Spoiler alert: this is probably not what you want to hear.
Detox diets come in all shapes and sizes: lemon water + cayenne, cabbage, green juice—all of these tout benefits like clearing up your skin and flushing your body of toxins (and undoing the damage of those oh-so-delicious carbs). The appeal is clear: you eat what you want, and then you can reverse all of that with just a few days of “cleansing your body.” And why wouldn’t it work, after all? The antioxidant properties of lemon, the anti-bloat properties of cabbage—the evidence seems to suggest that there’s no flaw to this logic. A quick google search will lead you to sites like Master Cleanse and chic magazines doing everything they can to prove that starving your body of fats is the best way to prevent yourself from getting out of shape.
However, especially as dancers, our bodies are under so much physical demand that not only is a cleanse impractical, but it can be dangerous.
Think this through: for energy, your body requires carbs, protein, and healthy fats. If you’re only giving your body metabolic boosters like lemon and cayenne, but not providing any healthy fats for your body to burn, them you’re sabotaging your muscle—which your body will begin to burn instead, in order to keep you alive and thriving. You’ll see some weight loss (and you’ll probably hit the restroom a lot because of all that water), but the results you see won’t be sustainable, and they definitely won’t be positive in the long run. You’ll begin eating away at your muscular structure faster than you can imagine.
Don’t get me wrong: you won’t see long-term damage from one day of kale juice. But, just remember that if you aren’t eating, you’re essentially starving. And that’s not safe for anyone.
Besides, what’s the harm in a few fries now and then?