Recently, there’s been an influx of influencers and celebrities endorsing detoxes and detox products, often with promises of weight loss and being healthier. What exactly is a detox diet? A detox diet is a diet that is meant to eliminate toxins from your body and often for weight loss. They typically involve fruit juices, water, and sometimes teas, supplements or other products found on the market and claim to help eliminate toxins, improve your circulation and even help your body get nutrients. Although this sounds quite harmless, there could be negative consequences that can come with doing a detox. In this blog, we’ll explore the risks of doing a detox, and answering some questions you may have about detoxes.
One big question you may be wondering is: Is weight loss actually seen?
While there haven’t been any clinical studies proving if weight loss is shown in the long-term with a detox, it can be assumed that any weight loss will likely be from fluid loss, and it will be gained back after the detox is done. Additionally, severe caloric restriction poses risks of energy and various nutrient deficiencies, electrolyte imbalance, disordered eating, and uncomfortable symptoms such as diarrhea and nausea.
Before starting a detox, ensure you know the potential effects and risks of detoxing:
- Low energy
- Muscle aches and headaches
- Nausea, fatigue, dizziness
- Energy, mineral and nutrient deficiencies
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Lack of regulation in detox products – could pose potential risks that are not labelled or studied
- Taking too much of a detox product can have detrimental consequences
What can you do instead of doing a detox diet?
The first thing is to understand that your body has its own way to get rid of toxins, for example through sweating and urinating. Instead of going through detoxes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle, for example:
- Eat balanced meals with lots of variety (different whole grains, vegetables, fruits and protein sources)
- Get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day
- Try to get lots of rest
- Drink lots of water (Your magic “detox” nutrient)
- Avoid smoking or drinking excessively
All in all, rely on your body’s own detoxification sources, and be skeptical of detox products that are on the market. Be aware of marketing, and the effect society can have on consumer products. For weight management, contact a Dietitian or a health professional to figure out the next steps for you.