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Thinking of Detoxing?

So you had a crazy summer of eating out, too many bbq’s, or maybe too much alcohol. You may be feeling like you need a “cleanse” to “detox” or maybe just to drop a few pounds quickly. Many of us have been there before and felt that a detox could "jumpstart" our system after a prolonged period of unhealthy choices. There are many detox diets on the market to choose from including juice cleanses, teas, pills, enemas, etc. These detoxes can last anywhere from a couple days to several weeks and consist of fasting and “cleansing”. While some insist that detoxes make them feel better, there is little evidence that these “cleanses” actually eradicate toxins from your body or supplement what your own body is naturally designed to do.

According to an article published by Berkley Wellness, “the human body is a marvelously efficient detoxing machine. The skin—your body’s largest organ—provides a barrier to harmful substances. Your airways trap and expel noxious particles, while your intestines screen out parasites and other harmful organisms while allowing nutrients to be absorbed into the blood. The liver acts as your body's primary filter, digesting food and ridding the body of toxic substances. Your kidneys also filter out toxins, via your urine. Those organs act in concert with the immune system to keep you well. Healthful eating, sleep, and exercise habits help the machine to run optimally; substandard ones compromise it.”

So why do so many people consider detox diets to be effective?

Detox diets typically don’t allow you to consume highly processed foods that are often high in sugar, sodium, saturated fat, etc. Alcohol is typically removed from the diet as well. The vast difference from eating cheeseburgers and beer to drinking vegetables would make most people feel pretty good, if only temporarily! (That may be an extreme example, but you get the idea!)

One last thing to consider before you take out your wallet to purchase your detox is that these cleanses typically allow for very little calories to be consumed. This calorie deficit can mess with your metabolism and some detox diets can disrupt your digestive functions. Most of the time, if you are detoxing to lose weight, it typically comes back and many report they gain more weight.

For the reasons mentioned above, fasting and fad diets are probably not your best choice in the long run for maintaining an ideal weight or healthy body function. Your body is designed to eliminate toxins on its own. For long term results, you’ll want to consume a well-rounded diet, track what you are eating, and get your workouts in with us at Capstone Fitness!

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