The start of a new year is a perfect time to start something new. Plenty of people use January 1st as a target date where changes happen and everything falls into place.
It’s also the perfect time to go on a detox diet. Not.
People advertising detox teas (teatox), shakes, drinks, gels and pills that will cleanse you on the inside and magically melt all the weight and fat away that you’ve been trying to lose. Sometimes these people go as far as promising the fat will drop from specific areas, which is untrue and really unhelpful.
I hate to be a massive party pooper, but the only thing it will properly cleanse you of, is cash.
People on a detox usually lose weight quickly, but then reach a plateau – why is this? Usually the detox is accompanied by an extreme low calorie diet plan, where calories are restricted by way of adding to the detox. Weight loss is basically achieved through a negative energy balance (more calories burned than taken in), which is what is happening through the detox period. Once you go back to a normal diet, the weight will go back on. You’re also eliminating foods that you enjoy so, chances are, you’ll crave these once the detox diet is over and have a massive binge.
Our bodies are equipped with lungs, kidneys, a liver and intestines to remove waste from our body every day. There is no need to ‘detoxify’ your body with a gel, pill or shake.
Put simply, you don’t need it and it won’t work long term. Quick fixes never do. The weight you’re trying to lose didn’t go on overnight, so it won’t come off overnight. It’s a long, slow process, but one that’s very rewarding.
‘Cleansing’ diets can be harmful in the long term, including side effects such as cramping, bloating, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance and (in extreme cases) malnutrition.
Some detoxes have ingredients in which are natural laxatives, something you don’t need unless you’re struggling to poo. Prolonged use of laxatives can cause serious side effects. If you’re using them for the right reasons, you wouldn’t unnecessarily carry on taking them.
If you get a balanced diet, exercise on a regular basis and drink plenty of water then you’ll lose weight at a healthy rate and you’re less likely to put it back on again (it’s been scientifically proven, so don’t just take my word for it).