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The Tortoise and the Hare: A PSA on Quick Fixes

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

I have a friend who says, "Fast don't last." Grammar aside, it's the truth when it comes to adopting your new healthy lifestyle habits. You already know in your heart of hearts that wellness is not a sprint; it's a marathon. Lasting results mean that whatever you take on as a changed habit must be sustainable for years to come, or it's nothing but a shell game designed to separate you from your money, healthy metabolism or sanity.

Here are some guidelines to help you navigate the hazards and stay on course:

1. If you succumb to a quick fix regimen - 1 day, 3 days, 2 weeks...The next morning after a quick fix regimen is over, ask yourself, "What have I learned from this experience to sustain any positive changes I experienced? What will I do differently every day, that supports my health?" If the quick fix had you reducing your calories by drinking smoothies, or veggie juices instead of eating a meal, or all but eliminated carbs, or took magic pills, then you will likely have lost several pounds of water and precious muscle mass, lowering your resting metabolic rate, and priming you for some hefty fat cell gains no matter what you eat next! Is this moving the needle forward? Or is it setting you up for a dependency yo-yo syndrome? If you succumb to a "jump start" program, at least ask yourself at the end, "What did I learn that is sustainable?"

If you really must have some motivating quick results to spur you forward, don't forget that today's status of your gut/liver/metabolism didn't form quickly. A sustainable habit every day for years to come wins the tortoise-and-hare race every time.

Remember the last time you had a bad bug? All you ate for 3 days were saltines and ginger ale, maybe a little applesauce. Day 4 on the scale...Woohooo!! Then you recover, your appetite returns, you eat ONE normal meal, and it all comes back? And 2 weeks later, an additional 3 lbs to boot? That's due to water replacement from short-term dehydration and under eating calories. Your metabolism slows down to protect you from wasting away too fast. Normal eating is a chance to store up a little fat for the next "famine." And that is the same mechanism that activates with a ritual quick fix cleanse. It's not exactly our fault. We mean well. The problem is that the cleanse doesn't always teach us sustainable habits for afterwards. (Doing this over and over is not a sustainable habit.) It's a quick fix. If it taught you sustainable habits, you would never need to do a second, third, fourth cleanse. Ever. "Mistakes were made. Lessons were learned. Now I know better. I'm good! Thank you quick cleanse. I don't need to see you again."

2. Watch for before-and-after pictures that are NOT portraying the person touting the program. Be skeptical of any supplement, powder, cream, brightly colored pill or "nutritional program" that promises a miracle in a short time. You'll be shown a picture of a satisfied customer - before and after - with a glowing review of their quick and easy success. Or an endorsement from a pro athlete holding a trophy or showing their ripped abs. Here's the dirty little secret...Did you ever notice that the person who's actually promoting this program doesn't look like that? The comparison picture promoting benefits looks great, but the person who wants you to sign up and purchase the program or product does not look like that. At all. I'm not judging! I'm simply saying, think this through. Shouldn't they be showing you how it has helped them by being in optimal condition themselves? If it works that fast, and it is that easy, they should look fricken' phenomenal too! 

3. I can't walk away from this topic without giving honorable mention to Mr. Liver. We've all had times in our lives where he should win the "Employee of the Month" award. Your liver is a rock star. Your liver is the CEO of fat burning, and 500+ other functions! I carry a torch for this organ because pop health culture has painted him to be too stupid for words. We abuse him, and now we will put on a cape and save him with a heroic deep cleanse. This is bad press for such an honorable organ. As it turns out, Mr. Liver isn’t stupid.

If you think you need to “kick start” or to “cleanse” your liver with 30 day juices/pills/powders, because it's too bogged down, and unable to cope with the mess you created, consider for a moment: At the point where your liver truly NEEDS an intervention, you truly NEED to be in the hospital!! That's a real emergency! Otherwise, live and eat clean. When you occasionally overindulge, go back to eating clean. Your liver will be able to work with that! In order for the 30 Day kickstart to really work, it must impact your actions afterward. Return to consistent healthy habits of what you consume. This allows your liver to cleanse itself all on his own. Let him show you how brilliant he is! You can't cheat the grind. Your physical body is a living diary of everything you have offered it for the past 6 - 12 months, and it never lies. A quick fix “cleansing” so you can go back to everyday abuse is just plain mean.

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