Why Cleanses Don’t Work

Why Cleanses Don't WorkI 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.

What is a Juice Cleanse?

What is a Juice Cleanse?A juice cleanse (or a juice fast, as some people call them) is when you stop eating like you normally would. No breads, no pasta, no fast food, no chips, no candy. Nothing. You literally don’t eat any food, but instead juice everything and drink it. Stock up on your fruits and veggies, because you’ll be drinking a lot of them.

The idea behind a juice cleanse is to rid the body of anything unhealthy, and replace it with only healthy fruits and vegetables. If I had to guess, I’d have to say that most people subject themselves to a juice cleanse to lose weight and start on the right track towards leading a healthier life, slowly introducing food after a certain amount of time. Others combine a juice fast with another goal they want to achieve, such as quitting smoking, cutting out caffeine, or eliminating junk food from their diets.

A juicer is used rather than a blender as it separates the juice from the pulp and skin of whatever fruits and vegetables that you’re preparing to drink. You’re probably wondering “why someone would want to cut out all the fiber-dense pulp and skin?” since it seems like it would be beneficial. The idea behind a juice cleanse or juice fast is that you’re giving your digestive system a break. This is why it’s important to juice rather than blend shakes or smoothies.

A juice cleanse or fast lasts as long as you want it to, or as long as you can hold out. Many people participate in brief cleanses lasting just a few days while some fast for two or three months. Others follow in the footsteps of the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead in which a man went on a 60-day juice cleanse. The popular and inspirational film and subsequent book has inspired many people to try a juice cleanse to lose weight, become healthier, and feel better than they ever have before.