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Weight Loss Cleanses: From Delightful Detox Diets to Weird Water Fasts

Weekend Juice Cleanse

It sounds like a great idea for weight loss: Cleanse and detoxify your body while you supercharge your slim-down. Right? Well, maybe. Here is a list of cleanses for detoxifying the body and for weight loss that have been tried, complete with the pros and cons of each.

The editors of YouBeauty tried several different popular cleanses and have reported their results. Get the inside scoop, including our tips for what to watch out for and some other options, here.

Bliss World: Happy Cleanse
Bliss - or boredom? The "Happy Cleanse" features a mixture of juices and pre-packaged meals.

Pros: No work required for dieters. It's all ready to go.
Cons: Sizes are small. Most of the weight lost is water weight.
Summary: "A great intro to cleanses and a great way to energize and boost your mood after a sluggish winter."


Can you lose weight and keep it off with Detox Die "Kaengraeng"? This detox diet supposedly is designed to detoxify your entire body while curbing cravings and enhancing your digestion. Sip smoothies made from soy protein powder and other ingredients that you can mix with water or other ingredients.

Pros: You'll shed weight.
Cons: Hunger! Despite what it says, it's not easy to survive on only shakes.

Summary: "By the afternoon of the first day, I had a headache and couldn’t function as a human being."

The Vitamin Shoppe AM/PM Power Cleanse
This cleanse involves fiber and herb supplements. You definitely cleanse your body as you spend considerable time in the bathroom.

Pros: You don't need to change your diet as the plan is based on cleansing rather than eliminating food.
Cons: if you're doing this for weight loss, it won't work, and it's an expensive way to become more regular.

Summary: "This would be great for people suffering from constipation or bloating. Overall, there are a lot of beneficial herbs and vitamins in the kit and pooping is healthy, so no harm done."

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David Kirsch Wellness 5-Day Ultimate Detox
David designed this detox diet to boost your nutritional intake while helping you supercharge your weight loss.

Pros: You'll lose weight if you can stick to it.
Cons: The calories are slashed so much that you may fall into the deprivation trap and be unable to continue.
Summary: "Subsisting on 800-ish calories a day was impossible for me. Within an hour of drinking my breakfast shake on the first day, I was starving. Immediately after my miniscule salad, I was ready for another meal. And it didn’t get easier as the days went on."

Cooler Cleanse
Hello, juicing! You'll drink six juices each day, with calories reduced to 1,200 daily (usually considered the minimum for a woman.)

Pros: You will lose weight.
Cons: Because you're drinking only juice, you may feel weak. In addition, once you return to your regular diet, it's easy to gain back the weight.

Summary: "My reaction time was dulled, and I was exhausted by small efforts during my “on my feet” job at a gym."

Be Well Cleanse by Dr. Frank Lipman
One of the longer cleanses on the market, the "Be Well Cleanse" requires you to eliminate many different food groups: Gluten, dairy, nightshades, sugar, red meat, most seafood, soy, peanuts, alcohol and caffeine.

Pros: If you suspect you might suffer from food intolerance or sensitivity, this detox diet can help you determine it. You'll gradually add back in the foods you eliminated to determine what might be the culprit. You'll also lose weight.
Cons: Because it's for such a long period, it is difficult to follow if you have any type of social life. Dining out can be problematic, as can special occasions.

Summary: "If you do this cleanse, I suggest you pick an empty fortnight on the social calendar."

Other Detox Diet Options
In addition to the cleansing diets described above, you may want to consider a plan recently featured on Dr. Mehmet Oz's show. Created by Joe Cross, it involves a three-day juice cleanse.

Pros: It retrains your taste buds to appreciate just how delicious fresh fruits and vegetables can be. Because it's for such a short period of time, you can schedule it during the days when you can make your own meals (drinks) at home.
Cons: You do need to stick with the plan without cheating. In addition, Joe recommends cleansing your body for two days prior to the plan with this approach:

  • Morning: Drink 16 ounces of hot water with lemon and ginger
  • Eliminate: All caffeine, sugar, red meat, dairy and processed foods. Focus on fruit, vegetables and lean protein.
  • Night: Drink 1 cup of hot herbal tea

To get the recipes for the three-day juice fast and the details on the plan, see Dr. Oz's site.

Final words of caution: Some advocate pure water fasts or drinking a mixture of water, maple juice, lemon juice and cayenne pepper in the so-called "master cleanse" approach. This "cleanse" can be extremely dangerous to your health. : Experts agree such plans do not work and can be dangerous. When we fast our intestines are depleted of healthy bacteria needed for immunity.

If you are looking for a quick diet fix or way to detox, here are some of the pros and cons of the most popular and weird types of detox diets and fasts, some of which can be dangerous and are not recommended.