A Healthy Cleanse
Is Cleansing Really Healthy?
Doctors and nutritionists will tell you that the best and most healthy way to lose weight or feel better is not a cleanse or quick fix solution, but instead is healthy eating and regular exercise. Yet, knowing that doesn't prevent people from trying. You can type cleanse or quick weight loss solutions into your browser and you will receive page after page of responses from companies selling their magic weight loss solutions, or feel better cleanses. You can walk into any health food store or even drug store and find weight loss cleanses promising all kinds of health benefits from removing toxins from your colon or liver to quick and extreme weight loss solutions. Certified Dietician, Katherine Zeratsky of the Mayo Clinic writes that "Detoxification (detox) diets are popular, but there is little evidence that they eliminate toxins from your body." Research will quickly tell you that your liver and kidneys were both designed to cleanse toxins from your body and if you eat healthy foods and drink alcohol in moderation they should do their job successfully. Obviously, if you are eating horrible processed or fried foods in excess and drinking heavily you could change your habits to eat healthy foods and naturally cleanse your body without paying for expensive cleanses. Some people claim they feel better after a cleanse or detox diet, Zeratsky also states that, "It may be due in part to the fact that a detox diet eliminates highly processed foods that have solid fats and added sugar. Simply avoiding these high-calorie low-nutrition foods for a few days may be part of why people feel better."
There are many types of cleanses and detox programs available to choose from, and lots of different opinions on their benefits. It is always best to talk any diet plan over with your doctor and know that some cleanses can actually do more harm than benefit. Choosing a healthy lifestyle is the best way to lose weight and improve the way you feel.
The reason I chose to the Shakeology cleanse was because it included a healthy shake that I already incorporate into my diet, plus other healthy foods were not eliminated. Also, it was a short three days and would hopefully help me to just regroup after many days of unhealthy eating and jump start my regular healthy eating habits.
Zeratsky seems to agree with my approach, “Finally, keep in mind that fad diets aren't a good long-term solution. For lasting results, your best bet is to eat a healthy diet based on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein. If you do choose to do a detox diet, you may want to use it as a way to jump-start making healthier food choices going forward every day."
Basics of the Shakeology 3 Day Cleanse
The makers of Shakeology say that the cleanse is meant to jump start your diet, break a plateau, or shed pounds fast and effectively in a healthy way.
The 3 day Plan:
- Three Shakeology Shakes a Day
- 2 Cups of Green Tea
- One or Two pieces of fruit a day (optional)
- One Salad for dinner (white grilled protein added to salad)
- Wake up and have one cup of green tea
- Breakfast: 1 serving of Shakeology, Ice, and 1/2 cup of fruit (optional fruit)
- Snack: 1 Piece of Fruit
- Lunch: Shakeology Shake with Ice and Water Only; Follow up with 1 cup of Green Tea
- Snack: Shakeology Shake (or save this for after dinner)
- Dinner: Salad with 3 servings of vegetables, a lean protein (poultry or fish); non-dairy dressing
- Drink LOTS of water throughout the day (64-128 oz)
- Absolutely NO DAIRY
The Shakeology Three Day Cleanse Put to the Test
As I write this it's 8:30 pm and I am at the end of day one. I have a pretty big headache and I'm feeling tired and a little foggy, but as of right now I'm not really hungry. My salad and salmon from dinner were delicious and very filling. Here is the breakdown of day one:
Woke up at 6:45 am
7:00 am Hot Green Tea
8:30 am STARVING! Chocolate Shakeology Shake
10:00 am Workout Circuit Training (Shoulders, Triceps, biceps and legs) Great workout!
11:00 am STARVING AGAIN! I was going to skip the optional fruit, but by this time I needed something so I had a handful of raspberries and a huge glass of water. This curbed my hunger for a little while.
12:30: Hungry again and ready for my lunch shake, it did the trick and I felt better.
2:30 pm: I was at a doctor’s appointment and my stomach was grumbling very loudly, I was so hungry I felt sick and started to get a headache. By the time I got home it was 3:15 and I was starving. However, even though the plan includes a third shake as a snack, I decided to skip the extra calories and hold off until dinner. I settled for hot green tea and lots of water.
5:30 pm: So excited for dinner, I began chopping all of the fresh ingredients for my salad and had to snack on some of them while I chopped.
6:30 pm: Dinner!!! Yippee, real food! I made a huge salad with Spinach, Arugula, Red Bell Peppers, Yellow and Red Cherry Tomatoes, Hearts of Palm, Baby Corn, Green Onion, Celery, and Carrots. I then baked a small piece of Salmon with three artichoke hearts on top and a little bit of Dijon Mustard. I wrapped the Salmon in foil and baked in the oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. It was really good!
Lots more water and lights out early!
Up at 6:45 am and heading straight to the bathroom, constantly need to pee on this cleanse! The scale says I didn't lose any weight yet, not even water weight, bummer!
8:45 am: Breakfast Shake
9:45 am: Run with my dogs, but can only make it 2.5 miles because my energy levels are low.
11:30 am: Need a snack so I had a handful of cherry tomatoes.
12:00 pm: Lunch Shake
3:00 pm: STARVING!! I have a headache, my stomach is grumbling and I can't seem to stifle the hunger with water, so I make my second green tea.
5:30 pm: Start chopping ingredients for my salad and munch on a few radishes and tomatoes because I am starved.
6:30 pm: Salad: Arugula, Cherry Tomatoes, 1/4 red bell pepper, 2 artichoke hearts, one heart of palm, sautéed white onion and jalapeno with 4 oz. chicken and a handful of spinach. 1 tbsp. light wasabi vinaigrette. This was very satisfying and I wasn't hungry for the rest of the night.
Lots of water throughout the day.
Lights out at 10:00 pm.
Weigh in shows I am only down about 3 lbs., I'm disappointed because my husband has lost a lot more than that, but in reality losing 3 lbs. in two days is pretty great. I realize that it is mostly water weight, but I do feel slimmer.
8:30 am: Green Tea
3:30 pm: Workout: (circuit training: shoulders, triceps, biceps, legs) this was hard today as I am low on energy and feeling weaker than normal.
5:00 pm (Almost cheated and went to dinner with my husband....ALMOST!)
6:00 pm Salad (chicken, radish, spinach, red bell pepper, artichoke, hearts of palm, sugar free balsamic vinaigrette)
9:45 pm BED
WHEW...I made it! I can't believe I actually made it all three days. It was really hard, especially the third day when my husband suggested we cheat and go out to dinner, I refused and then two hours later I was begging him to go and he refused. I am glad we held each other accountable and we decided to stick it out to the end. I lost 4 and 1/2 pounds and my husband lost 12, we were both proud of our will power.
I don't think this diet is effective for losing weight and keeping it off long term, but it is a great way to jump start a diet and also a way to get back on track if you've had several weeks of unhealthy eating. Also, because you are not starving yourself, the shakes are healthy and you still eat one balanced meal a day, you could do this cleanse once a month to refresh your diet.