Are Detox Diets Good For You Or Necessary?

Good Day Boot Campers!

I want to chat about “detoxing” or “detox diets” today.

What Is Detoxing or a Detox Diet?

detoxThese are diets that generally encourage you to eat natural foods and drink lots of water — all stuff you know is good for you.  We hear about celebrities going on detox diets, so shouldn’t a detox diet be a good thing?

Not really.  Like many other fad diets, detox diets can have harmful side effects, especially for teens or people with existing health issues.

Toxins enter our bodies through food or water, the chemicals used to grow or prepare food, and even from the air that we breathe.  Our bodies process those toxins through organs like the liver and kidneys and eliminate them in various ways.

Although detox diet theories have not been proven scientifically, the people who support them believe that toxins don’t always leave our bodies properly during the elimination of waste.  The basic idea behind detox diets is to temporarily give up certain kinds of foods that are thought to contain toxins and to purify and purge the body of all the “bad” stuff.  But the truth is, the human body is designed to purify itself.

Detox diets vary.  Most involve some version of a fast:  that is, giving up food for a couple of days and then gradually reintroducing certain foods into the diet.  Others recommend that you take special teas or supplements to help the “purification” process.

There are lots of claims about what a detox diet can do, from preventing and curing disease to giving people more energy or focus.  Of course, eating a diet lower in fat and higher in fibre can help many people feel healthier.  But people who support detox diets claim that this is because of the elimination of toxins.  There’s no scientific evidence that these diets help rid the body of toxins faster or that the elimination of toxins will make you a healthier, more energetic person.

What Should You Watch Out For?

Detox diets are supposedly to help “clean out the system” but many people think they will lose weight if they try these diets.  Here’s the truth:

•Detox diets are not recommended for teens as they are still growing and developing and need a higher calorie intake and nutrient dense foods.

•Detox diets aren’t for people with health conditions.

•Detox diets can be addictive as there could be a certain feeling of “power” that comes with severe calorie restricted diets or fasting, and it may encourage eating disorders.

•Detox supplements can have side effects as these encourage you to go to the bathroom more often, and may result in dehydration.

•Detox diets don’t help you lose fat.  People who fast for several days may drop kilos, but most of it will be water and some of it may be muscle.  Most people regain the weight (and more) they lost soon after completing the program.

•Detox diets are for short-term purposes only.  In addition to causing other health problems, fasting for long periods can slow down a person’s metabolism, making it harder to keep the weight off or to lose weight later.

Rather than following yet another fad diet; eat healthy and let your body do the rest.  Eat lots of fruits and veggies, get lots of fibre, and drink enough water. Remember, the human body is designed to purify itself.

Until next time; stay strong; eat healthy; and Train Like A Warrior!!

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