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Last Updated on February 20, 2020

Does Weight Loss Cleanse Diet Work At All?

Does Weight Loss Cleanse Diet Work At All?

Do weight loss cleanses really work? From skinny teas to juice cleanses, many of us try to “reboot” our body using different techniques such as juicing.

But the question that remains is: Do these tactics actually work, or are they just a waste of money?

This question is vital for two reasons:

  1. If weight loss cleanses do work, then they could be the answer to a lot of health problems!
  2. If cleanses don’t work, they are not only a risk to your waistline, energy, and wallet but also to your health.

So today, we are going to dive into this age old question and discover the truth behind what cleanses (if any) actually hold the power to change your health, or if they are all, in fact, just a waste of time.

Detoxing and Weight Loss

The number one reason people go on cleanses is for (you guessed it) weight loss! Are you surprised?

So, if people cleanse to lose weight what is the deal with all the “detoxing” slang?

Well, many people believe that toxins cause slowed metabolisms and weight gain. [1]

I can see your wheels turning. “So… if I decrease toxins, then I might lose weight too?” Bingo! Hence, weight loss cleanses and detoxes go hand in hand.

Do Cleanses Actually Detox?

There are two separate ends of this spectrum. On the one side, you have many medical professionals stating that the body is capable of detoxing itself.

Marjorie Nolan Cohn, MS, RD, author of the belly fat fix put it this way:

“Organs and the immune system can handle detoxification on their own, no matter what you eat. The best detox is an overall healthful eating plan along with plenty of fluid that promotes regular trips to the bathroom.” [2]

On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, you have dietitians like Robin Foroutan who say cleansing is a “legitimate component of health.”

While some cleanses are a waste of money, she holds that others aid detoxification in a helpful way. [3]

“If a detox means cleaning up your diet, it has perks. A five-day juice or veggie cleanse, for example, may cut out problematic foods, like wheat, dairy, and artificial ingredients, flooding your body with antioxidants.”

It’s pretty clear that we’re bombarded with toxins everywhere! In fact, some articles claim that 515 chemicals come from just daily products! [4]

It’s pretty clear we weren’t meant to live in such a toxic environment. So, it brings up the question: could our bodies need a little extra help? Could a toxin flush result in long-term weight loss?

Yes, some commercial cleanses out there are wild and dangerous! But, as Robin claims, it might not be as all or nothing as it seems.

Weight Loss Cleanse Myths

Does any weight loss cleanse actually lead to weight loss? Is it long-term?

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If a crash diet is your only motive for doing a cleanse I would rethink it. There are several reasons why cleanses could result in fast weight loss:

  • Reduced processed foods
  • Reduced sodium
  • Automatically eliminates most allergens or sensitivities
  • Provides your body with plenty of nutrients
  • Gives your digestion a break, providing more energy to healing
  • Reduced artificial sugar

However, that doesn’t mean the weight loss is sustainable. In fact, more than anything what is lost is mostly water weight.

Crash diets have never worked long-term and cleanses are not a “healthy” excuse to go on one.

Cleanses were designed to boost nutrients and help your body run optimally. If they are used as a quick fix, then they will be a quick fail as well.

In my opinion, yes. “Cleanses” could be beneficial, but don’t stack up on lemon and maple syrup just yet!

Linda Page, N.D., Ph.D., and the author of Detoxification, states that “we need cleanses now more than ever!” [5]

However, Page is also candid about the fact that she almost “detoxed” herself to death once.

Yes, aiding your body to detox could be beneficial, but a weight loss cleanse that involves only chugging maple syrup is probably the last thing you need!

So, if we do cleanse, which ones are best and how do we find the right one?

What Types of Cleanses Are There?

Of all the cleanses out there, it seems like there are a few primary ones most people cycle through.

1. Whole Foods Cleanse

No, I’m not talking about the store. A whole foods cleanse is based on eating whole foods and eliminating anything processed. An example of this would be the Whole Foods Diet.

These types of cleanses are some of my personal favorites since they are more gentle and don’t drastically cut your protein intake. This is the style of detox Dr Hyman (and many other professionals) are the biggest advocates of. [6]

2. Juice Cleanses

I have a love-hate relationship with this one. While I love how fresh-pressed juices can load your body with nutrients, they can also load your body with a lot of sugar!

The natural result is blood-sugar imbalance and could lead to crashes. One way to naturally reduce this is to add more vegetables to your juices, like celery, cucumber, greens, etc. and not cut out solids entirely.

The key is to add fiber and protein and reduce sugar to help balance your system more than traditional juice cleanses.

3. Smoothie Cleanse

The idea behind a smoothie cleanse is that they are easier to digest while being full of nutrients and low in calories.

Unlike juicing, it is easy to add necessary protein to your diet. Also, blending smoothies helps retain much of the fiber that is lost in processes like juicing.

4. Tea Cleanses

Um… Yikes! These teas help “cleanse” your body by increasing bowel movements. Just make sure you have nothing planned for the day…

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5. Sugar Cleanse

This detox works by helping balance your blood sugar. This is known to be a great option for people trying to cut the sugar habit.

It works much like a whole foods cleanse by adding plenty of quality plants and protein to your diet while cutting out refined sugars.

6. Fasting

Another personal favorite of mine is fasting! Giving our digestion a break is, in my opinion, a great way to reset your body. Fasts don’t need to last all day to be effective, either.

Some people fast for 16 hours through the night, others for 14, and some for 24 or more! According to WebMD, fasting has been used for ages to aid in detoxification.[7] It is known to be one of the most time-proven methods to boost health.

7. Crazy Fad “Cleanses”

Don’t even bother with these ones. If it has the label “lose 10 pounds in 2 days” on it, steer clear! As I mentioned before, fast weight loss just means a crash in metabolism.

