But, I will now (hopefully) be back on track. You can, once again, look forward to a weekly post every Monday from yours truly!
Now to get into what you really came here for...let's talk about cleansing!
I have several thoughts on this topic; some for and some against. What it really comes down to is your personal intention behind cleansing and what type of cleanse you are doing. There are so many types of cleanses out there! Options include: juice cleansing, mono-meals, water fasting, detox drinks/supplements, and the list goes on. But, this post is not about the different types of cleanses, instead, it is about the pros and cons of such things.
I will start with the negative side of cleansing (better to end on a positive note!):
- Many times, cleanses or detox diets restrict calories/energy intake to bare minimum. A four year old child couldn't even live off this low of calories for an extended period of time. Reducing calories so low can put the individual at risk for a messed up metabolism in the future. Plus, you will more than likely be cranky/hangry and no one enjoys that...
- Many cleanses/detox diets are low in fiber. Fiber is what helps to make you feel full. Not only that, but it is also part of your body's natural detox pathway...digestion! The whole reason you excrete waste products is because your body is already cleaning out your blood stream and intestines to rid it of toxic waste like heavy metals and byproducts of metabolism.
- That bring me to my next point...your kidneys, liver, pancreas, gallbadder are all part of your body's cleansing mechanism. If you want to cleanse your body, eat healthy foods and exercise so these organs stay strong and healthy and do what they are meant to do!
- The intention one sets (i.e. mindset) also plays a large role in determining whether or not a cleanse is healthy. If someone is doing a cleanse for weight loss or other aesthetic reasons, they may be disappointed upon conclusion of the cleanse. For example, when the body is fed such a low amount of calories, metabolism can begin to slow to compensate and reduce risk of starvation. Once proper food intake is reintroduced, it may be hard to "control" one's appetite and excess calories are easily stored as fat.
Ok, enough with the negative, on to the positive sides of cleansing:
- Cleansing can feel great! When done the right way (i.e. eating enough calories), cleansing can be very healthy for the body. One type of "cleanse" that I have found beneficial is one in which unlimited fruits and vegetables are consumed. This high fiber, high water, high nutrition way of eating brings energy to the cells and is easy to implement into an individual's normal eating pattern.
- As mentioned above, a proper mindset to cleansing is important. Instead of focusing on weight loss or muscle definition, a cleanse is more of a spiritual journey and a way to give the body a boost of nutrition. Adding fresh fruits and vegetables to a person's diet is just one way to do this.
- Drinking more water. Our bodies are made up of so much water. Staying properly hydrated (which means different amounts for everyone based on activity, climate, and body size) is one simple way to ensure body functions remain healthy.
- Exercising can be considered a form of cleansing because it gets the blood flowing, which in turn is filtered through the liver and kidneys. This is natural detox at its finest!