Colon cleansing may not be a topic for the dinner table, but this practice has become trendy in the health and fitness world. Proponents of cleansing claim that it helps heal illness, improves energy levels and even helps you lose weight. Is there any truth to these claims?
How Colon Cleanses Work
Before we take a look at how a colon cleanse can aid in weight loss, let’s discuss how they work.
First and foremost, it’s important to note that most manufacturers of cleansers do not market their products as a weight loss aid. The primary purpose of this type of cleanse is to eliminate toxins that may be causing illness and robbing you of your energy. Weight loss just happens to be a nice added bonus.
Most cleanses include an herbal supplements and dietary changes. They can last anywhere from 10 days to an entire month. While cleansing, dieters will need to refrain from eating processed foods and rely solely on fruits and vegetables for nutrients.
It is not uncommon for a dieter to have six bowel movements in one day while cleansing. This is what moves the waste from the digestive tract out of the body. Some people can lose as much as 10 pounds while cleansing.
Colon Cleanse Weight Loss
Weight loss is the primary reason many people are attracted to colon cleanses. While you may not see dramatic results overnight, many people found it much easier to reach their goal weight after cleansing. Here’s why:
Cleansing makes the digestive system more efficient. This means that waste moves through the body at a quicker pace. This leaves room for the digestive system to absorb vital nutrients. When food ferments in the gut, it can create a breeding ground for bad bacteria. This overgrowth can cause food cravings and hinder your weight loss efforts.
Cleansing increases energy levels. When toxins are eliminated from the system, energy no longer needs to be expended on pushing waste through your system. This will provide you with the energy you need to get through your workouts.
Cleansing improves the body’s ability to absorb vital nutrients. It is not uncommon for people to crave comfort foods when they are nutrient deficient. By improving the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals, you may see those cravings disappear.
Cleansing eliminates excess mucous. Foods that are not high in fiber move through the digestive system much slower than fiber-rich foods. Because these foods move slowly, they produce excessive amounts of mucous that attach to the intestinal walls. Eventually, this build-up weighs the intestinal tract down. Colon cleansing can help eliminate this build-up and allow you to lose weight in the process.
Types of Colon Cleanses
There are several different types of colon cleanses available today.
There are many therapeutic clays that can aid in cleansing the colon. The most popular is bentonite as it carries minimal risk of negative side effects. These clays are natural and help move toxins through the body. These should be used with caution as they may also absorb certain medications.
Colonics is, essentially, a deep enema. For this type of cleanse, you will need to see a medical professional. The process begins by inserting a special instrument into the rectum. This instrument flushes the colon with liquid to produce results. Several visits may be required and can be a costly route to take.
Natural Cleansing Diet
Colon cleansing can be as simple as changing your diet and eliminating processed foods. Many people have also found success with juice fasting.
Herbal supplements are, by far, the most popular colon cleansing systems. In addition to making dietary changes, you will also have to take supplements throughout the day to rid the body of toxins.
Natural Ways to Cleanse the Colon
While there are colon cleansing supplements available in most health food stores, it is also possible to cleanse your colon naturally. Here’s how:
Eliminate all processed foods from your diet. Instead, rely on fresh, whole foods.
Eat apples and avocados. Apples and apple cider vinegar are often used in commercial colon cleansing products. This fruit is fiber-rich and helps promote digestion. Avocados are also high in fiber, particularly insoluble fiber. This is the type that encourages healthy bowel movements.
Eat Chia and flax seeds. Both of these seeds contain fiber, fats and omega-3 fatty acids. These reduce inflammation and promote healthy digestion.
Eat green vegetables and fruits. These foods are rich in chlorophyll, which also promotes healthy digestion and can clean out the colon. Chlorophyll-rich foods include: Olives, spinach, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, Swiss chard, collard greens, leeks, peas celery and cabbage.
Drink plenty of water. Water will naturally flush the body of toxins and waste. If possible, drink non-fluoridated water.
Eat plenty of fermented foods. These contain probiotics that can further help cleanse the colon.
Even if you do choose a supplement cleanse, the program will likely recommend making dietary changes similar to the ones listed above. Not only will you lose weight by eliminating waste build-up, you will also lose weight because you are following a much healthier diet.