Monday, November 20, 2006

Common Question: How Do I Keep the Weight Off After a Cleanse?

I am surprised at how many times we get this question at the Yahoo group. Many members are frightened by internet urban legend that laments, "once you come off the cleanse, you pack on huge amounts of weight the moment you eat a morsel of food." These claims are often made by people who either didn't actually do the cleanse, or did the cleanse and went back to crappy eating afterwards.

In spite of the consistent evidence that weight is lost when you burn more calories than you consume - people still ask about what it takes to keep weight off. By confusing the basic answer, companies pocket kajillions of dollars while consumers bounce from solution-to-solution - believing that the answer lies in a remedy that can be purchased off the shelf.

So here's my official answer to the common question about managing weight after a cleanse:

1. Break the cleanse properly. Don't miss a single step in the process as described in the book.

2. Make a slow return to eating. Don't have a bacon cheeseburger right after you complete the "breaking" process. Remember, your metabolism slowed during the cleanse and requires some time to increase to normal levels. Naturally, if you pack in the calories now, you can't metabolize it all.

3. Reduce portions. Today's inhuman portion sizes produced lots of spare tires. Don't judge the proper portion by the tub of pasta served by your favorite Italian food restaurant. I had a small-dang-boat of pasta (Rigatoni Martino) at Carrabba's yesterday. I jumped in head-first and almost got lost in the bowl. It may have been delicious, but normal serving sizes say that my tub held enough food for probably 3 servings.

4. Exercise. Physical exercise helps the body burn calories. If you're gonna burn more than you eat, you must be physically active. Don't buy into the notion that you must have the latest exercise video to do this. Do what you enjoy. Garden. Walk. Ride your bike. There's no magic. Just get moving. If you choose to just control food without exercise, prepare yourself for tiny tiny portions. In my opinion, such a lack of balance isn't healthy.

5. When health is just as important as weight loss, improve the quality of your food. Some people just care about weight. While that may work for them, I'm also interested in long-term health results. In that case, choose whole complex carbs over simple and processed carbs (e.g. white bread, white pasta, etc.) Include lots of "living" foods. It's the living enzymes in food (such as uncooked vegetables) that aid our digestion. Don't fill your days with dead, overcooked, over processed food with no nutritional value.

6. Keep life interesting. Many "diets" require you to omit certain foods for life. That's a great way to lose interest in food and go back to gorging on your favorites. Make sure your eating includes small portions of things you love and some exploratory foods, like the purple whattsit-veggie that you've never seen before.

7. TRUST YOUR BODY'S CUES. You are your own best advocate. You know how certains foods and habits make you feel. Instead of hoping that somebody else's prescription will work for you, learn to manage your own health. You know when you're getting full. Push away from the table. You know which foods make you tired. Don't eat them and cause yourself to skip exercise. See my post on "Doctor Yourself" about your responsibility to learn about your personal health and stop letting propaganda rule your decisions.

Rock on.


Anonymous said...

I am about to begin my very first fast. I am excited and afraid at the same time. Reading your journey has helped me calm down and expect the best. Thank you for sharing. I have been motivated to keep a journal which I may post in the furture. Keep on writing!

Hawa Bond said...

Thank you for your comment! I will admit, getting started on my first cleanse was a huge leap of faith. But once made, the rewards (physical and emotional) are great.

Anonymous said...

I am just looking to complete the MC in two days! I am going to be real honest, it hasn't been easy! I am determined to endure to the end and as a result I am now approaching day 9! For me, reading the testimonies of those who did the cleanse and were successful was a huge help. My colleagues are now telling me how slim I look now, thats encouraging! i am just hoping I can keep this weight off!

Anonymous said...

I loved MC! I don't even remember having so much energy lately. I will do MC as book says 4 times a year. Moreover, I will try to do more than just 10 days.