What Motivates Us to Try a Cleanse?
Back then, I heard a lot of my friends raving about this juice cleanse. Since I love food, I was a natural skeptic, but my insecurity overrode my skepticism. I wanted to lose 10 pounds by next week.
In my first semester of university, someone said, “You gained 10 lbs, you should go on a diet!” Ouch. I needed a quick fix. So since this cleanse claimed that I could fit into that dress in just 7 days, I could almost hear the compliments – “You look great in that dress!” or “have you lost weight?”
I was so young and naive which made me an easy target for mainstream media. And “coincidentally” one night, I was up late flipping through the channels when an infomercial about a juice cleanse came on. . . With discounts AND a free book, it was impossible not to buy!
[As a side note, diet & fitness bs works in the exact same way. Instead of building you up, they prey on your insecurities and cash in on your hopelessness.]
Because the pressure to “look” good is so high, they KNOW that your emotional brain will override your intellectual brain.
I purchased the book nonetheless and felt suddenly empowered. Shopping for the ingredients was the first thing on my To Do list. The book assured me that I would have all the electrolytes and cleansing properties I could ever imagine. It was totally safe and that by Day 3, I’d want to keep going.
The cleanse was a 10 to 14-day liquid fast where I would replace all my meals and snacks with drinking this juice concoction at least 5 times a day or whenever I felt hungry.
I wasn’t a fan of the taste, but forced myself to drink it anyway. By the 6th hour, my body was craving food and the hunger intensified. I could feel the pit of my empty stomach.
I turned to the book and read that this was completely normal, it was just my body’s way of getting rid of toxins, by shutting it down. It was “due to all the accumulated toxins in my body” that I felt this way . . .
I was miserable, cranky, and just wanted to be alone on the second day. I turned down social events and dinner dates. By the third day, I’d had enough, none of this ‘felt’ healthy. In fact, it was the opposite of healthy.
After the cleanse, I was instructed to ‘re-introduce’ food slowly – but heck, I just wanted food. All of it!
The Consequences of a Juice Cleanse
Looking back at it now, it was a massive effort to restrict my food intake, not to mention that I had to kill my natural instinct to hunt for food. The anticipation of being able to eat once the cleanse protocol was complete was another obstacle because I was missing out on key social events with my besties.
The book didn’t mention the side effects of not feeding your body. My head was pounding, I had no energy, and I felt miserable. All. Day. Long.
In every cleanse or diet, there is usually a main ingredient that supplies your body with the energy it needs. Your body will take in the calories from any source you feed it because it’s main goal is your survival and ability to thrive.
The main ingredient in this cleanse was maple syrup. The source of my daily food energy came from sugar. Drinking at least 6 glasses of this cleanse meant that my added sugar intake would be more than 5 times over the daily recommended limit. However, this cleanse was not meant to extend beyond the 14 days so the overall impact it had on my blood sugar levels weren’t too drastic.
Building and maintaining a healthy body especially as you increase/decrease your physical activity as you age and go through stressful life events, you need to consume a balance of proteins, fiber, smart carbs, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals from colorful fruits and veggies.
Protein aids your body’s ability to eliminate toxins, so this was counter-intuitive. Your GI tract is built for food intake, and this process is enhanced when you consume pre- and probiotics, glutamine from protein-rich foods, and fiber. The fiber cleanses your gut so it can do what it does best – eliminate toxins! You don’t get these in a cleanse, and long term, your weakening ‘gut brain’ can throw you off balance.
This cleanse was lacking in all those things – not to mention it was an extremely low-calorie diet – so no wonder I didn’t feel ‘well’.
The small weight I dropped was a mix of water, carb stores, and intestinal bulk. It all came back as I started to eat again. It wasn’t permanent weight loss. It wasn’t even fun weight loss. I just felt empty and hollow, much like my stomach felt during the cleanse.
There are Better Alternatives to Try Without Damaging Your Relationship With Food
A healthy food relationship PLUS a regular resistance training routine is the most sustainable strategy to empower your body for shape and composition. I love food too, so I won’t be giving it up any time soon!
How to detox naturally, so it doesn’t feel ‘hard’:
- Eat reasonable amounts and trust your body to do what it does best – it detoxes the food for you.
- Exercise to keep your muscle to fat ratio within optimal range. Some fat-soluble compounds can accumulate in body fat, so maintaining the integrity of and building muscle will keep your body from storing toxins. Sweating can also release toxins via your skin (that keeps your body protected).
- Drink enough fluids including water and tea. Allow your kidneys to filter out the toxins.
- Limit unnecessary supplements. Supplements don’t automatically equal health, so make sure you’re taking the ones your body is deficient in.
- Build your plate around plant foods to minimize your exposure to potential toxins. Veggies and fruits can help boost your body’s ability to eliminate toxins. More plant food plates than animal food can mean less additives that come with preserving the animal meat (pharmaceuticals, hormones).
The 30-Day Plant-Based Transformation Program will take out the guesswork of building your plate around plant -based foods AND have you loving the flavors so you can focus on being mindful and present about your food prep, creations, and consumption.
Because protein isn’t just found in animal sources, it’s also abundantly found in plants. This meal plan will load you up with a healthy balance of proteins, fats, and smart carbs, and take your plant-based lifestyle to the next level. You’ll love this dietitian-approved meal plan lifestyle and the results!