So now that the holidays are over and your waistline has slightly expanded due to all the colorful cocktails, crispy cookies, and crumbly cakes, you may be considering a cleanse. A cleanse you say? Is a soon to be Registered Dietitian really recommending a cleanse? Yes! However, it is not the EXTREME cleanse that you may be thinking of. It is NOT the “drinking lemonade, spiked with cayenne and maple syrup for 10 days combined with a laxative tea cleanse.” This type of popular celebrity cleanse is DANGEROUS! Drinking less that 700 calories/day for 10 days void of nutrients and proteins is not good for the body. Why?
- The weight you lose may be rapid but you are losing mostly water and muscle weight. Overall, eating less than 1200 calories a day for 10 days puts your body into starvation mode. Even though the weight loss is rapid, it comes right back.
- Drinking only lemon juice gives you plenty of Vitamin C but it provides no real nutrition. This type of 10 day cleanse is void of carbs, protein, essential fats, and many vitamins and minerals needed to survive.
- Adding cayenne to anything does not make you burn more fat. Spices are absorbed and digested like all food; there is no magic to food breakdown and metabolism.
- That soothing cup of laxative tea at night gets you to lose even more water, can induce gut cramps and have you heading to the bathroom round the clock, day and night.
Here’s a solution. Go ahead onto a cleanse but think of it like this: Instead of cutting out important nutrients and entire food groups, have some food rules. For example, cut out white flour and white sugar for one week, and limit foods that contain too much salt and unhealthy fats. Say no to cakes, cookies, chocolate, soda, candy, pies, ice cream, and chips and instead, say yes to real, whole fresh foods. An apple will start to taste sweet, crisp, and juicy when you are hungry. If you are not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you are not hungry.
Tip of the Day
At parties and celebrations, slowly taste each bite and sip. Enjoy favorite foods in smaller amounts. Slow down to enjoy the food. Let people, not food, be the center of your attention.