When my clients tell me they are starting a juice cleanse, I can see they are coming from a good place. They want to detox and reverse the damage they've done or they want to lose weight, and lose weight fast. They’ve probably read 100 articles online about how a juice cleanse is the way to kick off a diet or new health regime.
The thing is, I can’t think of a better way to blow $200 (if you get the juice delivered) and feel unsatisfied and light headed for three days than doing a juice cleanse. I believe juice cleanses offer a false detox promise. When you drink these juices, you are consuming the high glycemic water from the fruit and vegetables and you aren’t getting the fiber from the whole food. You're basically drinking sugar water. Sugar isn’t detoxifying. Water is detoxifying. Water is also free! If you’re serious about detoxifying your body, enroll at your local Bikram Yoga studio.* Nothing cleanses the body better than doing 26 yoga postures in a 105 degree room for 90 minutes.
The ultra temporary weight loss you experience during a juice cleanse is mostly water weight, not body fat. Juice cleanses do not reduce body fat. Resistance training, cardiovascular exercise, and proper nutrition reduce body fat.
My final problem with juice cleanses is simple: Who wants to drink nothing but juice for three days? My clients bust their asses with me in the gym. After a hardcore circuit training session, they need the nutritional benefits of whole foods to replenish their energy, as well as adequate amounts of protein to help their muscles recover from our workouts. A meal like quinoa, spinach, and tofu will definitely do the trick. Oatmeal mixed with hemp protein and a banana would be an awesome post-exercise recovery meal. Tempeh and broccoli over brown rice is another example of an amazingly nutritious meal for your body. Not a $50 bottle of pear juice.
If you’re serious about losing weight, it has to be done the hard yet rewarding way: by exercising and keeping your diet clean. That is how successful and long-term weight loss goals are achieved.
*Please consult your physician before attempting Bikram Yoga.
Juice image via Shutterstock