Cleanse and detox diets are now more popular than ever.
These diets claim to:
- Eliminate harmful toxins
- Enhance weight loss
But how exactly and what does the research say?
We here at Plato Weight Management receive questions about these diets day in and day out from client’s undertaking our highly sought after weight loss program so we wanted to finally put these questions to bed.
In this post, we will talk about the 5 most commonly asked questions regarding Cleanse and Detox diets:
- What are toxins and where do they come from?
- What is the difference between a Cleanse and a Detox diet?
- What does the research behind Cleanse and Detox diets say?
- What are the reasons not to undertake these diets a Cleanse or a Detox diet?
- How is weight loss affected by these diets?
1)What are toxins and where do they come from?
To start, what exactly are these toxins?
Well, toxins are potentially harmful substances which we come into contact with every day ranging from pollutants in the air to pesticides or certain ingredients found in processed foods.
Your body has actually adapted to deal with most toxins over the years, helped by your liver and your kidneys!
The liver is sometimes referred to as the CEO of detoxification. It detoxifies the blood, breaks down hormones and extracts essential vitamins and minerals the body needs.
In addition, your liver also helps to produce some major substances needed to keep your immune system running smoothly including “glutathione” the mother of all internally produced antioxidants!
Now if your liver is the great detoxifier then your kidneys are the great filters. This is because they help to drain out toxins and waste from your body. However, over time, environmental toxins in addition to a lack of proper nutrition and hydration can constrain your body’s natural detoxification system.
Basically, your body wants to get rid of these toxins. But if you keep consuming fresh toxins on top of the old, you’re not going to be able to get the initial toxins out.
It’s like clogging a drain.
Therefore, the idea of a cleanse or a detox diet is like a plunger for a clogged drain, it helps to unclog the drain or in other words, these diets help to give your liver and kidneys a chance to do their jobs more efficiently.
2)What is the difference between a Cleanse and a Detox diet?
However, what is the difference between a cleanse and a detox diet?
Well, a cleanse diet focuses more on the digestive tract and helps to remove waste from the colon. A cleanse removes irritating or allergenic foods from your diet while replacing them with lighter nutrients that may help speed up the digestive process.
While there are many different types of cleanses, juice cleanses for example tend to limit caloric intake to juice without the consumption of solid foods and can last from 1 day to a full week.
The theory behind a detox, on the other hand, does more than just clear out your digestive tract. A detox is supposed to go deeper and focus on helping the body boost its own natural detoxification processes through the liver, kidneys, skin, and lungs.
This usually includes supplementation alongside eliminating unhealthy junk from your diet but may also require a super-restrictive diet consisting of a small number of foods that claim to have detoxification properties.
In addition, certain detox diets may also require fasting from 1-3 days but many different detox diets vary in intensity and duration.
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3)What does the research behind Cleanse and Detox diets say?
However, what does the research say and do these diets actually work?
Well, the research on these diets is lacking and the handful of studies actually done are limited. What’s more, is that there is little to no evidence that these diets remove any toxins from your body.
And more importantly, there is very little scientific evidence backing up the claim that our bodies are loaded with these harmful toxins that need to be cleansed in the first place.
4)What are the reasons not to undertake these diets a Cleanse or a Detox diet?
Moreover, some more reasons why I don’t suggest undertaking these diets are:
- You’ll be very hungry and feel grumpy
- It often leads to yoyo dieting because you’ll regain the weight lost when you go back to regular eating patterns which we will expand on now in a moment
- You won’t have the energy to exercise as a result of the calorie restriction because fewer calories mean less energy
- They slow down your metabolism so that means fewer calories being burned at rest
- They deprive your body of essential nutrients
Now guys, let’s look at the second perceived advantage of these diets, enhanced weight loss.
5)How is weight loss affected by these diets?
It may be true that some people can lose quite a significant amount of weight from these diets but the weight loss isn’t because of reduced-fat guys, it is due to the loss of fluid and carb stores and subsequently, the lost weight is regained quickly once you go back to your regular eating habits.
Consequently, the only legitimate way that these diets can help you to lose weight is from the calorie restriction involved but even so, this type of crash dieting most likely will not lead to long-term results unless you also change your lifestyle with it.
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Finally, we come to our conclusion regarding cleanse and detox diets.
Guys, it really isn’t necessary to undergo one of these diets to cleanse your digestive system.
This is because your body is more than capable to cleanse itself through the use of the liver, feces, urine and sweat.
Avoiding toxins from packaged and processed food, eating a diet high in fiber and drinking lots of water are major ways to naturally cleanse your body.
You can incorporate these positives towards your own diet without undertaking a detox or a cleanse diet which, as mentioned previously, has little scientific backing behind it.
If you are interested in undertaking one of our evidence-based and results-backed Plato Weight Management programs, please make sure to check what program may be suitable for you at this link or contact us here!
You can find out what some of our previous clients had to say about the program on our success stories page!