Detox diets have gained widespread popularity in recent years because of the host of health benefits they offer.
This type of diet often involves consuming specific drinks and food that have detoxing properties. They may also include other products like laxatives, vitamins, minerals, and supplements.
Some detox diets can be done in a couple of days or even within twenty-four hours, while others are more intensive and may last for months and require the supervision of an expert. Before you decide to go on a detox, it is important you know the good, the bad, and the ugly things associated with them.
Detox Diets: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Here are some of the positive and negative sides of detox diets and what you can do:
The Good of Detox Diets
Cleansing Detox Programs Can Help with Weight Management
If you are trying to lose weight or become more fit, detoxing could help you achieve your fitness goals.
Detox diets are usually low in calories because you are required to stick to a specific meal plan. It could be a detox drink to cleanse unwanted substances or a list of fruits and vegetables within a period of time. This is beneficial in a number of ways.
- First, the detox helps eliminate toxins in the body that are interfering with metabolic and digestive functions. Better digestion and faster metabolism are essential if you want to maintain a healthy weight.
- Second, you get to manage your calorie intake and combined with exercise, this could dramatically reduce your weight.
- Third, because it requires self-discipline, detoxing can help stop unhealthy eating habits, like snacking on junk food throughout the day, and even sugar addiction. By detoxing, you put an end to unnecessary snacking and have better control over your cravings.
What you can do:
If you are struggling to lose weight, a detox diet could help you make progress. Maximize its effects by combining the diet with exercise.
Some people say that the effects of detox diets are only temporary but one of the reasons for this is because dieters return to their unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits once they finish the program.
Use the detox period to reset your lifestyle and eliminate any unhealthy habits like eating junk food, binge-eating and drinking sugary drinks.
Work on your self-discipline and find ways to cope with stress in a healthy way such as exercise, finding a support group or starting a new hobby.
Your goal should not just be to lose weight and be fit but also to live a healthier and more wholesome lifestyle.
Detox Programs Can Help Boost Energy Levels
Do you suffer from poor quality sleep or feel sluggish during the day? This could be a symptom of toxins building up in your body. Every day you become exposed to pollutants and toxic chemicals in seemingly harmless consumer products and food easily found in the supermarket. In the United States, in fact, there are 80,000 chemicals in use and only 500 of these have undergone testing by the EPA. When these chemicals accumulate in the body, you may experience low energy and fatigue. Detoxing allows the body to return to a more balanced state by helping it eliminate the toxic buildup inside it. You’ll feel the benefits of this cleanse in the form of better sleep and better energy levels.
What you can do:
- A detox diet could help improve your sleep quality and energy levels. Aside from the program, you should also be more disciplined with your sleep schedule.
- Limit the use of gadgets and doing stimulating activities like watching movies or reading books an hour before bedtime.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks and sweets after 5 PM or limit your caffeine intake every day.
- Also, make your bedroom conducive for shuteye by banning phones, laptops, and televisions. Invest in a good quality mattress and a white noise machine if you live in a busy home or noisy neighborhood.
The Bad of Detox Diets
Detox Diets Can Have a Number of Unpleasant Physical Symptoms
Some people may not respond well to detox diets and may suffer unpleasant symptoms because their bodies are not prepared for the sudden changes involved in the diet. For instance, some cleansing programs may require you to drink large quantities of juices, and this could be harmful to those who are at risk of kidney problems. Some juices have high oxalate, which is a type of acid linked with kidney stone formation and other kidney diseases. Also, when the detox diet makes use of laxatives, you may experience symptoms like nausea and dehydration because your body begins to lose important nutrients due to abrupt changes in the bowel movement. Another unpleasant effect of detoxing is stress and extreme hunger. Because your body is not used to the change in food intake, you may feel hunger pangs, cravings, and even low blood sugar throughout the day.
What you can do:
- Consult your physician before starting a detox diet, especially if you have any existing health conditions. Just because a detox product worked wonders for your friend does not automatically mean your body will respond to it the same way.
- Research products and programs before trying them out.
- Read labels and check if there are ingredients you may be allergic to. Last but not least, always listen to your body.
- Keep a journal so you can keep track of your progress and note down any negative symptoms you experience. If these unpleasant symptoms persist, talk to your doctor immediately and discontinue the detox diet.
AND… The Ugly of Detox Diets
Many Detox Diets and Programs are Lacking Regulation
Unlike the pharmaceutical industry which has heavy restrictions and requirements for them to prove the efficacy of their products, the detox diet industry is not heavily regulated. Because of this lack of regulation, certain products and programs may have adverse side effects that are not clearly disclosed or researched. Diets that make use of laxatives, diuretics, and supplements carry a risk of overdose.
Furthermore, some food supplements may not have any scientific basis at all, but because they are not strictly monitored, they can still be marketed to have health benefits. At worse, detox diets are easily available over the counter and maybe advertised as safe for anyone.
Beware, though, because people with certain health issues, like blood sugar problems or eating disorders, could experience harmful effects if they do detox without consulting their doctors.
What you can do:
- Be careful about which detox diets and products you try. Just because a product or program is hyped does not automatically mean it is safe for everyone.
- Consult your doctor before starting any detox program especially if you have any existing health conditions. Also, they only purchase products from legitimate companies with a proven track record of honesty, integrity, and good quality.
- Do a background check of products or businesses before trying any of their detox offerings.
- Ask questions and recommendations from professionals like nutritionists, doctors, and dieticians on the safest way to do a detox diet.
The bottom line, detox diets have both risks and rewards.
In order to fully enjoy its advantages and decrease its associated risks, always take time to research the detox products and programs before trying them out.
It is equally important to consult a physician to ensure that you are healthy enough to do a cleansing diet. This is especially true for people who are pregnant, malnourished, have blood sugar problems, or have an eating disorder.
Author Bio: Tara Bernal, Community Relations Manager, www.testclear.com
Tara is a spunky girl in her thirties trying to make it through her daily nine-to-five job as a nurse but usually trying to make it through the paranoia of an unexpected apocalypse happening in the corner. Other than that, she enjoys the company of her adopted dogs, Moon and Sky.