What is a Fruit Cleanse?

Kelly Ferguson

A fruit cleanse is a dieting technique used by many people to rid the body of toxins and often jump start a weight loss program. During this diet, people eat and drink nothing but fruit, pure fruit juice, and water for an extended period of time, usually at least a few days and up to two weeks. The idea behind fruit cleansing diets is to use the nutrients and fiber in fruits to flush toxins from the body and perform a sort of digestive “reboot.”

During a fruit cleanse, dieters may only consume pure fruit juice.
During a fruit cleanse, dieters may only consume pure fruit juice.

Sometimes, people begin a fruit cleanse by taking a mild laxative the day before the cleanse begins. In the following days during this diet, one strives to eat nothing but whole, raw, fresh fruits and water. Fruit cleanse diets usually include a large amount of citrus fruits. If fruit juice is also used, it should be pure, organic juice, not from concentrate and without any additional ingredients. These fruit meals are eaten on a schedule, for instance every two hours.

People on a fruit cleanse may choose to drink fruit smoothies.
People on a fruit cleanse may choose to drink fruit smoothies.

Sometimes, a cleanse is performed using a specific brand of products, usually a fruit juice beverage or protein shake with proprietary ingredients intended to boost the effects of the cleanse and maximize the amount of weight lost. Others require consumption of a specific type of fruit, such as grapefruit. Many advertisements for fruit cleanse products promise dramatic weight loss, sometimes of up to ten pounds, in just a few days. According to most nutritionists, some people may lose pounds and see a noticeable reduction in water retention, but most of the weight lost will not be from fat. Additionally, nutritionists state that weight loss likely occurs because fruit diets tend to be very low in calories, rather than because a substantial amount of toxins have been removed from the body.

Proponents of fruit cleanse diets argue that, even though only a percentage of the initial weight lost will be from fat, it is still motivating for many dieters to see a significant difference on the scale. This makes cleansing diets a popular option for people wishing to kick off a more long-term weight loss effort. These fruit flush diets, nutritionists warn, make very seductive promises and deliver noticeable drops in weight at first but are very low calorie and lacking in the nutrients not found in fruits, and are therefore not healthily sustainable for a long period of time. It is important for dieters to transition after the cleanse into a healthy diet. Most doctors and nutritionists also agree that while non-diabetic individuals can safely make it through a temporary fruit diet, it is a better idea to add some form of protein into the meals.

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