You’ve probably heard the recent excitement about detox diets, and their potential to cleanse your body of toxins, lose weight fast, and boost energy. Detox diets have become incredibly popular in the last few years, and odds are you’ve heard or know someone who’s tried one.
In this article, we’ll get to the bottom of detox diets - what they are and if they work - as well as provide you with the truth about how to get the results you’re looking for.
What are Detox Diets?
Detox diets are short-term diets designed to eliminate our exposure to toxic chemicals and cleanse the body of them. There are a wide variety of detox diets out there that vary in length and intensity, but typically involve at least one of the following:
- Fasting for 1-3 days
- Drinking only fresh fruit and vegetable juices, lemon water, or tea
- Avoiding all allergenic foods then slowly reintroducing them
- Taking supplements or herbs
- Using laxatives, colon cleansers, or enemas
- Eliminating coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, and refined sugars
- Avoiding harmful heavy metals and chemicals
Many detox diets claim to promote toxin elimination, improve circulation, promote weight loss, provide your body with healthy nutrients through a limited diet, and boost energy levels. In addition, some even claim to help with obesity, inflammation, autoimmune diseases, digestion, allergies, bloating, and chronic fatigue.
How Effective Are Detox Diets?
Who wouldn’t love the idea of a quick fix that offers an opportunity to reset your health? While detox diets are intriguing in their own right, the research to support that they do what they promise is lacking.
Bottomline, detox diets are simply crash dieting repackaged - short term diets that don’t produce long term results. What you do for only a few days, can’t change how you treat your body for the other 362 days of the year.
Detox Diet Risks
Before doing any detox diet, it’s important to consider the possible side effects and risks. Unfortunately, there is a lack of regulation in the detox diet industry; therefore, many pills, supplements, laxatives, and diuretics sold for this purpose may not have any scientific basis. Harmful side effects are always a potential, so it’s important to always consult your doctor prior to use.
If you have fitness goals, putting drastic limits on calorie intake can derail your progress. When your body lacks its caloric needs, it can begin to break down your lean muscle mass to use for energy and slow down your metabolism.
Finally, colonics, and colonic cleansers have the potential to strip your gut of its good bacteria. There’s a huge amount of evidence suggesting our gut bacteria are some of our greatest assets, fostering a healthy environment for our gut bacteria to thrive is one of the best things we can do for our bodies.
Detox Diet Takeaways
If true health benefits are what you’re after, detox diets aren’t the way to go. The lack of research to support them is undeniable, and they don’t deliver the long-term benefits they promise.
The good thing about detox diets is that they do promote aspects of healthy living that should be practiced as a part of a healthy lifestyle. Implementing these practices in your everyday life can drastically improve your health and will deliver the long-term results you’re looking for.
- Regular exercise
- Eating whole, nutritious foods
- Avoiding over-processed high sugar, high fat foods
- Hydrating regularly with water or green tea
- Limiting stress
- Getting adequate sleep
In truth, our bodies need no additional help with detoxing harmful chemicals. Our liver and kidneys are designed to filter and eliminate toxic substances from our bodies, and they do an incredible job of doing so.
Bottomline, if you’re concerned with your body’s ability to detox itself, ask yourself how you could change your lifestyle to improve its ability to do so.