I opened my friend's fridge and found it stocked with sugar water, disguised as the latest juice cleanse. We were about to leave for vacation in a few weeks, and I knew right away it had something to do with swimsuit plans.
Cleansing your body of toxins often poses as a clever pretext for fast weight loss. Sure, detoxification might be a nice bonus, but the truth is that most people do a low-calorie, semi-starvation diet – AKA cleanse – to fit into their skinny jeans.
There's nothing wrong at all with wanting to look and feel great! But there's definitely something wrong with starving your body to do it, and the results of most cleanses are exactly the opposite of what you're aiming for.
Why Juice Cleanses Hurt You
Switch to an entirely liquid diet, and you’ll probably initially lose weight – note I said weight, not fat. But your metabolism will soon come to a grinding halt to compensate.
When you suddenly deprive your body of calories and nutrients, it assumes you're in an emergency situation and promptly hangs on to any fat reserves you have. You’ll also become a miserable, starving mess in the process, as the juice crashes your blood sugar and elevates your stress hormones.
Let’s say you are doing one of those plans to detoxify. You’re still out of luck, since most juices and cleanses are almost entirely high-sugar impact with few, if any, nutrients.
Worse, most of these poorly designed, overpriced plans lack protein. Without those absolutely needed amino acids, your body can’t effectively complete phase 2 detoxification– the phase that actually excretes toxic substances. Use a juice cleanse to detox, and you could actually become more toxic.
How to Detox the Right Way
It's time to stop this juice cleanse nonsense now! I’ve got a better plan to help your body detoxify, while also effectively shedding that hard-to-lose belly fat.
If you're turning to juicing or green smoothies for an extra nutritional boost, then you can get the power of of detoxifying greens and protein with a scoop of Green Smoothie Cleanse in your morning shake or glass of almond milk.
It's got 18 grams of vegan-friendly protein per serving, plus amazing nutrition from 14 whole fruits and veggies, including 7 types of greens. (And with a yummy strawberry-vanilla flavor, there's no more holding your nose while you gulp down terrible green drinks…)
You can also use Green Smoothie Cleanse as part of a more-intensive 7-day cleanse. If you're interested, just grab the free guide at the end of this blog. It includes all the intel and recipes you need for a healthy week-long cleanse that will give your body extra energy and a fresh start.
Detox as a Lifestyle
Adding Green Smoothie Cleanse to your daily protein shake or treating your body to a quarterly 7-day cleanse is a great start. But I would challenge you to rethink the notion that detox should be limited to a certain drink or meal.
To give your body the best chance of fighting disease, staying lean, and fighting aging, detox should be a lifestyle!
For the ultimate in daily detox and cleansing, try the 7 foods and lifestyle changes below.
- Clean, lean protein. Optimal protein at every meal stabilizes blood sugar levels and suppresses your hunger hormones. You’re far less likely to overeat protein, thanks to a signaling hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK), which tells your brain you’re full. Check out this blog for a list of ideal protein choices: A Dozen Great Foods for Clean, Lean Protein. Start your morning right with my All-in-One Protein Shakes, which provide a high-quality Paleo or vegan protein source.
- Sulfur-containing foods. Non-starchy veggies like broccoli and cabbage plus onions and garlic provide sulfur to boost detoxification. If you don’t have food intolerances, pastured eggs also make a great source of this mineral. Steam some organic broccoli with onions and garlic in a little ghee or coconut oil for a delicious, nutrient-dense side dish.
- Greens. Enjoy loads of leafy greens, preferably organic. If you’re not overly fond of huge salads, you can sneak kale or other leafy greens into your protein shake (or add a scoop of Green Smoothie Cleanse). Think beyond lettuce greens here. Cilantro, a natural heavy metal chelator, provides major flavor for your meals.
- Fiber. Staying regular optimizes detoxification! Lentils and other legumes, slow roasted or dehydrated nuts and seeds, berries, and avocados are among the many plant-based foods loaded with bowel-regulating, toxin-binding fiber. If you’re not getting 50 grams of fiber from food, add a scoop of Extra Fiber into your morning smoothie.
- Water. Among its numerous benefits, drinking water supports your metabolic machinery. I recommend keeping a bottle nearby and sipping throughout the day. (Curious how much you need? Check out this handy water widget!) The only time to avoid drinking is during meals, when liquid can dilute the stomach enzymes that break down protein. Otherwise, drink up! Antioxidant-rich organic green tea also makes an excellent detox beverage.
- Sleep. Researchers in one study found sleep boosts detoxification. How? Your brain cells actually shrink during sleep (no kidding) to increase detoxification. Cool, huh? Just another reason among dozens why you need 7-9 hours of solid, consistent sleep every night. About an hour before bed, turn off electronics, unwind with chamomile tea and a hot bath, and take Sleep Candy to safely drift off.
- Burst training. Burst training provides the best of both worlds: time-efficient exercise that blasts fat, aids detoxification (crank up that sweating, baby), and helps reduce stress in no time. Forget about hours on the treadmill! Find out how to get a complete workout do in just 8 minutes a day HERE.
So no crazy detox or cleanse plans, okay? What smart strategy would you add here to enhance detoxification and fast, lasting fat loss? Share yours on Facebook. I want to hear from you!