Detox Diets: Friend or Foe?

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We’ve all been there – a heavy weekend of drinking, too much fast food within a crazy work schedule or the nagging feeling that you are not your healthiest self. It can be easy at these times to source quick solutions to the problem, whether it be weight loss or Wellbeing. This is where detox diets come in. In recent years the detox trend has brought juice cleanses, diet pills & detox teas to the market but what are the facts and figures about detox diets? Are we entering blindly into these health trends without knowing their full effect? The statistics & information on detox diets are revealing, & worth reading up on before signing up to another fad diet.

Weight Loss

Believe it or not, a detox diet isn’t the most effective way to lose weight for those struggling to drop the extra pounds or kilos. ‘While detoxes do help you lose weight quickly, the pounds pack on quite rapidly the moment you end the diet. Also, you can only lose so much weight from a cleanse.

Conventional methods of losing weight, though slower than a detox diet, can actually help you reach your goal weight more quickly. They are also simpler to maintain.’ Researching the best and worst foods for weight loss may aid, & simplify the process of tracking what food you’re putting into your body.

Toxins

As well as the promise of weight loss, people go on detox diets to cleanse their body of harmful toxins that build up in the body from things like alcohol, coffee & fried foods. One of the selling points of starting a detox diet is the promise of toxin removal. In an article published by the Sydney Morning Herald Rebecca Katz, author & founder of the Healing Kitchen’s institute debunks the myth surrounding detoxing & toxins ‘the key is that the liver breaks down harmful compounds- everything from pesticides to alcohol – and converts them into water-soluble molecules so they can be flushed from your system. If the detox process if efficient – and if you are generally healthy and eat well, it will be – ordinary toxins roll merrily along through the body’s liquid waterways, exiting most often as either urine or bile.’

The Dangers of Fasting

By depriving the human body of the nutrients it needs you can be putting your health at risk, according to medical professionals. Dimple Thakrar, spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association was quoted in The Guardian “It can actually cause harm. The evidence suggests that by following a so-called detox, especially ones involving fasting, you can damage liver enzyme activity and therefore damage your body’s ability to detoxify itself.” Likewise, she says, reducing calories for the short term can reduce your metabolic rate & “you can end up putting on more weight in the long term.”

Alternative Paths to Better Health

Our whole health and our whole body require care & maintenance & by detoxing this process can flush our system of good bacteria ‘Diet, toxins & oral hygiene all affect the balance of our oral bacteria.’ Instead of flushing the good from our bodies there are more balanced approaches to health such as the Healthy Weight Week programme, which helps provide resources to cook meals from home that will assist in promoting energy, maintaining weight loss & improving mood.

Detox diets, although trendy aren’t necessarily the best path towards positive health changes in the long term. Rather than engaging in a juice cleanse or fad diet the more effective alternative is to plan a healthy meal regime as well as regular exercise and time in your day to check in with how you are feeling mentally, physically and emotionally.

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