That’s not what we’re looking for. If anything, what we need is a whole-foods fresh start!

Which Cleanses Work Best?

While most of these cleanses could have spectacular benefits (ignoring the fad and tea listings), there are a few deciding factors to work through to decide which one suits you.

1. Check with Your Doctor First

Before starting any new cleanse, make sure you are getting the advice of a health care professional. Some health issues could be complicated extremely with certain types of cleanses.

Do your research first!

2. Ask Yourself: Is It Something That Hasn’t Worked for You in the Past?

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The same applies to your nutrition.

Have juice cleanses resulted in binges every time? Then find a different approach!

3. Take it Slow

While juice cleansing might boost energy for someone who generally eats healthy, cutting out everything at once might be too drastic for the average person.

Often, an all or nothing approach is not the way to go. Gauge where you are and practically work to where you want to be.

For instance, the average junk food junkie might do best starting with a sugar cleanse by reducing soda and sweets.

To this person, jumping straight into a fast or juice cleanse could make them feel horrible at first and could even be potentially dangerous!

4. Check with Your Own Lifestyle

Let’s be real, if you know a certain type of cleanse will result in you starving all day only to run to a drive through at night, then it’s not your best option. Find a cleanse that is doable with your lifestyle.

You’ll be all the better for it!

5. Don’t Cut out All Solid Food

You don’t have to cut out all solids to achieve great results! In fact, protein is almost essential for an effective detox. [8] It can be hard to get an effective amount from liquids alone.

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If you opt for juicing for the nutrient boost, consider pairing it with solid food throughout the day to keep you satiated.

What to Do After a Cleanse?

Here comes the most important point of all! What do you do after a cleanse? Do the juices just pave the way for the endless hamburgers you will have the following week?

Before the post-cleanse process, we need to understand two detrimental mindsets first.

A Cleanse Is Not the Same as a Crash Diet

A cleanse is NOT supposed to be used as a crash diet. I repeat.

A cleanse is NOT a crash diet! If the number one reason you want to go on a cleanse is to lose weight quickly, then you might want to reconsider whether going on one is actually right for you.

Science has consistently shown that crash diets reduce metabolism. It’s the reason why people tend to gain weight after losing massive amounts in a short amount of time.

Because of this, going on long-term fasts or liquid cleanses might not be the best idea – especially if you know you are going to go back to your previous way of eating.

The reduced metabolism will merely make you pile on the weight once you introduce those foods back into your diet.

A Cleanse Should Not Be a Purge/Binge Situation

To follow up with the first harmful mindset, a cleanse shouldn’t be an excuse to eat whatever you want once your finished with it.

What good is it to cleanse your body of toxins only to slam your body with foods it is no longer used to processing?

Instead, try to maintain a healthy diet after the cleanse is over.

What a Cleanse Is

A cleanse is a way of resetting your body

and mind to reduce cravings, food addictions, intolerances, and toxins.

That being said, having a game plan is a pivotal part of the process that most people skip!

When resetting your body, you now have the perfect opportunity to start a new and healthier lifestyle without being bogged down by sugar cravings, habits, or sluggishness that you might have experienced before!

Setting Up a Game Plan

Even before starting your cleanse, decide on a plan of action to come off of it.

Will you reintroduce foods slowly? Are there certain foods, like sugar or additives, that you want to cut out entirely? Will you have a meal plan to stick to?

The answer to all of these questions depends entirely on you, your preferences, and your history. Know what has worked in the past and implement that into your plan on coming off the cleanse.

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Otherwise, an unexpected binge could destroy all the effort you put in.

Ideas for Cleansing Slowly and Naturally

As I mentioned before, sometimes a full blown cleanse might not be the best option!

Whether it’s for medical reasons or a history of not being able to stick to a nutrition plan, finding gentle and natural ways to cleanse might actually be the best way to ease your body into it.

If you are looking for ways to cleanse daily without going on a full blown cleanse diet, try some of these great options!

1. Sweat it Out

Sweating has been found to be a really effective way to rid your body of toxins and unnecessary sodium. Naturally, the best way to achieve this is through working out, since it increases blood flow and detoxes you naturally.

However, there are several other ideas to increase this effect as well. Try a hot yoga class, use a sauna, or take a hot bath in epsom salt.

2. Drink Water

Drink your water! I know you’ve heard it before, but it is absolutely essential to getting your body a fresh new start! Think of water as the power washer inside of you.

I love starting my day with a large glass of water!

3. Add Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a natural way of detoxing in and of itself!

4. Eat Plenty of Fiber

As I mentioned before, water is the power washer, but fiber is the scrub! Adding a good amount of fiber into your diet will ensure your body has an outlet for excreting unnecessary toxins from your body.

5. Eliminate Processed Foods and Sugar

I’m sure this goes without saying, but it’s going to be difficult to rid your body of toxins while loading it with new ones every day. To ease into things, try applying the 80/20 rule in your life.

Eat healthy 80% of the time and enjoy a small treat every now and then.

6. Try Herbal Remedies

Some herbs like dandelion root and green tea have been found effective in reducing toxins. Do a little research and discover what foods and herbs you can easily sneak into your daily diet to get great results!

Conclusion

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a healthy lifestyle isn’t either. Don’t rush things. Instead, build an amazing lifestyle one habit at a time.

Remember what is waiting for you at the end: A happy and fulfilling life full of the energy you need to bless those around you.

Want Weight Loss Tips? We’ve Got Them

Featured photo credit: K15 Photos via unsplash.com

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Katelyn Delaney

Owner of Revifi -- Fitness Training & Life Coaching

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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