“I’m going on a cleanse.”
For many of us, hearing that statement produces waves of confusion, fear, skepticism and maybe even a bit of envy. After all, cleansing seems like an intimidating proposition: An endeavor that is taxing to undertake, but could ultimately be redeeming. Unfortunately, the lack of understanding about what a cleanse really means can inhibit many of us to embark on one; alternatively, it can inspire cleansing for all the wrong reasons. Ahead, we’re separating fact from fiction, offering up the “truth” about what really happens when you embark on a responsible cleanse, the BHH way.
Myth: Cleansing is as form of extreme dieting.
If you’re bracing yourself for drinking nothing but juice while on a cleanse, then maybe think again. While there are certainly “cleanses” out there that entail such extreme measures, we view cleansing in a quite a different way. The purpose of a BHH-approved cleanse is to energize and recharge the body with nutritious, whole foods that are free from inflammatory ingredients. This means lots of vegetables, some fruits, healthy fats, some lean protein and absolutely no refined carbohydrates, dairy, sugar, caffeine and alcohol. Consider it a welcome reset for your body, which entails eating – and eating well. (More on what that means below.)
Myth: Cleansing is all about weight loss.
While some people will absolutely lose weight on the version of a cleanse we just outlined, it all depends on what your eating habits were like prior to cleansing. That’s to say, if you ate fairly clean and lean ahead of cleansing, your weight loss may be modest at best. Alternatively, if you were chowing on fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you should really see the pounds come off.
With that said, the purpose of a BHH-approved cleanse isn’t simply about dropping weight – it’s about enhanced mental clarity, increased energy, getting better sleep, experiencing a more balanced mood and enjoying greater consciousness around the foods you consume and the way that they affect your body. In short, you should be seeing holistic improvements across the board when you’re on a great cleanse – and one of them may indeed be a smaller waistline.
Fact: Cleansing isn’t about deprivation, but it is about elimination.
In a BHH-approved cleanse, you shouldn't feel super hungry. This is because you’re keeping your blood sugar stable and feeding your body regularly with satisfying, filling foods: You will not be starving yourself in the hopes of a quick weight-loss fix. Nevertheless, we’ll shoot straight with you – you are going to be eliminating some foods and substances that you may really, really miss: That slice of pizza, your nightly glass of wine, your go-to midday brownie and – oh yes – your morning coffee. This will be hard at first, but eventually you’ll get used to life without them – and, frankly, you may feel so good by the end that you won’t even feel deprived.
Myth: Going on a cleanse is expensive.
Yes, there are certainly cleanse programs that require you to plunk down hundreds of dollars per week to eat clean and stay lean. But a manageable, sustainable cleanse is really just about adjusting your everyday shopping habits and being smart about your purchases. In fact, since you’re going to be eliminating items that are likely mainstays of your daily spending – coffee, gluten, alcohol – you may even find that you’ll save money. So don’t get it twisted – shopping for a cleanse is just like regular old grocery shopping – and if you need help, do check out this post about purchasing healthy foods on a budget.