Fad diets are nothing new to our society. Over the years companies have promised that smoking cigarettes, praying, taking diet pills, or eating a high protein diet will give you easy and magical weight loss results.
The Master Cleanse was one of the first popular versions that people did in hopes of slimming down. Websites that are proponents of the cleanse claim that completing it will make you look younger, lose weight, boost your energy and more.
The Master Cleanse involves consuming only a mixture of lemon juice, maple syrup, water, and cayenne pepper for about three days. Today the Master Cleanse is still a popular choice, but many companies have popped up swearing by their own juice cleanse.
Juice Cleanses are supposed to cleanse your body of toxins. Toxins are very loosely defined as something that can hurt your body. Regardless of what the company claims their juice will do for you, you will lose weight. You will be consuming considerably less calories. Many health officials say that short cleanses are not harmful to your body, but you shouldn’t expect permanent weight loss because most of the weight you lose is from water.
In 2011 Starbucks acquired Evolution Fresh, a juicing company. They opened their first juice bar in 2012 in Bellevue, Washington. Many acknowledged this as a sign that juice cleanses were an important trend.
So is juicing really that great for your body? The most common reason that people advocate for juice cleanses is that they claim it will cleanse your body of dangerous toxins. Many doctors argue that you liver and kidneys are do a great job of ridding your body of toxins, and there is no proof that they need any outside help.
Completing a juice cleanse is often very difficult. The typical cleanse plan lasts from three to ten days and does not allow for any solid foods. As a result, many people have a hard time finishing their cleanse. One user of the Blueprint Cleanse wrote a raving review of her time on their juice cleanse, she also wrote that she often felt weak, and suffered from headaches.
Many warn that juice cleanses are a pathway to disordered eating. Marie Claire published the story of young and healthy 22-year-old who wanted to try a juice cleanse, but she enjoyed it so much she stayed on it longer than she planned. Soon after finishing the juice cleanse her eating habits became so unhealthy she eventually checked into an eating disorder clinic.
The magazine also interviewed one expert who called juice cleanses a great pathway to an eating disorder.
Megan Holt, the coordinator of nutrition and wellness at Potentia Therapy in San Diego, warned that fasting is not a good idea for people with a history of disordered eating behaviors. She believes it can make it difficult to know when you’re body is hungry or full, and can reactivate restricting food.
Are there benefits to a juice cleanse? Maybe. There are few official statistics to back it up. With so many people doing it, it’s easy to jump on the bandwagon. Whatever change you make to your eating habits make sure you are keeping the welfare of your body in mind.
Written by: Emily Gadd