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One idea underlying weight loss cleanses is that increasing bowel movements will reduce the calories the body uses, but your body absorbs nearly all the calories you consume before the food reaches your colon. Another theory in favor of weight loss cleanses holds that clearing out toxins -- chemicals from food, water and pollution -- assists the body in losing weight.

Whether a regimen calls for two fasting days a week or eating your meals in a smaller "window" of time in the day, all plans share a near-freedom from calorie counting, a big plus for weary food diarists. Once you have planned your fasting-period menu—say, a 500-calorie day of chicken and veggies—you're set. And in your nonfasting periods, you eat normal, healthy meals (even that steak!) without worrying about every bite.
There are some downsides, however. As she explains, "By day two you may as well have all your calls forwarded to the toilet because you will be spending a lot of time in the bathroom. The first time I did the cleanse, I was out with my kids at the mall when all of a sudden I needed a bathroom, stat! It was a nightmare, trying to pack everyone up and find the restroom. I learned the mall is not the place you want to be when your body starts trying to eliminate toxins."
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