Let me start by warning you that there aren’t any worthwhile shortcuts in life. If you want something, you are going to have to earn it. The same holds true when it comes to weight loss. Crash diets, magic pills, and cleanses are all marketing scams targeted at those of you who are looking for something quick and easy.
I received an email from a friend yesterday asking about the Master Cleanse. Sure, the advertising looks pretty and promises things that we would all want, but proceed with caution. Here was my response:
Play along for a minute, will you?
How many calories a day do you typically consume?
Subtract 750 from that number.
Multiply your new number by 7.
Now, divide that number by 3500.
What did you come up with?
I bet it is somewhere around 2-6.
In theory, that is the number of pounds of fat you would lose while on this “detox diet” for a week if “calorie in/calorie out” worked the way most people wanted it to. Instead, your body will begin to slow down to preserve as much energy as possible. Remember, you aren’t fat because you are lazy and eat too much, but rather, you eat too much and are lazy because you are already fat. Check out my post on “calorie in/calorie out” for further details.
In reality, you may lose that amount of weight, but I give you the Bill Yundt GUARANTEE that it will not be fat. Instead, it will be lost water weight. Hopefully you don’t dehydrate too much while trying to force a laxative diet on your body.
Think about the components of the drink and tell me it isn’t a lemonade laxative. Water, OK we need that to live. Lemon juice, has nothing to offer except flavor and some sugar. Maple syrup, why maple syrup? Once in your body, sugar is sugar is sugar. It will be broken down into fructose and glucose and handled appropriately. The fact that it is maple syrup plays on people’s gullibility. It tricks you into thinking it is something magical. Cayenne pepper, to irritate your gut and hopefully cause diarrhea and thus increase the amount of weight lost.
Now, I know that almost everyone who does the cleanse is doing it for quick and easy weight loss and justifies it by touting some bullshit health reasons.
There is nothing, I repeat, nothing healthy about a sugary laxative. I am being 100% serious here. It is harmful and can KILL you. You do your body more harm than good during this week or two of “cleansing” and the weight will come right back on as soon as you return to feeding your body. Not to mention the additional bloating that will result from starving yourself and then returning to normal eating.
In the words of one of my dearest friends, “What the french, toast?!”
As an alternative, why don’t you give up carbs instead and lose the same water weight without having to worry about having enough energy to tie your own shoes or better yet, enough energy to LIVE!
Limit the carbs to less than 20g/day for 10 days and only from green vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, and spinach. You can even forgo the carbs altogether and just eat ribeyes until you are busting at the seems.
Now, there is something I clearly forgot to touch on in my reply. That is, insulin resistance. This specific detox drink contains almost 200g of sugar! Consuming that much sugar every day is not going to help anyone correct their insulin issues. Chances are, if you are doing this diet, you have some weight you would like to lose. You are also more than likely already insulin resistant, so consuming more sugar is not going to be very productive.
If you have tried some sort of nutritional shortcut in the past, share your experience in the comments.