Thinking about doing a cleanse? If you’ve never done one before, it’s good to do your research. Though be forewarned: A quick Google search might leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed thanks to the abundance of “information” out there.
I spoke with Paige Bente, R.D., so she could break down the basics of a cleanse, what it is, what it’s not. She also shared some helpful tips to help you succeed.
Why Do a Cleanse?
“There’s a ton out there in the media about what cleanses and detoxes are and what they’re supposed to do, but at Beachbody, a cleanse is really about putting clean-burning fuel into your body to allow it to do the work it’s supposed to do,” says Bente. “It’s not a time for starvation, it’s not a liquid diet, and it’s not the Master Cleanse — it’s meant to provide the best fuel for your body to better focus on its natural processes.”
That’s the driving force behind Beachbody’s Ultimate Reset, a 21-day program that uses whole foods and supplements and focuses on mind and body wellness.
“This program is all about putting our attention on whole ingredients that are easier for us to digest, so our bodies can work on letting go of some of the other things it needs to get rid of,” says Bente.
“It also focuses on the whole body, so it incorporates tips relating to exercise, relaxation, and sleep. The idea is to reset our whole selves over the course of 21 days…. at the beginning of a cleanse your energy levels might dip for a few days because your body is still adjusting to a new eating schedule, but towards the end of a program, you’ll find that you have more energy,” says Bente,
Bente says those feelings often lead to new and improved eating habits. If a weekend commitment sounds more realistic for you than three weeks, there’s Beachbody’s 3-Day Refresh. “It’s great for those who are looking to get back on the wagon after a big weekend, or if it’s summertime and you’ve been having too much ice cream,” says Bente.
“It’s a smart way to jumpstart you into gear and into a healthier diet plan… if you’re eating well consistently for three days, at the end of that you’re going to feel so much better and probably won’t want to go out immediately after and order that cheeseburger,” she says. “It can be effective in curbing cravings, and at the very least, you’re treating your body really well for three days.” The same goes for the Ultimate Reset.
Three Tips For Succeeding on a Cleanse
1. Read the Materials
The Ultimate Reset and the 3-Day Refresh each come with reading material that outlines the plan in detail and provides tips for readers on how to achieve the best possible results. Make sure not to overlook proper meal planning.
Go grocery shopping and meal prep ahead of time so you’re ready to hit the ground running.
2. Tell Your Support System
Don’t be shy about sharing what you’re doing with friends and family. “They can help hold you accountable,” Bente says. “If they know why you’re skipping the glass of wine at dinner, they won’t give you a hard time. It’s important to make clear the fact that this is something you’re doing because you care about yourself and because you want to feel better.”
3. Go Slow When Easing Back Into Your Old Routine
When reintroducing foods back into your diet, keep in mind how long you’ve been on a cleanse. “It’s broken down week by week for the Ultimate Reset, so during the first week you can reintroduce whole grains in smaller portions, and by week three you can start to reincorporate animal products,” says Bente.
“Once any cleanse is complete, you don’t want to slam your body with all of the foods you haven’t been eating for weeks,” Bente says. “Be mindful of slowly working these items back into your regimen, one at a time, over the same length of time that the cleanse was.”
Unless, of course, those foods were the ones you were trying to cut out of your diet in the first place. (We’re looking at you, cheeseburgers.)