It’s the first of the year and the fitness industry is desperately trying to capitalize on ill advised and half-hearted new years resolutions. Lucky for you, ole LaToof is here to set the record straight and keep you from wasting you time and money.
It seems like everyday I see some advertisement for a ‘cleanse.’ They imply that your body is incapable of taking care of itself.
It’s quite despicable actually. I get quite frustrated when people under-estimate the human body. It is incredibly designed and more capable than most realize.
WHY CLEANSES ARE JUST A BUNCH OF MALARKEY…
#1 They Claim to Promote Quick Weight Loss
Sustainable weight loss doesn’t happen quick, at all. You should know this. If you are a regular reader of mine, you do know this.
You know what else promotes rapid weight loss?
- Not eating all together
- Eliminating carbs
- Eating nails (make sure they’re gluten free though)
Yes, it is true that a lot of people have gut issues. These issues mainly stem from the pretend food most people eat on a regular basis. However, I feel for those who have gut issues who eat healthy, like myself. Gut issues can spring up anywhere and here’s a little secret, you don’t need a pink drink or a bunch of probiotics to clean out your gut.
#2 They Claim to ‘Detox’ your System
Detoxification, according to a google search result, “…is the physiological or medicinal removal of toxic substances from a living organism, including the human body, which is mainly carried out by the liver.”
I shouldn’t have to explain further but I probably need to. Your body is quite capable of detoxing itself. Organs such as the liver, spleen, and kidneys work around the clock to ‘detox’ your system. If we just get out of their way, they’ll do just that. More on that in bit…
#3 They Claim to Boost your Metabolism
One does not boost metabolism with small frequent meals. I have touched on this issue in greater detail here and here. Nor does one boost metabolism with potions and snake oils. In fact, most people throw the term “boost your metabolism” out there without knowing what it means.
Most people associate a boost in metabolism with an increase in caloric expenditure. Well, in my humble opinion, most people are wrong. In this case, they certainly are.
Let’s break-i-tee, break this down…
According to a google search, metabolism is defined as follows:
“the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life.”
So, if we “boost the metabolism,” aren’t we just speeding up the processes our body naturally does?
There aren’t many scenarios in which I find it to be beneficial to speed up metabolic processes. Caffeine consumption is known to speed up gastric emptying and can be beneficial in the case of cheat day strategies. (For more on that, click here.)
By speeding up the metabolic process does not yield in a higher caloric expenditure. It means that whatever the caloric expenditure was would just be burn quicker.
#4 They Claim to Give you More Energy
Probably, the main reason they advertise this and some people do experience an energy surge from a ‘detox’ or ‘cleanse,’ is because it’s usually after gorging themselves on a holiday feast. (No judgement here, I do the same.)
Unknowingly, after a holiday indulgence people tend to eat a lower amount of calories and aren’t over-working their digestive systems. From a physiological standpoint, cleanses give you no more energy than eating an apple.
Just a quick reminder, energy for the body comes in the form of kilocalories, AKA calories. If your cleanse or any other cleanse, claim to increase energy and it contains zero calories, that is nothing short of a lie. It’s a good things these companies don’t sell these cleanses directly to the customer; their noses would be a mile long.
#5 They Claim to Help Make up for Over-Indulgences
Maybe this one was a bit redundant… But, I feel like 5 points really hammers it home better than 4. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m stalling. Maybe I’m just trying to increase the word count. If you agree that 5 would’ve been better and are disappointed after reading this paragraph, and I don’t blame you, just re-read #1, it’s a good one.
WHAT YOU SHOULD ACTUALLY DO…
Well, if you’re not pissed off by now, this ought to do the trick.
Let me get this straight, Nick. You’re telling me that cleanses do not work, and instead of doing a cleanse, I should fast??
Bing. Bang. BOOM!!
Yes, you are correct.
Your body is designed to repair itself and it does quite efficiently. It can do it even more efficiently if you don’t get in the way. By foregoing food consumption, you are allowing the body to utilize it’s stored energy reserves.
Yes, that means fat cells but it also means harmful things in your body that is brought in with bad food choices.
I know, the term fasting is a dirty word in our culture.
How could you possible survive by forgoing food for extended periods?
I thought you were suppose to eat every 2-3 hours?
I’m gonna be hungry!
My metabolism will be shot!
I address those issues and more here.
I following an Intermittent Fasting protocol. I fast anywhere from 16-20 hours every day, usually only eating 1-2 meals. Other than a hereditary thyroid issue, my metabolism is just fine. (Intermittent Fasting video blog)
While intermittent fasting is greatly beneficial, I think periodic extended fasts are important as well. Look at any religion out there and you’ll find a time in which fasting is practiced. There is something spiritual about fasting. It’s rejuvenating.
Physiologically, the longer the fast, the deeper level of detox your body will experience. Often, people get headaches, suffer from fatigue, etc. This is because you body is burning off things that are not necessary (toxins, chemicals, etc) and very poor sources of energy.
Research is even showing that extended fasts could help halt tumor and cancer growth by years. It’s far from conclusive, but it is very promising.
A week-long (7 days) fast would be very beneficial. Yes, you will drop some weight but the benefits of fasting extend much further than a number on a scale. Your body will detoxify down to a cellular level.
I plan on digging much more into fasting in a future article. I just wanted to hit on the main points here and fill you in on the basics of cleanses and why they aren’t worth the money, even if they’re free.
Be looking out, I plan to do a 7 day fast here soon. I would love for you to join me!
I am always available for comments and concerns. Comment below, message me on Facebook or twitter, and/or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, stay #Relentless my friends