Continued from Juice Fasting and High Fiber Diet Plan.
The Retro Diets: The 3 Day Juice Fast, Lemon Juice Fast, The Master Cleanser, etc.
The passe: These so-called “detox diets” had a Bohemian following in the ’70s, but during the aerobicized ’80s, “juice fasts fell out of favor,” says Susan Bowerman, the assistant director at UCLA Center for Human Nutrition.
“People didn’t want to feel weak and light-headed anymore. They wanted to sweat it out instead.”
The present: Beyonce attributed her slimmed-down physique in the film Dreamgirls to a liquid diet, although she admitted the weight came back once she returned to her usual eating habits. Noncelebrities have also found that liquid regimens are a quick way to drop pounds.
Anne, who works for a national chain of upscale gyms, followed a juice-based program whipped up by Jill Pettijohn, Donna Karan’s former personal chef and nutritional advisor. In a five-day plan, Pettijohn delivers six different beverages a day, to be consumed at particular intervals in a certain order.
Anne says, “On the first day, I thought I was going to throw up from a few sips of green juice. It took me almost 90 minutes to drink the first one! It tasted like liquid kale mixed with weird spices. But,” she continues, “I lost a couple pounds in four days.”
(Although Pettijohn’s program is intended, according to her website, “to rest the digestive tract, detoxify and cleanse the body, and boost your immune system,” it has also garnered attention from those looking to debloat quickly.)
Expert take: “If someone is eating poorly all of the time, going on a juice fast or cleanse for a day or so could motivate them and set them on the right track,” Bowerman says. “But it won’t have an advantage over simply eating healthfully all of the time. Plus, any weight that you lose is just temporary.”
She adds that many of the liquid fasting products people pick up at the local health-food store contain herbs that may act as laxatives and diuretics, which can cause electrolyte imbalances, diarrhea, and faintness. Detoxifying diets have long been controversial.
In Food Technology magazine in 2005, physician Peter Pressman and nutritional biochemist Roger Clemens wrote that “a scientific basis for these kinds of stringent diets is lacking” and noted that the lungs, kidney, liver, gastrointestinal tract, and immune system are “effective in removing or neutralizing toxic substances.”
Pressman has also warned that combining these regimens with strenuous exercise could pose neurological or cardiac risks.