The Truth: Quick-fix diet methods, like fasting colonics, cleanses and fasting do more harm than good to your body — and can actually hurt your weight-loss efforts.
Whenever you see any type of get-skinny-fast diet or program, be wary. If I’ve said it once, then I’ve said it a thousand times — there is NO quick road to weight loss! No shortcuts, no secret pills, no magic potions — got it? Want to lose weight and keep it off? The only way to is to eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and track your calories in versus calories out.
Of course, most people know all this already, but that doesn’t stop me from constantly being asked whether certain colonics and trendy cleanses really work. While colonics or cleanses may be necessary for medical reasons (testing foods to find an allergy, surgical procedure, etc.), there is absolutely no reason you should treat these methods as beneficial to weight-loss. Here’s why:
No medical research shows that there are any health benefits or true weight loss from colonics.The only weight loss that colonics promote is from the removal of fluid and waste from your bowels. Claims that colonics help to detoxify your body and restore your colon’s health are complete crap. No pun intended. Here's the thing: Your digestive system and bowels naturally eliminate waste material and bacteria — you don’t need a colonic to do this! Not only do colonics fail to help your weight-loss efforts, but they can have negative side effects. Colonics have been shown to create electrolyte imbalances, which can result in nausea, vomiting, bloating and muscle cramps. Unless your doctor schedules you for a colonic for medical reasons, I would avoid getting one — and save the $55 to $95 per treatment cost too.
“Fasting cleanses”do more harm to your body than good.The term cleanse makes me laugh, because the only thing that detoxes your body is clean eating, nutrients that support your liver and kidneys and water. Stop eating processed crap and start eating whole, real foods. Thinking that drinking a concoction of lemon, syrup and cayenne pepper or drinking salt water and laxative tea, like the Master Cleanse, will “detoxify” your body and create permanent weight loss is completely inaccurate. I know people who have done the Master Cleanse and lost up to ten pounds in a week, but in a month they put ON 20 pounds. I refer to this as the “refeeding syndrome”: You starve your body for a period of time, and then when you start eating again, you put all that weight back on – and then some. You’re screwing with your metabolism to boot and that's dangerous.
Fasting will destroy your metabolism. From a biochemical perspective, fasting throws your body into starvation mode. When you don’t provide your body with nutrients, it sends signals that you are now in starvation mode. Which means your body releases hormones that will slow down your metabolism, cannibalize your muscles, and store fat. The physiological facts: Since fat is needed for survival to insulate our bodies, we store it, but muscle is expendable. When you restrict nutrients to your body, your body will start to eat its own muscle tissue, and (double whammy) become more proficient at storing fat. The main point: Don’t fast, unless it’s for a religious purpose that you feel strongly about, and even then, be careful to only do it only for a short period of time.
The Bottom Line: There are no quick fixes when it comes to weight loss. The key to “cleansing” your body is drinking water and eating whole, real foods. Colonics, fasting cleanses, and fasting methods are just sending your body and your metabolism into starvation mode — which can create long-term negative side effects that aren’t worth the few pounds you initially lost.