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What Are Detoxes? What sort of diet do you have for Master Cleanse

Including the Master Cleanse, so-called detox diets are seen as a fast way to lose weight, particularly among celebrities including Oprah and Gwyneth

What Are Detoxes? What sort of diet do you have for Master Cleanse

Including the Master Cleanse, so-called detox diets are seen as a fast way to lose weight, particularly among celebrities including Oprah and Gwyneth Paltrow. Yet what is a food detox? Is it a safe method of washing the body, or a risky form of weight loss? FITNESS updates on common diets linked to detox, how they function, and who uses them.

How is a Detox diet, and who does need to use it?

Yo-yo dieter Oprah went back in the summer of 2008 to the 21-Day Cleanse, singer Beyonce Knowles confessed to losing 20 pounds during Master Cleanse for her film part in Dreamgirls, and actress Gwyneth Paltrow sent a newsletter this January from her beauty platform, GOOP.com, alluding to a week-long diet of deprivation."I need to lose a few pounds of extra leisure time," she said. "The other?"

Such celebrities seem to be buying into the so-called "detox diets" as a way to quickly drop pounds. But the real premise of a true diet or cleanse elimination program (both types of diets for detoxification, or short "detox diets") is to facilitate the removal of your body's toxins and contaminants. How? How? By your contaminant consumption, you can slowly remove toxic compounds from the body such as chemicals, smog and emissions, tobacco, and caffeine.
 
"There are a lot of people who believe like because we live on a world with too many chemical toxins and people are consuming medications, the liver is exhausted," says Mary Jane Detroyer, a New York-based certified dietitian and exercise physiologist. "The whole purpose behind a detox diet is to clear the body from contaminants, since the liver is overwhelmed and requires some outside support."
Yet do our bodies really require a specific diet to cleanse themselves? Not exactly, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and founder of the FITNESS board of advisors. "Our systems have organs such as the liver, the kidneys, the skin, the lungs and the digestive system to remove these dangerous contaminants on a daily basis without any special detox food or remedies to help them along."

Contrary to how often people seek fad detox diets, in reality, few people require it. (To see if you do, Detroyer recommends that your liver enzymes be checked by your doctor."If they're high this means the liver is stressed," she says. Many causes, such as medicine, excessive alcohol intake, or overweight, may contribute to elevated levels).

However, if you're ever tempted to go on a detox scheme, dieter lookout: "For most regular individuals, performing a couple days of detox won't contribute to long-term health issues," says Blatner. "However, for those with disorders such as diabetes, heart failure, kidney disease, stomach problems or pregnant mothers, infants or teenagers, and the elderly, these extreme dietary changes can suggest anything from dizziness to unconscious fainting, because diets impair electrolyte and blood sugar regulation."

And even though you don't suffer from either of those problems, going on a long-term cleanse (ahem, Oprah) will contribute to a variety of other issues, such as vitamin and mineral deficiency and muscle breakdown — not exactly shocking while you're doing anything drastic like consuming nothing but lemon water with maple syrup and cayenne pepper for 10 days like the Master Cleanse promotes.

Nevertheless, beginning a detox regimen can have a positive side effect: "A stable individual adopting a short-term detox diet will have a bit of an emotional jump-start into eating better and exercising for the remainder of the year," agrees Blatner.

You should try and avoid celebrity detox diets

So what diet to detox could be correct for you? FITNESS took a close look at several common detox diets, analyzing each based on nutritional benefit, liver-cleaning benefit, and their potential to help you initiate a safe, long-term eating routine. For our conclusions please read on.
Note: Detroyer stresses that if anyone is going to try any of the plans listed, it should be approved by a doctor first, especially if the person is taking medication or has a medical condition.

Master Cleanse


Also known as Diet Lemonade, Diet Maple Syrup

Who created it: Stanley Burroughs, an organic medicine advocate written in the 1950s and author of The Master Cleaner. Nevertheless, in 1960, Burroughs was accused of practicing medicine without a license and faced more court allegations in 1984, including fraudulent cancer drug trafficking and second-degree felony murder. The following claim came from Burroughs curing a guy for cancer by feeding him with his supposed recipe of lemonade, introducing him to bright lighting, and offering him warm massages. The guy wanted to help Burroughs, but under Burroughs' treatment, he was much sicker, and eventually, he died. The murder charge was subsequently lowered to involuntary manslaughter.

What it promises: To cleanse the body of toxins and obliterate cravings for junk food, alcohol, and tobacco.

How it works: For 10 days you'll drink 6 to 10 glasses of "lemonade" (made of water, lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper) a day. You'll also drink a glass of salt water in the morning and a laxative tea at night.

How much it costs: A variety of retailers sell Master Cleanse kits at various price points. Or you can just go to the grocery store and buy the ingredients yourself.

