Instead of Doing a ‘Cleanse Diet,’ Just Cleanse Your Diet

Diet womanI had my last child almost five years ago, and I am still trying to get my pre-baby body back. It’s an embarrassing confession for me and cuts away at my self-confidence on a daily basis.

I came close to reaching my goal late last year through dedication and a splurge on a personal trainer who was worth her weight in gold. I am ashamed to admit that the holidays and an extended business trip in January shot me way off the wagon. I am now in the process of trying to find my way back.

One thing I will do, and did when I found my success last year, is take advantage of a cleanse or two. I worked with my trainer to identify one that uses actual food and no artificial ingredients to find success. I don’t believe you can “cleanse” your way to sustainable weight-loss, but I will say that when I did do the cleanse, I was rewarded in renewed confidence in the form of slightly looser jeans and a lower number on the scale.

I believe that boost is worth more than the five pounds I lost doing it. I took the confidence I gained and lost more weight. It broke me out of my weekend/weekly cycle of two pounds down and two pounds up.

But what I also learned is that after a cleanse, I went back to old eating habits, and the weight would come back quicker than I could finish a beer. It has to be part of a long-term solution and not a quick fix. Based on my experience, if you lose all your weight through a cleanse, you are guaranteed to gain it back quickly once you reach your goal. The best solution is cleaning up your eating overall.

Last night I stopped in Walmart to enjoy some kid-free shopping time. On my way to pick up my protein shake mix I passed by several shelves of “quick-fix” diet solutions. Let’s be real here – if weight loss was as easy as taking a pill or drinking a bottle of who knows what, we’d all be thin. You can’t eliminate the work and sacrifice involved. I know that — which is why I’m working to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way (again). Instead of wasting money on the items in that aisle, I walked right over to the produce section and bought pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables.

I’m lucky to know better than to buy those “fad diet solutions.” I’m also lucky that I live close to and can afford a gym. There are thousands of women and men who lack a proper understanding of nutrition and the confidence to lace up their shoes and make it happen in the healthiest way possible.

These companies are capitalizing on people’s desperation to get their bodies back and regain their quality of life. We should all work to educate our friends on the healthy way to lose weight. Next time you go on Facebook to brag about your weight loss – share how you did it. Let your friends know about the healthy foods that got your there – and not that magic pill.




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  1. Manju Karkare

    So glad you have clarified how important it is to cleanse your diet rather than do a “cleanse”. As a nutrition professional I help people understand that it is possible to eat healthy on any budget with basic cooking skills. I take great pride in teaching Cooking Matters classes in low-income communities.


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