So you ate and drank your way through the weekend, and you feel bloated and lethargic. Nothing a simple 24-hour fast can’t fix. Going foodless (or almost foodless) for a day is the ultimate form of detoxification.
The above quote might sound like an excerpt from a pro-ana blog, but it’s actually the first sentence of a post called ‘The Monday Detox’ on Q Blog–the official editorial side of Equinox Fitness Club.
The post (which is cross-posted on Details’ blog) is based on the advice of Maria Pagano, R.D., one of Equinox’s private training managers, and John Berardi, Ph.D, founder of Precision Nutrition, who both say 24-hour fasting is a great way to burn fat and “jump start your system.” Most nutritionists we’ve spoken with seem to believe that starving your body of calories sends your metabolism into shut-down mode–in fact, one of the most effective ways to jump-start your metabolism and burn fat is to weight train at the gym, which you’d think Equinox would be all over–but Berardi defends the practice as a good way to learn self-control, because “the ability to manage hunger is essential to fitness and good health.”
Equinox has published controversial content on their blog before–like the video of Briohny Smith doing her yoga routine in lingerie–but this advice is far more alarming.
If you’re a weekend warrior, you either spend Monday repenting for your bad behavior, or celebrating the amount of work you put in at the gym, on the trails, in your bike seat–wherever–with a rest day and a morning latte. We think either situation is fine (so long as you feel you can achieve balance the rest of the week), and we’ve definitely restricted ourselves to light meals and lots of water at the beginning of the week to try and clear out recent memories of debauchery. But going gung-ho at the bar or dinner table and starving yourself the next day sounds like a fast track to disordered eating, not the sort of balanced health and fitness we’d expect a gym to promote.