Three years ago when I started to try to lose weight I cut calories and began exercising diligently. But few pounds came off. Then someone introduced me to the idea of cleansing as a weight loss technique, and I was intrigued.
The theory behind cleansing (and I'll admit that there is zero scientific evidence to back this up) is that the toxins you absorb during your life, from foods sprayed with pesticides, to toxins in the environment you've been exposed to, are stored in your body's fat. Thus, your body is unwilling to release the fat as long as the toxins are stored there. By cleansing the body of toxins, your body becomes more willing to shed fat.
Now, I have to admit that some of the cleanses you read about sound extreme--and they are. Consuming nothing but water laced with lemon juice and cayenne powder for ten days is probably beyond the ability of anyone but the most dedicated cleanser (and not something I'm inclined to do). But there are a number of cleansing regimes out there that are quite sensible.
Three years ago, for one month I ate nothing but organic, raw fruits and vegetables, and during that time I did a few short juice fasts. I got a couple of colonics (recommended during cleanses), and practiced yoga and other exercises daily that were supposed to help with toxin release.
I lost 10 pounds in that month which never came back. But, more importantly, I finally began to shed weight. For the next several months (until the holidays hit), I started dropping one or two pounds a week (previously it took me a month to lose two pounds).
Since then, I haven't done as extreme a cleanse, but I have done a number of short term juice fasts and periods of going completely raw. Every time I find that weight starts creeping back on and refuses to come off, I find that if I do a cleanse, the weight soon comes off.
There are numerous ways to cleanse, but the basics are easy.
- Drink eight to ten glasses of filtered water a day to flush your system
- Don't eat anything containing sugar
- Eliminate all refined carbohydrates (e.g., white flour) from your diet
- Eliminate caffeine from your diet (that includes chocolate)
- Avoid saturated and hydrogenated fats (that means that McDonalds and just about anything in a box is out)
- Increase the fiber in your diet by eating more whole grains and raw fruits and vegetables
- Eat less meat and dairy, and when you do consume it, make sure its organic and free from hormones and anti-biotics
- Limit your exposure to environmental toxins. Explore replacing your household cleaning supplies with less toxic "natural" products, and take a good look at the soaps and cosmetics you use.