I look at how people find this blog, and virtually everyone gets here through Google searches. A lot of those people are searching for information about Bolthouse Juices, and many of those folks are curious about juice cleanses. After listening to another Skeptoid podcast on the topic of cleansing, I decided to dedicate a short blog post to the myths surrounding cleanses.
Do a Google search for “cleanse” or “juice cleanse” and you’ll get flooded with results. Many of these cleanses require you to buy costly juices that you consume for a week or two at a time without eating any food during the cleanse. At the end of the juice fast, you may expect to lose a bunch of weight or rid your body of toxins and end up looking and feeling better. The truth is that while you may lose weight and might look better, you’re not going to be any healthier than you were before, and you could end up feeling worse.
As far as the so-called toxins go, if your body was really full of toxic chemicals, you’d be in serious trouble. If these toxins are coming from the food you’ve already eaten, your body has already processed them, so there’s nothing you can do after the fact. This seems to be the biggest selling point for many of these cleanses, and it’s more of a scare tactic than anything. Our body already rids itself of toxins via going to the bathroom!
Depriving our bodies of food will also make you feel worse. Food is energy, and the less you eat, the less energy you have. People who fast often grow more tired and lethargic. In addition, when your body doesn’t have the calories it needs for energy, it turns to not only your fat but your muscles as well. So you do end up losing weight, but you’ll end up losing muscle too.
At the end of the day, cleanses are popular because people are looking for a scheme to lose weight quickly without doing any of the work. Sure, it’s hard to deprive yourself of food for a short while, but it’s easier than putting in time at the gym and eating healthier for the rest of your life. Ultimately though, if you return to your regular eating habits when the cleanse is over, you’re just going to end up gaining the weight back again. To truly lose weight, look better, and feel better too, nothing works better than a proper balanced diet and regular exercise.