Weight-loss is more than just a goal or something people try to achieve. Surrounding the concept is what people are willing to do, and pay, resulting in a multi-billion dollar market with products and services ranging from good potential to high-risk and downright harmful. From personal training, to nutrition plans, bars, teas, pills, workout plans & videos, support groups, and everything in between, it’s easy to see (without even looking at a decline in our nation’s statistics) that weight-loss is a massive issue in Canada, the US and other first-world countries.
With all this in mind, I can only stress one thing in response:
The answer to healthy weight-loss and the maintainence of healthy body composition is and only ever will be a lifestyle.
Although there are many approaches to having a low body-fat percentage, I strongly affirm that the only way of achieving this while providing the nutrients needed for proper mental and physical function is the full embrace of sustainable life-term choices, most of these having their physical outworking in the sphere of nutrition.Fasting with The Master Cleanse
So what about the title of this post? The master cleanse is a temporary, restrictive diet that alters your physiology with the intentions of:
- Rapid fat-loss,
- Release of toxins stored in the body’s tissues
- The cleaning and complete rest of the digestive system, resulting in decreased stress on many of the body’s internal organs.
The diet is based on a cocktail – a combination of organic lemon, dark maple syrup, and organic cayenne pepper. Non-caffeinated herbal teas are also used for their varied benefits and to keep one occupied without solid food.
The restrictions of the cleanse include any and all food intake, caffeinated beverages & alcohol. Since the cleanse induces a powerful shift in the body’s physiology, certain physical stresses (like heavy lifting, intense training or high personal stress) should be avoided. The duration of the cleanse can be anywhere from 24 hours to 7 days, with 3 days bringing the onset of some impressive anti-inflammatory and healing benefits. Low intensity exercise like walking is recommended, and provides improved results.Intermittent Fasting with the Master Cleanse
If following a Time Restricted Eating protocol for your general nutrition (which I highly recommend you do,) then the Master Cleanse is an excellent way to increase your fasted window by using this at the start or at the end of your feeding window. For example, if your body has a hard time adjusting to a 10-hour eating window lasting from 7am to 5pm, you can finish your last meal by 5pm, and then have a master cleanse when you get hungry later in the evening, or you can start with only Master Cleanse in the morning until noon, and then do a short 6-7 hour eating window from 12 noon to 6 or 7 pm. The idea here is that the times which would normally be a struggle are sustained by making Master Cleanse drinks, extending the benefits of your fast.Cleanse Nutrition – Lemon, Maple Syrup, Cayenne Pepper, Himalayan Pink Salt
To back up the cleanse is, for a diet of its type, surprisingly a balanced nutritional profile, with only one contraindication that I’d like to know more about. Let’s have a look:
- Maple Syrup: The source of calories, in this case, almost solely carbohydrates. Though easily and rapidly digested, maple syrup does not stimulate as much of an insulin-response as other sugars of its accessibility. Dark syrup provides a broad spectrum of B-vitamins, many of which are responsible for turning fats and carbs into available energy. It is also a source of Zinc, which is important for immune and sexual function, as well as manganese, an important micro-mineral antioxidant involved in energy production.
- Lemon: Although lemon is very acidic, it has an alkalizing effect on the body when digested due to its high concentration of minerals. This provides a key-factor in allowing your body to release a lot of your body’s stored fat for use as energy (which has an acidic effect on the body). Lemon is a great source of the electrolytes magnesium, calcium and potassium, which are absolutely essential to bodily function. It also includes the essential mineral Iron. Juice from a fresh-squeezed lemon contains enzymes similar to digestive and liver enzymes. This theoretically helps your liver and pancreas rest, while reducing your body’s need for protein. As for protein, a lemon contains almost 1 gram, which is miniscule but still present. Oddly enough, lemon also contains a miniscule amount of fat, including omega fatty acids, important for metabolic and brain function. Lastly, lemon is loaded with vitamin C, which keeps your cortisol levels down (important especially when fasting), and is a general antioxidant that protects your cells from damaging effects of stress.
- Cayenne Pepper: Rich in beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant which your body turns into vitamin A. Also a source of vitamin K. The capsaicin, which is what makes it spicy, fights inflammation while providing circulatory and cardiovascular benefits along with a boost to the metabolism. Aside from all this, cayenne pepper also stimulates the release of protective buffers in your stomach, which explains its traditional use in fighting stomach ulcers.
- Himalayan Pink Salt: While balancing your cells’ pH, sodium is also needed in moderation for cells to maintain hydration. Himalayan salt also contains over 60-80 trace microminerals. More information on this amazing salt on Helen Sanders’ Himalayan Pink Salts Post
The basic Maste Cleanse recipe is:
2 T Organic Lemon/Lime juice
2 T Dark/Amber real Maple Syrup
1/10th tsp of cayenne pepper
pinch of hymilayan pink salt
10oz/300ml of filtered water
You can play with the ratios, but typically you don’t want to water down or weaken the drink:
- You can use more cayenne if your palate and stomach can handle the heat
- You can add 1Tbsp more maple syrup if you are very active at the time
- You can add more lemon to get more benefit from all of the electrolytes, vitamins, and enzymes
Mix all these together and there you have it – the Master Cleanse!
As founder of Ivanco Fitness, my promise is to ensure your journey in fitness is unlocked and uplifted. It was the summer of 2012 and I was burnt out - I had spent over 10,000 hours personally training clients through rehabilitation to health, and from health to strength. Young and old and in between, I worked with these individuals to help them create their best version of themselves. While this brought me much joy, I was stressed, tired, and knew I was limited to only a small group of people I could help in this way. I had worked with other coaches along the way, and realized it was time to build a team and create a system that would allow talented coaches to create meaningful connections with those who seek to uplift their lives through physical training. Having brought the right people on board, Ivanco now works as a team of trainers, kinesiologists, holistic nutritionists and administrative staff to provide a more streamlined and versatile experience than an independent trainer could offer. Yours in health, Ivan.