Any time someone asks me for my opinion on cleanses I think of an old client of mine named “John”. John was in his 50s, clinically obese and ate fast food twice a day- his goal was to lose weight. On our first day of training he excitedly said “Let’s do this! I’m ready– give me a cleanse. We’ll shed this weight in no time!”

Here is my problem: John was asking for a cleanse, but what he really wanted was a quick fix. As if to say, “I have been unhealthy for the last 20 years and I would like to reverse that in 14 days.”

John’s problem wasn’t that he was clinically obese. His problem was that he had an unhealthy lifestyle. The fact that he was obese was simply a symptom of this problem and therefore, a cleanse would not have helped him. Let’s say, hypothetically, he loses 50 pounds in 14 days. What happens next? If he goes back to eating out twice a day, he will gain all the weight back. If the problem is an unhealthy lifestyle, then the solution for John is a healthy lifestyle. Working together, we made a grocery list, and came up with some simple recipes that he could easily make on his own. He started biking to work, instead of driving and took regular walks on days we weren’t training together. With this approach John lost 40lb in the 5 months we trained together , but more importantly, he had changed his lifestyle, ensuring that he could keep the weight off.*

This isn’t to say that all cleanses are useless, but if you are going to go on a cleanse, make sure it serves a purpose, as directed by a doctor or other health care professional. If the goal is simply to lose weight, there are NO quick fixes– there is no substitute for a healthy lifestyle!

*According to many health authorities, it is considered unhealthy to lose more than 8-10 pounds per month maximum. For more information, you can check out the Centre for Disease Control and
Prevention ( or other health organizations for more information.