If you are somebody watching their weight, having a long vacation or a week full of binge eating can sabotage your fitness goals. Not only would you drown yourself in regret but you’ll probably take drastic steps. These drastic steps may include a regular vigorous workout routine, walking extra miles or detox diets.
While the first two are healthy options, given that you don’t push yourself to the extreme, the last one, detox diets, can be a little dangerous.
Surprised? It’s only natural to be, especially when you have heard only the golden praises of a detox diet. A detox diet involves periods of fasting and consumption of light food such as fruits and salads. It can also include supplements, herbal teas, etc. In a nutshell, it generally includes cutting back on high carbs from the diet.
As per claims, it cleanses your body by pushing out the toxins, right? That’s what you might have heard. But here’s a bitter pill you need to swallow, not every piece of information you hear is correct. Today, in this blog, we will be uncovering the truth behind detox diets.
Claim: Detox diets push out the chemicals from your system
Fact: Your body doesn’t require your help to detox, it does it on its own
A detox diet, as the name suggests, is supposedly designed to flush out toxins from your body. This process is called detoxification where you cut back on carbs and calorie-dense food to purify your blood. But here’s a piece of truth – you don’t need a detox diet to cleanse your body, you have your liver for that.
Here are the five main functions of the liver in the body:
- Metabolism and Detoxification
- Protein synthesis
- Storage of vitamins and minerals
Having said that, your liver is your body’s detoxification machine. You cannot even improve the detoxification function by going on a detox diet. The best you can do is keep your liver healthy. And how do you do that? Don’t let your liver be full of fat, alcohol or sugar.
Claim: A detox diet cannot cause any harm
Fact: A detox diet can be dangerous
It’s no new news that our body needs food for survival and smooth functioning. But when you opt for a detox diet, you are depriving your body of essential nutrients, and cutting off its fuel, so how is it going to function as it should and not cause any side effects? It can have significant health repercussions such as electrolyte imbalances, mineral and vitamin deficiencies, diarrhoea, fatigue and other stomach issues. You may experience low energy, low blood sugar, fatigue, muscle aches, fatigue, dizziness and nausea.
As per health experts, these diets seem to be harmless to people as they contain natural ingredients. However, there is a lack of evidence and studies that suggest they are effective and safe to follow.
Claim: Weight loss resulting from a detox diet is sustainable
Fact: There is a lack of evidence to support the statement
No doubt, detox diets are effective for weight loss. However, what you may perceive as weight loss could be just water or fluid loss.
Moreover, let’s just face it, detox diets are not sustainable at all. You cannot maintain the same eating habits for long. In other words, your body cannot function without the essential nutrients provided by a normal healthy, nutritious diet. You would certainly lose weight but it would come back again as you resume your normal diet.
Aren’t there any benefits of a detox diet?
A detox diet might give you quick, and short-term results, which you may even confuse with loss of water weight. On the contrary, you might experience various health issues that do not only affect your health but your long-term fitness goals. There is no need for anybody to do a detox diet as it is the primary function of your liver. The only benefits of a detox diet may be that it can give quick results and may also reset unhealthy eating habits.
Besides that, there are no sustainable benefits of a detox diet. The list of cons outnumbers the pros. So, if you are considering following a detox diet, we suggest you do not. However, you can always try to limit junk food which is more so often the culprit when it comes to weight gain. It will be a sustainable approach that would give you results. However, you would have to be patient.