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My Blog

To Cleanse or not to Cleanse?

Hopefully, we all know that eating healthy is EQUALLY as important as exercise. Anyone who has ever had success with weight loss knows that a healthy diet in addition to regular exercise is the key to seeing results. You have to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight. Period.

It seems like the recent fad in weight loss is the cleanse, but it's important to recognize that a cleanse is more than just shedding some pounds. A cleanse helps with many functions of the body and can be tailored to an individual for detoxification, skin clearing, colon cleansing, liver cleansing, kidney cleansing, and pH balancing, but of course the most Americans are opting for concentration on weight loss.

In terms of cleansing for weight loss there are hundreds of options out there. There is the 10 day Master Cleanse, the Juice Cleanse, the Green Diet, the Quantum Wellness Cleanse, the Raw Foods Diet, the Berry Cleanse, the Lemonade Cleanse, and the Eat Stop Eat diet... just to name a few. With so many choices how do you know which cleanse is right for you, if any?

Here is some basic info that you should know before making a decision.

Cleanses usually range from 1 to 30 days and consist of eating or drinking smaller portions of fresh pure lower calorie foods, juices, or teas in order to clean out toxins from the system and flush away fat.  In most cleanses you would need to give up coffee, alcohol and drugs. Usually a cleanse includes drinking a lot of water in order to aid in flushing out toxins.

The Pros of Cleansing:

-Flushing Out Toxins-
You rid yourself of toxins that build up in your body over time (alcohol, caffeine, waste, and other toxins). This helps promote a more efficient digestive system, higher metabolism, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, clearer skin, a stronger immune system, and a higher energy level in the long run.  

- Battling Food Addictions-
Cleansing can help get over hurdles such as addictions to carbs, sugar, coffee, and alcohol. You can also train your body to cut down on portions. You will find that during and after your cleanse it takes less to make your body feel full.

- Weight Loss-
Again- the main principle of weight loss--lower your calorie count. During a cleanse you are ingesting only pure foods that are low in calories, so you are burning more calories than you consume. And after you shed a few pounds you feel awesome!

Cons of Cleansing:

 - Energy Level and Performance-
Although you can experience greater energy levels after you cleanse, during it you may feel irritable and lethargic because your body is taking in less fuel. That's why it is recommended to find a less hectic week or weekend to take on most intense cleanses. Sometimes it is common to feel dizzy, headachey, or lightheaded. Light exercise is sometimes encouraged, but running a marathon during your cleanse is probably not a good idea.

- Money and Time-
Many of these cleanses can be purchased in advance with the juices or meals pre-made.  If you choose this option you may need to pay a pretty penny for it.  If you decide to make the meals yourself you need to devote some time and effort to prepare. Usually you will not find a Chinese take out place that will have what you need after a long day at work.

- Post Cleanse Weight Gain-
A cleanse is not the solution to long term weight loss. If you go back to eating the sugars and carbs and over sized portions that you consumed before the cleanse you will inevitably gain the weight back. That's why I suggest using a cleanse to jump start a lifestyle change in nutrition. You can gradually start adding carbs and other foods into your diet after a cleanse, but the goal should be to maintain a balanced, healthy diet and good portion control.

Here are some websites that may help you in deciding if a cleanse is right for you:

If you have already tried a cleanse I invite you to share with us your experience.  We would love to hear about what did or did not work for you and what kind of results you have seen.

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