Detox Diets Unveiled

“What is your opinion on detoxes?”

More people come to me with this question than you would even believe.

Detoxes are such a controversial topic. Mostly, I think that this is because the term “detox” is so vague. There is no one standardized “detox”, just google “detox plan”… Bam. Point proven.

The first thing that I do when confronted with this question is to ask them what all the particular detox entails. Does it restrict calories? Are only certain foods allowed? How long does the plan last? Etc, etc. Only once I get the overall concept of the plan that the client is talking about can I respond with any of my own thoughts.

First off, let’s start with the general idea of a detox. Typically, the goal of a detox is to do just that.. Detoxify the body of toxic substances. However, our body can take care of this  sufficiently by its own normal functioning’s (as long as everything is a-ok and functioning properly.. if you have concerns about this you should consult a doctor)

So, now that we know the idea behind a detox, are they necessary or even useful? All-in-all, I would usually say no. I say this because there is little scientific evidence that our bodies need additional detoxification beyond what it is capable of doing on its own, provided that the body is fueled by a healthy diet.

English: Simplifast lemon detox diet beverage

English: Simplifast lemon detox diet beverage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sadly, A lot of people use detoxes as a from of weight-loss. The main reason of this is that detoxes usually drastically reduce caloric intake. While this may result in some weight loss initially it is not likely to last. Also, since you are essentially putting your body into starvation mode you will, as a result, lose muscle mass, not fat.

MY ADVICE: don’t buy into those crazy drink concoctions or plans that only allow you to drink a mix of maple syrup and lemon juice. A healthy, balanced diet is always best. Eating lots of high sodium, high processed foods can cause you to feel bloated and sluggish. Rather than depriving your body of any sort of fuel try to give it the best nutrition possible to get it back to tip-top shape.

To anyone who is considering a detox I would steer them toward a “rejuvenation” or “nutritional boost” (I really don’t like the word “detox”, I find it misleading.), if you will. By this I mean simply cleaning up your eating.

Here are my recommendations for a HEALTHY nutritional clean-up

Be sure to get an adequate amount of calories throughout the entire day
Focus on consuming lots of fresh fruit and vegetables
Eliminate/reduce intake of processed foods
Avoid alcohol and caffeine
Incorporate 30+ minutes of physical activity daily
Stay hydrated!! Water, water, water!

A poor diet can take a toll on anyone; physically, mentally and emotionally. Simply cleaning up your diet can provide you with more energy and a clearer mind.

Sources

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/detoxification

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/detox-diets-purging-myths?page=2

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