NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Like many, you’re probably planning to eat, drink, and be merry for the next month only to deal with the consequences in January.
After all, that what cleanses are for. But do those products actually work?
April LaValle thought she’d get use a cleans to back on track after binging on Mickey Mouse-shaped pretzels at Disney World.
“I just felt really heavy and bloated,” she said, and she’s not alone.
Over the last year, Americans have spent over $62 million on detoxing and cleansing products. The premise behind most of the plans involves consuming an all-liquid diet that supposedly aids the digestive system in flushing toxins from our systems.
“People pay good money for that stuff,” registered dietician Felicia Stoler said.
As a result, the products claim we’ll lose weight, boost our energy, and even improve our complexion.
But how well do they really work?
“The truth is, you’re not like, scrubbing the inside of your body,” Stoler said.
Stoler says our bodies aren’t already highly effective in removing toxins. It’s the function of liver and kidneys, among other systems.
“We are always having cellular turnover or getting rid of bad cells,” she said.
Stoler also questions some of the detox ingredients, especially in juice cleanses.
“People are just literally eating sugar the whole time,” she said. “You’re not getting any fiber, you’re getting strictly carbs, very little if any protein.”
Several major health organizations have concluded there’s very little evidence that detox diets provide the health benefits they tout.
LaValle, who wrote a blog about her experience, says she isn’t surprised.
“I couldn’t focus all day because I was so hungry,” she said.
Stoler says while there’s no magic pill, sensible eating and exercise will always reign supreme. You can do other things that kickstart a healthy lifestyle, like intermittent fasting.
“While you’re really only eating between eight and ten hours a day, and then not eating the other hours of the day, we are just so wrapped up with constantly putting calories into our bodies,” Stoler said.
She also recommends increasing water consumption, drinking herbal teas, and eating a plant-based diet such as the Mediterranean diet.