We’ve all felt it. You’re tired, feeling a little sluggish. Just gross all around.
It feels like something, or many things, in your body just aren’t running the way they’re supposed to.
What do you do?
If you’re like many people you go on a cleanse. A little reset for your body.
With this article, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about cleanses so you can make an informed decision about whether or not you want to do one.
We’ll talk about the scientific evidence regarding cleanses, how they work, what you should look for in a good cleanse, and what cleanses should be avoided at all costs.
Do cleanses work?
Yes. Especially in terms of weight loss and weight management.
Cleanses that involve intermittent fasting for 24-48 hours have been reported as healthier and more effective than every other popular heart healthy diet.
A 15-month study designed to test the long-term success of using the Isagenix system on sustained weight loss and its effect on detoxification and metabolism was recently conducted by Dr. Paul Arciero of Skidmore College. The results were published in the journal Nutrients in 2016.
The study concluded that the system was more efficacious at improving body weight and composition (fat mass, abdominal fat, and lean body mass) compared to traditional heart healthy diets.
The results of this study support the plethora of anecdotal evidence out there.
After a cleanse people generally report feeling better, having more energy, being more focused, and experiencing a general increase in their well-being. People definitely aren’t imagining these things.
How do cleanses work?
Most likely through three different routes.
- By removing the troublesome parts of your diet.
The vast majority of us consume a lot of food that isn’t good for us. I’m talking the high octane, nutritionally void comfort food that tastes oh so good. While this stuff is delicious, our bodies generally hate it.
Simply removing this crap from our diet could be responsible for a pretty significant boost in the good feels when we go on a cleanse.
The second part of this are the foods that we may be sensitive, intolerant, or allergic to.
A lot of people have sensitivities to some food groups.
This may be because they’ve never made the mental association between their bad feelings and said food group. Or, it may be because the discomfort caused by the food group isn’t severe enough for them to warrant a behavioral change.
Either way, going on a cleanse and coincidentally removing a troublesome food group from your diet is another potential explanation for the positive results of a cleanse.
- The mental aspects of a cleanse.
There is a strong relationship between the body and mind. If you need convincing, just look at the placebo effect.
If you do something that you believe is good for your body and believe will make you feel good, then it’s going to make you feel good.
Making the decision to start putting your health first and take care of your body by going on a cleanse is incredibly gratifying. Therefore, you’re going to experience some good feelings.
It’s also very fulfilling to discipline yourself and stick to a strict dietary regime for any length of time. Especially if you’ve had trouble in these areas of your life in the past.
- They allow your body to do what it does best.
Giving your body a break from all of the bad food we generally consume gives your body a chance to catch up. It allows the cleansing organs we have to do their thing.
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs on either side of your spine, just below your ribs and behind your stomach. Each one is about 4-5 inches long and about the size of your fist.
They filter your blood.
The kidneys remove wastes, control the body’s electrolyte balance, and control fluid balance.
Blood comes into the kidneys, wastes are removed, and filtered blood goes back into the body. Wastes removed from the blood are expelled in urine.
The kidneys are incredibly efficient at their jobs. A person can have as little as 10% of their kidneys working and they may not even notice that something is off.
The second natural site of cleansing in the body is at the liver.
The liver is much larger than the kidneys. It weighs about three pounds and sits on the right side of the stomach. It’s up in behind the rib cage.
It filters blood coming from the digestive tract before it allows it to move along to the rest of the body. Many things that come in from the digestive tract, such as chemicals and drugs that need to be detoxified, will be detoxified here.
Good cleanses, like the ones I’m going to discuss soon, provide your body with the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs to support the body’s natural ability to cleanse itself.
What does a good cleanse have?
Good cleanses provide your body with the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it needs to function optimally.
And the best ones employ bouts of intermittent fasting for 24-48 hours.
Cleanses to avoid
Many cleansing programs are low in vitamins and minerals such as vitamins B-12 and D, calcium, iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Cleanses that rob you of essential vitamins and minerals aren’t going to support your liver and kidneys and allow them to do what they do best. And a cleanse that doesn’t provide the optimal conditions for cleansing, isn’t a good cleanse.
Who should do cleanses?
People who are generally healthy and have no pre-existing medical conditions should safely be able to try a cleanse that isn’t too restrictive and is relatively short-term.
The latest research suggests cleanses that encompass caloric restriction and intermittent fasting are incredibly effective. They’ve outperformed all other heart healthy dietary recommendations out there.
Cleanses work to help you feel better by preventing the junk from your diet entering your body in the first place, by giving you a positive mental kick, and by allowing the natural cleansing mechanisms you have to do what they do best.
Anybody who doesn’t have pre-existing medical conditions will benefit from going on a cleanse.
That’s everything you need to know about cleansing. Let me know what you think in the comments.
If you’d like to know more about good cleansing options, please contact me, I’d love to help you out.
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