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Cleanse and detox diets are all the rage, with every celebrity and magazine cover model seeming to be subjecting themselves to days or even weeks of extreme diets to rid the body of toxins. But is all this hassle really worth it?

The cleanse industry is worth $5 billion. While detox products themselves may be fairly pricey, at around $8 per bottle, that’s still a lot of bottles being sold, and a lot of folks succumbing to the idea that they need a cleanse to kick start their weight loss, shed some fat or get their new healthy lifestyle off to a flying start.

You can blame (or congratulate) celebrities and so called industry health experts for this rapid rise in the popularity of cleanse and detox diets and products.

Detox Diets: The Help

Cleanses are supposed to energize you, get rid of all the toxins from your body and help you lose weight. Followers usually report feeling fantastic and invigorated – how can that be bad?

There’s certainly a lot to be said for this. While the effect may be a placebo, there’s nothing wrong with the placebo effect – if following one of these cleanses makes you feel great, then more power to you.

With regard to weight loss, there’s no doubting that you almost certainly will lose weight following this type of diet, even if it’s just for a few days.

While some cleanses involve drinking ready made products, just as many run of the mill diets advocate simply ditching whole foods for the week – especially high sugar, high fat, processed foods. Instead, you eat nothing but raw fruits and vegetables, or opt for the more popular method of juicing.

If a food is fresh and can be juiced, you can eat, or rather – drink, it. This means that smoothies and shakes combining a multitude of fruits and vegetables, from spinach to sugar snap peas, berries to beetroot and asparagus to apples are on your weekly menu.

Just by switching from a high-calorie, highly processed, nutrient deficient diet to this shifts your body into fat burning mode. It’s almost impossible to over consume calories when eating like this, so even if you’re not training alongside your detox, you’ll be in a calorie deficit, and will lose weight.

There’s also the motivation factor to consider. Many people struggle for motivation when they don’t see the scale moving. It can feel like you’re putting everything you have into sticking religiously to your healthy eating plan, yet results are hard to come by. Not so with a cleanse – the fast initial weight loss can act as a catalyst for bigger and better things. If you've lost five to ten pounds in just a week, that can give you some serious motivation to carry on making progress, even when you switch to a more sustainable eating plan.

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