Who's tried it: Singer Beyonce Knowles, actor Jared Leto

FITNESS says: Avoid it. "This can be dangerous," says Detroyer, citing the low-calorie intake and lack of research to substantiate the diet's claims."It could be hard on your GI tract because you don't eat any regular meals for 10 days, so I don't know why you'd need a laxative while on the fast if it's a liquid diet."

Martha's Vineyard Diet Detox


Also known as 21 Pounds in 21 Days

Who created it: Roni DeLuz, RN, ND, a licensed naturopath and founder and director of The Martha's Vineyard Holistic Retreat at the Martha's Vineyard Inn.

What it promises: Though it claims not to be "a so-called 'weight loss diet'" on its Web site, it also claims that you'll lose 21 pounds in 21 days on their 3-week "MasterFast" plan. It also claims to give you more energy and lower blood pressure.

How it works: No solid food here: you'll drink fruit and veggie juices, protein shakes, herbal teas and cleansing drinks, broths and soups, and lots of water. The plan also encourages the intake of supplements and vitamins (which can be bought off the Web site). Users are also instructed to have weekly colonics and coffee enemas.

How much it costs: $199 for the 21-day program and 9-day "maintenance package." It does not include the price of the book, enzyme pills, or (necessary) juicer. The book retails for $24.96.

Who's tried it: Robin Quivers, Howard Stern's radio sidekick

FITNESS says: Avoid it. Three weeks without solid food, Detroyer says, is "too extreme." Plus, "nobody needs enemas or colonics. There is absolutely no research to support [their benefits], and I think it could be dangerous. It could dehydrate you if you are not adequately replacing lost fluids."

Liver Cleansing Diet


Who created it: Sandra McRae, MD, a licensed doctor in Australia, who goes by the pen name Sandra Cabot.

What it promises: To improve liver function, which will help a variety of ailments, including bloating, digestion, fatigue, moodiness, IBS, high cholesterol, allergies, headaches, and sugar cravings.

How it works: You are recommended to consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (no cooking), few proteins (grains, raw nuts, peas, legumes, eggs, skinless chicken, lean red meat, fish) over the 8-week cycle. Stop all dairy goods, fried foods, dried foods, too many caffeine, and refined sugars. Drink a beer, organic fruit, or tea per day, for at least 2 liters. Eat healthy food, if at all necessary. Take capsules of daily liver tonics (which you can buy on their website).

How much it costs: A variety of tablets are sold on her Web site, including liver cleaning capsules at $50 for 250. The book retails for $19.95.

FITNESS says: Avoid it. While the eating program alone may be safe if the participant is watchful for calcium consumption (which compensates for the lack of dairy in the diet), incorporating pills for liver cleansing is a red flag."This program is intended for people with liver issues but how do people know if they have issues?" says Detroyer. "This method may be suitable for someone whose liver is depleted, but they should test it out with their doctor." Following this diet without medical treatment can be risky in that the herbs in the tablets may interfere with medication or cause an allergic reaction.

The 3-Day Fruit Flush Diet

Who created it: Jay Robb, a nutritionist, and former personal trainer.


What it promises: A 10-pound weight loss in 3 days.

How it works: Drink protein shakes on Day 1 You should eat fresh fruits every two hours on Day 2 and 3 (no frozen, dried or canned fruits allowed), and a dinner of organic, non-starchy veggies and a little lean protein. Besides purified tea, stop cooked fruits, caffeine, nicotine, certain fats, carbohydrates, and all liquids. Do not exercise throughout the three days but, according to the website, "easy walking for 20 minutes can be good."

How much it costs: Book retails for $5.00.

FITNESS says: Be alert. Yeah, because of the reduced calorie consumption of food, you will lose weight on this diet but mainly it will be water weight. How is it going to detox you? "Okay, you 're not going to add a lot of chemical additives, saturated fat, sugar, and refined grains to your body but the pesticides and fertilizers used to produce the fruits and vegetables, so in a way, yes," says Detroyer. Over a long period of time, you too can lack nutrients. "There's a food deficit in this diet and you're not going to eat the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K for a long time."

The Fast Track One-Day Detox Diet


Who created it: Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., CNS, a nutritionist.

What it promises: The diet claims to flush toxins from your body, boost your metabolism, and help you lose 3 to 8 pounds.

How it works: This diet usually lasts 11 days, not a single day: there is a "prequel" period of 7 days planning, a one-day easy, and a "sequel" period of 3 days. Eat up or three of the "liver-loving" foods or nutrients (e.g., spinach, leafy green vegetables, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, eggs), at least up "colon-loving" food to nutrient (e.g., cabbage, apples, berries), two servings of lean protein, one to two teaspoons of flaxseed or olive oil and lots of tea. Evite certain oils, carbohydrates, processed grains, products containing wheat, alcohol, caffeine, and narcotics. For the one-day quick, you'll mix one cup of water and one cup of "miracle juice" (made from sugar, unsweetened cranberry juice, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and stevia) down one cup of fluid per hour of the entire day — a massive amount of fluid. In the morning you can always take one colon-loving vitamin and one in the evening. The sequel stage is like a three-day first stage cycle, only that you'll consume at least one regular raw sauerkraut or low-fat yogurt with healthy, active cultures as well.

