So, there’s this new diet promising to shed fat and rid the body of toxins all in the matter of a few days. Interested? If so, you’re like many Americans who are trying out different “cleanse diets.”
One example is the Master Cleanse, which calls for 10 days of 6 to 12 glasses of maple syrup, lemon juice, water, cayenne pepper, lemonade and daily laxatives.
These diets are popular because they provide a simple routine with rapid results, convincing you that the cleanse was a great idea. Supporters will often boast of their double-digit weight loss in a few weeks – or even days.
But, if you’re thinking they’re too good to be true then you are right.
The huge weight loss seen in a short period is not magic, rather a purely explainable physiological response.
Any diet that causes an individual to eat fewer calories than they expend will result in weight loss. The greater the deficit is between the two, then the greater the weight loss will be. The Master Cleanse provides 650 calories per day, which is less than a third recommended by the USDA. Moderately active college males and females need around 1,800 and 2,200, respectively. It’s no surprise these diets produce extreme weight loss.
Focusing only on weight loss is misleading. A cleanse is seemingly ideal for weight loss, but they’re anything but for fat loss.
Most cleanse diets reduce calories too quickly, and the faster weight loss occurs the greater likelihood it’s coming from water and muscle, not fat. It’s also harder to keep the weight off. They’re also typically very low in protein, which is crucial when losing weight to maintain muscle.
Think exercising is hard enough? Try it on nothing but 650 calories of a lemonade concoction.
The more these diets are examined, the more they’re exposed as nothing more than a quick fix. Diets like these aren’t sustainable for very long. They aren’t enjoyable. They don’t teach you how to eat out appropriately with friends and family. Sure, you may lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks, but now what? The second you go back to normal eating habits that weight will creep back on.
Although it’s not sexy, the best diet approach is something that can be adhered to for a lifetime. Make habits like eating more fruits, vegetables and lean meats. Listen to your body when you’re hungry and full. Get into a normal exercise routine. Enjoy some ice cream from time to time to keep sane. Get plenty of sleep. Most of these things we have been told to do since grade school, yet we still aren’t doing them.
While a cleanse diet might win in a 100 meter dash, life is a marathon and developing good dietary habits is the key to a successful race.