The latest craze in the dieting world and in the world of alternative medicine in general, seems to be fruit detox diets . These diets are a popular option because of the appeal of the tasty treat of fresh fruit as opposed to other plans that restrict you to liquids like juice fasts or odd combinations like cayenne pepper infused water.
The "detox" promised in these diets is a draw for some people who are concerned about the build up of harmful "toxins" in the body, like pesticides, heavy metals, and artificial additives in over-processed food.
So can a fruit detox diet really help? The biggest draw for people who are attracted to detox diets using fruit is the promise of dramatic and quick weight loss . Most of these diets are advertised to help you lose weight quickly, sometimes up to 20 pounds in a matter of days! But is this true? And even if it is, is it actually safe?
If it were really possible to safely lose 20 pounds of fat simply by controlling our eating habits over a course of days or a few short weeks, I'm sure most of us would happily sign up for that! But it sounds too good to be true -- and it is.
Most, if not all, of the weight that you will lose on a detox is water weight rather than fat. Your body cannot break down fat faster than about 3lbs per week without flooding your system with toxins and slowing your metabolism.
When you go on a juice fast or drastic detox diet, your body believes you are starving to death. At that point your body stops breaking down fat and will begin breaking down muscle. The bottom line is that it's almost impossible to lose more than 3lbs of fat per week, with the recommended amount of loss being 1-2lbs. The slower that your body loses weight, the less likely it is that your body will feel like it's starving and your metabolism won't slow down.
Not only will "detox diets" fail to allow you the weight loss you desire, they may also not "detox" your body at all. There is no scientific basis to the idea of any detox diet, let alone a juice fast or more specific fruit detox.
In fact, as hinted at above, extreme versions of these diets can actually add toxins to your body rather than get rid of them. Your body has plenty of filters and waste removal systems for getting rid of toxins. But stressing your body out through starvation can lead these filters to break down and stop working. Don't forget that extreme fasting can be fatal!
Fruit detox diets vary. Some allow unlimited fruits of all kinds while others limit the quantity and type of fruits that you are allowed. Despite claims to the contrary, there are no fruits with the special ability to speed up or super charge your metabolism -- this is the entire basis of the famousGrapefruit Diet . Fruits are good for you, but ideally they'd be just part of a balanced diet.
An almost universal theme of fruit detox diets (and other detox diets as well) is increasing the amount of water you drink in the day to an extreme level. Oftentimes there are special additives to the water, like expensive maple syrup, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and any number of spices and herbs. Benefits to these additives are questionable, but the water is definitely crucial to your health and weight loss efforts.
The best solution for weight loss isn't a "get-slim-quick" 10-day scheme. Reducing the amount of food you eat, replacing foods with fruits and vegetables, and increasing water intake are all solid strategies. However the very best solution is to aim to get a balanced diet because only with a balanced diet will your body perform at its peak for maximum fat burning.