Cleanses have been gaining popularity with countless celebrities singing their praises. Cleanses often consist of only drinking juices for days or weeks with no solid foods. There are also countless supplements marketed as cleanses with celebrity product endorsement like Kim Kardashian’s and Quik Trim.
Most people don’t realize these can be dangerous to your health and put a strain on your body. With so much conflicting information, I want to give you the skinny on cleanses.
How Cleanses Can Affect Your Body
Your Muscles on A Cleanse
Since cleanses are mostly juice, this means your body is taking in mostly sugar. Your insulin levels rise after consumption, and then can crash soon after. Your body doesn’t get all the calories it needs, and cleanses are often lacking in protein. Therefore you start to use protein stores, which means you’ll likely lose muscle mass.
Your Brain On a Cleanse
After several days on a cleanse, your brain can start to feel it. Lacking protein, your brain’s neurotransmitters have trouble working. This can lead you to feeling sad and irritable.
Your Kidneys on a Cleanse
The proteins in your muscle also start to break down, meaning chemicals start to run into the bloodstream. Your kidneys now have to work extra hard to detoxify your blood.
Your Intestines on a Cleanse
Due to lack of activity, the villi in your small interesting will start to atrophy. This may cause diarrhea, which leads to dehydration.
While many cleanses can initially help you lose weight since they are so low in calories, this is only temporary and may actually hurt your body. The best way to lose weight and keep it off is by eating a “clean” diet 90% of the time just as I recommend. If you eat a diet of highly processed foods, high in fat and sugar, simply taking a supplement claiming to be a cleanser or just drinking a juice concoction cleanser for a few week is not going to help.
The fact is, detox often leads to decreased muscle mass. This means that once you start eating regular foods again, you have less muscle to burn calories. Therefore, your increased intake of calories after your cleanse may turn into fat, meaning you will gain all of the weight you loss and probably more.
Mitzi’s 7-Day Jump-Start Cleanse
- No alcohol, drink only water and green tea.
- Absolutely no eating after 7:30 pm
- No snacking; eat three meals per day.
- Choose one of the options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Portion sizes might need to be adjusted based on your current weight but are based on a diet for a female who weighs about 140 pounds
- Record your daily food intake on MyFitnessPal.com or the free MyFitnessPal iPhone app.
- Take your weight in pounds and divide by 2 to get the minimum amount of water you should be drinking daily.
- Eat a source of protein at every meal. Eat a minimum of 15-25 grams at breakfast and aim for at least 30 grams at lunch and dinner. Protein satisfies.
- Take a daily high quality fish oil supplement such as Nordic Naturals Artic-D Cod Liver Oil
5 Breakfast Options (choose 2-3 and repeat throughout week)
- 1 cup of cooked oatmeal (no packaged oatmeal). It is super quick to make in the microwave.
- Power Cleanse Smoothie. 1 cup 1% organic milk, 1 cup frozen berries, large handful of organic baby spinach, 1 scoop grass fed protein powder, 4 baby carrots
- ½ cup cottage cheese + 1 cup watermelon
- 2 eggs scrambled with organic baby spinach + apple
- ¾ cup Greek yogurt with 1 teaspoon honey + orange
5 Lunch Options (choose 3-4 and repeat throughout week)
- 1 whole wheat sandwich thin with nitrate free ham, mustard, tomato, and 1/4 Hass avocado
- Tuna salad: 4-6 oz tuna on 3 cups organic baby spinach with 1 sliced apple; use balsamic vinegar as dressing
- Small whole wheat tortilla, ¾ cup black beans, ½ oz shredded cheese, light sour cream, salsa
- 2 oz sliced buffalo mozzarella, 2 whole tomatoes sliced, balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil; 1 cup melon
- 1 whole wheat sandwich thin with 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter, 1 tablespoon honey, small sliced banana
5 Dinner Options (choose 3-4 and repeat throughout week)
- 4-6 oz grilled salmon, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1 cup carrots
- 4-6 oz lean ground beef, ¾ cup whole wheat spaghetti pasta with ½ cup marinara sauce; 3 cups organic baby spinach salad with cherry tomatoes and carrots and balsamic dressing
- 2 fish tacos (see recipe), 1 small whole wheat roll, 2 cups organic baby spinach with cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinegar
- 4-6 oz grilled chicken, ½ cup cooked wild rice, 4 asparagus spears
- 1 cup ready to eat lentils (Trader Joe’s), with 1 oz feta cheese, 2 T fresh mint, 2 T red wine vinegar, 1 T lemon juice
Makes 5 Servings (2 tacos per serving)
1 tsp olive oil
1 leek, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¾ cup chicken broth
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 ½ lbs halibut fillets
1 fresh lime
10 corn tortillas
- Heat oil in a large skillet. Saute leek and garlic until soft. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add chicken broth, tomatoes, and cumin to skillet. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low. Add halibut to skillet and sprinkle with lime juice. Cook halibut about 15-20 minutes. Serve inside warm corn tortillas.
*For a great sauce, mix some of the leftover fluid with light sour cream and drizzle over tacos.
Nutrition Information Per Serving, About: 401 calories, 42 g protein, 41 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat
Reprinted from: The All-Pro Diet by Tony Gonzalez with Mitzi Dulan © 2009 by Tony Gonzalez. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098.
To find many healthy and delicious recipes that could be included in your 7 Day Cleanse visit my Pinterest board. I have protein, whole grain, vegetable and fruit boards in addition to many others that include workout plans, healthy breakfast ideas, and cooking tips. The best way to use my Pinterest account to help you in meal planning is to choose one from the protein, whole grains, and vegetables. Make sure to also eat your fruit!
Reprinted with permission from 435 South Magazine.