Do cleanses and detox diets really work?


Whether the holidays were a bit more greedy time or it’s been a long time since you last exercised regularly, you might be wondering if trying or cleaning up or detoxing is the best way to start losing weight. , resume a healthy diet and reset your metabolism. Detox cures and diets are extremely popular. There are tons of commercial juice diets you can order, or enemas, or lemon cayenne pepper drink recipes to follow, along with expensive supplements and diet pills that are supposed to help detox your body. , to name a few.

Many of these popular programs claim to help rid your body of toxins, cleanse your blood and liver, and allow you to lose significant amounts of weight fast. But do cleanings really work? Are they safe? Is a cleanse the same as a detox diet? Is there an effective way to reset your metabolism and jumpstart weight loss? Read on for the answers to these questions and the basics of diet cleanses and detoxes.

What is a cleanse or a detox?


A cleanse is usually some kind of diet or diet that aims to improve digestion and cleanse your system, while a detox is supposed to systematically remove toxins that have built up in your blood, liver, or kidneys so make you feel more revitalized and healthy. . Cleanses and detox diets typically involve a period of fasting followed by some sort of diet protocol with juices or liquids with a strong emphasis on complete avoidance of certain food groups like gluten, dairy products, soy, alcohol, sweeteners and maybe even solid foods. There may also be specific herbs, teas, supplements, and / or enemas involved in cleansing or detoxification.

Do cleanses and detox diets work?

three bottles of detox juice.

The most important point to remember is that many of the claims made by detox diets, mainly that they can stimulate your liver and kidneys to flush out excess toxins, are not true. Providing your body with healthy nutrients and avoiding inflammatory foods like sugar, alcohol, and processed ingredients will reduce inflammation, promote digestion, and facilitate circulation, but the liver and kidneys already detox almost all of the harmful compounds in it. circulation and eliminate them via urine, feces, sweat and even exhaled air. Heavy metals like lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium can build up in different body tissues over time; However, there is no evidence to suggest that detox diets can effectively get rid of these compounds. Therefore, the actual “detox” or “toxin removal” claims of detox diets are not true. With that said, cleansing and detox diets can have some health benefits.

Benefits of cures and detox diets

lemons and limes on a dish next to clean the lemon-lime juice.

While cleansing and detox diets do not increase the elimination of toxins from your body or cause your liver and kidneys to go into turbo mode, short-term cleanses and detox may have physical benefits. and behavioral. For example, although a cleansing or detox diet will not remove heavy metals already in your body from storage, you are unlikely to ingest other inflammatory compounds during the cleanse. Foods containing trans fats and hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners and sugar, salt, food colors and chemicals, and even gluten, dairy, corn, soy and certain other ingredients can be inflammatory. . If you follow a cleanse that focuses on fresh produce like organic fruits and vegetables in their raw, cooked, or juiced form, you will be giving your digestive system a break from breaking down fat, protein, and potentially these other compounds. inflammatory. from processed foods.

Because cleanses are so restrictive, most people experience modest weight loss. However, results can be short-term if a healthy, calorie-controlled diet is not maintained after the cleanse is finished. That said, severe calorie restriction is not safe and does not promote metabolic health, especially if sustained beyond a few days. Consider intermittent fasting as an alternative way to get some of the weight loss benefits of cleansing in a more efficient and metabolically safe manner. Long-term starvation diets, in turn, will slow your metabolic rate and can upset hormonal balance and may encourage fat storage rather than fat loss.

Finally, some people experience behavioral and emotional benefits from following a short-term cleansing or detox program. Just as a ‘digital detox’ can be a much needed break from technology and a revelation in your addiction to phones, television, and other devices, a detox or diet cleanse can help reset your palate. , your cravings and unhealthy eating. patterns. A cleanse can reduce sugar cravings and restore mindfulness around eating, helping you stick to a healthier, more balanced diet in the end.

Dangers or disadvantages of cleanses and detox diets

Again, the main thing to keep in mind when embarking on a cleansing or detox diet is that you are not actually going to flush toxins out of your body. While this is not your only goal, there are still a few extra precautions you should take into account. Almost all cleanses involve severe calorie restriction, which can cause low energy, headaches, blood sugar irregularities, arrhythmias, and bad breath. This may not be advisable for people with certain health conditions (especially diabetes, eating disorders, and pregnancy / breastfeeding), so you should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications or suffer from illnesses or medical conditions. Colon cleanses that use laxatives and diuretics often cause severe diarrhea and excessive urination, and can lead to dehydration, nausea, and vomiting.

If you are using commercial diet pills and herbal supplements as part of your cleanse, it is important to keep in mind that many of these products are not regulated by the FDA. As such, they can be dangerous in high doses and the labels can be inaccurate. It is strongly advised not to avoid unregulated products which may contain harmful substances or doses; just because something is “herbal” doesn’t mean it’s safe; for example, ephedra can cause seizures and heart irregularities.

What should not be eaten during a cleanse

limes next to the green cleaning juice.

Here are some of the food groups that most cleansers eliminate:

  • Me at
  • Eggs
  • Poultry
  • Nuts
  • Dairy
  • Gluten
  • Cereals
  • Legumes
  • Soy.

Some even eliminate solid foods and only encourage juices and broths to drink. That said, most allow free consumption of healthy vegetables and fresh fruits, which provide all kinds of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. There are healthy juices that contain antioxidants to reduce free radical damage and promote health. For example, you can try cold-pressed juices from Postman, which retain all the nutrients and have no added sugars. Green tea is also generally encouraged because it is proven to increase metabolic rate, aid metabolism, and reduce oxidative damage in the body.

Last takeaways

Cleanse and detox diets can be a potentially effective way to switch to a nutritious diet free from processed foods and excess sugar, salt, and fat. That said, a detox diet does not remove toxins from the body and there are dangers associated with long term or severe calorie restriction, diet pills and supplements, laxatives, and water pills.

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About Irene J. O'Donnell

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