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Sunday
Aug122012

THE NUTRITIONAL FAT BURNING CLEANSE EXPERIMENT

A new fad in nutrition and dieting is cleansing. I decided to try the Isagenix Nine-Day Cleanse and Fat Burning System after saying for months that I would never do a cleanse.  At the time, my 18-year old daughter had just decided to spend $150 of her hard earned money to do it, and I wanted to support her, and I thought that maybe I would be able to get rid of a few pounds before my trip to Palm Springs. Besides, I have many close friends who tried the Isagenix cleanse and had great results.

Technically the nine-day cleanse is an eleven-day cleanse because there are two “pre-cleanse days”.  The Isagenix cleanse is based on a series of “shake days” and “cleanse days”. On a shake day you actually get to eat food, which is the only reason I would even try this cleanse in the first place. On the shake days you have an Isagenix IsoLean shake for breakfast, a 400 to 600 calorie meal for lunch, and another Isagenix IsoLean shake for dinner. The 400 to 600 calorie meal on shake days can only consist of fresh and organic veggies, fruit, whole grains, beans, and meat. There is absolutely no dairy, salt, sugar, coffee or alcohol consumption allowed. On a “cleanse day” you mix a 40-calorie berry flavored powder with water and drink four times a day; and throughout the day you can snack on eight powdery wafer snacks that are supposed to curb your hunger (2 snacks are 15 calories).  Thus a cleanse day = staving yourself. If you have to, on a cleanse day you can have six almonds, or some cucumber slices. There are also Isagenix "Natural Accelerator" pills which you take twice a day to help curb your hunger.

DAILY THOUGHTS WHILE ON THE CLEANSE

Day 1: Shake Day (pre-cleanse day 1):  

After a long four day weekend of absolute indulgence, I was ready to start. It felt great. I did not feel hungry. The shake days are pretty easy to stick to when you've just stuffed yourself with too much food over the weekend. The low calorie healthy shakes are filling and do not taste that bad.

Day 2: Shake Day (pre-cleanse day 2):  
Not much different than the first day. I felt very healthy, and enjoyed the food and shakes I was eating.

Day 3: Cleanse Day:
The first cleanse day! I had to be strong mentally to eat no food and just drink the extremely low calorie powered drink.  By about 4:30 p.m. I felt that my brain and body had shut down. I slowly drove myself home from work and laid in the fetal position on my bed the rest of the night. I told myself that if I felt like this tomorrow I would have to stop.

Day 4: Cleanse Day:
I woke up feeling better than the night before, so I decided to go through with the second day of cleansing. Surprisingly, throughout the day I did not have any of the symptoms that I had the day before. I even met up with my husband and some friends for dinner and drinks and practiced self control by only staring at the margaritas, chips, and salsa— which only lasted a half hour before I had to go home, or else I would break the cleanse.  I felt proud of myself. Making it this far means that I could finish this cleanse with no problem.

Day 5: Shake Day:
I could not wait to eat, but had to have the shake for breakfast first. The lunch was the most amazing and appreciated food I have eaten in a while.  Today was a Saturday, and eating food was the highlight of my day. I passed on a few plans with my friends and family that included eating.

Day 6: Shake Day:
Okay, now this cleanse is getting old. What a boring weekend, and now I have another five days to go after today is over. This cleanse is becoming more of a challenge for me than a healthy way to eat (or not eat!).  But I want to say that I finished it and I'm curious of how much weight I can lose.

Day 7: Shake Day:
Today I started thinking about ending this cleanse a day or two early. But I’m very proud of myself because I have not cheated even one time thus far.

Day 8: Shake Day:
I had a hard workout after work, and then called it quits on the cleanse program for dinner— and for good. I'm over it. I was too hungry to even wait to make a meal, so I ate a protein bar and some low fat fish sticks. Not a usual meal for me but it definitely hit the spot. I could not have been any happier to end this diet! I just wanted to eat a normal healthy diet and workout.

Day 9:  
Would have been a shake day.

Day 10: 
Would have been a cleanse day.

Day 11: 
Would have been a cleanse day.


SO WHY DID I STOP?

I felt cleansed after three days. I have never been a believer in starving yourself. It just doesn't work for maintaining weight loss.  When you starve yourself your body becomes less efficient metabolically.  The first 4 days of the cleanse I dropped five pounds, and next four days after that I lost no weight. My body was holding onto the fat. I felt that by completing two more cleanse days on Day 10, and Day 11, I was only going to loose muscle weight, or another pound or two that would probably come right back when I started eating normal again. 

I love working out, and on the cleanse I was not able to work out as I normally do because I would get too hungry. If you work out and eat right you can train your body to be an efficient calorie burning machine.

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