I want to talk to you a bit about cleanses and detox diets. We’ve all seen the ads online, and the commercials on TV promising that we can drop 10 pounds in a week or 21 pounds in 21 days if we simply purchase their revolutionary cleanse or detox. In addition, the price of the product is usually enough to drain your bank account and most people rationalize that if it works and you do lose the weight then it’s worth it, and if it doesn’t work then at least you tried. But before you go spending your hard-earned money let’s talk a little bit first.
You didn’t put on that extra weight overnight, and you’re certainly not going to get rid of it overnight either. Getting a fit and healthy body takes hard work, and it takes time (more time than it took to get overweight). Cleanses and detox diets are all about quick results. Let’s look at how these “quick results” are achieved.
Let’s take for example The Master Cleanse, probably one of the most popular cleanses. It was created around 1940 and has been going strong ever since. According to Themastercleanse.org, the cleanse looks like this:
- First, squeeze Fresh Lemon Juice.
- Then add Rich Maple Syrup, and Cayenne Pepper into Pure Water.
- Drink a minimum of six to 12 glasses throughout the day.whenever one is hungry.
- Take a laxative before bed.
So, for 10 days you are surviving on lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and laxatives. For starters, your body needs more than just that to fuel basic body functions like breathing and moving blood through your system. Next, if you’re not eating anything and also taking laxatives on top of that, of course you’re going to lose weight… your body will begin to cannibalize itself for survival. Once you begin eating again, you’ll put back on all the “weight” you “lost” and then some because for the last 10 days your body has been starving and will now take the opportunity to pack on extra fuel in case there is another famine!
Another popular detox diet is the Martha’s Vineyard Detox Diet. Here’s how this diet goes (from everydiet.org):
- Breakfast- Antioxidant berry drink, herbal cleansing formula, eight ounces of herb tea and eight ounces of water
- Mid morning- Eight ounces of water and eight ounces of hot or iced herb tea
- Lunch- One cup of fresh vegetable juice or a green drink, eight ounces of water, herbal cleansing formula and an enzyme capsule
- Early afternoon- Eight ounces of water and eight ounces of hot or iced herb tea
- Late afternoon- Antioxidant or berry drink
- Dinner- Cleansing soup, one cup of broth, one cup of herb tea, herbal cleansing formula, eight ounces of water and an enzyme capsule
- Early evening- Eight ounces of water or herb tea
- Bedtime- Aloe Vera supplement
So, here again we have a liquid only diet but this one includes a variety of liquids. This diet also appears to make use of laxatives as well (the herbal cleansing formula). Just like the Master cleanse, this isn’t enough calories for your body to work properly, and after you go back to normal eating you will gain all the weight back and then some.
So, before you go out and spend a couple hundred dollars on a cleanse or detox diet, remember what your mother told you…. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And in this case, it definitely is too good to be true. If cleanses/detox diets worked there would be no more overweight people to purchase these diets. But instead, what these diets do is create return customers… after all, they lost those 5-10 pounds for a little bit (while they were on a liquid diet) and now that they have gained back even more, they are likely to seek another quick fix. Do the hard work, and be proud when your results last.
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