DETOXING FOR DUMMIES

Prepare yourselves: swimsuit season is upon us. Don’t fear, we’re here to help. There’s no need for last ditch efforts or ridiculously painful diets, just real food.

Whether it’s eating half a grapefruit with each meal, a cup of ice cream for dinner or simply adding acucumber to your water , the variety of diets promising a slimmer waist with ease are endless. The problem with these? Well, let’s get down to the facts.

Dating back to 1820 with the vinegar and water diet, the idea of fad diets is nothing new. If you’re one of the 50% of Americans trying to detox their way to skinny jeans, you know what we mean when we say, dieting sucks.

The reason some diets drop the scale number quickly just comes down to a loss in water weight, not a true loss of fat. The promise of many detox diets is to “rid the body of toxins” in hopes of preventing disease or cancer. To clarify – there are many types of detoxes. The types we’re discussing deal with drastic measures that mostly include a very low caloric and food intake ( quit starving yourself! ).

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Lucky for us, our body can detoxifying itself without having to survive on only cayenne pepper and lemon water for 4 days. We have this super handy organ which lies directly above your stomach that acts as your own built-in detox center. Anyone who has had a rough night (and even rougher next day) should greatly appreciate this guy – your liver.

Just about everything that enters your digestive system passes through your liver before re-entering the bloodstream. Your liver’s primary function is to detoxify and rid your body of harmful or excess compounds, so skip the liquid diet.

Another type of detox targets an organ a little further down the digestive tract, the colon. Our latest post explains just how important the little microbes that live in your colon are for your overall health. Any detox with a promise of “cleansing the colon” has the potential to negatively impact these beneficial bacteria, leading to a host of other issues.

There are also many nutrients your body requires on a daily basis. B vitamins, vitamin C, sodium and potassium are excreted in the urine when your body reaches its “maximum capacity,” meaning these must be eaten each day for your body to function optimally. Restricting your diet with detoxes means your body isn’t getting these essential nutrients.

Last but not least, even if you do find that a detox diet works for you in the short term, the long term metabolic damage from such low caloric intake could leave you worse off than when you started. Depriving your liver of the nutrients it needs to function and your body the calories to thrive only impedes its ability to carry out normal detox processes. This totally negates the initial detox goal you set out to achieve.

 

So stop stressing over which diet or detox may get you the most rockin’ bod in the least amount of time, ditch the unnecessary confusion and go for simplicity. Ditch the lemonade and laxatives, and incorporate foods into your daily diet that give your body the nutrients it craves.

Rather than attempting to detox out the crap from your body, never let it get there in the first place. Replace processed foods with wholesome fruits, vegetables, quality carbohydrates and proteins and you’ll be amazed at how your body will thank you in return.