To detox or not to detox… that is the question!

28 Jun

The 48 hour rapid detox, the lemon detox diet, master cleanse, the celebrity detox diet… Detox diets are pretty popular at the moment.  They claim to shed weight quickly, clean your insides out, give you clearer skin and eyes and make you feel all over fantastic.  But do they really work?  And more importantly, could they cause more harm than good?

I set out with my excellent “investigationing” skills to get to the bottom of this debate and here’s what I found.

So, the theory is that certain foods are toxic to the body (especially refined and acid-forming foods).  When our bodies try to breakdown these refined sugars, they produce a by-product of acidic deposits (or toxins) that can accumulate and cause a sluggish digestive system.  By performing a detox you eliminate these toxins from your diet which in turn gives the digestive system a chance to function better which helps you burn more calories.  A detox is supposed to be helpful in reprogramming your body to realise it does not need addictive ‘hits’ of sugar and salt.

A good detox should teach you how to make changes for good and eliminate cravings for caffeine, sugar, salty snacks and alcohol.  A bad detox will encourage you to fast or consume only liquids for a specific amount of time.  This is harmful to the metabolism (and potentially fatal) and many people report that any weight they lost during the detox was quickly regained (and then some!) after the detox was over.

But do we really need to remove toxins from our bodies?   Detox advocates believe that detox programs lead to healthier eating patterns however the critics  argue that there is no evidence that detox regimes help remove toxins from the body.  They claim that the lungs, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract and immune systems already remove or neutralise toxic substances for us.

Unfortunately, the reason why detox diets appeal to the public is that they are based around the ‘quick fix’ philosophy. If you want to feel and look better then by all means eliminate sugar, caffeine, processed foods and alcohol from your diet.  Do start eating more fresh fruit and veg, nuts and seeds.  Do consume lean proteins and wholegrains.  Do ensure you’re drinking enough water.  But make these changes for the long haul not just for 48 hours or a week.  Your body will thank you.

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4 Responses to “To detox or not to detox… that is the question!”

  1. Chanel June 28, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    Interesting post!

    Ah the quick fix! I remember looking at those quick fix detox drinks a few months ago (and you advising against it!). Yay to fresh & healthy food instead!

    • Amanda June 28, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

      Yeah you crazy nut! So not worth it. Dangerous, expensive and silly.


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