Detox diet adherents tout the benefits of cleansing their bodies. The detox craze can be confusing, and misinformation regarding the best way to proceed with a cleanse only illustrates the emphasis men and women considering detox diets must place on learning as much about them as possible. Detoxing involves changing one’s diet for a predetermined period of time for the purpose of ridding the body of unhealthy, potentially toxic substances. While there may be some immediate weight loss associated with detoxing, losing weight is not the main purpose of detoxing. Men and women have various detox options to choose from, including some that target specific areas of the body or others that aim to improve overall health. Detox diets tend to be restrictive diets, which may not make them practical for everyone — particularly those who may have health ailments or specific dietary needs. Consult with a physician prior to beginning a detox diet to ensure it will not interfere with any treatments. In addition, it can help to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of detox diets to determine if doing a cleanse is the right choice for you.
• Eliminate poor eating habits: Cleanses may help you to take better inventory of your eating habits and encourage you to make healthy choices in the process. Detox diets require that their adherents eliminate particular foods for a period of time, and in many instances, these off-limits foods are overly processed items that may not be the best food choices in the first place.
• Increase vitality and energy levels: Detox diets can sometimes increase one’s energy and stamina. This can translate into more motivation to exercise or be active.
• New foods: A detox may require you to increase consumption of whole foods and participate in “clean eating.” Eating cleanly is about selecting the healthiest options in each of the food groups. You may be exposed to new ingredients and discover healthy options you love.
• Benefit the immune system: You may find that healthy eating has positive effects on your immune system. This may make it easier to fend off illnesses or improve recovery time on those occasions when you get sick.
• Potential for nutrient deficiency: Restrictive eating may deprive the body of certain nutrients it needs to remain in optimal shape. Nutrient deficiency can be dangerous, so it’s important to proceed with caution.
• Weight loss concerns: If your goal is to lose weight, do not expect detox diets alone to produce permanent weight loss. Many people experience weight gain after they stop a detox, says the health resource Everyday Home Remedy. Weight loss is better achieved gradually and through consistent healthy eating and exercise than through a cleanse.
• Potential to overextend detox diets: Some people extend a detox for longer than is recommended in an effort to experience greater gains. They may feel that two or three weeks of a cleanse may be doing more good than simply one week. This is not a good idea because you can deprive your body of the balance of foods it needs to thrive. Detox diets can be short-term dietary options that bring about renewed vigor and health. Speak with a doctor and nutritionist to determine if a cleanse is best for you.