Detox Diet Myths Busted
A detox diet is touted as a way to remove toxins from the body. Specific detox diets vary — but typically a period of fasting is followed by a strict diet of raw vegetables, fruit and fruit juices, and water. In addition, some detox diets advocate using herbs and other supplements along with colon cleansing (enemas) to empty the intestines. These diets are very popular but they are not scientifically proven.
I would say these diets are temporary solutions for the long-term problem of not learning to eat healthy. The claims that extreme detoxing will rid your body of toxins, give you more energy and melt away pounds aren’t true over the long haul, because eventually, you eat! And that’s when the pounds come back. Plus, many of these plans are downright dangerous. So it is time to stop sabotaging our body!
Myth: You will lose weight on a Detox Diet:
Fact: Detoxers may shed water weight or even real pounds, but it all quickly returns. That’s because when you start eating again, your body is programmed to store all of that energy as fat. What is even worse that a lack of nutrients during detoxing can make your body eat into muscle for energy, slowing your metabolism. In short, detoxing may add on to your pounds when you start to eat. Instead, follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly which can rev your metabolism and enable you to stay lean and fit for life.
Myth: You need to cleanse your body of toxins:
Fact: Our body needs no extra cleansing. We have liver and kidneys to do that and they are efficient at processing out anything toxic. Many detox plans also call for colon-cleansing products, which might actually weaken your immunity by killing good bacteria that fend off invading germs in the gut. And fasting can trigger arrhythmia and even cardiac arrest because of the rapid loss of key electrolytes.
Myth: You’ll be less bloated:
Fact: Toxins don’t cause belly to bloat and make you feel lethargic. Too much dietary salt, which causes your body to retain water. If bloating is your main concern, try cutting back on soy sauce, chips, salty pickles, olives and frozen dinners, canned veggies and condiments. Instead, look for high-fiber snacks that are low in sodium. Foods high in potassium, such as bananas, celery and quinoa, also help limit belly-swelling sodium in your body.
Myth: Cleansing makes you feel more energetic:
Fact: Fasting may give you a temporary “high” caused by the release of endorphins in response to the perceived stress of starvation. And the caffeine in some detox products can provide a shot of energy. But when the diet ends, the high fades and often leaves you feeling sick and tired. So, most people cleanse again to try to regain the initial feeling. This yo-yo dieting causes metabolism to slow further, making weight loss the second time even harder. Instead, try an approach that allows you to eat real food and helps you lose weight for good, all while feeling great and energized.
If you are considering a detox diet, it is also important to consider possible side effects. Detox diets that severely limit protein or that require fasting, for example, can result in fatigue. Long-term fasting can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Colon cleansing, which is often recommended as part of a detox plan, can cause cramping, bloating, nausea and vomiting. Dehydration also can be a concern.
Finally, keep in mind that fad diets aren’t a good long-term solution. For lasting results, your best bet is to eat a healthy diet based on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean sources of protein, low –fat dairy and include regular exercise.
Ashvini Mashru, MA, RD, LDN is a Registered Dietitian who has 15 years of experience in helping individuals achieve healthy lifestyles.Through her own practice, Wellness Nutrition Concepts, LLC located in Malvern, Pennsylvania and through virtual online sessions for out-of-area clients, Ashvini provides a number of nutrition and wellness consulting services.
If you find yourself struggling and ready to take control of your life and your health, please contact Ashvini at 610-648-6260 or schedule a 30 minute complimentary consultation on her website www.wellnessnutritionconcepts.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out her Nutrition Tip video: https://vimeo.com/112353786 and her Client Testimonial video: http://youtu.be/bK0idJSZjcw
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