Belly fat is the bug bare of many and we can find ourselves willing to do just about anything to target this stubborn area of fat.
While we may know deep down that the ultimate answer to acquiring a six pack is to spend some time in the gym and eat a calorie controlled, high protein, reduced carb diet, we would not be human if we didn’t occasionally get lured into the promise of a quick fix.
When it comes to fat loss, lemon water has been promoted as the ultimate fix for belly fat for a long time now. So before you spend your hard earned money on another fat loss supplement, does it work?
Here’s what you need to know
The first thing to know when it comes to detox products is that there is no scientific consensus about what constitutes a detox product.
This means that they are not bound to deliver any specific outcomes or benefits, and as such, the term ‘detox’ is commonly associated with ritualistic type products that one would use daily such as a tea, tablet or supplementary drink that makes you ‘feel’ like you are doing something good for the body.
The other important thing to know is that the body does not need to be detoxed; rather the liver and the kidneys do a very good job in eliminating wastes and processing the toxins our bodies are exposed to each and every day. This means that products claiming to detox the body are more likely simply adding some extra fluid, vitamins, minerals or herbals that claim to have a vast number of benefits for the body. Rarely are these benefits proven.
The case for lemon detox drinks
In the case of lemon detox drinks – this means adding a little lemon juice (or citric acid) to glucose, along with other ‘detoxing’ ingredients such as with pepper to create a simple beverage – you are encouraged to drink each this each day to help ‘flush’ out toxins or even replace a meal (or all meals) with to induce rapid weight loss.
Indeed, if all you are eating and drinking is a little lemon and sugar with truckloads of water each day, you will lose weight pretty quickly.
Unfortunately, this weight loss is not being supercharged by any key detox ingredient, nor is belly fat preferentially being burnt. Rather some fat is being burnt as you are not eating anything else, and some of this may be belly fat.
The big problem
The primary issue with this type of program is that it is basically starvation.
As the body will not be getting the protein it needs, nor any essential fat, overtime metabolic rate will slow to manage this starvation, meaning you burn less calories overall.
Then when you start to eat regular food again, you are more likely to regain the weight you have lost, and then some. This scenario is common for chronic dieters who repeatedly lose large amounts of weight on restrictive diets only to regain it all again as soon as normal eating resumes.
While adding a lemon detox drink into your daily routine will do very little to help you burn belly fat, it will also do you no harm.
Indeed, starting with day with a glass of water and lemon will help to hydrate you. Just remember that adding lemon to the water does increase the acidity of the water, which is not great for tooth enamel.
So, when it comes to detox drinks I would suggest saving your money as they will be doing little more than a standard glass of water will, and if you really want to reduce your belly fat, start your day with a brisk walk or run instead along with a protein rich breakfast.
Susie Burrell is a nutritionist. Continue the conversation on Twitter @SusieBDiet.