Fruit fasting is a weight loss plan that consists primarily of raw fresh fruit. Advocates of the diet believe that eating only fruit will cleanse the body of any toxins from unhealthy or processed foods, as well as help a dieter lose weight quickly. It is generally only recommended for short periods of time, often three days to a week, because fruit may not be a sufficient source of all the nutrients a person needs.
The beginning phase of a typical fruit fast usually allows a participant to eat a serving of fresh fruit for each of the first two meals of the day. He or she may also be permitted to blend chopped fresh fruit with ice to make a blended drink to replace eating whole fruit. Some plans may call for the last meal of the day to consist of a serving of raw fresh vegetables, while more stringent plans only allow fruit. A participant is usually advised to drink water only and to avoid caffeine, alcohol, or any beverages containing sugar.
Since fruit fasting is generally intended to significantly decreases the amount of calories in a participant’s diet, he or she may experience some symptoms while following the plan. Common symptoms that occur during a fast include fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, nasal discharge, and sore throat. Although these symptoms are usually not considered dangerous, the majority of fruit fast plans do not recommend that participants engage in physical activity because they may not be ingesting enough nutrients to safely exercise.
Once the initial phase of the fruit fasting is completed, many plans also contain instructions for gradually introducing vegetables, protein, and grains back into the diet. After only eating raw fruit for an extended period of time, participants’ digestive systems may not be as used to digesting other types of food. Rapidly reintroducing the digestive system to completely new food after a fruit fast may cause stomachache, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, or constipation. To transition participants back into a more balanced diet, fruit fast plans may recommend adding broth-based soups or small salads into the eating plan for a period of time before allowing participants to resume a more balanced diet plan.
Critics of fruit fasting believe the plan is dangerous because it does not allow participants a sufficient amount of nutrients. They also tend to believe the plan is not as effective at weight loss as it claims to be. Since participants usually lose weight quickly on the plan, critics often argue that they are only losing water from their bodies and not burning actual fat.