By Sophie McLean

We often hear of celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Beyonce living on juice cleanses for weeks at a time but many of these fad diets are controversial because they involve abstaining from solid foods completely.

I thought I’d try a juice cleanse for five days as I was hoping to clear my skin and feel more energised.

I soon discovered there were multiple cleanses, everything from a liver cleanse to a colon cleanse. I looked at a variety of juice cleanse plans, the majority started at £60 which seemed expensive when you could simply make your own juices at home from raw fruits and vegetables.

I tried the ‘detox’ cleanse which claimed to improve your health, mood and appearance, another bonus being that it lasted only a few days meaning that it wouldn't cause any damage long-term.

The purpose of a juice cleanse is to help you lose water weight, however, it’s important that a juice cleanse lasts only a few days because if you cut your calories too low it can have a dangerous impact on your body and brain’s health.

The 'detox' cleanse completely removes processed foods from your diet including meat, caffeine and dairy. It also removes wheat and gluten which can help if you are trying to identify certain foods which you think are making you feel tired and sluggish.

There’s a variety of advantages and disadvantages to juice cleanses, there’s the likelihood that you will experience caffeine withdrawal by eliminating coffee which can leave you feeling lethargic, or if you are lucky it could calm your out-of-control appetite, give your body a nutrient boost which helps repair your cells.

I found it was best to start by buying the right ingredients so that I never fell short. I bought lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and herbal teas. I followed the The Lakeland website for tips on my juice cleanse and adapted it slightly to suit my timetable.

This cleanse is based on the theory that you should eat a variety of colourful foods – each juice drink follows a category of either orange, green, red or purple. Each day, I could experiment with a different juice as long as I ensured my diet was 80% vegetables as fruit contains lots of excess sugar.

After a five-day juice cleanse, I was desperate to have some real food again, however my skin definitely improved and I felt better eating a more nutritional breakfast than my usual coffee.

I didn't notice my weight loss until the following weeks, when I weighed myself again and realised I had lost 1.4kg.

Overall, I’d say a juice cleanse is definitely great for short-term weight loss, however, if you hope to lose weight over a long period of time, it's best to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet and exercise regularly instead.