When in conversation on living a healthy lifestyle, whether with friends/family or people I meet, diets, cleanses and detoxing always come up. One of the major misconceptions is being misinformed on either 3.
Detoxing, removes unhealthy toxins from the body
Cleansing, cleans out specific organs (colon, liver, kidneys, digestive tract) to excrete waste
(this also includes supplement cleansing)
Dieting, is eating food planned out in order to follow a certain lifestyle
Usually I’ll hear a story of a friend or family member who did a detox and had “great results”, which is possible, however, I believe there is a huge misunderstanding between detoxing and cleansing.
Detoxification is the cleansing of the blood, which is done by removing impurities through your liver, where toxins are naturally processed for elimination; these toxins are associated to symptoms such as allergies, fatigue, skin irritation, infections, etc.
Detox programs are usually available in liquid and pill form, otherwise you can find “natural” detoxes, which are usually misidentified and labeled as cleansing, ie: Juice Cleanse, Smoothie Cleanse, Master Cleanse, Full Body Cleanse… etc.
Most “liver detox” products do not work, and can actually cause harm to your liver as the organ is responsible for metabolizing drugs, medications, and herbals supplements. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has even issued warnings against certain detoxes, as hospitalization for liver damage is the #2 cause by diet supplements.
Truth is, your body is capable of ridding most toxins using your liver, kidneys, colon, intestines, lungs, lymph and skin.
Another one I hear, is “I’m going to do a cleanse” (specifically juicing).
If you’ve never juiced before, you probably won’t be able to commit to the program.
Just think how hard it is to be juicing for a week or two, without eating any food – will you be able to last?
You’ll also have low energy and feel grouchy – when you restrict yourself from eating, your brain isn’t receiving the glucose needed to maintain it’s energy, which gives you that sluggish feeling.
One cleansing plan to stay clear of are laxatives and diuretics (“natural” or otherwise).
Long-term of certain laxatives can lead to dependency and decreased bowel function, which is very harmful to your body, including electrolyte imbalance, as the laxatives may interfere with your body’s absorption of some nutrients.
Cleansing is more for those who are already committed to a healthy lifestyle, and turn to cleanses as a way to eliminate most major food groups from their digestive tract that causes bloating and puffiness.
The word “diet” is misconstrued. The word itself simply refers to what you eat, but most people think of the word as an eating program in order to lose weight, gain weight, lower cholesterol, live a long healthy life, etc.
Diets are marketing gimmicks of temporary food plans, which makes you think you need to eat special foods, in order to achieve a specific goal, when in the end, these “diets” can be expensive and give false hope of achievement.
Studies show that 95% of people regain the weight after 1 year.
After investing all this time and money, people quickly notice they had no intention of committing to a diet plan at all.
There is an abundance of supplement products claiming to “cleanse” and “detox”.
What’s (not) funny, is the very little information available on the supplements and how they actually work.
You literally have to research each ingredient, and good luck if there is a “proprietary blend”.
You may even notice most of the ingredients are very little dosages (which is why you may see “take 4 pills a day”), and the rest are binders or fillers, labeled as “Other” or “Inactive Ingredient”
Like processed foods being loaded with additives, preservatives and flavors, the same goes for supplements.
Any supplement that contains additives and fillers will be harmful to your health, the same way processed foods are.
Not only are supplements pricey, but some companies have a no-refund policy after the bottle is opened …
makes one wonder.
After all is said and done, these programs do not teach you anything about healthy eating and nutrition.
I recommend drinking lemon water in the morning (read my post on the Health Benefits to Drinking Lemon Water), eating healthy throughout the day (read my post on Healthy Eating – The Basics), and drinking a ton of water throughout the day to assist in eliminating what your body doesn’t need, keeping it hydrated and providing regular bowel movements.
By simply changing the way you eat, you are “detoxifying”, “cleansing”, “dieting”, by eliminating the”bad foods” you usually eat, and you may even notice your body go through some changes, including mood swings, headaches, grouchiness, etc, as your body naturally flushes out the toxins.
At the end of the day, you will notice results for whatever lifestyle you’ve set out to achieve!
Have you tried to detox, cleanse, or diet? – how was your experience … how did you feel … did you notice any results? Leave it in the comments below.