With summer break around the corner, many people look forward to losing weight and looking great. Unfortunately, instead of looking for sustainable/healthy ways to reach our #bodygoals, many of us jump into crash diets and detoxes that promise results in the blink of an eye. But are they really that great?
What Are Detoxes?
Detoxes are processes that promise to get rid of all toxins of the body, along with their negative effects. Most of them done under the promise of younger skin, risen energy, weight loss, and overall a healthier self.
Most popular detoxes fall into 3 categories:
- Liquid detox
- Cleanses Via Colon
- Food restriction
Up next we will analyze the most popular types of detoxes according to each category and why we think they are bad for your health.
a) Juice Cleanses: Liquid only cleanses are found among the most popular choices when it comes to detox. Fruit juices only, green juicing, or even “the master cleanse”.
The common denominator in all of them is that you are not supposed to eat any solid food, but only freshly pressed organic juices, and in the case of the master cleanse the spicy lemonade that it involves. Although juices are packed with nutrients, the negative side of this cleanse is the fact that they lack proteins, minerals, and all of the nutrients that your body requires to function properly. Additionally, people that go through them have a tendency to feel hungry, grouchy, with mental fog and overall a feeling of exhaustion due to the lack of calories.
b) Colon Cleanses: Colon cleanses or hydrotherapy has gained a lot of popularity during the last decade. They attempt to clean your gut in two ways, one via laxatives, and two manually by flushing your colon with water. Although they claim to improve your gut and overall health, this type of cleanse not only can result as unpleasant but also dangerous. Colon cleanses should only be done by recommendation and supervision of a medical professional, otherwise, they can lead to stomach cramping, diarrhea, vomiting, and in most scenarios, in bacterial infection, perforated bowels, and electrolyte imbalance.
c) Food Restrictions: This particular type of cleansing involves eating just a certain type of food during a specific number of days. They focus on eating just fruits, or just green veggies, and eliminate all the rest of food groups including sugar, and caffeine.
The dangerous part of this type of detox is the fact that just like in the juice cleanse, people are eliminating all food groups from their diets, which can lead to metabolic and nutritional decompensation, followed by brain fog and lack of energy.
Is Detox Worth It?
In the event that you are still considering going into detox, the answer to it is no. Detox and cleanses are not effective to clean/detox your body because your body already does that function naturally via gut and liver.
So, if you are measuring success by the scale, yes you might be able to lose a couple of pounds, however, most of them will be water and the weight will come back when you return to your normal eating habits.
So, since cleanses are not the answer to keeping your gut health in the maximum state, what can you do to support it? Well, the following tips will help you clean your body in a natural and unharmful way.
- Drink plenty of water during the day, aim for 2.5 liters.
- Eat a high fiber diet that includes a lot of greens and fruits.
- Reduce your sugar intake.
- Try to incorporate more raw veggies to your diet. Smoothies are a great/easy way to do it.
- Eliminate fast foods and highly processed meals.
- Practice meditation, and workout.
- Rest, breathe, and try to keep your stress levels low.
Remember, building a stronger body cannot be done without building a stronger mind. Meditating will help you reduce your stress levels, which can lead to less sugary cravings, better gut health, and overall better mood and life.
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