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The Real Low Down On Detox Diets and How They Work

The obesity epidemic is constantly gracing the front page of worldwide health news and fitness magazines, and along with this bombardment of media toward one of America’s most life threatening issues comes a wide assortment of diets and detox methods to save the day. If only this were true, and there were a magic cure all for being overweight, unfortunately, that’s not quite how it works and fad dieting and fasts are simply not the answer to ridding yourself of that spare tire. It comes as no shock to learn that gaining weight can take weeks, months, and even years to get you to a point where you can no longer look at yourself in the mirror, so why should it be assumed that it will all come off in a matter of days. Of course, this is a lovely notion, and there are plenty of tried methods out there that say you can do just this, but if you really take a good hard look at them you’ll definitely find a few reasons why you should probably steer clear. Detox diets, in particular, are some of these weight loss methods that you might want to skip all together, especially when you look at the glaring amount of information that suggests they’re not as healthy as they seem. Sure you can lose fifty pounds in a few months or less, but you could lose that same fifty pounds in such a short time by starving yourself completely or developing an eating disorder, it doesn’t mean that you should do it. Some fasts, especially for religious reasons or medical procedures make perfect sense, and while as long as your physician gives you the go ahead, you should be alright to try detoxification diets for a short time span, looking at it as a way of changing your weight for the long term is simply unrealistic.

Spending Rather Than Gaining

One of the biggest problems that consumers face when entering into the weight loss detox diet realm is the amount of money that these products charge. Granted, not all methods require you to purchase supplements or special herbs and mixtures of fruits and vegetables, but others will give you a very specific list of things that are needed in order to be successful. In most cases these expensive lists are created in order to balance out your daily nutrients in some way or another, but these diets still tend to miss things that you’ll need over time. Megan Griffith-Greene of CBC news reports: “Dresser argues that detox regimens can be counterproductive if you’re trying to get healthy by taking money and energy away from real, proven efforts such as getting active, eating a balanced diet and consuming alcohol in moderation.”

The worst part of trying to lose weight is waiting for it to come off and while the instant gratification of a detox diet can be appealing, it can leave you with more problems than benefits.

What Can Go Wrong

Aside from messing with your body’s natural sugar levels and even effecting chemicals that control cognitive function and neurological responses, the kind of weight loss that you’ll incur isn’t healthy and rarely lasts long term. Rima Al-Mukhtar of Aram News writes: “The dietitian says this kind of diet can induce rapid weight loss which may result in losing lean muscle.”

As you lose weight, even in a healthy way you’re bound to lose a bit of muscle tissue along with it. This is why body builders and fitness experts tend to bulk up on protein powder or supplements before and after a workout to help their bodies repair themselves by encouraging protein production in the skin and muscles. Weight training mixed with cardio is another way that healthy people balance out this loss of muscle mass and regain and retrain their bodies to get healthy and stay that way.

Is It Worth It?

Before you go and make a drastic change to your eating habits and overall life you might want to stop and ask yourself if it’s really worth it. In some cases these detoxification rituals have nothing to do with weight loss and are instead, performed to rid your body of chemicals and toxins that are picked up through daily activities and the foods that you consume. Tanya Zuckerbrot of Fox News states: “It's not unreasonable to think there are byproducts floating around in our bodies from the foods we eat. However, the point at which they become harmful toxins continues to be debated.”

It’s also worthwhile to point out that your body already flushes itself out naturally through liver and kidney functions and if you were to simply limit foods with high sugar contents and eat clean you’d be able to give your body a clean start without attempting anything so high risk or intensive.

Harmful Experiences

Finally, it should be noted that many people swear by these cleanses, and in some cases they can be very successful in helping people to gain control of bad eating habits and get rid of some of the nasty things that are floating around in your system based on what you eat. However, as mentioned above, much of this same detoxification could be found through good wholesome healthy eating, better hydration and exercise. On a less positive note, there are actually some fairly severe problems that could be incurred during diets of this nature. For one woman in the UK who underwent a detox treatment that required her to lower her sodium intake and drink an extra eight glasses of water per day, there was some brain damage and seizures that took place. One way to guarantee that this sort of issue won’t plague you is to check in with your family doctor every step of the way to monitor blood sugar, blood pressure, breathing, and other areas of your body that might be altered.

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