Stars are prepping for awards season's biggest night -the Oscars- by following strict detox regimens to whittle their bodies into red carpet shape and to face the flashbulbs with a healthy glow. (That whirring sound you hear? All of the juicers and blenders in Hollywood working overtime.) The most popular programs require different degrees of deprivation. Anne Hathaway loves trainer David Kirsch's 48-hour detox, for example, which consists of a lemon-flavored drink four times a day. Gwyneth Paltrow recently touted a 21-day cleanse on her lifestyle website, Goop, that sounds practically gluttonous in comparison. Daily menus include smoothies and salads but also meals like "detox teriyaki chicken."
BUT if we want to look our best for an event in a healthy way, are any of these star-studded plans a viable option? We turned to nutrition specialist, Jeffrey Morrison MD, author of the forthcoming "Cleanse Your Body, Clear Your Mind" for the answer.
Why do we need a cleanse to detox?
The reality is our bodies are made to get rid of toxins but we can't when we're eating foods that are not healthy enough or don't have enough nutrients to make our bodies detoxify normally. Processed foods have become so pervasive in our diet. If you start eating foods that are correct, the body is able to start detoxifying itself the way it was meant to. It's like tuning up a car. All of a sudden, you get better gas mileage.
Are detoxes good for everyone?
The short answer is yes. But it's important for people to understand the difference between these liquid cleanses, which can be harmful and unhealthy, and a detox diet the way we recommend it. In my opinion, doing a juice fast for more than a day is bad for the body because you're not getting all the nutrients you need. You're not getting protein.
So your detox plan involves actually chewing something.
Yes. Lean protein like organic chicken, fish, grass feed beef twice a day and lots of specific vegetables like cucumbers, kale, carrots, and asparagus, which are great for ridding the body of extra fluid. They're like natural diuretics. An ideal menu would be a vegetable omelette for breakfast, vegetables and soup at lunch and for dinner a piece of fish with kale or roasted Brussel sprouts. At the same time you've got to drink a lot of water with lemon juice: two to three liters per day. Salt should be completely removed from your diet. No processed foods, bread, pasta or sugar.
Is sugar as bad as salt?
Worse because it makes you crave more sugar, more bread products, and it's highly addictive- as addictive as a drug.
Yikes. I guess that explains why it's so hard to stare down a cupcake. So there's purification and weight loss benefits. But how does a detox improve your skin?
Foods that are unhealthy cause inflammation, and the first signs of inflammation can be acne or rosacea. When the body is less inflamed and the redness goes away, a person gets a healthy glow, their skin is clearer, their eyes are whiter, and they look leaner.
How important is getting sleep while you're detoxing?
There's no question people will lose weight faster when they sleep eight hours. Cortisol makes people hold on to fat, and when you sleep eight hours, your body is less stressed and you produce less cortisol.
What about caffeine, does it help the cause?
Just the opposite. Some people think coffee helps with losing weight when the fact is it just makes you dehydrated. I recommend Green Tea or Yerba mate tea.
Sticking to any regimen isn't easy. What do you tell your patients to motivate them?
I tell them it's only going to be a month plan; that they're going to lose nine pounds and feel 60% better. And then I trick them into doing it for longer. Pretty soon it becomes a lifestyle.
For a look at some celebrity detoxers, check out our photo gallery below.
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