Should you Detox for Weight Loss


Hi Beth,

I'm after some advice on detox for weight loss.

I've been reading conflicting things about detoxing.

Some people say they're essential if you want to lose weight. Some people say they're useless, even bad.

I'm not really sure what to do.

I've done a few, concentrating on eating lots of fruit and vegetables, soups etc, and I always feel better afterwards. But am I wasting my time, damaging my health?

What are your thoughts?

Thanks

Diane.


Hi Diane,

Thanks for your question.

This is certainly a hot topic at the moment. And one with a great deal of controversy.

First off I'd like to say, you absolutely do not need to detox for weight loss.

To lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume. Your body will then turn to its fat reserves for the energy deficit. And the best way to do that is to (1) develop a diet/way of eating that works for you and (2) find some exercise/way of moving that you enjoy and will keep doing.

A detox diet certainly isn't a long term way of eating. You cut out too much to make it sustainable.

Yes, you will lose weight, but it's unlikely you'll keep it off, because you won't be able to stick to it.

Having said all of that, I do think there are benefits to detoxing, every now and again.

Let me explain why ...


What is detoxing?

A detox is a process or period of time when you abstain from or rid the body of toxic or unhealthy substances

Before I get into the nitty gritty of why I value a detox diet, let me explain what a detox is. It is relevant, I promise.

People usually associate it with alcohol or drug addiction.

Someone will go into detox, go cold turkey for a period of time, in the hope that their addiction to that substance will lessen.

The process of a dietary detox is essentially the same.

You cut out the offending/unhealthy food for a period time, usually 30 days, with the idea that you'll be less dependent on it afterwards.


So why do I think detox for weight loss is valuable?

Your body needs a variety of vitamins and minerals to function on top form.

To get these you need to, not only to consume the right food, but you also need to stay away from anything that could impact how your body uses those nutrients. That is stress, alcohol, air pollution, chemicals etc., etc., etc.

Not that easy, hey.

And man, wouldn't life be boring.

By cutting out the toxins every now and again (I try to do it about twice a year) you can give your body a bit of a break.

Give it a chance to stock up on all of those lovely nutrients it may have been lacking.

Get you firing on all cylinders again.

Staying away from air pollution and stress is going to be nearly impossible, even if it is only for a short period of time. But you can steer clear of anything else that could be acting as a toxin.

If you're not on board with the idea of detoxing, that's fine. As I said at the beginning, it's not compulsory.

But I would suggest cutting out a few luxuries every now and again.

You'd be surprised how much sweeter that pudding tastes, and how much more you appreciate that glass wine when you haven't had one for a while.

Not taking things for granted. Really appreciating what you have.

How do you detox for weight loss?

So, that's why I think detoxing is valuable. Now, how do you go about it?

The main thing is to cut out anything that is 'toxic' or 'unhealthy'.

Sugar, alcohol, caffeine are the main culprits. But include anything that you have a strange addiction to.

You know, those foods you just can't stop eating. Mine is chocolate, but if yours happens to be Brussel sprouts then give them the axe too.

Some detox protocols require a period of fasting, or taking something to aid the process. A tea, a smoothie, a laxative.

I personally wouldn't advise any of that. Mainly because you don't know what it's going to do to your health, and, you just don't need it.

You can get everything you need from good, wholesome food.

So, concentrate on what you are eating.

Make sure it's fresh. Homemade. Nutritious.

It doesn't have to be all about salads. Although they should feature at some point.

Think warming soups, casseroles, curries, even homemade burger and chips. Anything as long as you've made it from scratch with fresh ingredients.

Flavour everything with herbs and spices, vinegars, mustard, olive oil, coconut oil. They are really good for you health.

It doesn't have to be boring.

Should you detox for weight loss?

Well, that is really up to you.

Done in the right way, they certainly won't damage your health. They may even be beneficial.

If you're finding them helpful, then carry on. Just don't use them as an excuse to go mad for the rest of the year.

Good luck and if I can be of at further help ... you know where I am.

Thanks

Beth

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