I hear this a lot from my clients, “It’s all fruit and vegetable juices, so it must be healthy. Right?”
Well, not so fast.
Although many people push detoxes and juice cleanses for health or weight loss, I encourage you to proceed with caution here. In fact, doing a detox or cleanse could bring more harm than good for you. Let’s talk about why, and what you can do instead.
Detoxes: What are They, Really?
Most detox or cleanse programs involve periods of following a strict highly restrictive food or liquid diet, such as a juice cleanse, and/or fasting. Many programs comprise of simply drinking pressed greens and fruit juices.
The biggest claimed purpose of a detox or cleanse is to rid the body of toxins, to give it a “reboot.” Here’s the thing, though: no one truly understands what that means. There are obvious toxins in our world—like bee stings and food poisoning—and then there are these elusive “toxins” that these programs claim to cleanse from the body.
But it’s important to realize that at some level, anything can be toxic. For example, high levels of phytochemicals can be toxic to the body. What are phytochemicals? Nutrients found naturally in PLANTS! And at normal levels, they are good for your health and may even help prevent cancer.
Your Body Already Detoxes For You
Certainly, we are exposed to things everyday that aren’t health promoting. And a lot of people are eating poor quality foods that negatively affect the body. But a detox program is not the answer. In fact, most detoxes are devoid of proteins, fiber, and healthy fats—elements that are needed to help the body function properly.
Plus, our bodies are pretty smart. They already have build-in detox systems for our skin, liver, kidneys, lymphatic system, and more. So the better solution is to care for your body as a whole over the LONG-TERM so you can support its natural detoxification processes.
It’s Not Realistic for Sustainable Weight Loss
A common motivation for detoxing is to lose weight fast. But the main reason this seems to work is because you’re hardly consuming anything. Your stomach might feel flatter during the cleanse, and you might feel lighter. You’ll think, “It’s working! I’m losing weight!”
But it’s not true fat loss. What you’re losing is water weight and your carbohydrate stores, and you feel lighter because there’s nothing being processed by your stomach. This might seem like it’s doing something, but the feeling will go away once the cleanse stops—because we need to eat.
If anything, doing a detox may actually lead you to binge or eat way more afterwards because it puts you in a “feast or famine” cycle. It can do more harm than good.
The average price for a three-day cleanse is $180 per person. That’s a lot of money for something not guaranteed to do anything good for you.
Overall, what we’re looking for is balance instead of extremes. That’s the true way to better health, to sustainable and long-term results.
What To Do
Instead of a detox, focus on practices like:
1.Drinking more water
2.Increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables each day. An easy way is to do this is by blending up a nutrient and fibre rich smoothie with vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and lean protein.
3.Setting yourself up for better choices—such as doing a kitchen pantry makeover, setting up a gym routine, and finding healthy, easy recipes that work for you
A detox or cleanse is temporary, and when it ends, you’re more likely to go back to eating the way you were before because you never learned the tools to eat well long-term. Plus, the best way to support healthy detoxification in your body is by feeding it a well-balanced, whole foods diet.
So, let’s focus on helping you re-shape your diet (and physical activity) in a way that works for you and supports your health this week, next week, and far into the future. Feeling like you’ve just got no time in your schedule?
I can help you with that. Book a complimentary call with me to learn about how I will keep you accountable.
Download my (free) nutrition and fitness guide for the busy professional here!