I was asked, by a friend, just the other day if doing a cleanse will speed up the weight loss process. She wanted to know how to get all the holiday "toxins" out of her body and which cleanse I would recommend.

First, there are a lot of potentially harmful quick fixes out there. Remember the "lemonade cleanse"? The idea is that you drink lemon or lime juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water for 10 to 40 days. People said they lost weight and felt as though the toxic food was out of their bodies. What they may not have realized is that their body was not getting the nutrients it needed and essentially starving. Those improvements and more occur in people who exercise regularly and eat well balanced meals.

The most natural way to cleanse your body, especially your liver, is by increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat daily as well as drinking more water to flush the toxins out. You must also reduce the amount of fat, especially saturated fat, to help prevent blockages in your veins and arteries.

According to Dietary Guidelines for Americans we should consume approximately:
*1 1/2 - 2 cups of fruits daily
*2 - 3 cups of vegetables daily

If you are wanting to get that kick start for the new year there are also great supplemental cleanses you can get from your local gym or store. Please talk to a registered dietitian or fitness professional to ensure you are buying a quality product. The advantage of these types of cleanse is that you will continue to eat healthy balanced meals which will provide your body with the nutrients it needs.

Think about your liver like a filter in an air conditioner. When that filter is dirty the air conditioner has to work harder to produce clean air. When you keep your liver clean, it will efficiently filter out the toxins and fat from your body.

It's a new year, lets build a new you!
Rebecca Bordelon, CPT

*check out www.choosemyplate.gov for information

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