Perhaps you were one of the many individuals who resolved to make this year different: A year when, at last, you would look and feel absolutely confident by the time summer hit. However, somewhere around February you lost your steam—your harsh workout routine grew too daunting and there was no way you were passing up another piece of pizza for a boring salad—again. Are you wondering if it’s too late? Or, if you have managed to stick to your guns, and you have achieved a healthier body, are you wondering if you can maintain this new look all summer long?
I hear these concerns all the time, and here’s the truth: Fad diets do not work. Neither does intensely strenuous exercise. Chances are, even the most health-conscious individuals have food addictions that hinder their efforts. However, it is possible to shed the weight—and to do so in a healthy way that will allow you to maintain this new look—but it is going to require some change.
Through cleansing, we can expel the toxins accumulated by our addictions. Ridding our bodies of these toxins makes your efforts more efficient—however, detoxifying is only half of the picture. A carefully crafted cleanse replaces toxins with vital amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and other pure nutrients that will restore balance in our bodies. Ultimately, this will reset the metabolism, cleanse the digestive tract, and set the stage for a lifetime of health and confidence.
Diet programs, for all their differences, usually all focus on portion size as a route to weight loss. The first problem here is that portion control requires less food, which usually means fewer nutrients; when we absorb fewer nutrients, our bodies react by sending out an even more demanding hunger signal. This alone sets us up for failure because we are depriving our bodies rather than nourishing them, and we’re embarking on a lifestyle choice that simply cannot be maintained in the long run.
There are all sorts of diet trends—paleo, gluten-free, vegan, ketogenic, raw—each one claiming to be better than the next. However, if we look more closely, we can see they are all essentially touting the same key message: Choose healthful, nutrient-rich foods in lieu of processed, genetically modified foods. Adopting this habit of eating only whole foods is definitely a step in the right direction, but it won’t necessarily lead to weight loss. So, how do we lose the weight and also become more nourished and healthy in the process?
The first step is preparing for a cleanse. It’s important to choose a season when you know you can get a good night’s rest every night and to adopt a positive mental attitude: “I can and I will.” If you approach a cleanse with the desire to succeed and, more importantly, the desire to transform your life, you’ll experience lasting results and renewed health and vitality.
I also always recommend omitting dairy, processed foods, and meat from your diet two to three days before beginning a cleanse, and to omit coffee three to five days prior to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
I learned early on the important role food plays when it comes to health. My aunt passed away much too young as a result of her diet, which consisted of fast foods, microwave meals, and heavily processed snacks. From that point on, I have made it my business—literally—to uncover the world’s most salubrious foods so I could help future generations live long, active, and healthy lives. I plan on living that way well into my hundreds, and I believe there is no reason why everyone else shouldn’t join me.
Forty-thousand years ago, people lived in a natural cycle of feast and famine—our bodies were made for this. The concept of a “cleanse” is simply our modern adaptation. Swearing off processed junk foods, preservatives, and non-organic meats and vegetables is all great, but unless we cleanse our bodies first, it is going to take a whole lot longer to see or feel the results.
A carefully designed cleanse is like pressing a reset button on our bodies. The main objectives of any healthy cleanse should be to reprogram the body’s cells, expel toxins, stop unhealthy food and drink cravings, and set the stage for a lifetime of health and confidence. Rapid weight loss is merely a side effect of all the other great ways your body will benefit. The only problem is that most cleanses are not designed with such long-term goals in mind, which is why many of us find the weight we’ve lost returns quickly after the cleanse has ended.
As I mentioned before, most diets and cleanses focus merely on cutting calories and portion sizes. This approach may bring temporary success in terms of weight loss, but it does nothing for our health or our figures three months down the road. By that time, we are so deprived on a cellular level that those junk food cravings are screaming louder and louder, making it easier than ever to fall back into our old ways. Now, if we could cut calories without depriving our bodies in the process, well, that would be an entirely different story.
So the next step is ditching those average foods exclusively for nutrientpacked superfoods.
Cleansing with superfoods offers our bodies complete cellular satisfaction so we aren’t being starved, weakened, or depleted, which means you won’t be dying for a tray of lasagna once the cleanse has ended. In fact, it will likely be quite the opposite. After the cleanse—up to 10 straight days of consuming only nutrient-dense superfoods, slow-burning carbs, and highly digestible, plant-based protein—you will surely find your body craving a much different arsenal of foods than before.
Throughout a superfood cleanse, the body and mind will experience a rollercoaster of change. (Stay the course—don’t bail out!) The body begins to adjust to the change after a day or two, and weight loss then begins. By day seven, you will truly see results (and likely feel an increase in energy and happiness). By the end, you’ll be basking in the glow of a slimmed down figure and newfound health. Most importantly, choosing to cleanse with superfoods means you can also expect to keep that weight off.
After the cleanse is completed, the absurd cravings have been eliminated, the metabolism is firing at its optimum capacity, and the body is feeling more nutritionally satisfied than ever before, which makes it easy to either maintain or build upon the weight loss by incorporating elements of the cleanse into our everyday diets. Superfoods will become staples at every meal.
In addition, you can implement various “flex foods” into your diet, such as apples, avocados, cucumbers, watermelon, and berries. Because the body is being continuously and fully nourished, it feels more satisfied—and when the body feels more satisfied, it won’t send out those distressing hunger signals that often cause us to regress in our health and fitness goals. Now who says bikini season can’t last all year-round?
By David Sandoval