Do juice diets help you lose weight? The reasons to AVOID ‘detox’ cleanses

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Juice cleanse diets involve drinking only the juice of fruits and vegetables with the aim of losing weight or ‘detoxifying’ the body. The word ‘detox’ is considered problematic in the body positivity and wellness industry, with these experts claiming that your body doesn’t need to be detoxified. Overall, medical professionals are sceptical about the possible benefits. Express.co.uk chatted to registered nutritionist Clarissa Lenherr and nutritional therapist VJ Hamilton to find out everything you need to know before you splash out on an expensive juice cleanse to shed some fat.

Do juice cleanse diets help you lose weight?

Restricting what you eat in terms of food groups and calories by doing a juice cleanse will obviously help you lose weight initially, but it won’t last.

Clarissa explained: “Juicing can help you lose weight in the short run, thanks to the fact that juice cleanses significantly restrict calorie intake.

“However, some of the initial weight loss is down to water loss.

“Juice cleanses contain little carbohydrates, and when we reduce or remove carbohydrates in the diet, we also lose water weight, which is why the number on the scales falls very quickly.”

Juice cleansing is not the best way to lose weight and keep it off because any effects you see will fade when you start to eat normally again.

Clarissa said: “Juice cleansing is not a sustainable approach to weight loss.

“As soon as the individual consumes carbohydrates again, this water weight will come back.”

A better way to approach weight loss is to “build a balanced approach to eating,” according to Clarissa.

The nutritionist said: “As a juice cleanse includes no fibre, this makes it challenging to lose any weight long-term.

“Fibre has been shown to aid with weight loss in a number of studies, due to its satiating effects.

“For sustainable weight loss, aim for your plate to consist of a quarter protein, quarter whole grains, half fruit and veg and 2 tbsp of good quality fats.

“In addition, make sure you optimise sleep, move regularly and avoid reliance on heavily processed foods and sugars.”

Nutritional therapist VJ said a better way to lose weight than juice cleansing is to remove processed foods, sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet.

She added: “Eat a diet rich in whole foods, healthy fats and high-quality protein.

“Also, rather than counting calories, eat in a shortened eating window which gives your digestive system a rest for a more extended period and is linked to improved metabolism and weight loss.”

While juice cleansing shouldn’t be used to lose weight, it can help to support the health of our digestive system – one of our main sites of detoxification.

Clarissa said: “Fruits and vegetables contain plenty of nutrients and antioxidants which can help to reduce free radicals in the body.”

However, the nutritionist stressed that you don’t need a juice cleanse to support detoxification.

She explained: “Our kidneys, liver, and gastrointestinal system do their job without having to follow a restrictive diet.

“Eating fruits and vegetables in their whole state and drinking plenty of water will suffice.”

While juice cleanses provide the body with an abundance of phytonutrients to support immune system function and gut health, VJ says they might do more harm than good.

The nutritional therapist said: “Oxalates found in juices are nephrotoxic, meaning in large amounts, they can damage your kidneys.

“Your kidneys act as a natural filtration system for the body, removing waste, toxins, and excess water from the blood.”

If you still really want to try a juice cleanse, you must proceed with caution.

VJ said: ”If you are considering a juice cleanse, it is worth calculating the oxalate content in advance to make sure it is within daily limits.”

You should be wary of any juice cleanse that labels the product as “detoxifying,” as the body’s detoxification process is complex and a juice can’t possibly help with that.

VJ said: “Often. toxins take years to seep into your cells and harbour there for years.

“Releasing toxins from your cells and out of your body takes more than a juice cleanse.

“So although you may feel cleaner after a week of juices, it is probably more of a surface cleanse than a deep cleanse. A deeper cleanse is what you require for lasting health results.”

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