It’s Cleanse Time!

We’ve all seen the ads, and I’m sure we’ll see more over the next few weeks.

“Start the year off with a cleanse!”

“Kickstart your new year’s weight loss resolution!”

I admit, I’ve been swayed by some of those promises.  Advertising works, people.  I’ve thought “Well, maybe I should buy that fancy juice cleanse to kickstart this weight loss.”  Just a few days won’t hurt, right?

Well, actually, it might hurt in extreme circumstances.  But it’s basically just throwing money away.

This morning, I saw this post on Lifehacker called What Happens in Your Body During a Cleanse or Detox.  The answer?  Not a whole lot.  You get dehydrated and nutrient deprived and hey, your body might even start burning muscle for fuel.  Sounds great, right?

And it sounds enjoyable too.  Extreme hunger, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and all the fun things that come with drinking laxative teas.  Awesome.  Let’s all go do a cleanse right now!

People, your body doesn’t have toxins stored up in it.  If it did, you would be dead.  My grandfather is almost 93 and I can guarantee he has never done a cleanse.  He’s still kicking.  You don’t need to take fancy pills or drinks to get rid of all the old food stored up in your colon.  There isn’t any old food up there rotting away.  That’s not how the body works.

Now, that’s not to say that going on a clean eating “detox” is a bad thing.  Sometimes, when I feel like my eating has gotten off the rails and I’m feeling bloated and gross from all the junk I’ve been eating, I’ll do a few days of what I call detox.  And by that, I mean that I make a point to eat all real foods, try to avoid sugars outside of what’s in fruit, lots of simple things like chicken breasts and steamed veggies.  It does help all the added bloat from too much sodium go away, but more importantly, it helps me reset my brain.  It reminds me that the period of ridiculous eating is over and that I need to get back to a proper diet.

But in general, avoid the hype.  Don’t get sucked into the Master Cleanse or into buying some crazy “program” that promises to get you down to your goal weight or rid your body of all the evil toxins that are stored up inside of you.  You’re smarter than that.

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