“Rid your body of toxins”… “Jumpstart your metabolism!”… “7 days to a flatter stomach!”… Sounds great, doesn’t it? The thing is… It’s bullshit. As nice as it would be to be able to “get a flat stomach in 7 days”, or to “jumpstart your metabolism” – things aren’t that simple, and frankly, they don’t work that way. Juicing, cleanses, detoxes, free radicals – oh my! It’s no wonder that in today’s world people tend to believe in these products when the companies that sell them do such a great job marketing them by preying on people’s fears and emotions. Here’s the thing, you don’t have to fall for it.
Let’s go over a few things real quick. First, let’s outline some information that will help understand just exactly why these things are bogus.
- Toxins & Free Radicals: Ever notice how whenever the word “toxin” is used, no one can identify what toxin/toxins they’re specifically talking about? It’s usually more of a generalization. Free radicals, on the other hand, are a bit more specific, but still pretty generalized.
What people buying these products don’t know, is that the human body has a “detox system” built into it already! Your renal and digestive system (kidneys & liver specifically) do a FINE job of “ridding your body of toxins”. Furthermore, your body produces antioxidants to deal with free radicals. So if you’re drinking enough water and eating a reasonable amount of fruits and veggies – you’re probably good.
- Weight loss: I’m talking about real, sustainable weight loss. It takes time! Losing body fat requires you to be in a caloric deficit (burning more calories/day than you consume). At best, you can expect to safely lose about 1-2Lbs/week of body fat depending on the individual.
So with these bits of information in mind, let’s quickly examine these “detoxes” and “cleanses”. First off, do they work, and if so, how?
- Cleanses/Detoxes work primarily by putting the person in a heavy caloric deficit (good right? Not exactly…) The issue with this is that typically the reduction in calories is so great, that once that person starts eating food again, their weight will creep right back up to where it was before. So in other words, not sustainable. Some even use diuretic herbs to help “cleanse the body” of demons, taco bell, and other toxins. So all of that water weight you shed will be coming right back once you’re no longer running to the toilet every 30-45mins. Sounds like fun!…
- Real, sustainable weight loss takes time and effort. PERIOD! Repeat after me, there are no shortcuts, there are no magic pills or Brazilian fruit juices that will give you a six pack, or make you look 15 years younger. Those things require consistency, dedication, time, effort, and probably a time machine. Again, you need to be in a caloric deficit in order to lose weight and drop body fat. This, combined with a quality exercise program or an adequate amount of daily activity – is what will coax the body in a healthy direction. Remember, to keep the weight off you need to do so in a rational and safe manner. This combined with an appropriate lifestyle adjustment will help ensure success. Not sexy, but it’s the truth.
So do yourself a favor. The next time you consider paying for a cleanse or a detox, save yourself the time, money and suffering, and spend it on something useful – like food and water. Eat your fruits and veggies, get your protein, don’t fear carbohydrates – you need those for energy, and consume healthy fats. If you have any more questions about losing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass, let me know!