Five Reasons to Cleanse Besides Weight Loss
An Isagenix Cleanse Day is based on the science behind intermittent fasting, a practice that has been making waves in the media as the new regimen best suited for weight loss. But, Isagenix has been promoting the use of fasting as a tool to support overall health and weight wellness since the company’s inception in 2002.
The evidence that supports incorporating regular fasting days into your lifestyle has exploded in recent years. While weight loss is the benefit that receives the most attention, there are many other compelling reasons to make regular Cleanse Days part of your routine:
1. Support Your Cellular “Cleansing” Processes
When the body is managing a steady flow of nutrition from frequent meals or snacks, some processes can be put on hold. One of these processes is known as “autophagy.” This process works to break down the old, worn-out components within your cells in order to reuse the basic building blocks, such as amino acids, to support cell maintenance and growth.
Autophagy has been the subject of continuing research that points to the benefits of this fundamental cellular process for supporting metabolism, heart and brain health, and healthy aging (1). Autophagy goes to work while you are fasting on a Cleanse Day by cleaning up the worn-out parts within your cells and recycling them.
2. Improve Your Appetite Control
Many regular cleansers have noticed that their appetites are more manageable in the days following a Cleanse Day. Researchers have also noticed this unexpected effect of intermittent fasting, and are beginning to explore the phenomenon in greater detail. Scientific research has uncovered changes in appetite-regulating hormones that may explain the decrease in hunger many experience following a Cleanse Day (2, 3). While the investigation into this field is still new, the current evidence suggests fasting may be a tool to help reset your appetite.
3. Target the Worst Kind of Fat
Excess body fat is never a good thing, but it is even more concerning when fat accumulates around your midsection and surrounds your internal organs. This kind of deep belly fat is known as visceral fat, and has been linked to serious concerns for your health and well-being.
As part of an Isagenix System, Cleanse Days have been shown to promote greater weight loss and greater visceral fat loss than a heart-healthy, whole food diet in university-based scientific studies (4). These results show that completing regular Cleanse Days can not only help with weight loss, but can also help you lose more visceral fat.
4. Improve Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin is the hormone that enables your body to use the carbohydrates in the food you eat for energy. Insulin plays a critical role in keeping your blood sugar levels steady after you eat a meal, but your body can become less sensitive to its effects if you routinely consume more food than your body can use. One of the body’s natural responses to fasting is enhanced sensitivity to the normal action of insulin (5, 6). Along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, supporting normal insulin function can greatly benefit your overall health and help keep your metabolism in top shape.
5. Support for Healthy Aging and Overall Well-Being
Intermittent fasting, the fundamental concept behind Cleanse Days, is an active area of scientific research. New studies continue to identify benefits from fasting related to markers of healthy aging and overall well-being. For example, recent research has found that fasting can lead to improvements in circulation, cardiovascular health, cognitive health, and reduced oxidative stress (7-10). This promising research supports the potential benefits of incorporating regular Cleanse Days as part of a long-term, healthful lifestyle.
While weight loss remains one of the most popular reasons why people choose to do Cleanse Days, scientific research has identified many other unique benefits of intermittent fasting that are less obvious from the outside. If weight loss is no longer your goal, there are still plenty of reasons to keep Cleanse Days in your routine.
- Bergamini E, Cavallini G, Donati A, Gori Z. The role of autophagy in aging: its essential part in the anti-aging mechanism of caloric restriction. Ann NY Acad Sci. 2007 Oct;1114:69-78.
- Hoddy KK, Gibbons C, Kroeger CM, Trepanowski JF, Barnosky A, Bhutani S, Gabel K, Finlayson G, Varady KA. Changes in hunger and fullness in relation to gut peptides before and after 8 weeks of alternate day fasting. Clin Nutr. 2016 Dec;35(6):1380-1385. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2016.03.011.
- Cummings DE, Weigle DS, Frayo RS, Breen PA, Ma MK, Dellinger EP, et al. Plasma ghrelin levels after diet-induced weight loss or gastric bypass surgery. N Engl J Med. 2002;346:1623e30.
- Klempel MC, Kroeger CM, Bhutani S, Trepanowski JF, Varady KA. Intermittent fasting combined with calorie restriction is effective for weight loss and cardio-protection in obese women. Nutr J. 2012 Nov 21;11:98.
- Varady KA, Hellerstein MK. Alternate-day fasting and chronic disease prevention: a review of human and animal trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jul;86(1):7-13.
- Halberg N, Henriksen M, Söderhamn N, Stallknecht B, Ploug T, Schjerling P, Dela F. Effect of intermittent fasting and refeeding on insulin action in healthy men. J Appl Physiol. 2005 Dec;99(6):2128-36.
- Froy O, Miskin R. Effect of feeding regimens on circadian rhythms: implications for aging and longevity. Aging (Albany NY) 2010;2:7-27.
- Mattson MP. Dietary factors, hormesis and health. Ageing Res Rev 2008;7:43-8.
- Anton S, Leeuwenburgh C. Fasting or caloric restriction for healthy aging. Exp Gerontol 2013;48:1003-5.
- Martin B, et al. Caloric restriction and intermittent fasting: two potential diets for successful brain aging. Ageing Res Rev 2006;5:332-53.
