As something of a detox novice, I decided to bite the bullet this summer by embarking on the Clean 9 Detox by Forever You HK.
I’ve previously only tried the Punch juice cleanse before (which fellow Sassy blogger Natalie reviewed here) and after having a positive experience with that, I was keen to try another detox – especially coming off the back of my rather elongated 40th birthday celebrations (yep, I nailed that one!).
So here’s what they say about Clean 9:
“It’s a 9 day plan where your body is gently cleansed of harmful chemicals and built-up waste matter. The plan enables you to safely lose around 7-14lb, although results vary from person to person.
Clean 9 is endorsed by doctors/nutritionists as a sensible safe plan. The best part is you’ll feel amazing afterwards, full of energy and life, your skin will glow and you’ll feel ‘clean’. You’ll achieve a new attitude towards food and dieting, plus the weight will stay off since it’s not a crash diet.”
So what does the Clean 9 detox entail?
For days 1 and 2, you are allowed one shake per day (vanilla or chocolate flavour made with 300ml of skimmed milk) accompanied with natural supplements of garcinia (an appetite suppressant) and bee pollen (which gives you a little bit of oomph and energy). It did make me laugh (or cry!) that the mid-morning snack for these days is “2 Forever Bee Pollen” tablets with 240ml of water (not quite the same as a cheeky mid-morning biscuit, is it?!).
You can also have aloe vera at various times during the day, which is great for your skin and renowned for its general healing properties (and apparently beloved of Posh Spice too!). Some people can’t stand the taste of this – it’s a bit whiffy in its liquid form, but if like me your sense of smell is knackered from being dropped on your head when a drunken dance manoeuvre went wrong or you’re just a hardened shot-drinker (!), then you should be able to down it in one (or simply hold your nose and swig).
On days 3-9, you continue with the same natural supplements but up your shakes to two a day – one in the morning and one at lunchtime (and I have to say I LOVED the vanilla shake). Then in the evening, you can have anything up to 600 calories as your meal. 600 calories is actually quite a considerable amount if you choose wisely and sensibly, so some people (as I did) prefer to split the calories over two meals and have a low calorie dish at lunchtime as well as in the evening.
Throughout the cleanse, you’re supposed to do 20 minutes of exercise in the mornings… yes, even if you feel like keeling over – HOP TO IT!
Here’s what I say about it:
I found Clean 9 really HARD compared to the 3-day Punch Detox that I did; I was quite the misery during this one! Day 1 whizzed by as I took the advice of one of the detoxers in the Clean 9 Facebook group, who suggested shopping to while away the time (I promptly headed for a TOPSHOP personal shopping day!) and it worked a treat. But Day 2 was a shocker… I woke up feeling really hungry and wondering how I was going to get through the rest of the day on one measly shake! Everywhere I went there were pictures of food – to the extent I felt like eating the cardboard they were printed on. At one point, I even felt like eating my own arm! My top tip is to drink water like it’s going out of fashion; this will help fill you up and you’ll feel like you’re at least consuming something! It also ensures that you’re not mistaking dehydration for hunger, which can often happen in hot and sweaty Hong Kong.
Psychologically, doing the Clean 9 detox and calorie count over the weekend (when everyone else is out brunching or enjoying afternoon tea!) didn’t quite sit well with me – this is what celebs must have to do to on a daily basis to maintain their tiny frames! I’m more of the ‘eat what you like within reason… and then exercise like crazy’ school of thought; calorie counting reminded me of my teenage years and the fact that some people never even try an avocado or nuts because they’re too calorific, not realising the difference between good and bad fats just because the calorie counter says NO.
BUT… and this is the BUT you’re going to LIKE if you’re trying to shift stubborn baby weight, re-enforced concrete cellulite or just need to kick some lousy eating habits… YOU WILL AND DO LOSE WEIGHT with Clean 9! It will also highlight your relationship with food – how often you comfort eat, whether you eat just because someone else is eating or you’ve seen a picture of food and how often you eat out of habit. Plus remember, it is only 9 days after all!
Clean 9 also has a great Hong Kong Facebook Group with video diaries of people’s experiences, together with daily updates from those currently detoxing and recipe suggestions for that hit of 600 calories. It has a real community feel about it and is a great support when you’re on the programme. Kate Bolton, who organises Clean 9 in Hong Kong, is also very supportive and knowledgeable; she’ll guide you through the whole thing, listen to you whinge (I whinged a lot!) and respond to any questions you may have.
I found it hard BUT I lost 3kg and also, a very surprising 3cm around my waist too – so the stats speak for themselves. The Clean 9 by Forever You HK detox is the perfect way to quickly lose weight if you need to fit into that dress for an important occasion and think you’ve left it too late, as the perfect pre-holiday diet to get you bikini-ready or the ideal kick-start to a weight loss program or healthier lifestyle.
Clean 9 by Forever You HK costs $1450 for their 9-day program, which includes one tub of your chosen shake (chocolate or vanilla), one handy flask for shakes on-the-go and natural supplements of aloe vera, bee pollen and garcinia. You’ll also have leftover supplements post-detox that can be used to keep up the good work!
Check out the rest of our top 10 summer detoxes in Hong Kong here