water and lime

Detox diets are not the answer

Often seen as the perfect way to free your body of toxins and lose weight at the same time.

Detox diets range from mild to extreme. Most of them involve a certain amount of fasting and drinking juices, herbal tea or water. Lets be realistic about detoxing.

Health gurus often rave over the benefits of fasting and drinking juice or green tea. Fanatics will have you believe your body is overflowing with toxins which need removing. That the body is inept at this and can’t possibly manage it on it’s own. The only answer being a strict detox diet.

This is just not the case. the body does a pretty good job of removing toxins all by itself.

fruit smoothies

Here’s what you should know.

1/ There’s no need to detox in order to remove toxins

Our liver and kidneys work hard to remove toxins daily. They do not build up over time. That said, we do work our bodies pretty hard and there’s no harm at all in giving the body a rest once in a while. A strict detox diet isn’t necessary. Simply considering the quality/quantity of certain foods (or drink) being consumed and not overdoing it for a period of time, is a far better way to go.

If you decide to go on a detox, avoid any plan which involves fasting or cutting out food groups. Choose a mild detox plan.

If you’re thinking about juicing, be wary of the sugar content. One problem with juicing, is there is the danger of sugar overload. You’d never eat 3 apples, 2 oranges, a banana and a kiwi in one sitting. It would be unnatural. Keep this in mind. Juicing is a good way to get extra nutrients, but it’s not the only way. Fruit is high in vitamins, but also high in sugar. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain. It’s ok to have a smoothie, but every so often, it’s a good idea to eat and chew your fruit.

2/ Most diets are useless because they’re not sustainable

Most diets don’t work because they cannot be endured long term. Detox and juice diets are no exception. Any diet which involves cutting things out will be temporary. Any positive results will also be temporary. Enjoying the odd fruit/veg smoothie is perfectly good and healthy. Getting more nutrients can only be a good thing, but we’re used to solid food. Consuming liquified food will quickly become tiresome.

Cutting out any of the foods you love is never going to work long term. If you love pasta, pizza or rice, it would be a mistake to cut them out entirely with a strict low carb diet for example. Far better to learn to include these items in small amounts and pad out the rest of the meal with vegetables and salad. Not only is this a healthier, more nutritious way to eat, it’s less fattening and will improve the overall look and taste of the dish.

Final thought

So detoxing isn’t necessary. It’s not a great way to lose weight either. This is because cutting items from the diet or making radical changes to the way you eat causes cravings. You may be able to resist these cravings in the short term, but eventually the inevitable happens. You give in to your cravings and binge, you might even throw in the towel.

A sensibly eating plan with less alcohol, more water and fewer calories is far more likely to help with your weight loss goals.

If you’d like to know more about detoxing and how best to approach it. It’s worth reading the section about detoxing in our ebook on how to ‘improve your diet’.

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