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Can Detox Help Reduce Weight?

By: Rachel Collier - Updated: 11 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Diet Weight Detox Calories Alcohol

If you’ve been overindulging lately due to festive excess, a holiday or a run of eating out, one of the reasons you might be tempted to try a detox diet is to lose weight. There’s no doubt that many detox diets claim weight loss as their unique selling point, but if you need to shed some pounds, is a short tem fix really the way to go?

Short And Sharp

Detox diets tend to be short, restrictive eating plans that advocate the removal of many types of foods from our daily lifestyle. That said, it’s no wonder that most people do tend to lose weight during a detox, but some experts warn that this approach to slimming can lead to eating disorders, with the severe and strict nature of the diets becoming addictive.

Missing In Action

Due to the exclusion of certain foods, and even whole food groups, dieticians and medics warn that, long term, a detox diet will not provide all the nutrition our bodies need to function properly. Removing fish, dairy and eggs from our diets may mean that we miss out on calcium and omega 3, among other beneficial and often essential nutrients.

Sick And Tired

An extreme detox diet that eliminates food groups and cuts calorie consumption can lead to illness if followed over too long a period. Over time, without the vitamins and minerals your body needs, you’ll become lethargic and likely to catch every cold going. Lack of energy and dull skin, too, will result from a poor diet, so you may lose weight, but you won’t look or feel good.

Calorie Chaos

Calorie intake is usually very low on a detox diet, as most of the things we love to eat are off limits for the duration. It goes without saying that the fewer calories you eat, the more weight you will lose, so it’s no surprise that you’ll finish your diet a few pounds lighter. Cutting out alcohol alone can promote weight loss, since there are many hidden calories in your favourite tipple.

Slow But Sure

Responsible experts agree that the best and easiest way to lose weight is to eat a healthy, sensible diet, combined with regular exercise. It sounds boring, and yes, it will take a while for you to see dramatic results, but you’ll be doing your body a favour from day one. It’s likely that a detox diet won’t leave you with energy for cardiovascular fitness, yet by raising your metabolism with exercise, you’ll be on a much healthier path to a slimmer body.

While a detox diet will help you form some good habits, like eating more fresh fruit and vegetables, and cutting out nicotine and alcohol, if you want to lose weight and keep it off long term, look for a more balanced diet plan. A detox might seem like a tempting option if you need shed pounds fast, but remember that the quicker you lose weight, the faster you are likely to put it back on.

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