Cleanses for Weight Loss: Do They Work?

drinking lemon water for weight loss

Detoxes and cleanses for weight loss have become very popular and many people swear by them for helping to promote a number of different health benefits. However, if you’ve been reading about cleanses, then you may also have discovered that there is a school of thinking that believes that they do more harm than good.

What is the truth of the matter? Does detoxing really help your body to flush out unhealthy toxins or does it simply stress your body’s systems? And, should you use cleanses for weight loss, even if you’re doing so temporarily, or is it just too risky?

Continue reading to learn more about cleanses for weight loss, and to discover whether or not they really work.

The Supposed Benefits of Cleanses for Weight Loss

Those who support cleansing to help with weight loss say that eliminating the built up toxins in your systems – particularly in the liver and the colon – can help to provide you with more energy and stamina because they will be able to function at a higher level without being held back by those toxins.

Many claims also state that cleansing can help a dieter to reduce excess water weight and bloating, making him or her feel much better and lighter overall, even though no fat loss is actually accomplished.

The idea is to stick to a very rigid diet of natural foods, primarily water and freshly made juices, in order to flush the intestines of any built up or trapped undigested foods and toxins that can remain tucked in the folds of the intestinal tract. According to the Mayo Clinic, a period of detoxification typically lasts about a week.

What Do Cleanses for Weight Loss Typically Require?

The length of the week can be made up of a number of different things – depending on the weight loss cleanse being practiced. Many start with a period of fasting, at which time only water, certain fresh juices, and raw vegetables and fruits can be concerned. Those that are less regimented may allow certain lean meats to be consumed during that time, as well. Many colon cleansing programs recommend various types of herbal supplement or special drinks during the detoxing period. In fact, some of the more extreme programs may even recommend enemas.

Do Weight Loss Cleanses Work?

As of yet, there isn’t any scientific research to support any claims that state that cleanses will help with weight loss. Despite this fact, there remains a very large – and growing – number of people who take part in the practice and feel that it is highly effective.

It is important to note that colon cleansing is neither safe nor appropriate for everyone. While some people feel better following this type of detoxification, this is a temporary benefit – as is the weight loss, as it is only lost tissue fluid and not fat loss.

Any claims that permanent fat loss occurs have yet to be proven by any program. And, the Mayo Clinic has identified the following as common side effects experienced during cleanses for weight loss:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea

Experts Recommend Avoiding Detox Products 

Detoxes and cleanses for weight loss might seem like a fine idea at first, and you might think that using them for a short span of time won’t do any harm to your body. However, there are a few reasons why you should never try detox products, according to Forbes.

First of all, your body is already working hard at detoxifying itself, so you don’t really need to put in any additional effort to get the job done. In fact, your kidneys and liver are designed for this purpose. Do you need to use cleanses and detox products? No, because they will usually make these organs work harder than they need to, while placing added strain on them as well, and potentially doing more harm than good. Rather than using a product that claims to cleanse your body, just support your organs of detoxification by incorporating a lot of fruits and veggies into your diet, and by drinking a lot of water throughout the day every day.

Another thing to consider is that the market of cleanses for weight loss may not be as regulated as you think, so you might end up purchasing a product that can do quite a bit of harm. A couple of the risks that are commonly associated with these detox products are dehydration and diarrhea, but serious side effects may occur, too, so it is definitely worth keeping that in mind if you’re thinking about giving these products a try.

What about those detox products that basically work as laxatives? It’s best to avoid those as well. Again, your body can remove waste efficiently if you just support it with a diet that is packed with natural, fiber-rich, and nutrient dense foods, as well as pure water to maintain proper levels of hydration. On top of that, staying active might help you remain regular so your body won’t hold onto waste longer than it should. Plus, if you want to keep your digestion on track if you often suffer from constipation, you can talk to your doctor about taking natural supplements, such as magnesium, that can keep you going regularly.

The Bottom Line on Cleanses for Weight Loss

Talk to your doctor before beginning any weight loss cleanse program that you may be considering. Until then, if you want to lose weight, focus on eating a well-balanced diet of nutrient dense foods, and combine that with regular exercise.

Cleanses for Weight Loss: Do They Work?
Scroll to top