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Whole Foods Body Cleanse

You Asked: Whole Food Body Cleanse — Healthy or Harmful?

Dear Fit,
It's the beginning of June, and already I've been overdoing it with eating crap. Between all the BBQs, Summer parties, and sitting at outdoor cafes, I've been downing so much meat, alcohol, fat, and sugar. I feel so disgusting, not to mention, my clothes don't fit as well. Since an abundance of fresh produce is in season, I was thinking of doing a week-long whole foods cleanse. I wouldn't do one of those juice cleanses, since I've heard they're not healthy, but I'd avoid all dairy, meat, alcohol, caffeine, oil, white sugar, added salt, processed foods, and enriched flour, and only eat fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Is this a good idea?
—Desperate to Detox

Celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek make cleanses appear fashionable and a healthy way to lose weight, so many noncelebs are thinking of detoxing and dropping pounds the same way. You're right that juice cleanses are not good for the body or as life changing as they claim to be. Doctors agree that the body's liver and kidneys do a fine job of cleansing the body on its own, so they see no need in doing a detoxing juice cleanse. As for weight loss, you may drop a jeans size or two, but it's muscle loss, not fat loss.

You're wondering if a whole foods cleanse it healthy and beneficial to the body, so to find out read more.

I commend you for realizing you're overdoing it on the decadent food front, but going off dairy, meat, alcohol, caffeine, oil, white sugar, added salt, processed foods, and enriched flour for only one week isn't going to drastically affect your health. I don't doubt that you'll feel good that week (trainer Jakie Warner believes it takes five days to begin to break sugar addiction, and those five days aren't pretty), but as soon as you go back to your cocktail sipping, French fry eating, sausage loving ways, you're bound to feel tired, bloated, and just plain gross again.

My suggestion isn't to go about it with an "all or nothing" attitude, but to eat healthier in general all the time. When it comes to not so healthy foods, practice moderation. It's OK to enjoy a beer and cheeseburger at your buddy's BBQ, but enjoy it with a green salad and fresh fruit instead of potato salad and a brownie. If you're meeting a friend at an outdoor cafe the next day, choose something low in fat and calories such as grilled fish and veggies, and go for sparkling water instead of a mojito. Don't restrict the foods you crave because you'll just end up overindulging. Instead enjoy not-so-healthy foods a couple times a week, and the rest of the time, focus on eating a diet rich in fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins. Your body will feel good from a 90 percent healthy diet, and your taste buds and mind will be happy with the 10 percent of treats.

Image Source: Thinkstock
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Join The Conversation
AmyLyn AmyLyn 5 years
I agree with the posts here, it's about adding whole foods into your diet while starting to take processed foods out. Some people go the cold turkey (tofurky) route and for some a slow progression works do what feels best for you so you can keep your new way of eating, it's a lifestyle change. And trust me, you will feel GREAT!
Mila_83 Mila_83 5 years
I personally do not believe in one-week (or two,three-weeks) long detox.If you eventually plan to go back to your old eating habits,it won't do anything for you. About five years ago I completely change my approach to food,just like that-cold turkey. I was overweight,unhappy and felt disgusted with my body(not a happy person). One day I just decided that its was time to change. I cut out all junk and by junk I mean all processed food (no sugar,pasta,rice,red meat,bread,no chocolate or sweets of any kind,nothing fried).I stick to fresh veggies and fruits,fish,non-fat yogurts,nuts and seeds.Within first 8 months I lost 50 pounds!I could not believe how great I felt!My skin cleared up and within a year I ran my first half-marathon! I completely happy with my diet and I feel that whole,fresh organic foods makes you feel a lot better than junk food.
Spectra Spectra 5 years
If you eat those detox foods for only a week and then go back to eating crap again, it won't really do much for you. You'll probably de-bloat and feel good for the week you do it, but yeah, like Fit said, you'll regain the weight and go back to feeling like garbage when you go back to your old diet. Try doing your detox plan for maybe a few days, then start adding in healthy foods that you'll need in your diet long-term: whole grains, eggs, olive oil, fish, etc. Don't add back the refined sugars and enriched white flour and processed foods. That way, the results will last and you'll reap continuous benefits.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 5 years
Runningesq, a serving of quinoa has 8g of protein - that's more than one large egg (6g). A serving of brown rice has 5g of protein. One serving of edamame has a whopping 17g of protein. One thing most people don't realize - a small portion of chicken has ALL the protein a person needs for an entire day. In other words, protein is NOT a scarce nutrient, and most Americans are eating too much of it. I often go days eating only fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains, and I'm training for a marathon and doing much better than I was this time last year, when I was eating meat and dairy.
naked_american naked_american 5 years
Great advice, Fit.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 5 years
runningesq, fruits veggies, and whole grains all have protein in them.
runningesq runningesq 5 years
What kind of pills, inlove? My guess is that they are harmful at worst and useless at best.
runningesq runningesq 5 years
only eat fruits, veggies, and whole grains. What about protein?
inlove23 inlove23 5 years
I love this, and I totally agree Chloe. If you deprive yourself the body is going to crave it which will eventually lead to a downfall. I personally try to eat healthy the majority of the time with a few slips, and I still want to try a detox! We have the pills in my house, and it's three-four a day, and you don't have to starve yourself. I just want all unnecessary junk out of my body. Think this is a good idea?
chloe-bella chloe-bella 5 years
I agree with Fit's advice. I cut out all meat and drastically reduced my dairy and processed food intake, and I feel so much better. You probably would notice a difference right away from eating healthier, however, one week of healthy eating isn't going to do anything if you just go back to your old routine. Also, if you jump into something to stringent, you'll just revert back to eating junk food after a few days.
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