There’s a lot of buzz lately about detoxifying and/or cleansing the body in regards to weight loss. Is this weight loss worth the risk? What is actually happening when a detoxification or cleansing diet is implemented in trying to achieve weight loss?
What is Detoxing and/or Cleansing?
Detoxing and/or cleansing diets are diets consisting of basically juices, herbal teas and/or raw foods ingesting very few daily calories. The concept is that by only consuming these things the body will shed toxins and will function better, have better mental clarity and most of all…..lose weight!
Be aware that much of detoxification and cleansing theories are backed by people wanting to make money, pushing products that are not FDA approved nor backed by valid research of efficacy.
Claims of Clarity
Reports of mental clarity, intensified creativity and heightened concentration are only backed by anecdotal evidence. These reports in actuality are explainable by the very notion that one is paying attention to what one is consuming and making prudent and judicious choices therefore the “heightened mental awareness or clarity.”
Weight Loss – with Side Effects
What is actually happening when detox or cleansing diets are used for weight loss?
- The scale may go down, but in a very unsafe manner.
- Detoxification diets are very low in calories so the body will go into a conversion mode, meaning calories are burned more SLOWLY.
- Calories that are consumed will be stored primarily as fat as the body perceives starvation through such drastic caloric restriction. This will send the body into a downward spiral towards “survival mode” as the body clings to every calorie that is consumed not knowing when it will be nourished or fed again.
- Weight loss is primarily water weight and not true “fat loss”
- Muscle wasting will ensue destroying lean tissue which in turn destroys metabolism.
- No amount of exercise can counter the loss of lean tissue as it can only be sustained through the combination of BOTH proper nutrition and exercise.
- Malnutrition occurs by restricting nutrient dense foods and worse entire food groups.
- Lack of nutrients and severe calorie restriction will also compromise the immune system making the body more vulnerable to illness.
- Lack of energy with possible bouts of dizziness, nausea, and headaches will result.
- Inability to execute exercise to its fullest and most efficiently due to having no fuel in the machine.
- Glycogen stores are on empty making exercise pretty much a miserable experience. And, making the body more susceptible in getting hurt or worse yet…injured!
The Reality of Weight Loss Gimmicks
These detox and cleansing diets are short term weight loss gimmicks which do nothing to promote healthy life long nutritional habits while wreaking havoc on the body’s metabolism preventing it from running strong and efficiently for a lifetime.
The bottom line is that the human body is one of the most complex machines on earth. The fact that its sustainability has been going on for centuries is evidence that our bodies have evolved to perfection in many ways.
Keep healthy and strong. Ditch the detoxification, cleansing and fad diets.