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Liquefying Weight

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss at 9:23 am | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Orange JuiceIt sounds like magic. You can cleanse your body and lose weight quickly. You’ll consume vast amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. You’ll be extraordinarily hydrated and feel wonderfully healthy. All you have to do is . . . give up solids. Detox diets generally involve forsaking all foods, except for some raw fruits and vegetables, and consuming syrups, juices or protein shakes instead.  They promise to leave you toxin-free, nutrient-filled and slender as can be. But, as with most restrictive plans, there are more health blunders than benefits associated with detox diets.

The first set of faux pas lie in the “detox” aspect of the detox diet. The idea that your liver needs help eliminating toxins is more false than true. As long as your organs are functioning properly, the liver and the kidney can get rid of the bad just fine on their own. If you really want to give them a hand, avoid the toxins in the first place. And if you’re considering the more drastic detox measures, such as colonic irrigation or laxative use, think of the health risks first. Inserting a tube into your rectum and washing out the colon’s contents is more likely to lead to infection, injury and the disposal of “good” bacteria than anything else. Laxatives will lead to dehydration, and heart and colon damage.  Overall, you’re going to end up ill not healthily clean, and that’s before we even look at the diet.

On the detox diet, you will consume gallons of liquid and maybe some raw fruits and veggies, but nothing else. The only plus side to this restriction is that you’ll finally be drinking enough water. Other than that, I’m at a loss. Yes, you will lose a gross amount of weight in a short period of time, but that’s not likely to be a permanent loss. As soon as you reintroduce chewing to your life, the pounds will return. And as far as all those nutrients you’re suddenly imbibing? You’re probably not. A lot of the juices that claim to have all the antioxidants you need daily don’t. You have to be extremely careful, not fooled by false advertisements and knowledgeable about every product you put into your body.  It would be best, actually, if you skipped the detox diet altogether, but if you can’t . . .

Do it short-term. A one day detoxification is going to be the least detrimental to your health. If you do it properly, you will probably get the nutrients that these diets promise. However, once you pass the 24-hour threshold, it’s more probable that your body is being deprived of essential vitamins and minerals. Also, be aware that children, teens, pregnant/breastfeeding women, seniors and individuals with chronic conditions are even more likely than others to develop intestinal or cardiac problems because of a detox diet. So, they shouldn’t even consider it. The best way to detoxify your body is through introducing more fruits, vegetables and fiber into your diet. Avoid the toxins that you are so hell-bent on eradicating and live healthily all year long not just for the ten days when you decide a detox is needed.

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