For years, cleansing diets and detox plans have been in the spotlight, fueled by stories of celebrities who followed these strict regimens to lose weight quickly for a movie, an awards show, or public appearance.
Cleanse programs are prolific, and they vary widely; most eliminate caffeine, alcohol, sugar, processed foods and fast foods. Many exclude dairy, meat and wheat products. The most stringent are liquid fasts. Some even recommend enemas, including coffee enemas. When I began the Cardiovascular Health Improvement Program (CHIP), it started with a cleanse that eliminated dairy, processed foods, white flour, chicken and meat. And, my goal was merely to improve my cholesterol. These plans are big business, often involving purchasing books, supplements, vitamins, shakes, drinks, teas, juicers and other products.
What are the risks?
Regardless of the type of cleanse, possible challenges include:
• Headache, nausea, weakness, dizziness, loose bowels and upset stomach
• Loss of muscle mass
• Yo-yo dieting effect
The question is “Are you willing to suffer the possible consequences to look good for a special occasion?” While the quick fix may sound simple, it is a short term solution to a long term challenge. Is your bloating caused by inflammation – a sign of deeper health problems?
A high fiber diet may be just what the doctor ordered for a satisfactory cleanse. You can get more benefits in less time and with less work. Let your healthcare provider be your partner in these important health decisions. Discuss the risks/benefits and any possible problems presented by existing chronic conditions.
And, when you take the important step, know that it is one of many steps aimed at improving your overall health and appearance. Live well…be well!