The Newest Cleanse – You’re doing what now?!?
If you’re alive and care about your health even a little, you’ve probably heard of at least a dozen of these complicated cleanses that require drinking elaborate home-made potions, consuming bottles of this or jars of that (purchased through them, of course), and in many cases have some very salesy guru spouting benefits that invariably involve the phrase “ridding your body of toxins.”
Why do these cleanses work?
While I’m no guru, having spent thousands of hours researching fasting (through scientific literature, hosting support groups for fasters, and a lot of self-experimentation). I have a pretty strong hunch that most of these cleanses are really taking credit for all the hard work YOUR BODY is doing naturally when you stop constantly consuming and give your digestion a chance to breathe.
(Hot water with a little slice of lemon is great too!)
Using a cleanse as a stepping stone
These homemade potions and fancy health cocktails can provide a fantastic step, one that allows you to get comfortable with the empty stomach feeling that many of us have spent our entire lives avoiding. One where you realize that skipping a meal does not cause you to turn into a pumpkin, but rather with some practice, leads to you feeling pretty fantastic.
Water only fasting is the ultimate cleanse!
Don’t stop at a short-term cleanse, though. Use it like training-wheels to help strengthen your fasting muscle. So that you can try experimenting with the true “active ingredient” in all of these cleanses – fasting!
Fasting is arguably the most powerful tool for losing weight (and keeping it that way), reversing Type II diabetes, and a host of other inflammation-related diseases. The research is compelling, here are three of my favorites:
- “Fasting may help people lose weight, but new research suggests going without food may also boost human metabolic activity, generate antioxidants, and help reverse some effects of aging” ScienceDaily
- In rodents intermittent or periodic fasting protects against diabetes, cancers, heart disease, and neurodegeneration, while in humans it helps reduce obesity, hypertension, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. Thus, fasting has the potential to delay aging and help prevent and treat diseases while minimizing the side effects caused by chronic dietary interventions.
- Turns out breakfast might be a bad idea if you’re trying to lose weight: BMJ
Plus, it has tremendous benefits like autophagy!
The hardest part of fasting for so many of us is starting! Check out our post on starting With time your fasting abilities grow (just like muscles) and it becomes easier and easier to fast. Check out the post on making it easier to fast.
If a cleanse makes it easier for you to start flexing that fasting muscle. Go for it! However, don’t lose sight of the bigger picture – I’d encourage you to keep moving toward using the main active ingredient (fasting).