The process of detoxing is one that has gained popularity among the health conscious crowd, especially in recent years.
Detoxing relies on a straightforward concept that focuses on flushing “toxins” from your body through a combination of special foods. Usually these foods (and only these foods) are ingested over the course of several days. The result? You’ll feel better and get rid of all the bad things hanging around in your gut, at least, in theory.
Are detox programs and diets really what they’re cracked up to be? Turns out they may cause you more harm than good. Here’s three reasons why you may want to avoid them.
Your body doesn’t need help getting rid of toxins
When you start a detox program, you’ll hear all kinds of claims about the benefits. For one, a detox will get rid of all those “stored” up toxins you’ve been exposed to throughout your life. However, your body is a pretty efficient machine when it comes to getting rid of toxins. That’s what your digestive system, liver and kidneys are for. There is simply no better alternative for detoxing than your own body and digestive system. Your body is designed to handle toxins and get rid of them, so don’t think that a detox program is the perfect solution!
Detox programs can neglect healthy diet and lifestyle philosophies
A detox program doesn’t integrate healthy habits or views into the program. As a result, someone who participates in a detox may adopt habits that are not healthy in the long run. Detoxing can be harsh on your system too and that may have impacts to your health over time, especially if you rely on detoxing frequently. Most of the popular detox programs run a course of 7-10 days and involve ingesting only certain items like lemon and water. More extreme programs will integrate pepper or hot peppers. Now, imagine that for 10 straight days!
Detoxing also thrives on reducing or eliminating the intake of foods that are “toxic” so at its core, detox is about depriving yourself of nutrition. Even though this deprivation is short, it can impact how you approach your diet in the future. Studies have also shown that those who deprive themselves during a diet or lifestyle change are more prone to cheat or go back to their bad habits.
Detoxing doesn’t provide you with enough protein
Eating enough protein is essential for staying in shape. Lean proteins will not only help you lose weight, but help you build and keep muscle tone. Many detox programs use ingredients that are low in protein. Detox programs give you the illusion that you are living healthy or making a healthy choice, but they can be harmful to the way your body builds muscle. This goes back to the deprivation cycle mentioned above, with detox, you’re depriving your body of essential nutrients and forcing it into “starvation mode”. When your body thinks it’s starving, it will consume muscle and store fat. You’ll see weight loss, but this is due to the loss of muscle rather than the loss of fat.
Whether or not you detox is ultimately your own decision, but be sure to know all the facts before jumping into a program. Eating in moderation, eating nutritious foods and exercising can deliver all the benefits of a detox without the harmful side effects, so you have options!