We have all heard how detox diets are a good way to rid our bodies of toxins, lose weight, and promote our overall health, but how much of that is actually true remains to be answered. Do they really live up to their name and help reset our bodies or do they fail the efficacy test? In this article, let’s find that out.
What is a Detox Diet?A detox diet is often advertised as a quick and simple way to reach your optimum weight loss goals, improve digestion, boost your immune system, and in general, detoxifying your body. However, what these detox diets do is move your focus from healthy eating to highly restrictive eating. This includes fasting, eating only fruits and vegetables, consuming mostly just liquids, taking laxatives, eliminating alcohol and caffeine intake from your diet, and completely cutting out junk food. Before we get onto the myths around a detox diet, it is very important to establish that making healthy dietary changes is of utmost priority before taking up any dietary or health goals.
Myths About Detox DietsThere are many myths surrounding detox diets, let’s take a look at them below.
Myth: Detox diets are not addictiveFact: The truth is going on a detox diet, aka without food, or getting an enema, are one of those things that can cause you a feeling of high, the same way in which cigarettes and alcohol do. This means that a detox diet can in fact become addictive, in a way to get that feeling again and again.
Myth: Detox diets are necessary for your body to detoxFact: The fact is that your body does not require you to go on any particular detox plan in order to detoxify. The toxins in your body mainly come in two forms, endotoxins and exotoxins. Endotoxins are the byproducts your body makes - lactic acid, urea, and feces - while exotoxins are toxins from outside of your body - mainly chemicals from cleaning products, cosmetics, air and water pollutants, and pesticides. All these toxins are cleaned up by our body through our liver, the detoxification machine in our body. The only thing you need to ensure in order to get rid of toxins in your body is - to take care of your liver by following a healthy diet. With moderation in consumption as key, your body detox is taken care of by your liver.
Myth: Detox diets can speed up your metabolismFact: Detox diets last a very short time and are usually taken up again and again in intervals. When you fast or cleanse your stomach too often, it resets your metabolism and makes it slower. This also makes it difficult to keep your weight under control and at the same time makes it difficult to lose weight in the future.
Myth: Detox diets lead to sustainable weight lossFact: contrary to popular belief, short term detox plans are not great for long term weight loss goals.You may shed some pounds when you are on a detox diet, as your body loses fluid and lean muscle mass. However, it is important to note that detox diets do nothing towards helping you lose body fat. And so it goes that when you take up a temporary diet, it only gives temporary results, as compared to consistent efforts to achieve something, particularly weight loss.
Myth: Detoxing is safe for your body
Fact: The truth of the matter is that detox diets are not safe, and can in fact be very dangerous. Detox diets usually ask for water or juice-only fasting, or strict diets that contain fruits and vegetables, herbs, and enemas. These strict regimens can cause a lot of other normal health issues to rise up, such as electrolyte imbalance, vitamin deficiencies, diarrhea, and energy deficits. This also makes it important to consult a doctor before you take on a detox diet which requires you to change your dietary intake in a significant way.
It is important to know that while a detox diet can have a big impact on your body, it may not necessarily be what you hope for. You can also add supplements to your diet while you are going on a detox, especially to meet your nutritional needs - Daily Greens by Wellbeing Nutrition is one such supplement that can help build your immunity and overall health when you go on a detox plan. You can also take a look at the various other supplements that are offered under the Wellbeing Nutrition brand, in order to meet your body’s dietary and nutritional needs.
- Supplements and cancer prevention: What you need to know (https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/supplements-and-cancer-prevention--what-you-need-to-know.h19-1592991.html)
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- TheTruth About Detox Diets (https://www.nhs.uk/livewell/tiredness-and-fatigue/documents/truthdetoxdiets.pdf)
- Detoxes and Cleanses: What You Need To Know (https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/detoxes-and-cleanses-what-you-need-to-know)
- You can’t detox your body. It’s a myth. So how do you get healthy? (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/dec/05/detox-myth-health-diet-science-ignorance)