There is certainly no shortage of diets out there to try, though your success may vary from one to another. Some of these diets I would call “extreme”, as they consist of eating or drinking one type of food or severely restricting your caloric intake as a way to cleanse or detoxify your body.
As I talked about in a recent post about the irreversible brain damage that a woman in Israel suffered when she went on a juicing diet for a few weeks, I rolled my eyes when browsing diet news today and saw a headline about the “lemon detox diet.” Given what I know about other diets that follow a similar structure, I had my doubts but had to take a closer look to see what it entails and if it is worth trying.
Should You Try a Lemon Detox Diet?
First, let’s get into what this diet entails, though it is pretty obvious by the name itself.
When following a lemon detox diet, you consume nothing but a lemon juice-based mixture for one or two weeks. This means no solid foods or drinks of any kind (with the exception of water).
The intention behind this diet is to get rid of toxins and cleanse the body due to the antioxidant powers of lemons. Supporters of this diet also boast that it can improve digestion, skin health, provide energy, and lead to weight loss.
The Real Question – Does It Work?
As written in this study, there is no scientific backing that a detox diet like this (or any similar cleansing diet, for that matter) will improve your health. Drinking a lemon mixture will not detoxify your body. Not only that, it is completely unnecessary. If you have functioning kidneys and a liver, and you urinate and move your bowels on a regular basis, your body is already doing a good enough job of detoxifying itself. Any claims to the contrary about a special diet being needed for this purpose is nothing more than a fad at best, and a scam at worst.
Rather than helping your body, going on a diet like this can actually lead to harm. You will not be enhancing your body’s detoxification process by any means, and in fact, you could be hindering them. Because this diet is highly restrictive (which is an understatement, considering you are only allowed one particular food or drink) and low in calories (the reason for the weight loss that supporters claim), your body is not getting the nutrients that it needs. While lemons are nutritious, they do not contain the full spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals that you need on a daily basis, which you get from other food sources.
One nutrient that is severely lacking in a diet like this is fiber, which makes it odd that supporters of this diet claim it helps their digestion. Fiber plays a vital role in digestion by regulating your metabolism and providing support to the large intestine by loosening your stool. Without enough fiber in your diet, your body does not remove waste and toxins as efficiently.
What To Do Instead
So – should you try the lemon detox diet? Absolutely not. As I’ve said all along on this site, the best course of action for better health and weight loss is to eat a well-rounded diet full of nutrients and get plenty of exercise. If you need a little kick for your metabolism, and to help curb your appetite, you can add a diet pill like this one to your routine for its weight loss benefits. Altogether, those three items provide the 1-2-3 punch you need, without dangerously robbing you of calories and nutrients as you would suffer from a detox diet.