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Lemonade diet, which is actually cleanse, may be misleading

Recently, stars like Beyoncé and 50 Cent have turned to a new cleanse called the lemonade diet to lose weight.

Some students joke about celebrities doing the diet.

“Beyoncé’s done it, so it must work,” sophomore Julie Beckman said.

It may be called a “diet,” but it’s actually a cleanse. A cleanse is different than a diet and professionals call its effectiveness into question.

When people do a cleanse, their body is supposed to be cleaned out, said Mary Jon Ludy, assistant professor in the Dietetics and Family and Consumer Sciences Department.

“It’s really junk science. Nobody really needs to do a cleanse,” Ludy said.

The lemonade diet consists of water, fresh lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. The cleanse calls for eight glasses a day for 10 days.

“Putting maple syrup in it … at least you’re getting some caloric value from the maple syrup but there’s no protein, there’s no fat,” Ludy said.

Drinking eight glasses a day with two tablespoons of maple syrup gives people 800 calories a day. The daily recommended amount of calories is 1,200.

“You may lose a lot of weight really fast because you’re not consuming anything,” Ludy said.

Liquids also differ extremely from foods in terms of calories.

“In a general sense if we think about liquids … they don’t keep you full for as long and they don’t fill you up as quickly as the same calories that come from solids,” she said.

When people consume less than the daily value of calories, their bodies start to shut down, she said.

“If you don’t get in enough calories, you know your body has to make energy from somewhere … so we’re gonna have to break down protein stores and I’m doubting that’s what people really want to do is lose their lean body mass,” she said.

Along with breaking down protein stores, the body might actually start to break down fat and muscle stores. Muscle stores are generally harder to gain back and it takes a lot of training and working out to build them back up, Ludy said.

Metabolism may also slow down, she said.

“Beyoncé has enough money that she can get a personal trainer to figure out how to build back her lean muscle mass, but most of us don’t have that luxury,” Ludy said.

Sophomore Jessie Myers said the cleanse is “crazy.”

“There is no nutritional value to it,” she said.

In terms of the lemonade diet, Ludy finds it “ridiculous.”

“I feel like you just need to eat real foods,” she said. “We need to make choices over the long haul that are going to benefit our health.”

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