WHAT IT IS

A juice cleanse is one where you consume nothing but fresh fruit and vegetable juices for three to seven days. Celebs like Beyonce and Gwyneth Paltrow have done it, and fans claim it helps you lose weight quickly, plus you’ll feel lighter and “detoxed”.

BE WARNED

Experts say there’s no proof that a juice cleanse has long-term benefits. Most of the weight loss after it is just water weight, and will return once you go back to your regular eating habits. Plus, “any diet that eliminates major food groups goes hand in hand with a nutrient deficiency,” says Vanessa McNamara, a Singapore-based dietitian (www.thetravellingdietitian.com), and juice detoxes typically cut out proteins, essential fats and complex carbohydrates. You might end up with headaches, dull skin and hair loss, in addition to feeling tired and irritable.

BUT DON’T FREAK OUT YET…

A three-day juice binge isn’t likely to cause irreversible damage. But don’t do it regularly or for extended periods (beyond three days). The high sugar levels in juices can cause your blood sugar to go haywire, which increases your risk of diabetes. And, as with any low-calorie diet, your metabolic rate plunges because your body thinks it’s starving.

DO YOU NEED A DIET DETOX?

No, says Vanessa. You don’t need any special diet to “cleanse” your body because your liver already does
most of your body’s natural detoxing. The best thing you can do: avoid excessively processed foods, drink plenty of water and eat from all the major food groups.

CELEB JUICERS

Their jobs require them to stay in shape, but experts don’t recommend their drastic diets.

GWYNETH PALTROW: She spent a week drinking coconut water, juices and fruit smoothies to lose weight – but supplemented her diet with oatmeal, nuts and brown rice.

BEYONCE:

She drank of lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple for two weeks to lose 9kg her role in Dreamgirls – but regained the weight once she stopped the diet.

MEGAN FOX: She claims that drinking apple cider vinegar “cleanses” her system and reduces water weight.

This story was originally published in Her World Fit & Fab Issue #3 in 2014.