Do Regular Cleanse Days Work Long Term?
For anyone new to an Isagenix Weight Loss System, it’s natural to wonder whether incorporating a regular Cleanse Day schedule into your program will work long term. After all, in the case with other dietary programs, most people regain their weight within a few months.
While previously there’s been little research to support sustained weight loss benefits of weekly Cleanse Days, recent studies are providing evidence that regular, intermittent fasting is quite effective for losing and maintaining weight loss.
For example, research led by Dr. Paul Arciero at Skidmore College showed that the combination of both Cleanse Days as a form of intermittent fasting and Shake Days as a form of calorie restriction was effective in leading to weight loss followed by weight maintenance for 15 months (1,2).
The study had two phases – a 12-week weight loss phase followed by a 52-week weight maintenance phase. At the completion of the study, participants who stayed on the Isagenix System had an average of 6 percent lower body weight and significantly improved cardiovascular health.
New, Long-term Study Supports Safety
Now, scientific evidence from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) corroborates the long-term results of Dr. Arciero’s research (3). In the new study, researchers used alternate-day fasting – another form of intermittent fasting – as part of a randomized controlled trial comparing the effects between alternate-day fasting and daily calorie restriction on overall weight loss, weight maintenance, and cardiovascular risk factors.
Like with the Skidmore study, the newer research used both a weight loss and weight maintenance phase. However, the duration of each phase spanned half a year – the weight loss phase for six months, the weight maintenance for six months.
The study randomized 100 obese adults, 86 of them women, to follow one of three dietary programs: alternate-day fasting (alternating “fast” and “feast” days), calorie restriction, and eating normally (control).
During the weight loss phase, the researchers advised participants in the alternate-day fasting group to consume 25 percent of their daily caloric needs one day (roughly 500 calories), then 125 percent (2500 calories) the next day, while the calorie restriction group ate 25 percent less each day. During weight maintenance, participants increased consumption on “fast” days to 50 percent and “feast” days to 150 percent. The calorie restriction group returned to a normal eating pattern as instructed.
At the end of the year, there was no difference in the total weight loss between the alternate-day fasting group and the calorie restriction group. Both groups lost an average of 5-6 percent (10-12 pounds for a 200-pound person). There were also no differences in any cardiovascular risk factors.
Additionally, those in the alternate-day fasting group consumed more than instructed on “fast” days and less than suggested on “feast” days. The authors state that this may explain the lack of difference in overall weight loss, as alternate-day fasting participants moved toward actually following the calorie restriction protocol as the study progressed. The total weight loss included the data from the people who dropped out as well. This may mean that those who stuck with the diet actually lost more weight than the data suggest.
Better Adherence Through Convenient Isagenix Products
The latest UIC research provides an extra layer of support for the concept of intermittent fasting in general as a safe, effective tool for weight loss and long-term weight maintenance. It’s also considered the first long-term look at intermittent fasting adherence for six months of weight loss followed by six months of weight maintenance. Other earlier studies have reported significant weight loss through intermittent fasting compared to control groups, but they were typically six to twelve weeks long (4-6). Data suggests that long-term adherence to this method of weight loss and maintenance may not be sustainable for everyone when used as a single approach.
However, the Skidmore College study results could lead to the conclusion that adherence might be improved among participants simply with provision of Isagenix products – for example, high-protein meal replacements and nutrient-rich drinks. In addition, combining intermittent fasting with calorie restriction – Cleanse Days and Shake Days – might be an approach that leads to more effective and sustained results for participants.
- Arciero PJ, Edmonds R, He F, Ward E, Gumpricht E, Mohr A, Ormsbee MJ, Astrup A. Protein-pacing caloric-restriction enhances body composition similarly in obese men and women during weight loss and sustains efficacy during long-term weight maintenance. 2016 Jul;8(8):476.
- Li Z, He F, Tinsley GM, Pannell BK, Ward E, and Arciero PJ. Comparison of high-protein, intermittent-fasting low-calorie diet and heart healthy diet for vascular health of the obese.Front Physiol 2016 Aug;7(350).
- Trepanowski JF, Kroeger CM, Barnosky A, Klempel MC, Bhutani S, Hoddy KK, Gabel K, Freels S, Rigdon J, Rood J, Ravussin E, and Varady KA. Effect of alternate-day fasting on weight loss, weight maintenance, and cardioprotection among metabolically healthy obese adults: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2017 May 1. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.0936. [Epub ahead of print].
- Varady KA, Bhutani S, Klempel MC, Kroeger CM, Trepanowski JF, Haus JM, Hoddy KK, and Calvo Y. Alternate day fasting for weight loss in normal weight and overweight subjects: a randomized controlled trial. Nutr J. 2013 Nov;12(1):146-153.
- Eshghinia S and Mohammadzadeh F. The effects of modified alternate-day fasting diet on weight loss and CAD risk factors in overweight and obese women. J Diab Metab Disord. 2013 Jan;12(1):4-7.
- Varady KA, Bhutani S, Church EC, and Klempel MC. Short-term modified alternate-day fasting: a novel dietary strategy for weight loss and cardioprotection in obese adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Nov;90(5):1138-1143.