Retrofit Philosophy: To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse?

Retrofit supports food-based cleanses as part of a healthy lifestyle if you are:

  1. 1. Educated about the safety concerns
  2. 2. Have accurate expectations of results


Types of Cleanses:

  • The best types of cleanses are food-based cleanses, which do not use supplements, but rather whole foods and/or juices.


  • Detox diets claim to facilitate the removal of toxins that have built up in our body, such as:
    •  environmental contaminants – pollution, smog, pesticides, cleaning agents, alcohol, caffeine, etc.
      • However, our bodies have organs such as the liver, kidneys, skin, lungs and digestive system to remove these unnecessary substances every day, without the help of any special detox diet/potions to help it along.
  • BOTTOM LINE:  Detox diets are not necessary since our bodies have their own daily detox organs such as the skin, liver, kidneys, lungs and gut, to keep us healthy.  What you do for a few days can not ever make-up for how we live and take care of our body the other 365 days 


For most healthy people, doing a detox for a few days will not lead to any long term health problems.  However, for someone who has conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, digestive issues, or women who are pregnant, children/teens, and elderly, these extreme changes to their diet can mean anything from dizziness to fainting to coma since the diets affect electrolyte and blood sugar balance.

*Following these detox plans long term for anyone can mean vitamin and mineral deficiencies, as well as muscle breakdown.


Results to Expect

A healthy person following a short-term detox diet may get a bit of a “mental jump start” into eating healthier and exercising for the rest of the year.  Additionally, it helps jump start a healthier environment of less processed fare and more wholesome foods.

The most effective “detox” is drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, exercising and eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats so that our own detox organs can keep us healthy.

Samples of Balanced Eating

  • Breakfast:  Oatmeal with unsweetened almond milk, chopped walnuts and chopped apples
  • Lunch:  Whole grain pita stuffed with white beans, fresh basil and chopped tomatoes with an olive oil vinaigrette
  • Dinner:  Salmon with quinoa and kale or broccoli with lemon and pine nuts
  • Snacks:  1.  Low-fat plain yogurt with berries 2.  Peanut butter and celery
  • Consume plenty of water and unsweetened tea 


The first thing we look at is why does someone want to do a cleanse or detox.  Often they want to jump start their weight loss program or they are frustrated that they started to attempt to lose weight, but it is slow or stagnant.  Then there are the people who truly feel they need to cleanse their body of toxins, regardless of losing weight or not.  Proponents of cleansing or detoxification believe it can help you get rid of your bad bacteria in your gut, and stimulate the production of healthy bacteria in your gut.  There are also the beliefs that a cleanse will boost your energy level, as well as enhance your immune system.  And of course, weight loss.  Though others find dehydration, infections and an imbalance of your immune system might be at stake, many want to give it a try.

There are some benefits to cleanse – the all-natural, chemical free substances you are putting in your body for 3-10 days.  It certainly does not include the artificial and processed substances of the typical American diet.  Just the idea of it can make you feel better.  Some feel it truly cleans out your liver, colon, kidneys and lungs.  Before you get started though, there are certain preliminary tasks you must do:

*Visit with your physician – especially if you take medications or have any medical issues

*Bring the list of the herbal mixture to your physician or pharmacist – herbs are not regulated in this country and some can have harmful side effects

*Make sure you are well-hydrated before, during and after your cleanse.  This will help keep your electrolytes in healthy balance.


Then there are the nice things to do – even if you are not preparing for a cleanse:

*Mentally prepare yourself by eliminating/decreasing the stress around you.

*Use daily affirmations and positive self-talk to help prepare you, as well as get through the actual cleanse.

*Get rid of all of the processed foods in your house, including all sugars, coffee, meat and dairy.  Especially any tempting foods that may have the power to disrupt your cleanse.

*Purchase all of the fruits and vegetables you will need at least 1-2 days before your start date.

*Some recommend squeezing an organic, fresh lemon into warm water every morning, including during the cleanse.  This is suppose to wake up your metabolism and systems.  Try this out prior to your official cleanse, to make sure you can tolerate the taste.


Always keep in mind, you may see weight loss from a cleanse, but this is simply water weight, and will be gained back shortly after the detox is completed.  The best post-cleanse plan is to immediately re-dedicate yourself to a healthy weight loss program, which includes fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grain carbohydrates and healthy fats.