Admit it: Whenever you hear that a celeb dropped a quick five pounds on some snazzy-sounding Hollywood diet, you're a bit intrigued. If even for a split second, you might think something along the lines of: "That doesn't sound so bad. I could probably do it if I put my mind to it! And it's called a cleanse! It must be good for anyone!" But then your senses probably kick in, right? And you go back to your refrigerator where you grab yourself some real food, eat it, and say, "Mmmmm!"
Well, when I had a recent run-in with thoughts like these, my senses didn't kick in. I blame the fact that I'm getting married in less than two months. I was suffering from an acute case of bride brain! And I thought I'd give celeb trainer David Kirsch's 5-Day Ultimate Detox a shot. After all, I thought, it's made with all-natural ingredients, is only five days long, and you can eat two regular meals (well, plain mixed veg salads with 4 oz. of protein) while on it. So how hard could it be?
Answer: Really hard. I didn't even last a full day.
Before you jump down my throat for throwing in the towel too easily, hear me out: Sticking to the plan made me sick. As in, headache, nausea, dizzy, anxious, and of course, suffering from semi-delusional visions of totally gluttoning out.
Let me back up. I've been eating super clean these days. Meaning if a food isn't a whole, natural, and preferably organic with a lot going for it nutritionally (packed with protein and complex carbs, etc.), I have been passing on it altogether. So it's not like I was attempting to go from 0 to 100 in a day! But the elimination of snacks, reliance on a thick, green whey protein shake for breakfast, and basically carb-free lunch was obvious torture for my sensitive blood sugar. And as a result, it was completely unstable and prodding me for an extreme fix in the form of an entire box of Girl Scouts' Thin Mints or a gigantic cupcake.
I did not give in! But I did eat a regular dinner out with my fiance, which included a bit of bread, a big mixed greens salad with Italian dressing on the side, grilled salmon, and a side of lemon garlic broccolini.
And that was that. I'm sure it's worked wonders for some people -- Kate Upton included. But it wasn't right for me. I can't even imagine how I would have fared if I had done the full-on, 7-day program that advises you eliminate all solid food and drink a Master Cleanse-like lemonade for two days straight and warns, "If you're chewing, you're cheating!" Ack. Also, although the instructions encourage you to work out while detoxing, I truly can't imagine doing one of the 30-60 minute circuit training or spinning workouts I've become so accustomed to while doing the cleanse. And that was the final straw for me.
When I'm working out hard and fueling my body right, I feel amazing, vital, energized. Why sacrifice a healthy habit like that -- which can't help but pair so well with cleaner eating habits, which in turn leads to a leaner body -- for a cleanse? Why not just treat your body right all day, every day by eating real foods that agree with your body? I can't see how deprivation does anyone a favor.
After this experience, I realized ... there's merit to the general concept of detoxing. But I was already doing that in my own way. Everyone should find their own best way to do it. And that way may not come in a box.
Have you been intrigued by or ever tried a pre-packed detox What was your experience like?
Image via TriathleteFood/Flickr