Detox diets have gained quite some popularity over the years. With their promise to “cleanse” your body and get rid of toxins to magically put your body “back on track”, detox diets have endless permutations, and more buyers than you can even imagine. Only one question though – You really think a mere detox can get your body back in shape? If that were true, we’d never need workouts! We could just sit and sag our bodies, till a magic drink could fix it all again. Alas!

Like they say, there are two sides of everything! A detox diet can encourage you to shift your focus to more nutrient rich foods for sure – lemons, green tea, juices, veggies, which will definitely help your body with incoming toxins, and even have health benefits for the overall well being of your body.  That being said, a three-day detox diet won’t move the dial on toxicity (or health) anywhere near as much as maintaining a healthy lifestyle the other 362 days of the year. A healthy body doesn’t happen in a blink, you work your way to reach there, and consistency is key!

We will be talking about the disadvantages of detox diets in the article, which are sadly far greater than their advantages.

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Understanding Detox Diets

Let’s understand this in the most way – A diet that is inconvenient, takes effort to organize, or is tough on you, will end up making you put more effort into eating less. In today’s age no one has the time or patience to skim veggies and fruit everyday! These diets also make you feel dizzy, and weak. In no means are these diets convenient. You will end up putting far more stress on your body, and that can’t be good!

Detox diets are often too low in energy

Starving your body for longer periods of time can never be a good idea! Low in calories, juice diets will make you feel sluggish, colder, or you will start to notice your digestion taking a while.

Detox diets may cause blood sugar swings that is cleansing built on fruit juices can cause major swings in blood sugar, making them downright dangerous for people with diabetes, and potentially risky for many others.

All of us know how important fiber is for the body. Detox diet juices are usually devoid of fibrous fruits. Fiber cleanses your GI tract, slows down digestion and aids absorption of nutrients. Absence of fiber can never be good for the body! If you think the GI tract will do better in the absence of solid foods, studies show that the gut does well with probiotics, glutamine from protein-rich foods, and fiber. You’ll struggle to get all of these on a cleanse.

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Detox diets are often low in essential fats.

Healthy fats are extremely essential for our bodies. While some detox diets incorporate nuts and seeds, most cleanses make you skip on most fat-containing foods, even healthy fats. Extreme variations in fat intake i.e. swinging from high (pre-cleanse) to low (cleanse) to high (post-cleanse) to low (back on the cleanse) can cause trouble for organs that process dietary fats, like the gallbladder.

Detox diets may cause electrolyte imbalances

Eliminating liquids that contain salt during a detox, and switching with water, herbal teas, and/or juices can lead to imbalances in your electrolytes. The imbalance is more likely if overhydration is combined with low energy intake.

To keep operations running when nutrients and energy are low and electrolytes are disrupted, the body may adjust its metabolic environment (for instance, it may deplete cells of minerals to keep blood levels of those minerals stable). Not only can this affect health during the detox diet, it can cause potentially cause serious problems when a person on a detox diet (especially a longer-lasting one) starts eating normally again.

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Detox diets can create a cycle of restrictive eating and deprivation:

Detox diets follow a feast or famine eating pattern, since we are under a tendancy of stuff ourselves, thinking the “diet starts tomorrow”, and eat greasy foods, and make unhealthy food choices. We often end up looking forward to a time when the detox will be over and we can binge on the same kind of food. This pattern of food choices is more harmful to your body than it is helpful.

We forget that our bodies already have a robust detoxification system. Our major organs of detoxification are – Digestive tract, kidneys, lungs, liver, skin, the lymphatic system and the respiratory system. These systems break down chemicals (toxic or otherwise) into other forms, which we can eliminate via the urinary tract, sweat, or breathing. And the body seems to do a pretty good job of this when placed in a balanced (i.e. healthy) environment.

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So, thinking you will “detox’ your body using juices that will do more bad than good, is the worst idea. If you are ever told that any kind of detox diet can speed up and improve your body’s natural detox pathways, don’t be fooled!

A healthy diet, and consistency can help you achieve your goals, instead of 4 days of detox water.

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