Detox Diets? Making Them Work for Your Healthy Lifestyle
posted on 6/12/2012
Too much sugar, fat, alcohol and processed foods in the diet can overload vital organs in the body, and poor nutrition can take its toll on your health.
However, eliminating these foods from the diet completely can be a challenge and cutting back slowly may not even be the best way to reach a state of optimal health. If you’ve been thinking about jumping into a new diet to lose a few pounds or are battling fatigue and stress and need more energy, a detox program may help you get on the right track.
Detox and cleansing diets are designed to eliminate toxins from the body and are often recommended as part of a formal weight loss program. A detox can eliminate excess sugar and fat circulating in the system and even fire up your metabolism; if you’ve hit a weight loss plateau or need to make large modifications in your diet, a detox may make the process much easier. A detox diet can give all the major organs in your body a boost by flushing away toxins that may be preventing them from functioning at an optimal level.
How a Detox Works
Most detox diet programs recommend large servings of fresh fruits, vegetables, water, and unprocessed foods, and may also include herbs and detoxifying supplements to enhance your body’s natural toxin removal process. Flushing the body of toxin buildup and dead cells offers a number of benefits such as:
- Increased energy
- Faster rates of cell renewal
- Healthy skin
- Improved digestion
- Increased vitality and strength
Still, some doctors recommend that we exercise caution when pursuing a detox program. Dr. M. Diennet M.D. of The Diennet Institute in Beverly Hills, California states that, “detox diets are intended for short-term purposes only. People are usually encouraged to go on fasts like this at specific times during the year, such as at the end of a season. And these diets are usually recommended not to help people lose weight, but to help clean out their systems.” (Source: Diennet.com)
Detox diets aren’t necessarily a weight control strategy, but may be a simple way to prepare the body for weight loss. The most common foods included in a detox diet include:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Citrus fruits
- Whole, unprocessed, and raw foods
- Fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants
- Broth-based soups
- Organic and raw sugars
Do I Really Need a Detox?
When major organs in the body – the kidneys, liver, heart, and colon – aren’t functioning at an optimal level, you may be experiencing a number of health problems such as constipation, bloating and fatigue on a regular basis. In The New Detox Diet – the Complete Guide for Lifelong Vitality, Dr. Elson Haas encourages detoxification as a lifestyle choice, and offers tips on including detoxifying foods at every meal. As the body adapts to regular detoxification, you may be able to lower your risk of many health conditions and diseases.
Key reasons to begin a detox program may include:
- To increase energy
- Try new foods
- Modify your diet by introducing fresh, raw, and unprocessed foods Improve the digestive process and elimination system
- Improve focus and concentration
Toxin buildup that results from a poor diet, too much stress, or a lack of exercise can all contribute to poor health, but a few modifications in your diet could be all you need to take charge of your health and get back on track. Consulting with a nutritionist or weight loss counselor may help you map out a detox strategy that best suits your health and lifestyle goals.