- Weight Loss
- Men’s Health
Should I invest in a Detox “Cleanse” – the short answer: No.
Detox diets are all the rage, even celebrities tout the “master cleanse” or a similar juice fast to clear the body of toxins. Many people turn to these cleanses as “diets” and hope they are a means of rapidly losing weight. However, there is little evidence that these types of diets do any detoxification at all. Human beings already have a special organ that knows how to deal with toxins and remove them efficiently from the body. It is called the liver.
There is a big difference between fasting and dieting – and the effects on the body are quite different. Fasting often has a long-standing “spiritual tradition” – and almost every religion has some type of fasting ritual – Lent, Ramadan, Yom Kippur….the Hindus and Buddhists fast as well. So, there definitely seems to be a spiritual factor in the whole fasting thing…..but, the question comes down to “is there any physiological” benefit?
Juice fasts don’t really help you to lose weight beyond the first few pounds of water weight, which occurs with really any type of caloric restriction. The problem with these detox diets is that they are often extremely low on macro-nutrients and may actually contribute to the loss of lean muscle tissue. Going on an all liquid, severely restricted calorie diet can lead to light-headedness, inability to concentrate at work, and low energy levels. Lastly, after a few days on a detox fast, you will be so hungry, that you will likely overeat when the fast ends!
Bottom Line: To truly detoxify your body, start by reducing your processed food intake, eat more vegetables and fruits and see how good you will begin to feel. Remember, in order to consistently help your body naturally detoxify – make sure that your diet includes all three macronutrients – protein, essential fats, and fibrous carbohydrates (vegetables). Our bodies need a balance of these nutrients for optimal energy, recovery, and repair.