Here's Why Doing A Juice Cleanse Is A Bad Idea

    There's no such thing as cleansing your body with juice.

    When you feel bloated, tired, and filled to the brim with delicious holiday food and drink you pretty much want to un-feel that way.

    Especially because it's kind of impossible to ignore all the messages that are around us in the new year that it's time to lose weight and start your diet. So, when you see the way juice cleanses are marketed — that they can rid you of those "toxins" you ingested and maybe help you drop some weight — they can seem like a great idea.

    To learn more about the physical and emotional effects of cleanses, we talked to Dr. Holly Lofton, director of the Medical Weight Management Program at NYU Langone Medical Center; registered dietitian Brian St. Pierre, director of performance nutrition at Precision Nutrition; and Christy Harrison, a registered dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor. Keep in mind that there's no real universal definition of a cleanse — some are a couple days of fruit or vegetable juice, others are longer and include hot water with lemon and cayenne pepper, and still others are soups only. In this post we're talking about fruit and/or vegetable juice cleanses, generally.

    1. Fun fact: Your body has built-in mechanisms that keep everything clean 'n' tidy and moving nicely.

    2. In fact, you can think of your digestive system, liver, and kidneys as a waste treatment plant. Their job is literally to do the thing a cleanse or detox claims to do: treat and dispose of garbage.

    3. Also: Nope, your system doesn't need a "break," even after a holiday season of more and richer foods than usual.

    4. And you can get back to your baseline of feeling better simply by returning to your everyday, nonholiday way of eating.

    5. Cleanses are not amazing for your mental health or your relationship with food.

    If none of that convinces you, consider the fact that cleanses also fail when it comes to the results they promise.

    6. Unlike a lot of stuff we do to/with our bodies in the name of health, juice cleanses have never really been studied.

    7. Sure, you'll lose weight cleansing, but the weight is mostly water and stool, along with some muscle.

    8. If weight loss that sticks is what you're after, juice cleanses are actually a uniquely poor way to go about it.

    9. If you drink only fruit juice, you're taking in a lot of sugar.

    10. BTW, cleanses can cause all kinds of diarrhea and, again, not because they're helping your body void ~toxins~.

    11. If you now have second thoughts about cleansing, and would further love to be liberated from restricting what you eat, consider making 2018 the year you give up dieting entirely.

    12. And if that sounds impossible, consider getting some help.

    In conclusion: Skip the juice cleanse.