Another year is upon us and with it comes an influx of new year’s resolutions frantically scrawled on paper and announced over glasses of champagne. For many of us, these resolutions involve losing the weight that has somehow snuck up on us over the preceding few years.
Detox diets have long been purported as the ideal kick start to a new weight loss regime. Some involve lemon juice, others maple syrup. They range in severity from the good old fashioned vegan detox diet to the forty day master cleanse. This article addresses some of the common pros and cons of undergoing a detox diet.
- Undergoing a detox may be a positive way to wean yourself off food addictions such as caffeine and sugar.
- Most detox diets encourage an increase in the consumption of fruit and vegetables.
- Detox diets that are high in fiber encourages a healthy bowel and reduces constipation, bloating and discomfort.
- Detox diets may be useful in highlighting potential food allergies such as gluten intolerance.
- Detox diets may result in nutritional deficiencies. Exercise caution when restricting from any food group.
- Many detox diets report results that may misleading or false. Be skeptical of any detox diet product or program that claims to be a miracle.
- Detox diets are difficult to maintain long term and any positive results are likely to be erased once you return to regular eating patterns. Restriction encourages yo-yo dieting behavior that may increase binging behavior and unhealthy eating.
- Prolonged and extreme fasting is dangerous and increases the likelihood of dehydration, dizziness, mood swings and headaches.
- Frequent fasts may reduce your metabolism, resulting in weight gain over time.
- Some researchers have criticized the weight loss purported by advocates of detox diets. They maintain the weight loss it is the result of reductions in water and muscle, not fat.
Remember not all detoxes are created equal! Be discerning when researching detox regimes and remember that much of the information was created with invested interests in mind. The diet companies want you to buy their products, and will use everything from skewed statistics and flawed research to photo alteration programs like Photoshop to get you to buy in.
Although detox regimes have some health benefits, they are not a cure-all and should be used as an adjunct to a healthy and active lifestyle. Consult your doctor before beginning any extreme weight loss regime. Remember that your safety is important and should take precedence over any desire to lose weight.