There is always a new detox diet or detox cleanse hitting the health world claiming to be the next best thing. But before you jump on the newest trend, it’s important to understand what a detox is, how it affects the body but more importantly, they systems your body already has in place to detox your system.
What is a Detox Diet
Detox diets typically comprise of a fasting period followed by a very restricted diet. There are many different varieties of detoxing and how long the detox/fasting period lasts also varies. The idea of detoxing is to eliminate toxins, flush your system, and help eliminate cravings of sugary and processed foods.
The most common types of detoxes you are most familiar with are probably liquid cleanses. But there are several others that eliminate types of food, even going so far as to eliminating all cooked food.
Why People Start a Detox
The three most common reasons people start a detox diet are for weight loss, improve health, and remove toxins from the body. Often, detox diets are started for a combination of all three.
The thinking often goes “I need to kickstart my way into healthy eating and losing weight so I’ll start with a detox.”
However, there is little scientific evidence that detoxing helps with weight loss, improving overall health, or removing toxins.
The Detoxing for Weight Loss Misconception
Short term, while you’re doing your detox, you will see some weight loss. As you remove foods and severely restrict your diet, you will shed some pounds. But what happens when your detox period is over? Those pounds come right back because detoxing isn’t a sustainable way to lose weight.
In order to lose weight, and keep it off, it requires a long-lasting change to your dietary habits. Eliminating processed foods and sugars for two weeks is a start, but if you go back to eating those right after your ‘detox’ period ends—you won’t see any long term benefits.
If you’re looking to eliminate toxins from your body here’s some good news: you don’t need to spend hundreds on detox juices or specialty produce items. You don’t need to take a pill or subscribe to an online program. Because your body is already eliminating toxins and doing a better job than any cleanse could do.
The Body is a Natural Detoxer
Our kidney and livers do a better job at eliminating waste and toxins from our body than any ‘detox diet’ could. Fiona Tuck recently told the HuffPost that “the body is naturally designed to be able to clear waste materials such as toxins, chemicals and old hormones in order to prevent an accumulation of potentially toxic and harmful byproducts building up in our systems.”
“Our bodies do not actually need to be ‘detoxed’,” Parker explained. “This is because they already do a very good job of this naturally— mainly through the actions of the liver, kidneys, lungs and gastrointestinal tract.”
Our bodies are always in a state of cleansing. Instead of buying items to ‘detox’ with, consider instead natural ways to assist your body’s own detox process. Supporting your kidney and liver through acupuncture and herbal medicine are a great way to make sure your body functions are operating at the highest efficiency.
If you are concerned your body is not naturally detoxing the way it should be, finding out the underlying cause should be the first priority, instead of gravitating towards the next dietary fad.
Acupuncture can help detoxify and support your liver and kidneys. Acupuncture is an old Chinese medicine practice using tiny hair-like needles to remove blockages of energy throughout your body. Improving the flow of energy and circulation allows your body’s natural functions to perform properly. If you are having issues with eliminating toxins, consider acupuncture.
Herbal Medicine can help detoxify and support your kidney and liver in a similar way as acupuncture. The right combination of herbal medicine can work with your body to improve how your internal systems function.
There is a lot of hype out there about detox diets and quick ways to lose weight. As you already suspect, nothing that seems too good to be true is actually true. And the same comes for weight loss. If you are concerned about how your system is detoxifying and eliminating waste, give us a call. We can help you make sense of all the conflicting advice and get you on a path to bodily harmony.