The Truth About Detox Diets

The Truth About Detox Diets

2014 was christened as the year of the ‘detox diet’, or ‘cleanse’ as it’s popularly called. Images of thick, green smoothies took over Instagram and the news was full of celebrities sipping on pulpy juices by the beachside. The detox was the trendy diet fad that everybody was trying. Let’s look at the science behind this cool kid of diets and find out the hidden story.

What are detox diets?

A detox diet is one that focus on flushing toxins out of your system. There are many different kinds that target the body as a whole, or specific organs like the liver, colon, etc. They may involve following a strict, liquid-only regime or a diet made up entirely of fresh fruits and vegetables. Detox diets are typically short diets that also promise a quick weight loss within a short time frame. Any diet that promises to help shave off extra inches while giving you a fresh, youthful glow sounds great in theory. But is it actually healthy? And more importantly, safe?

The pros of following a detox diet

Studies have shown that detox-dieters often reported improved energy, clear and glowing skin, regular bowel movements, improved digestion and better concentration. These diets are known to have anti-aging benefits as they reduce the amount of free radical damage caused to the body. Detoxing the body helps in freeing up organs, thus improving their ability to absorb nutrients and strengthening the immune system in the process.

The Downside

The internet throws up a stream of detox recipe ideas. While chugging down multiple concoctions of lemon, maple syrup and cayenne pepper may seem unappetizing, it’s also unhealthy as you’re depriving your body of vital nutrients like fat, fiber and protein. Detox diets typically leave you feeling hungry and weak. Needless to say, bouts of extreme crankiness and mood swings are also in the list of side effects, apart from low energy, low blood sugar, muscle fatigue, dizziness and nausea. Exercising during a detox diet is also next to impossible because the body does not get enough energy from the low-calorie foods you’re eating. Critics also argue that detox diets are redundant as our body is capable of detoxifying by itself, without the help of a diet.

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Should You Try It?

If you’re looking for a quick-fix solution to dropping a few pounds before that high-profile wedding you’re attending, a detox diet may be your best buddy. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a permanent solution to keeping the weight at bay, a detox idea is probably not the best method as you will end up putting those pounds right back on as soon as the detox is over.

The best diet is one that’s a healthy spin-off on the classic detox diet. It limits the intake of processed, high fat and sugary foods and replaces them with healthy heaps of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains and adequate exercise. The results may show only in due course but you can be sure that its effects are indeed long-term!

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