Chances are you have tried one or more of the trending cleanses or detoxes in the past. Don't worry, I have too. Did you get any results? If so, how long did it last?
Many products, often promoted by celebs are flooding the fitness market every day and make people believe it’s possible to lose pounds overnight. Today I’ll explain how it works and why you should avoid them if your goal is to lose your excess fat and keep it off for the rest of your life.
Let’s be clear though, I am not here to judge. It’s only natural that we want things to happen fast because everything we hear or see in the media promises quick results. Believe me, I've been there. The key, however, is to see beyond these promises and understand that these companies only care about their profit and not necessarily the health and sustainable lifestyle of their customers.
I suggest you turn off your TV and start getting your information from trusted health organizations and professionals. All the information you need is available on the internet. Just make sure you consume the right information from the right resources.
Let’s take a moment to dig a little deeper and understand the difference between a “detox” and a habit based well-balanced weight loss diet in terms of three aspects.
1. Weight Loss Speed and Sustainability
Purely from a weight loss point of view doing any type of detox diet will result in fast drop on the scale. I get told by people often that they went on a detox and lost 2-3-5 pounds overnight. I get why they are impressed. Who wouldn't want to lose that amount of weight overnight??
But if I asked you how long you can sustain your lifestyle on a detox, the answer will likely be not too long. Let’s say you are able to live on 500 calories per day for about three days. You will likely see shocking results on the scale, but you will also feel exhausted and tired.
It’s also likely that by that point your body will have got used to your food intake and your metabolism will be reset to use everything it can just to survive. Imagine that from day 4 you get back into eating around 1600-2000 calories again while your body is still storing every bit of energy it can not to mention the water retention changes. Within a few days you will likely gain back all the weight you lost and potentially some more.
I coach my clients to change their lifestyle one habit at a time and practice them until they become a routine. Why? Because that’s the only way you can achieve long-term weight loss that is sustainable and will last.
True, it won’t happen overnight, it won’t even happen in 2 weeks. It will be slower but consistent. Your body will receive everything it needs to fuel your daily activities. You will build new habits to replace the damaging old ones and without stressing about it weight loss will happen as a side effect.
2. Calorie Intake
All cleanses and detoxes will promote a very low calorie intake, well below 1000 calories per day. The average healthy female body needs anywhere between 1500-2000 calories per day, while men need around and over 2000.
Pushing your body to try to live on low calories, meaning very little nutrients can have damaging effects on your metabolism and result in health issues, especially if you already have one or more medical conditions. Not to mention the head-space you’ll be in trying to stick to such a restricted plan, where you have no joy in your meals and likely spending a fortune on low-calorie supplements.
On a habit based diet where the goal is fat loss I teach my clients how to stay in calorie deficit while still enjoying the foods they like. This is done through portion control, exercise, consistency and decent sleep.
The health and longevity focused professionals in the fitness industry agree that the best diet is the one you can stick to. Creating long lasting nutrition habits while working on staying in a calorie deficit for weight loss is the guaranteed method to reach your goals and be able to sustain them too.
BONUS...you will enjoy every step of the process, become fitter, healthier and happier.
Checkout this comparison between a diet where calories are evenly distributed in the week as opposed to where you do a 3-day detox followed by normal daily calorie intake. When you calculate your average and total weekly calories, it will be exactly the same. That means, whatever happened with your weight by Thursday morning will likely will disappear by the following Monday. Guess which plan you'll feel better on?!
3. Lifestyle and Mindset
Trusting heavily restricted diets to help you achieve your goals can cause more damage than help you get results. I have been there myself, on and off the diet wagon, struggling between deprivation, binge, regret and repeating the process several times only to become more miserable and frustrated. I like to call that the “diet cycle”.
Once I found how working on habits can help me enjoy life and see results, I came up with the “sustainability cycle” concept we use in our Get Real Challenge groups too. The idea is that you enjoy the process, enjoy the foods you eat while working on your habits. This way you will see results that last, feel motivated and repeat the process until it becomes your new lifestyle that you love.
Our body has the best self-cleaning system to protect you from the harmful effects of indulgences and damaging habits. So long as you are generally healthy and just want to lose some weight and be fitter and healthier, you should be focusing on giving your body what it needs in form of good nutrition, exercise and recovery and it will take care of you.
If you’d like to learn more about the system I promote in my Ripped by Rycroft programs, feel free to message me and I’ll be more than happy to point you to the right direction.
I am a wife, mom, grandma & former professional “diet and exercise hopper" who understands the challenges of being 40lb overweight after having children & the damage repeated sense of failure can cause to your confidence and self-esteem.