and depriving yourself of food, only backfires and causes you to gain weight. To understand this fully, read our blog Why food restriction, food rules and diets are making you overweight.

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 you’ve been looking for. The real issues that need addressing are your habits — your thoughts, beliefs and behaviours. Because it’s these things that have contributed to your weight.

Change your habits to change your body

You see, it’s not so much what you eat, or how you exercise, but why you eat what you do, and why you exercise the way you do. This is grounded in your habits. There are many habits that contribute to weight gain, including low self-worth, comparing yourself to others, people-pleasing, lack of confidence, and shame and embarrassment — just to name a few.

Unless you face these habits head on, and deal with them, you’ll never lose weight and keep it off, no matter how restrictive your diet is. That’s because weight loss is never about food and exercise. It’s about your habits.

The good news is that if you work on changing your habits, your weight will change also. And you’ll be surprised at how little effort you actually need to put in to lose weight, once you’ve developed habits that will support long-term weight loss.

We don’t believe in quick fixes, fad diets, cleanses, detoxes or any other product that the diet industry will try to sell you because we know that diets won’t help you lose weight and keep it off for good.

That’s why we created the Diet Antidote Transformation System (DATS™️) — the Not-diet diet for people who are sick of diets and want more than a good body.

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