If you're interested in better health along with losing some weight, you may be considering trying a liquid fasting cleansing diet. The good news is, these diets can help you lose a few pounds of weight over the course of a couple of days. However, the bad news is, you'll probably regain the weight quickly. In addition, it can be risky to follow a liquid fasting cleansing diet, and there's no medical evidence for the purported cleansing benefits.
On a liquid fasting cleansing diet, you'll probably consume nothing but juice or even just water over the course of one to three or four days, according to Vanderbilt University. Some plans require you to make your own juice from fresh vegetables and fruits, usually citrus, while others allow you to use commercial juice products.
While following a liquid fasting cleansing diet, you'll consume very few calories -- in fact, if you're doing a water fast, you won't consume any calories at all. Juice fasts can provide you with up to about 200 to 300 calories per day, depending on how much juice you drink and what ingredients you use. Since most adults need about 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day to maintain their weight, you potentially could lose a pound each day or even more on a liquid fasting cleansing diet.
However, you may not like the side effects. According to Vanderbilt University, people following liquid fasting cleansing diets often find themselves fatigued, lightheaded and dizzy, and may experience headaches and sudden drops in blood pressure that could be related to low blood sugar levels. Constipation also represents a common complaint. There's no medical evidence that these symptoms represent "cleansing" of toxins from your body, but they should resolve themselves once you stop fasting.
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Fasting likely will help you lose weight, but it's an extreme way to do so, according to Fort Valley State University. While you're on a liquid fasting cleansing diet, your body starts to burn its own muscle for fuel, and as the university points out, your heart is made of muscle. In fact, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, liquid fasting diets have been linked to sudden death and cardiac abnormalities. Fasting also can cause nutrient deficiencies.
There's no quick, easy solution to weight loss, and liquid fasting cleansing diets are no exception. Unfortunately, you're much more likely to regain weight you lose quickly, and liquid diets by definition are not sustainable in the long-term, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. If you want to lose weight, your best bet is to talk with your doctor about a slow, steady and balanced weight-loss program.
J.M. Andrews has been a professional journalist for more than 20 years. She specializes in health and medical content for consumers and health professionals. Andrews' background in medicine and science has earned her credits in a wide range of online and print publications, including "Young Physicians" magazine.