Cleansing And Detoxing: What’s All The Hype?

Registered Dietician

| 3 min read

Have you heard about these trends? Folks advertise these diet options by using quick weight loss as the selling point.
The general presumption is that detoxing will rid your body of preservatives, toxins, pesticides, waste, and extra chemicals.
This can be a benefit for the body, but is not an absolute necessity.

It’s Not A Lifestyle

Diets like this are usually short-term and intended to release accumulated toxins and waste products from the body. The detox process is usually done by consuming raw foods, like fruits and vegetables, while drinking plenty of fluids. One should avoid processed foods and meats while following a detox diet, so many decide to follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.
Cleansing, another short-term diet, involves the consumption of lots of fluids in order to rid the body of excess waste.

Pros and Cons

The most important thing to do is check with your physician before starting any kind of diet. Also, remember this is not a quick weight-loss solution and should only be followed for a brief period.
  1. Detoxing advocates for raw foods, which are usually healthier for the body because in turn you are avoiding simple sugars, fats, preservatives and chemicals that are found in processed foods.
  1. Raw food diets encourage intake of colorful fruits and vegetables for a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  1. With any kind of cleanse or detox diet, there is some weight loss. Please understand that this is usually temporary weight loss, partially due to dehydration and a decrease in calories consumed.
  1. Revamp your taste buds and cleanse your palate. By avoiding processed foods, the need for the taste of these foods diminishes. This can get you started on the road to better eating habits.
  1. Many times people will have more energy from detoxing or cleansing – definitely a positive thing.
  1. There are nutrient deficiencies by following a cleanse or detox diet – hence the reason why they should only be done for a short time.
  1. If done long-term, loss of muscle mass can occur secondary to the lack of protein consumed.
  1. Metabolism may slow down due to the minimal amount of calories consumed. This can also lead to binge eating later, so be sure to listen to your body and of course get supervision from your doctor.
  1. Remember that the weight loss is temporary. The goal is to eliminate waste and toxins from the body, not to lose weight.
  1. A cleanse or detox diet can be very difficult to follow. There are a variety of side effects secondary to the small amount of energy being taken in.
    • weakness
    • dizziness
    • fatigue
    • anger and irritability
    • anxiety
    • hunger pains
    • gastrointestinal distress
    • insomnia

Have You Tried It?

What was beneficial about it? Any negative aspects?
Remember, if you’re going to start something like this, be smart and discuss it with your doctor, especially if you have a chronic condition. In the end, cleansing or following a detox diet is not necessary.
As always, the best thing you can do is eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. You are sure to find balance in your life if you do so – and you’ll just feel good!
Photo Credit: vasta

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