ZocdocAnswersIs it safe to go on a liquid fast?

Question

Is it safe to go on a liquid fast?

I am considering doing a liquid diet for one week or a liquid fast. Just juice, water, coffee, etc. Is it bad for your body to do this? I have heard it is a good way to clean yourself out.

Answer

The internet is filled with ideas on weight loss, body cleansing and detox diets. It is also filled however with accounts of health hazards from these diets. Detox diets claim to get rid of toxins that have accumulated within the body and can cause health problems. These diets generally involve either dieting, or fasting or avoid specific foods. These claims are generally unclear about what toxins are being targeted, nor are these claims backed up with clear medical evidence. It is important to understand that the body can maintain itself well and has evolved over time to adapt to detoxify itself well. It requires food and healthy nutrients to fulfill these functions. Therefore it is not advisable to only drink liquids as this may not provide your body with all its essential nutrients. The benefits that can be accrued from the detox diets can be obtained easily with eating a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables that contain a significant amount of water, and additionally staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If you are concerned about your health, you should make an appointment to discuss your concerns with your primary care doctor. Your doctor will be able to address your dietary concerns. In addition, your doctor can also provide you with an appointment with a dietitian if you wish to speak with one about your health.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.