It's the beginning of June, and already I've been overdoing it with eating crap. Between all the BBQs, Summer parties, and sitting at outdoor cafes, I've been downing so much meat, alcohol, fat, and sugar. I feel so disgusting, not to mention, my clothes don't fit as well. Since an abundance of fresh produce is in season, I was thinking of doing a week-long whole foods cleanse. I wouldn't do one of those juice cleanses, since I've heard they're not healthy, but I'd avoid all dairy, meat, alcohol, caffeine, oil, white sugar, added salt, processed foods, and enriched flour, and only eat fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Is this a good idea?
—Desperate to Detox
Celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek make cleanses appear fashionable and a healthy way to lose weight, so many noncelebs are thinking of detoxing and dropping pounds the same way. You're right that juice cleanses are not good for the body or as life changing as they claim to be. Doctors agree that the body's liver and kidneys do a fine job of cleansing the body on its own, so they see no need in doing a detoxing juice cleanse. As for weight loss, you may drop a jeans size or two, but it's muscle loss, not fat loss.
You're wondering if a whole foods cleanse it healthy and beneficial to the body, so to find out read more.
I commend you for realizing you're overdoing it on the decadent food front, but going off dairy, meat, alcohol, caffeine, oil, white sugar, added salt, processed foods, and enriched flour for only one week isn't going to drastically affect your health. I don't doubt that you'll feel good that week (trainer Jakie Warner believes it takes five days to begin to break sugar addiction, and those five days aren't pretty), but as soon as you go back to your cocktail sipping, French fry eating, sausage loving ways, you're bound to feel tired, bloated, and just plain gross again.
My suggestion isn't to go about it with an "all or nothing" attitude, but to eat healthier in general all the time. When it comes to not so healthy foods, practice moderation. It's OK to enjoy a beer and cheeseburger at your buddy's BBQ, but enjoy it with a green salad and fresh fruit instead of potato salad and a brownie. If you're meeting a friend at an outdoor cafe the next day, choose something low in fat and calories such as grilled fish and veggies, and go for sparkling water instead of a mojito. Don't restrict the foods you crave because you'll just end up overindulging. Instead enjoy not-so-healthy foods a couple times a week, and the rest of the time, focus on eating a diet rich in fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins. Your body will feel good from a 90 percent healthy diet, and your taste buds and mind will be happy with the 10 percent of treats.