The literal definition of “detoxing” is to abstain from or rid the body of toxic or unhealthy substances. However, detoxing has recently become a trend to sweep the nation. Numerous guides, tips, tricks, and how-tos are now out there all about how to detox. But is it actually good for you?
It may depend on what your goal is. Let’s go over some common reasons people might detox.
Detoxing to Lose Weight
Many who have tried detoxing have noted its immediate weight loss results. There are many possible diets to try — foregoing solids and only drinking fluids, fasting, adding herbal supplements, avoiding specific foods , etc. — but it’s hard to say what will or won’t work for you.
Whether or not the diet “works” is not the crucial factor here, though. Is it healthy to try these diets? In many cases, no. Immediate weight loss results, firstly, are not necessarily permanent. Most of the time, these “immediate weight loss results” are from, at best, losing water weight, and at worst, the result of your body starving, the latter of which being an unequivocally bad thing. It is not sustainable to lose weight this way, and you will most likely just gain whatever you lost back when you resume your normal diet. You aren’t losing weight because you are detoxing — you are losing weight because you are not eating. Since detoxing by way of restricting and fasting is not a diet you can live off of, it is not a good choice for weight loss. That does not mean it is necessarily a bad choice for other reasons.
In some cases, however, detoxing can simply be avoiding unhealthy, junk food or replacing solid meals with liquid meals (also called “juice cleansing”), and this can sometimes be a sustainable way to diet. Remember, with any diets, moderation and portion control is key, and talking to your doctor is imperative. Click here for more information about portion control.
Detoxing for clarity means to try and achieve mental and emotional clarity, to reduce stress, and/or to relax. Many have insisted that detoxing for clarity will boost your energy, clear and refine your focus, and restoring balance.
As always, being careful and ensuring that you are still receiving proper nutrition is the most important thing in these endeavors.
Detoxing to “Flush Your System”
Detoxing to flush your system might be the original reason that started this trend — but it doesn’t work. You have organs that do that for you. Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University, has this to say: “If toxins did build up in a way your body couldn’t excrete, you’d likely be dead or in need of serious medical intervention”.
So What’s the Answer?
The answer is that there is no one answer for every person. There are so many different reasons and different methods that it’d be impossible to have one categorical answer. Detoxing from time to time can be a perfectly healthy endeavor, but the questions that you might have about detoxing are questions that need to be discussed with your doctor or nutritionist.