Now that New Years is over and the hangover complete, today officially marks the day a lot of New Years resolutions begin. Many people are looking for a way to kick-start their diet and that often leads to the topic of detox. As a Dietitian, I get asked about detox diets a lot. I don’t believe in fad diets of any kind and a detox diet is no different.
1. You don’t need to detox
Every detox diet I read about talks about toxin build-up in the body yet there is absolutely no evidence to substantiate those claims. Our bodies are amazing machines that use what they need and excrete what they don’t. Our livers are our “detox” centre and doesn’t need any help from a special diet.
2. Detox diets are not nutritionally complete
Detox diets range vastly from juice cleanses to pills to drinking lemon juice & cayenne pepper. The variety in the diets proves that there is no magic recipe to detoxify your body. Though the diets are vastly different, they all have one thing in common, they are not nutritionally complete.
Any diet that restricts you to eating/drinking only a few things is ultimately not best for your body. There are essential macro & micronutrients that are not provided by cleanse diets. Sticking to a restrictive diet for a long period of time can cause harm. And don’t be fooled by diets that claim how high they are in vitamins and minerals like juice cleanses. They are still lacking protein & fat making them incomplete.
3. No need to kick-start a diet
A lot of detox diets start with the notion of kick starting a diet or a clean eating regime. There really is no need to kick-start. Restrictive diets are hard to maintain. A better approach to changing a diet would be making small manageable changes to your diet.
4. The weight loss won’t last
A lot of detox diets claim fast weight loss. This will often happen because they are low-calorie. However, the weight loss will not last. Most of the weight loss will be water weight, not fat. The weight lost will be quickly regained after resuming a regular eating pattern.
If you want to start of a New Year with a better diet start by making healthy changes to your diet. Eat more vegetables & fruit, drink more water, eat less processed foods, etc. Don’t go to fad diets and quick fixes. Healthy eating is a lifestyle change that should last a lifetime not a few days.