To cleanse or not to cleanse

Cleanses are a big deal in the fitness world, every month it seems a new cleanse pops up. The “lemon detox” the “cabbage diet” and many others tempt dieters all over. The idea of a cleanse sounds incredible, clean out your insides, drop weight fast and feel great! Sounds pretty fantastic doesn’t it? However, these cleanses can turn out to not be all that they are cracked up to be. So what are the downsides to a cleanse?


You won’t lose actual weight

The biggest motivator for most people to follow a cleanse is down to weight loss. While following a cleanse will result in a fast initial drop in the number on the scale, this is usually mostly water weight and not actual fat. Most people find that as soon as they start eating normal foods again they gain back all of the weight if not more!

Energy and mood

Cleanses usually require a vastly limited number or calories and a restriction of both fats and proteins. Your body requires some fat to function and with limited amounts of fat you are likely to find your mood dramatically dips. Limiting your calories so severely will also leave you feeling tired, lethargic and for most people pretty grumpy!

Your body is designed to detox itself

A big premise of a cleanse is to “clear out” and “detoxify” your body. The human body is already designed to this by itself! Your liver and your kidneys are already there to remove waste and toxins from your body, so why starve yourself for no reason? Fuel yourself with healthy foods and allow your body to do what it is designed to do.

You may lose muscle

Limiting your protein and calorie intake will usually result in your body burning your muscle stores for energy. This is the last thing you want as muscle helps to keep your metabolism raised, as well as keeping you looking good.

While a cleanse seems like a great idea, long term it may not be the most beneficial. In most cases it won’t help you lose fat, it will most likely leave you feeling pretty crappy, and your body is already detoxifying itself.

So a better idea if you’re feeling grotty and like you need to lose weight is to rather make a lifestyle change. Try to eat whole foods, fresh fruit and vegetables, lean proteins and good fats. Combined with a regular exercise routine this will help you to lose actual fat, feel great and keep your body running optimally!

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Jessica Lindsay

Jessica is a qualified Personal Trainer and is part of the Member Support team at Bailey Fitness.

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