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Fruit Cleanse and Weight Loss: Separating Myth from Reality

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Sarah Jackson Damuth post Reviewer Sarah Jackson Damuth post Reviewer
MS, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified LEAP Therapist

Table of Contents

Many proclaim the miraculous weight-loss effects of doing a fruit cleanse, which is also known as the fruit flush diet. However, is this three-day fruit diet for weight loss too good to be true?

In this article, we discuss the different variations of the fruit detox diet, including the fruit and veggie fast and the fruit and water fast. Read on to learn more!

What Is the Fruit Cleanse or the Fruit Flush Diet?

The 3-day fruit cleanse diet, known commonly as the fruit flush diet, was created by Jay Robb, who is the self-proclaimed “Guru of Peace.” [1]

This very low-calorie diet claims to detox or cleanse your system by giving the digestive tract a break from nutrients that are harder to digest, like processed foods. This diet has likely gained popularity due to promotion from influencers and social media personalities that proclaim its miraculous ability to help you lose weight very quickly. 

There are many variations of these fruit and vegetable “detox” diets, flushes, cleanses, etc., that vary in length, principle, and more. This article will continue to focus on Jay Robb’s 3-day fruit flush diet.

Here are some claims of the fruit flush diet:

  • Nine-pound weight loss in three days
  • A “detox” or cleansing of the body and bodily systems
  • Helps break “food addiction”
  • Can help kickstart a new exercise program or diet
  • And more

Keep in mind that there is limited evidence to support a fruit- and vegetable-only diet for weight loss. In fact, only one very short-term research of a 3-day vegetable/fruit juice-based diet (similar to the 3-day fruit flush) is available now. [2]

While this fruit and vegetable fast may help with constipation, it is best to increase your fiber consumption for more than just three days. 

It is also recommended to gradually increase your fiber consumption day by day to avoid uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, flatulence, or abdominal pain, that may accompany a quick increase in your dietary fiber intake. Slowly increase your fiber intake until you reach the recommended daily allowance, which ranges from 21-28 grams for women and 31-38 grams for men. [3]

You may also like: Apple Juice for Constipation

3-Day Fruit Diet: Meal Plan

Let’s discuss the meal plan and dietary requirements for each day of the 3-day fruit diet.

Day 1

  • In the morning, make a 32-ounce protein drink that is both low in calories and low in carbohydrates. 
  • Drink six ounces of the protein drink every two hours, beginning at 8:00 am and ending at 4:00 pm.
  • One hour after each serving of protein shake, drink about 12 ounces of water. 
  • At 6:00 pm, eat a leafy green salad with three to six ounces of lean poultry or fish; use lemon juice or olive oil as a salad dressing. 

Day 2 and 3

  • Beginning at 8:00 am and ending at 4:00 pm, consume a serving of fresh fruit every two hours. 
  • At 6:00 pm, eat a large salad consisting of greens and lean protein. 
  • Drink a 12-ounce protein shake with the salad. 
  • Also drink 12 ounces of water one hour after each serving of fruit and salad. 

Approximately how many calories are consumed during each day of the diet is still being determined, but it is likely inadequate. 

So, Can the 3-Day Fruit Diet Promote Weight Loss?

While there is no concrete evidence that the fruit diet promotes significant weight loss, it makes sense that many claim drastic weight loss due to the potential loss of water weight that comes with such a calorie deficit coupled with low carbohydrate intake. 

Therefore, we can conclude that the 3-day fruit diet does not promote healthy weight loss because it happens so quickly. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend sticking to about one to two pounds of weight loss per week, so losing nine pounds in three days is dangerous and likely a result of fluid loss. [3]

So, can you lose weight following the 3-day fruit flush diet? – Yes.

Is this weight loss sustainable and long-term? No, considering the weight loss is primarily water, and the likelihood of gaining it back when you stop your fruit fast is high.

Fruit Cleanse Risks

Like other very low-calorie diets, such as the 600-calorie diet, the fruit flush diet is far from healthy. The main reason behind that is that you will likely feel low on energy, lethargic, and more because you are simply not consuming enough calories and, therefore, carbohydrates, the body’s primary energy source. 

The risks are exacerbated if you continue this dangerously low-calorie diet for more than three days. 

You could experience nutritional imbalances, vitamin or mineral deficiencies, malnutrition, etc. In addition to that, following a timed diet and dietary pattern could lead to overeating, an unhealthy relationship with food, and potentially disordered eating due to the restrictive nature of these diets. 

Research has also shown the potential dangers of similar types of diets, such as the green smoothie cleanse causing oxalate nephropathy in the American Journal of Kidney Disease [4], or a case study on a grapefruit juice cleanse mimicking drug overdose of quetiapine in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology [5]

Do You Need to Follow a Fruit Detoxification Diet?

There is no need to follow a fruit detoxification diet, including a fruit and water fast, a fruit and veggie fast, or a very low-calorie fruit diet. 

Similarly, you do not need to follow a detoxification diet of any kind because our bodies naturally detoxify themselves. In fact, that is the primary function of the liver and kidneys.

Although emphasizing nutrient-dense fruits and veggies in the diet can support the natural detoxification processes of those organs, eliminating toxins from the body doesn’t require adhering to such a rigid and restrictive diet.

Generally, it is best to steer clear of “detox” diets and instead focus on changing your eating habits as well as adhering to a healthy and balanced diet that includes all food groups. To make the process more seamless and less stressful, try this 3-day cleanse to lose weight, as it helps set you up for a healthier diet and transition to a healthier lifestyle in long term.

Detox diets can be harmful and lead to unhealthy effects on your body, such as slowed metabolism and even disordered eating habits. 

Wrapping Up

Let’s summarize some key takeaways from this article. 

  • The “Fruit Flush Diet” was created by Jay Robb and claims to help you lose nine pounds in three days. This diet also claims to break “food addiction,” jumpstart your weight loss journey, and detox your body from toxins.
  • Day one of the detox diet involves drinking a protein shake every two hours along with water.
  • On days two and three of the fruit fast, you consume a serving of fruit every two hours with water. All three days end with a large salad composed of leafy greens and lean protein.
  • Such a low-calorie diet has risks, especially when it is continued longer than three days. Those risks include malnutrition, nutritional deficiencies, fatigue, and more. 
  • No evidence supports this diet for sustained and healthy weight loss. It is best to incorporate gradual and fulfilling changes to a healthy and balanced diet to support long-term health outcomes.
  • The human body naturally detoxes itself, and therefore a detox diet is unnecessary.

If you are struggling to lose weight, speaking with a registered dietitian can provide helpful nutrition guidance. An all-in-one weight-loss app can help you meet your health and wellness goals. 

Disclaimer This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

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