It’s so tempting to go for a quick fix. After all, who wouldn’t want to drop 10 pounds in three days or lose inches on their waist in a week?
But cleanses, whether they’re made from juice, cayenne and lemon water, or are food-based in nature, aren’t exactly the answer the weight loss.
Let’s take a look at some of the claims surrounding cleansing – and talk about how you can cleanse safely while losing weight that will stay off in the long run.
The Claim: Cleanses for Weight Loss = Liquid Diet
Cleansing is often associated with juicing, but doing a detox cleanse can also simply include eliminating certain food groups that tend to be problematic, like dairy, gluten, red meat, or things like caffeine and alcohol. Liquid cleanses do give your body a break from digestion, which enables the cleansing process, but eating the right foods can also cleanse and detoxify your body naturally.
The Claim: Cleansing Will Make You Lose Weight Fast
OK – this is partially true, but partially not. Cleansing makes you lose weight, but that weight is almost always water weight. You’re not typically burning fat on a cleanse. So while your waist might shrink or your tummy could feel flatter, you’re likely to gain back all the weight you lost once you start eating the foods your normally eat again.
The Claim: Cleanses Help With Junk Food Cravings
Some people report that cleansing helps them to eliminate cravings. This may have a physiological explanation, but it may also simply be due to the fact that when you’re cleansing, your habits change. You’re likely not giving in to cravings, so after time this becomes a mental obstacle you’re better able to navigate.
The Claim: Cleanses Boost Your Metabolism
There’s little evidence to support that cleansing can magically “reset” your metabolism. Similar to the last point, you may find that you start eating healthier after a cleanse and are therefore able to lose more weight. But when it comes to metabolism, other factors like genetics, hormonal health, and exercise level all play a role.
The Claim: Cleansing (or Fasting) can Regulate Hunger
Cleanses for weight loss are often rooted in the idea that they can somehow regulate hunger. But the best way to manage hunger is actually to prevent it – by eating. Long periods of fasting may eventually result in binge eating, which defeats the purpose of the cleanse or the fast in the first place.
The Claim: You Need a Special “Concoction” to Cleanse Correctly
Steer clear of diet programs that claim you need some type of special potion or drink to cleanse most efficiently. Your body naturally detoxifies itself, and with a proper diet, you can perform regular cleansing by incorporating more fiber, drinking more water, and perhaps supplementing with a natural and safe detox formula (you can find these at a local health food store).
The bottom line? Cleanses for weight loss aren’t necessary – it’s better to try a plan that’s based around real food and lasting lifestyle changes.