Is Detoxing Right For Me? Here's What You Need to Know
Photo © Lauren Mancke
Those colourful, expensive, funky coloured juices in the organic section of the grocery store may look healthy, but they may not be true to their claims or do much for you in the long-run.
Detoxes have always been popular amongst the rich and famous, and trendy, through social media’s hyperfixation of encouraging people to look their best inside and out, they’ve become a big deal to the average person. We've all heard of or may know someone who has started a juice cleanse, or maybe you’ve considered trying one after feeling a little bloated; thinking that just a few days of cutting back solids might do the trick. But are we detoxing the right way?
It's not realistic or ideal to drop 30 pounds in 30 days if you do what the Kardashians say to do, by drinking this tea for the best detox ever. No, that's not how your body should be treated.
So, do detoxes work as they claim?
The short answer is, surprisingly, yes. But only for a few days. Does that mean they’re right for you? That would be a maybe if done the right way for your body type. Keep in mind; it should be done in moderation.
What is a “detox”?
It means what it sounds like it would. To detox means to cleanse, and to cleanse means to purify. Detox dieting, following that definition, is defined as; what nutritionists call “clean eating”, to only cut out processed stuff in favour of green veggies, meat, nuts, and grains, to reset your digestive system and give your body the raw nutrients it’s been missing. It’s wild, how detoxing today means dropping everything (and they means everything, for a few days or weeks in favour of:
Followed by fasting between whatever time you choose to swallow the health miracle of your choice. I have to stop you right here and say we do not recommend this method in no way shape or form.
Detoxing should always be approached with the mindset of removing only toxins from your body, but on a daily basis and not over a short period because progress doesn't happen overnight.
Okay, so how am I “detoxing” from my body? The truth is bacteria is good for us, and our bodies are filled with them. But it's the good bacteria that we want to keep.
Our bodies naturally know how to purify or heal themselves when some unfriendly bacteria make their way in and start to break down our immune system. But thanks to our kidneys, liver, lymphatic system, and respiratory system, we're able to maintain the good and bad bacteria to help support natural detoxing.
If the body cleans itself, then why detox anyway? Well, we put our bodies through a lot sometimes. Our skin is exposed to pollutants every time we go outside; we take medicine; some of us don’t get enough sleep or exercise, and others of us drink and don’t get enough nutrients so that our body can detox the natural way.
When we abandon giving our body the right nutrients and assume, the body can handle this on their own; it later exposes us to:
- Weakened immune systems
- Higher levels of harmful bacteria and toxins
The “detox diet” logic is to drop everything you’ve been putting into your body, giving it a break and time to reset itself.
The reality is the best way to reboot your body is to swap out the bad food with good food, richer in nutrients like amino acids, vitamins, healthy cholesterol, and protein that are key to the detoxification process. And yet these are not the main reason why people decide to do a detox or cleanse.
Would a detox help me lose body fat?
The “de-puffing” that happens when you have an all liquid diet is nothing short of water weight. When someone who fasts or detoxes often looks slimmer, it’s mainly because of that, combined with a loss of muscle – the body goes into what experts call “starvation mode” and instead of eating away at your fat, it attacks your muscles – and the stored carbohydrates that give us energy.
If your goal is only to lose weight while detoxing, you are causing your body to run on empty, and ultimately to crash, not giving your body a choice but to pick away at what they naturally know as something good for them to survive.
It is important to remember that detoxing should always be a simple process which is incorporated into your daily diet. While detox may not give you your perfect body for life, studies show that the elimination of unhealthy foods encourages the adoption of more healthy choices. How will you detox?