The Truth About...Juice Cleanses

I discovered juice cleanses about four years ago when I opened up the office refrigerator and found it stocked with lemons and pitchers full of watery concoctions. Later, I learned that half of the girls I worked with were on the Master Cleanse diet. Since all-liquid detox diets have become increasingly more popular, we decided to enlist Stacy Berman, a New York City-based certified nutritionist and founder of Stacy's Boot Camp, to share her opinion on whether or not they work as claimed.

For those not familiar, juice cleanses are strict all-liquid diet plans, which typically contain raw vegetables, fruit and water, that are believed to remove toxins from the body. There haven't been a lot of studies on them, so how they work depends on whom you ask. Many people praise them, but recently, Berman decided to try a very popular prepackaged juice cleanse and had a negative experience. "After about two days of the juice cleanse I felt so bad. I felt nauseous immediately after drinking the juice, had low energy, couldn't go to the bathroom and felt bloated. I also didn't lose any weight," she told us.

Cleanses are believed to remove impurities, and are built around the idea that your system isn't operating correctly. But juicing can actually rid your body of fiber, which you need in order to properly digest. "Fiber acts as a scrub for your insides and it also slows down the absorption of sugar," Berman explained. "By taking the fiber out, the natural sugar found in the fruit and vegetable juice rushes into the system, spiking the blood glucose level." Having this happen can often cause people to feel hungry and, conversely, they eat more.

So should you test out a juice cleanse for yourself? If it's something you're interested in, make sure to do your research. We also recommend consulting with a doctor or nutritionist first.

+ Ever tried a juice cleanse? Share your experience with us!

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