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Cleanse And Detox for The Purpose of Weight Loss

posted by Fitness Focus    |   August 24, 2012 00:18

Questions from around the gym: Do Cleanses and Detoxes Work?

This is a hot topic at all gyms; as discussed in the previous cleanse and detox blog entry; cleansing which is interchangeable with fasting, is certainly not a smart choice in terms of promoting good health. Fasting is also far from a effective method for weight loss, yet it still one of the oldest methods for fast weight loss. It doesn't involve a whole lot of understanding or any drastic changes in your lifestyle.  it just requires starving yourself, then it won't be long until you start to see the numbers on the scale starting to drop.  For people desperate for answers, it doesn't help being bombarded by all the New Age products on the market that claim to help them get the most out of their weight loss fast.  Fasting is an easy and non-invasive method of losing weight and is hyped up by some self-appointed experts as the best method to deal with weight loss and obesity, when used in combination with their products and services.  When you do a detox, you do lose some weight temporarily, but most of the immediate weight loss that occurs is just a result of the lack of fluid retention that naturally happens when a person does not eat. So, the weight that is lost is short lived is short-lived at best, and it inevitably be regained after a couple days of returning to your normal eating habits.  Previous in the blog you read about detoxes and cleanses and their unrealistic role of detoxifying your body  The main reason people incorporate a detox into their lifestyle is for the purpose of weight loss,

Fasting & Weight Loss:  Understanding the Mechanisms Of Short Term Fasts
This section will explain a bit more of what fasting really does to our bodies and what impacts it has on leading a healthy lifestyle.  One important aspect of understanding what happens during a cleanse is to have a clear picture of exactly what is happening in your body when you decide to stop or restrict your nutritional intake. Sugars that are broken down and stored in your body the form of glucose is the main source of fuel for your body and is necessary not only for our muscles to work but also for our brain to be efficient.  When your food intake is limited, the low blood sugar levels in your body trigger an increase in the two hormones glucagon (which is a for of glucose - sugar found in your liver and muscles) and epinephrine. One function of these hormones is the stimulation of the conversion of glycogen into a useable fuel by means of a process called glycogenolysis. The human liver and muscles have enough glycogen to last for two to three days; this is one reason that brief periods of fasting, say for a medical procedure, are usually harmless for healthy individuals.

Fasting and Weight Loss:  The Effects of Long Term Fasting

When you decide to limit or completely remove most foods from your diet as most cleanses require, there will be a brief period when your body will start to use your stored body fat as a fuel source. During this period, the change in body weight will not be noticeable by any means.  Too long of a period without proper nutrient intake, such as protein, carbohydrates and to a lesser extent fats, your body will go into a catabolic phase which basically means you will actually start to loose muscle mass.  So, losing muscle mass might take the numbers on the scale in the direction you want, but that doesn't mean that it was kind of weight you wanted to lose. Muscle is what gives a person the hard or in shape look once they achieve desired body fat levels. A long period without food has another negative and

undesired effect on the body.  When your body is deprived of calories for fuel it goes into a survival mode, so when the calories are reintroduce when you eat again your body will use what is immediately needed and store the rest as,you guess it, bodyfat.  So a cleanse that last for 30 days, 10 days, or even 3 days will ultimately lead you back to where you were a the beginning.

So you see, a cleanse as a method of losing unwanted body fat is really not the answer.  If anything it will make you more tired and less capable of living your daily life, including work and exercise.  As stated in the previous article, depriving yourself of nutrients is not doing your body any favors.  There is no substitute for proper, healthy eating.

 

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