A patient sent me the website to a cleanse that was recommended to her. The longer I was on the site the more frustrated I got.
Like most cleanses or detoxes, there’s a specially formulated concoction that you drink in lieu of eating food. This is the only thing to be consumed for a few days to a week (although some ‘allow’ you a ‘sensible’ meal once a day in addition to these pouches).
The claims are remarkable. Promises of weight loss (no shit, you’re starving yourself), promises of healthy (the quick changes in your labs are not permanent – they’re temporary just like the cleanse and accompanying weight loss).
What really got my goat this time was when they said “Kick start healthy eating habits, gain control over portion sizes and improve energy”.
Let’s review the cycle of restriction:
- Starving your body will make you HYPERfocus on food. This is natural – it’s like if you weren’t able to breathe properly, it becomes difficult to focus on anything else. Or if you’re deprived of enough water your thirst will overcome you.
- Under-eating sets you up for OVER-eating. Just like when you can finally breath again you will take DEEP breaths and breathe more heavily until your body believes that you have free access to air; when you eat again, you will be DRIVEN to eat HUGE amounts until your body feels safe that food is longer restricted.
- That energy that they’re promising? It comes from your body having to produce cortisol to keep you going (cause you know, there’s no FOOD to do that). Our stress response will make us more alert because it’s getting us ready to escape danger. This is TEMPORARY access to the emergency fund. The trouble is, most of us are chronically OVER-stressed and need help reducing chronically high circulating cortisol. So yes, you may have some extra nervous energy but that’s not the same as being able to focus and be engaged positively in your life.
Look, I get the desire to shake off the winter blues and get back into something. In fact, I encourage it. But can we please find ways to re-engage with life and health promoting behaviours WITHOUT causing harm in the process?
The next Living Life As A Rebel group starts at the end of April. If you’re itching to ‘do’ something without getting caught in another diet cycle, then this may be just what you’re looking for. Register before April 12th to get Early Adopter bonuses!