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.
Because you're consuming nothing but water on a water fast, you're depriving your body of nutrition for extended periods of time, which shifts your metabolism into a "fasting state"—the precursor to the "starvation state," says Whitney Linsenmeyer, Ph.D., R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and an instructor in the department of nutrition and dietetics at Saint Louis University.
In fact, stop eating at 7 pm, if possible. By ending your eating by 7 pm, you’ll set yourself up to begin burning fat first thing in the morning. Not just burning calories—burning fat. As you go through the Zero Belly Cleanse, you’ll experience a sense of control over your diet, your body and your health. One of the reasons so many cultures impose periods of cleansing on their people is that it helps to bring a sense of order to life.
Jeni S., a 31-year-old mom of two and group fitness instructor, first discovered cleanse diets after talking with a fellow fitness instructors. "I was complaining to her about my post-holiday bloat and she recommended I try a cleanse to 'flush' it all out and sort of reset everything." On her friend's recommendation, Jeni started with the Shakeology Jumpstart Cleanse—"a nutrient rich, calorie restrictive cleanse designed to help rid your body of undigested food and other toxins." She adds, "The goal is to get as many nutrients with as few calories as possible."