Friday, February 19, 2010
Is Cleansing Real Weight Loss?
I just did a three day cleanse and lost 10 pounds. By the new American standard I’m hardly fat, so how can this happen? And since it did, is it real weight loss?
I’m currently working on substantiating the science behind P90X so it can air in the UK. Not only is their science criteria more stringent than in the US, they also won’t accept our testimonials who have lost more than two pounds per week because they’ve deemed this unsafe. As the guy who always champions stricter controls about what can be claimed on food and supplement packaging, it’s funny to stand up cry at a regulatory agency that we’re the ones getting hosed.
Two pounds per week is a perfectly acceptable outside limit for body composition change. I would even argue that it’s unlikely you could sustain this for very long. But over the course of a short-term exercise program, especially one that’s combined with diet, you can lose far in excess of this. It happens in our test groups all the time. The reason is the cleansing effect you get, which is real. It’s a one-time effect but we should not discount its importance.
Since I’m the de facto Raton Blanco (white mouse) around here let’s use my week on the Shakeology cleanse as an example:
As noted in the other post, I began my cleanse after a weekend of debauchery. Sure, I ran a ton but I also ate a lot of bad food and drank a lot of beer. Since I’m not used to eating and drinking that much my body was hanging onto a lot of excess food and my cells retaining too much water (also because of the long runs in a drier climate causing an emergency storage response). The flushing effects of the cleanse got rid of this and brought my body back into homeostasis. But now I’m lighter than I was prior to the weekend, and that is true weight loss.
It’s worth noting that my cleanse would be considered high calorie compared to most. I was probably eating 1500 calories a day. I was just eating nutrient dense foods with a lot of fiber (low density food with high density nutrients). Essentially, it was just good clean eating with a lot of water and no junk—the same thing our test groups do. I feel great and everything is again running properly.
Many people rarely feel this state of being. If fact, they walk around most of the time in my pre-cleanse state. It’s sad when you think about it, but if you rarely exercise, eat bad food, poison yourself daily with drugs (legal or otherwise—soda, a drug when you consider what it’s made of, makes up more calories world wide than any food) you won’t even know what feeling good means. Unfortunately, the average US citizen likely never functions properly.
When we begin a good diet and exercise regimen we will always flush undigested gunk out of our system and bring our hydration levels into homeostasis (most people retain way too much water due to excessive sodium in our diets). Then we lose weight. And if it’s weight that you’re always carrying around with you, it has to be considered real weight. No matter what those Limeys say.
pic: earning my cleanse at milt's, one of the west's best diners.