Ask An Expert: Do Liquid Cleanses Really Work?

Cayenne pepper, lemon, maple syrup and water. This recipe for the Master Cleanse was made famous by Beyonce who used it to lose weight for her role in Dreamgirls. While this liquid cleanse seemed to work for her, let's not forget that she has a team behind her every step of the way. That's why for this week's “Ask an Expert” we're exploring the world of liquid cleanses.

It turns out that both of the nutritionists we talked to said while many people see results after a cleanse, they don't typically last. San Francisco nutritionist Rania Batayneh says, “The body naturally detoxifies itself through the lungs, skin, liver and kidneys, so to do a juice cleanse or any other liquid cleanse is really unnecessary if you're putting the proper nutrients in your body. The reality is that most people end up gaining the weight back.”

She says that the average person who tries liquid cleanses usually starts on Mondays and is off the bandwagon by Thursday because most of these diets are unrealistic and are hard to stick with. What's more, after depriving yourself, your food cravings may intensify and you're more likely to binge and gain even more weight.

Your body needs proteins, carbohydrates and fats on a daily basis to function properly, so it's unhealthy to deprive yourself of one. If you deprive yourself of protein in particular, you'll start to lose muscle mass, which can cause your metabolism to slow down. So in the long term, liquid cleanses can wreak havoc on your body.

Fort Lauderdale, FL, nutritionist Jamie Mass agrees, saying that she would very rarely recommend that someone do a cleanse. On the other hand, she adds that a liquid cleanse can also be a good way to kick start a diet. “For some people, a liquid cleanse can help jumpstart a weight loss program as far as mental capacity.” In other words, some people find it helpful to start off with a clean slate.

“There's a time and a place for liquid cleansing,” says Mass. “There's potential for a liquid cleanse to be harmful if you're not approaching it appropriately.” If you're set on doing a cleanse, it's important to choose one that can be personalized. Additionally, you should also only do a liquid cleanse under the supervision of a doctor or a dietician.

Related Links:
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