detox or cleanse to a healthy weight
Detox diets, cleanses and flushes continue to gain popularity for a variety of reasons—from losing weight to simply giving the body a reboot. Whether detoxing for a day or two or using a product that will naturally cleanse your system, it’s imperative to first understand what you’re putting into your body.
Most detox diets promote pills, powders, drinks, colonics and fasts that help to eliminate toxins and poisons from the body. Such diets and products can be controversial; many clinicians question the legitimacy of their claims. There is little evidence that shows a detox product can purge environmental toxins over and above what the body can do naturally. Most agree that the body is the best detox product available.
Can you lose weight with these types of products? As with most diets or plans, weight loss is certainly possible. The question is for how long—and whether the process is healthy or potentially harmful. Many detox diets are low in calories (usually calories are only in liquid form) and restrictive (with limited solids and mostly unprocessed plant foods and water). Experts say that most plant-based diets can be healthy, but some detox diets can go to extremes, with the limited food, beverage and calorie intake the primary concern.
Many of the products, which also can be quite expensive, are not as beneficial if centered on a fast that emphasizes liquids. They may contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, but they may be lacking in necessities like carbohydrates, fat and protein. Extended detoxing actually can rob the body of nutrients.
Most agree that a day of detox won’t hurt. As a consistent practice, however, fasting or restrictive diets can slow down metabolism, making it harder to continue losing weight once you begin a regular diet again. That, in turn, leads to overeating due to excess hunger (which is often the challenge once you end any type of plan or diet).
There can be potential dangers to detoxing. Removing fluids and upsetting the fluid/electrolyte balance in your body can cause distress such as headaches, fatigue and dehydration. Many of us don’t realize the potential harm these products can cause, especially for people on certain medications (ones that impact potassium, sodium and fluid balance).
Colon cleansing can be quite dirty. Flushing for a medical procedure is a normal practice. However, more frequent colonic enemas can change the body’s natural fluid and electrolyte balance in a negative way, one that can lead to infection, dehydration and irregularity. A better option would be to bulk up on fiber to naturally help clean your colon.
Understand the nature of your body. When it comes to the liver, the organ does a good job on its own (with the help of the kidneys) to filter toxins. Though additional cleaning agents promise heightened function, a normal liver can do most of this by itself. Experts agree that the best way to detox the liver is to eat healthy and limit exposure to toxins in such as alcohol.
We often look for that magic potion to promise quick and easy weight loss. There is no quick fix. Let your body detox and cleanse itself with good hydration, whole foods full of vitamins and minerals, physical activity and, of course, healthy living.