How much it costs: Book retails for $12.95.

FITNESS says: Try it but proceed with caution. This diet could make you feel gassy and bloated, thanks to the fibrous foods, and you'll likely be making many a trip to the bathroom. However, this plan does include healthy oils, protein, and fruits and veggies."This can't really hurt you for the short term, because you're just fasting for one day," Detroyer says.

Dr. Joshi's Holistic Detox


Who created it: Nish Joshi, a licensed physician in conventional medicine who's also studied holistic healthcare, and founder of The Joshi Clinic.

What it promises: To return your body to its natural alkaline balance by altering the pH of your system with food. The diet will increase your metabolism and smash your toxin cravings, such as caffeine, sugar, and salt.

How it works: During this 21-day detox, you'll eat white meat, brown rice, dark green vegetables, certain fish, gluten-free bread, and soy products. Avoid acidic foods like red meat, most dairy, fruit (except bananas), wheat, yeast, alcohol, sugars, coffee or tea, or artificial foods or flavorings. Drink lots of water.

How much it costs: Book retails for $19.95.

Who's tried it: Gwyneth Paltrow

FITNESS says: Try, but go ahead with caution."This is basically a healthy lifestyle," says Detroyer. When you obey this program make sure that you eat sufficient levels of vitamin C, a problem because certain fruits are prohibited by the diet. Eating the right dark, leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, kale, and asparagus, is also vital to ensure you get enough calcium, despite the ban on dairy. "I don't know though if it's viable for most citizens," Detroyer says, noting the shortage of food. "That sounds a little too restricting."

Gwyneth Paltrow's Latest Detox Diet


Who created it: Paltrow, who based it on the guidelines from her physician, Dr. Alejandro Junger, a New York-based cardiologist, and raw food fan.

What it promises: A detoxification of the body.

How it works: Paltrow's own diet is heavily plant-based and has very little meat. A sample day meal contains a bottle of room-temperature lemon water and morning herbal tea, blueberry and almond smoothie for coffee, coconut water, lunchtime salad with carrot and ginger sauce, a pinch of blended pumpkin and sunflower seeds for a snack, and broccoli and arugula soup for dinner. In addition, diet adherents are advised to practice deep meditation or soft yoga, swallow a few spoonfuls of extra virgin olive oil each night, consume half a cup of castor oil or take a moderate herbal laxative if constipation happens, and eat whole organic food.

How much it costs: No cost.

Who's tried it: Gwyneth Paltrow

FITNESS says: Be alert. Detroyer claims deep meditation and relaxation workouts may be helpful because "chronic tension induces elevated amounts of glucose and lipids that are harmful to the body." In fact, the diet itself has some positive items in it. "Precious leaf broth and smoothies," she notes. "Yet there are so little calories in that. When you're struggling to hold things going, you could become very light-headed, nervous, and irritable." In comparison to the questionable low-calorie diet, the program contained olive oil and laxative tips, which Detroyer found excessive. "If people were to eat about 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day from vegetables, nuts, whole grains, beans and drink plenty of fluid and have daily exercise, most people wouldn't have issues with [bowel]."

Foods to Eat, Foods to Avoid

Can't handle the maple syrup-lemon water-Cayenne pepper liquid diet? Can't afford organic fruits and vegetables for every meal? Don't know where to buy coconut water? The main problem with most mainstream cleanse diets is that they're unrealistic by design. However, eating a properly balanced diet is a detoxification of the body. So forget magic powders and starvation plans.
"The most successful 'detox' is to drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, and consume a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and good fats to keep us safe," Blatner says. "What you're doing for a few days can't ever make up for the rest of the 365 days we live and take care of our body!"

According to Detroyer, if you feel the need to detox here are some foods to avoid:

  1. Alcohol
  2. Caffeine
  3. Excessive sugar
  4. Unhealthy fats (butter, fried foods, saturated fat, Crisco, fatty meats)
  5. Processed foods (things that come out of boxes or have chemicals)
  6. Artificial sweeteners
  7. Excessive protein (which is hard on the digestive system)

Here is another sample day worth of food which will get your body back on the right track, as Blatner put it together:


Breakfast: Oatmeal with unsweetened almond milk, chopped walnuts, and chopped apple

Lunch: Whole-grain pita stuffed with white beans, fresh basil, and chopped tomatoes, with olive oil vinaigrette

Dinner: quinoa and kale salmon or broccoli, with lemon and pinenuts

Snacks: A low-fat plain yogurt with berries, or peanut butter and celery

Drinks: Plenty of water, unsweetened tea

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YourFitnessRink - Fitness and Health Matters: What Are Detoxes? What sort of diet do you have for Master Cleanse
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Including the Master Cleanse, so-called detox diets are seen as a fast way to lose weight, particularly among celebrities including Oprah and Gwyneth
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