Q: What is your opinion on fasting? I used to fast and detox, but gained the weight back because I never permanently changed my eating habits due to stress and being busy.
A: Cleanses, fasting and detox diets are fads that come and go. The Master Cleanse was so popular for a while that they even sold the very simple ingredients of maple syrup, lemon juice and cayenne pepper in kits for $20 - really? The Blueprint cleanse is very popular at the moment and many other companies out there make a killing by selling people the quick fix. You can spend $80 a day to have green detox shakes delivered to your door with the promise of losing 10 lbs a week. The truth is that the promised results never last long. Here's why:
When you look at fasting from a standpoint of health it can be quite helpful to rest your digestion for a day or two. People who fast do lose weight, but the weight loss is a result of losing your bowel contents (at any given time we carry anywhere from 5 to 10lbs of stool in us - I know, nice picture). You also lose water and muscle in the process, which isn't going to help you long-term.
You can lose muscle quickly if you don't eat. Your muscles and body need protein at least every 4 hours. If you don't supply your body with what it needs, it quickly turns to its own protein stores (that would be your guns) for energy. The bad news is that the less muscle you have, the more you slow down your metabolism. Even worse, you're starving yourself, starving your muscles of protein, drop your blood sugar to ultra-low levels, and deprive your body of important nutrients. Imagine the expense at which you're striving for weight loss! Do you really think you can live like this long-term?
The pounds you lose will always come right back once you resume eating (your bowel fills up again, you retain water with eating starches) and your metabolism is slower than before because you lost muscle. Ultimately, it's really a lose-lose situation.
Have you ever looked at the ingredients for these juices that you're spending your hard-earned money on? They're typically high in sugar and have no protein at all. Sugar will raise your blood sugar and cause an insulin spike. Insulin tells your body to store fat, so even though you might only be drinking 500 calories worth of juices, you can still put on fat.
You can have faster and long-lasting results if you eat 5 small meals contain protein and veggies. You will be GAINING muscle that makes you leaner and increases your metabolism and fat burning. You'll be losing fat only, not muscle or water. As a result you'll be able to maintain your fat loss and look lean and toned without having to cancel all your dinner plans with friends because you're sucking down a sugary detox drink. What's even worse: you didn't learn a thing about how to eat healthy or how to put your body into fat burning mode if you rely on the quick fix. Don't you want results that last for a lifetime?