Editor’s Note: Are you thinking about cleansing but have no idea what it is? In today’s guest post, Leah Gallin introduces some of the more common commercial cleanses and discusses whether or not they are a healthy weight-loss option.
Everybody wants to drop a few pounds fast.
You’ve considered trying a pill, but the phen-phen-omenon a few years back produced a healthy fear of non-FDA approved herbal supplements.
You could join a program like Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers, but those can be expensive and time consuming, and you really don’t want to take your body issues public by getting on a scale in front of a roomful of people.
There’s always the tried and true “diet and exercise” route, but let’s be honest; you’re on a tight schedule…and it’s hard!
So that leaves you with one option that is quick, affordable, and pretty much guaranteed to work: a cleanse.
There are several different cleanses on the market, from the Master Cleanse to SlimQuick to the Hollywood Diet (just to name a few), that offer a duration of anywhere from two to ten days (certainly less than other diet programs). And while most tout health benefits like full-body detoxification or colonic irrigation (a colon that’s clean as a whistle), it’s a pretty well-known fact that most people are using them to lose weight.
That said, all cleanses rely on the same basic principle. You drink a lot of fluids, eat little or no food, and basically expel every ounce of waste and water from your body.
Cleansing can be a useful short-term weight-loss tool (when properly administered). To start, you need to follow the instructions. Since dehydration is always a possibility when doing a cleanse, you need to be sure to stay hydrated. Then you just drink the magic potions and start to lose weight. And yes, you will lose!
There’s no denying that despite what proponents say about these miracle beverages, they do deliver on the promise of a thorough cleanse. Any toxins present in your digestive system are virtually whisked away over the course of the treatment. And it should come as no surprise that limiting your intake of food and beverages is going to result in some weight loss.
The real benefit that many of these diets offer (as opposed to say, fasting) is that the drinks will help curb your appetite.
Now, if you’re doing it for your health and you’re already healthy, you should probably be aware that it’s basically redundant (unless you are preparing for a colonoscopy or some similar procedure). Humans are born with bodies that are high-functioning, self-contained units programmed to eliminate waste. So you’re really only speeding up a process that is already in place naturally.
Anyone who is able to effect a healthy diet full of fluids, fiber, fruits and vegetables should have no problem staying regular and therefore does not really require a cleanse for health reasons.
But if you need to drop five or ten pounds quick for a big event, you could do worse than trying a cleanse. In the short-term, they may not really offer the major health benefits they describe (although in reality, it is not a lie, but a simple overstating of the value). But they will definitely help you to shed some extra weight without any undue detriment to your body (if you follow instructions).
Many also offer advice for keeping the weight off, as it will almost certainly return if you choose to resume your usual eating habits.
Like any health option, you should consult with a physician beforehand to ensure that you don’t have any conditions that could be exacerbated by a cleanse, and then approach it with realistic expectations in order to garner the best possible results.
Do you think commercial cleanses are a healthy, natural way to lose weight? Do you agree that cleanses are redundant if you’re already healthy? Let’s hear your thoughts!