So every week I'm going to try to have a MYTHBUSTER blog where I will be busting those random fitness/nutrition "tips" that we hear from our friends, co-workers, magazine ads, commercials and any other media outlet. This week is the TRUTH about Detox Diets! Detox diets like "Master Cleanse" are not only worthless, but dangerous to your health. So flush that lemonade, cayanne pepper, cholula, honey, cucumber coolada cleanse down the toilet...here is why:
The Master Cleanse is a 10 day cleanse where you consume no solid food. Instead, you down a liquid concoction of lemon juice, syrups, spices along with water and tea. Like other detoxes, the master cleanse promises "rapid weight loss", but it is unsustainable. It is not something you can do for the rest of your life and whatever weight is lost is quickly regained because you go back to normal eating. Supporters of detox diets argue that our bodies are constantly attacked by toxins like pesticides, smog sugar, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners. They say if you don't do a cleanse these toxins accumulate and cause headaches, fatigue, or chronic diseases. The detox diet demon says: "you have to do a cleanse to get rid of toxins...you just like have toxins, toxins, toxins, like OMG!" But here is the TRUTH:
YOUR BODY DOES THE WORK FOR YOU! Your body's organs and systems, like your liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract, do a wonderful job of eliminating toxins from the body within hours of consumption. Detox diets are restrictive and ineffective for long term. Any weight loss that happens is temporary and not due to fat loss it is WATER LOSS. After the cleanse, you gain water back.
Some detoxers say they have fewer headaches, clearer skin, less bloating, and a boost of energy or even euphoria. But those have nothing to do with detoxification. They have fewer headaches most likely from consuming less alcohol and caffeine. Clearer skin may be attributed to drinking more liquids, so they are more hydrated. Less bloating is because they are not eating solid foods. And the boost of energy or "euphoria" experienced is actually the body's response to a state of starvation because it wants to locate food.
There are severe adverse effects to restrictive diets. Intestinal and cardiac problems may arise from malnutrition especially in childreen, teens, pregnant women, seniors, and people with heart disease or diabetes. Also, restrictive diets can lead to obsessions about food and weight loss which can lead to more severe nutrition related problems, such as eating disorders. Diets are a quick fix and are not something you can do for the rest of your life. Instead, focus on MODERATION, BALANCE, AND VARIETY of foods and make a positive lifestyle change. Love your body...you are beautiful! <3