With the first rays of spring sunlight re-energizing your daily routine, you might be thinking it’s time to mix up your diet and cleanse away all those unwanted winter toxins.
And that certainly seems like a good idea.
In five, 10, and 20 days, you can shed those last few winter pounds and cleanse the body of harmful chemicals. And all you need is a mystery supplement, water, and maybe a blender.But do liquid-heavy detox diets have any real merit?
Kristina LaRue, sports dietician and contributor to the MyFitnessPal blog, HelloHealthy, shares the truth about detox diets and also presents alternatives that better yield the long-term results you need. So let’s get started!
The first thing LaRue points out is detoxing to cleanse harmful chemicals is a myth. The human body is a mysterious and powerful thing, so of course it already comes hard-wired to get rid of the bad stuff. It’s just not something you can do by outside forces.
Take your liver for example. Its primary function is filtering blood and removing toxins. Whether you’re eating a salad or a cheeseburger, it’s your liver’s job to break down key nutrients for further use and discard the rest. No purchase necessary!
Next, LaRue says potential detoxers should know cleansing diets are only good for quick and unhealthy results. When you substitute solid food rich in protein and fiber, you’re only doing so with water. And because the body doesn’t retain water weight, you lose it. It’s a short-term solution masquerading as results.
But once you come off the detox and get back to real nutrition, the weight comes right back — yo-yo dieting at its worst. And to top it all off, that weight loss also comes in the form of lost muscle mass, also known as the weight you don’t want to lose!
So what’s a dieter to do?
According to LaRue, there’s a big difference between a detox cleanse and juicing real fruits and vegetables. If you’re looking for a nutritious liquid solution, the latter is the way to go. Juicing different combinations of fruits and veggies (like pomegranate and kale), and supplementing a stellar, balanced diet is one of the best ways to get all the nutrition you need. Plus, juiced fruits and vegetables absorb quickly and provide an extra boost to your immune system — exactly what you need for the winter-spring transition.
This season, turn down that detox, and opt for a truly beneficial solution. You’ll make it to summer healthier, fitter, stronger, and ready for anything!