Are fasts and cleanses worth trying for weight loss?

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Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
There's no evidence that fasts or cleanses are effective for weight loss. Of course, if you stop eating, you'll lose weight. But you lose mostly water, and the weight comes back on when you start eating again. Nor is there evidence that cleanses lead to sustainable weight loss.

Most people can lose weight on a cleanse, simply because they create a calorie deficit each day. The problem is that there is no scientific support showing any actual value from them, and in fact, most cleanses involve using products that are not proven safe and may cause unpleasant side effects. Research also shows cleanses can cause malnutrition and lead to a cycle of yo-yo dieting. If you’d like to jumpstart your weight loss, a better approach is to “eat clean,” with a concentration of whole, unprocessed foods, including fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and drink plenty of water.

Since we don’t expect our car to run without fuel, why should we expect our bodies to do the same? The human body was meant to be fed healthy foods in the correct amounts. Aside from fasting for cultural or religious reasons, fasts or cleanses for weight loss or “detox” have no scientific support. In fact, many of these programs are designed to sell fraudulent products to a vulnerable population – overweight people who are trying hard to find a solution. Save your money and preserve your health.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.