Do Detox Diets Really Work?

detox diets

Detox diets have made headlines by claiming to help people lose weight quickly and cleanse your body of the harmful toxins that are found in junk food, pesticides and chemicals. However, detoxing is not all it’s hyped up to be.

Some people give credit to these “get fit fast” diets for helping them drop the pounds or seemingly feel better by cleansing their system.

The reality is that the results aren’t attributed to the detox as much as they are to simply making healthier overall choices. In order to better understand why detox diets fail to live up the hype, let’s break it down and answer a few questions.

What Is A Detox Diet?

Detox diets come in a variety of forms but they all require a strict, short-term diet. Some promote fasting for a certain number of days, some limit food consumption to just liquids and others allow for some specific whole foods, like fruits and vegetables. Due to the long list of food restrictions, people often report feeling hungry, tired and weak while on a detox diet. While the low-calorie intake may sound like a great way to lose weight, it also leaves you feeling sluggish, lightheaded and possibly nauseous. Plus, diets that require such harsh restrictions often backfire as they leave you craving the food that you can’t have and lead you to overindulge once the diet is over.

Do Detox Diets Help You Lose Weight?

Although you might drop a few pounds, the majority of the weight loss will be due to water and muscle loss. Since you’re not actually burning fat, you’ll likely gain the weight back as soon as you finish the diet. Short term diets are also known to cause your metabolism to slow down, which will make keeping the weight off even more difficult in the future.

Does A Detox Diet Help To Remove Toxins From Your Body?

One of the major selling points of a detox diet is it’s supposed ability to remove toxins and cleanse your body. While it’s true that your body does absorb a range of toxins via food and the environment, your body also has a natural way of removing toxins. Between that hard work of both your liver and kidneys, your body rarely needs an outside assist. You naturally detoxify each time you use the restroom or sweat. Plus, the evidence that detox diets eliminate additional toxins from your body is severely lacking. If you feel like your body isn’t eliminating the toxins to its full extent, consult your doctor to find out if there is an underlying medical issue.

What Should I Do Instead Of A Detox Diet?

Some parts of a detox diet make a lot of sense from a nutritional standpoint. Cutting out processed foods, alcohol and caffeine and focusing on eating whole grains, lean protein and lots of fruits and veggies are great ways to create a healthy diet that can be sustained over time. You’ll find that you’re able to more easily lose the weight and keep it off by following a consistent diet full of natural, whole foods. Pair a healthy diet with exercise for the best result. Simply put, if you follow these guidelines and make smart decisions about what you put into your body in the first place, you shouldn’t need to detox. If your company offers biometric health screenings, be sure to capture your cholesterol and body mass index in your wellness portal.

Simply put, detoxes diets aren’t necessary and may end up causing more harm than good. Your body does a good job of flushing toxins out on its own and you can improve the way you feel by altering your diet and exercise routines to make healthier life choices every day.