Should I Do a Cleanse?

by Jen on December 28, 2012

On talk shows and in magazines, I often hear celebrities championing cleanses. But when they say “cleanse” and I say “cleanse,” we’re usually talking about two very different things.

cleanse

Celebrities use the word to refer to so-called detox diets that promise to help you shed 20 pounds in two weeks. These rapid weight loss regimens can deprive you of crucial nutrients and calories, forcing your body into starvation mode. You do lose weight, but as your metabolism slows, the pounds eventually creep back.

When I say “cleanse,” I mean it in the sense of true cleaning—a strategy that helps your body rid itself of toxins. We’re exposed to harmful substances all the time; they’re in our diet (pesticides, microbes, and mercury, to name a few) and the very air we breathe (think disinfectants, deodorizers, and the gasses released by fresh paint). Fortunately, we have an excellent system in place to handle those toxins: Enzymes throughout the body are continuously breaking them down and helping to flush them out.  This 3-day Shakeology cleanse involves eating whole foods that are packed with nutrients believed to boost the activity of the enzymes and nourish the body’s most important detoxifying organs—the liver, the lungs, the kidneys, and the colon—so they can do their jobs better and more efficiently.

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Depending on how you decide to do it, you’ll be eating frequently and consuming between 800 and 1,200 calories per day, and it could be even more should you feel the need. The point of this cleanse is not calorie restriction, per se—it’s nutrient efficiency. The aim is to get the most nutrients possible into the fewest number of calories. The goal is to put all of these calories to use as a part of your exercise program, to rid your body of undigested foods and toxins, and to bring your hydration levels into homeostasis. The result you’re after is not weight loss—though it will likely occur—but for your body to be running more efficiently. This should make you feel lighter and more energetic, even though you’re doing an exercise program.

How It Works
Your eating structure doesn’t change. You still eat every few hours while you’re awake. Each meal should have a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and fiber. And while you’re not eating as much food as you’d normally eat, your calorie-to-nutrient ratio is extremely high. This means that you shouldn’t restrict the actual nutrients you’re getting by too much, so activity can continue as normal.

We recommend you try to keep your shakes to just Shakeology. Adding fruits of any kind, or seeds (for fat and fiber), or the Shakeology Fiber supplement, can and should be done as you see fit.

Ditto for your one solid meal—a salad. As we all know from any salad bar, the definition of salad can be varied. The goal of the salad in the plan is to keep your calories coming from natural sources (no artificial ingredients should be added, including artificial salad dressing). Aside from that, you can add ingredients as necessary. Keep your meat intake to four ounces or less, but add veggies, seeds, nuts, fruits, and legumes in quantities to satiate you.

The goal of the Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse is to optimize your performance. You want to eat enough to fuel your day AND your workout. The foods you’re eating are so high in fiber and nutrients that it’s virtually impossible to overeat. You’ll be consuming so much fiber, along with enzymes and digestive aids, that your body’s ability to flush excess foods quickly will be at its peak.

What to Drink
Water, of course, is recommended in quantity. This is vital to any cleanse, because one of your goals is to bring your hydration into homeostasis. When your electrolytes are out of balance—the main problem we have is salt—you often retain water outside of your cells. This situation, which we refer to as retaining water, is cured by drinking more water. As the excess salts are diffused, your body begins to hydrate your cells (using sodium as it should be used) and flush the water held outside the cells. So, oddly enough, you drink water to eliminate water retention.

Sodas, alcohols, juices, etc., should be eliminated entirely during a cleanse. Coffee and regular tea, which are diuretics, should be minimized at the very least and eliminated if possible. Again, performance is the key, so if you need a cup of Joe as a pick-me-up, go ahead. Just use only as needed, and don’t use additives. Eliminating sugar and chemicals is vital. However, do not use energy drinks or soda for this purpose, including the ones with artificial sweeteners. Coffee drinkers may find that switching to black tea during a cleanse will give you the energy you’re looking for with less upset. Coffee’s acidic nature can heighten the effects in a negative way during your cleanse.

Here is the full plan:

The Shakeology® 3-Day Cleanse (the key is to follow the same regimen all three days.)

Essentials:
3 Shakeology shakes per day
2 cups of green tea per day
1 or 2 pieces of fruit per day (optional)
1 salad for dinner—can include fish or poultry
No dairy or extra sugars (this includes almond and soy milk)!
Drink 2 to 4 liters of water every day
Only use low-fat dressings, and go easy on the salt and/or pepper to taste
2 snacks before/after any of the major meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
Fruit is optional, and it is discouraged (however, some of you will need the calories while others may not)
Power-workout participants (those who are already super conditioned) are recommended the higher numbers of calories
For maximum results, do NOT use additives
Dinner salad may include WHITE GRILLED PROTEIN—poultry or fish only

Daily Regimen:
1 cup of green tea to start the day

Breakfast:
1 scoop Shakeology (140 calories)
1/2 cup of fruit (60 to 90 calories)—optional
Ice to taste
8 to10 oz. of water

Snack 1 (85 calories):
1 piece of fruit (apple, pear, orange, banana mango, etc.)

Lunch:
1 scoop Shakeology (140 calories)
Ice to taste
8 to 10 oz. of water
1 cup of green tea or a detox tea

Snack 2: (you can have the second snack before or after dinner)
1 scoop Shakeology (140 calories)
Ice to taste
8 to10 oz. of water

Dinner: Salad with grilled white fish or poultry (roughly 340 calories)
Greens—3 servings of vegetables, plus 4 oz. of grilled white meat (fish or poultry)
2 tablespoons of dressing—no more!

Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse FAQ
Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions:
1. How many calories per day?
800 to 1,100 calories per day

2. How often can I do the Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse?
Ideally, you should do it once per quarter (every 3 months).  As the seasons change, before starting a new workout program, or when you feel you need help breaking through a plateau.

3. Should/Can I still do my workouts during the Cleanse?
Depends on the individual.  You’ll have less energy than normal, so consider doing it during a recovery week (Try not to do in the middle of P90X® or INSANITY®)

4. Can I do a 1-day or a 2-day cleanse instead of a 3-day?
Yes! Some people will see results with one or two days.  We recommend against continuing the cleanse for more than three days

5. Should/Can I take other Beachbody® supplements during the Cleanse?
Results and Recovery Formula™: No, too much sugar/calories
Others (Omega-3, etc.): Not necessary, but won’t hurt either

The first time I did this cleanse, I noticed that its effects aren’t just physical. Afterward I felt a sense of peace that I didn’t have before. If you’d like to see for yourself, eat according to the above plan. (If you’re on regular medication, check with your doctor first.) I recommend repeating the cleanse three or four times a year, or whenever you’re feeling bloated or sluggish. I promise it will rejuvenate you—from the inside out.

If you would like to try this 3-day Cleanse, please message me here, I would be happy to set you up with everything you need!

To order Shakeology, go to TheFitHousewifeNutrition.com

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