Cleanses and Challenges: Good, Bad, Worthwhile?

I’ve been really busy lately since we started our transformation challenge. It’s an 8 week “kick off” to get folks back on the wagon towards better health. Oh, and the winner gets $600 so I suppose we shouldn’t have been surprised when we got double the participants we were planning for, so I’ve been a bit behind in getting a blog out there. The neat thing though is that by meeting with so many people lately, I’ve had a chance to get a lot of questions thrown my way. And two that popped up probably more than most were the whole cleansing and challenge stuff. The e-mails were pouring in. “Hey, what do you think about the Advocare 24 day challenge?”. “Do you think I should start juicing?”. “Do I need to detox to win this challenge?”.

So since it seems to be on a lot of peoples’ minds, I figured why not get my two cents out there. Why don’t we go ahead and start with the cleansing side of the story:

Cleansing: There are a bunch of different ones out there. There is one in particular where you drink nothing but this wretched concoction of water, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper for a few days in the hopes of getting rid of all the “toxins” in our bodies. Hashtag smh. Ask anyone doing these cleanses, or hell, ask the manufacturer of the cleanses to name even just one of these supposed toxins that you are ridding from your body. Odds are really good they’ll not have a damn clue what a toxin even is. If for some reason they can name one (they won’t) then ask them to describe to you the functions of the liver and kidneys. They won’t be able to do this either. You know why? Because if they could they wouldn’t be doing the cleanse.

24/90/whatever length/ challenges: This one is a bit ironic, no? I mean I’m smack dab in the middle of an 8 week transformation challenge. Quite the hypocrite aren’t I? Well no, actually. You see when each new client sits down with me, I explain that losing weight fast is a really bad idea. If they want to do it for these 8 weeks to win the money, then that’s fine. But I make sure each and everyone understands that this is not sustainable. If what you are doing right now in terms of your exercise regimen or nutrition, you can’t see yourself still doing 3 months, 6 months, a year, 5 years, etc, down the road, then you need to strongly reconsider why you are doing it. I argue all the time that I feel weight loss shouldn’t be measured in weeks or months. I think we should be looking at weight loss in terms of years. I’m a firm believer that losing 1-2 lbs per week is crap. How many people do you know that over the past 3 years have gained 312 lbs? Probably none, right? But that’s exactly the number that pops up if you gain 2 lbs per week for 3 years. You see, we put on weight pretty slowly really. Yet we want to lose it really quickly. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. Can it work that way? Yes, in the short term. But a year or so later it will all be back. I explain this in my earlier post called “Why Fast Weight Loss Makes You Fat”. So what if you lose 10 lbs this YEAR instead of 10 lbs this MONTH. Well, you’ll be much more likely to sustain that weight loss. If you are 30 lbs overweight currently, then in 3 years you will have made small changes and habits that will stick with you for the rest of your life. That or you can continue to play the yo-yo game and be frustrated for the next 50 years. Your choice.

So as usual, I like to end these with an overview. And since I do try to be the eternal optimist and look for the good in things, I’ll go there. If someone does a challenge and gets the realization that they do in fact enjoy exercise and then continue to do so, then hell yeah I like challenges! If someone does a 3 day cleanse and comes to the realization that eliminating processed crap in their diet and having more fruits and veggies makes them feel better, then sure why not? 3 days isn’t gonna do any harm. That’s the neat thing about each of these fads that come and go. Their is always something about them that I feel is good or beneficial. Can they be taken too far? Sure. But again, if it gets people off their arse and back in the groove, then I’m cool with that. To each their own. We all have different triggers and motivation.

Comments? Am I a damn fool? Nail on the head? Let me know below!


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    You have put into words what I have been thinking for years. I’m so tired of arguing with people about these challenges. Eat right, exercise, carry on these good habits, do not be tied to a scale. You are who you are, just be the best version you can be!
    Thank you for your article

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