Three Major Myths About Detoxing
Hang on. Before you opt for a three-day juice cleanse and a growling stomach — let’s talk facts. There are many myths about both the benefits and restrictions of detox dieting. We’re here to clear some things up!
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Myth 1 // Cleanses are an important and necessary way of ridding the body of toxins.
NO. But? No, No, No. Do you hear me?
“Experts” claim in advice columns and advertisements that you need to cleanse in order to flush out all those “toxins” (notice, also, how they never define what those are?). But the overwhelming professional medical opinion is that such methods are unnecessary. Why? Because your body already has two extremely powerful detoxification devices: your kidneys and your liver. When functioning properly, these vital organs very, very effectively filter non-essential and/or harmful substances from your blood and facilitate their expulsion from the body via urination. That’s right: all you need to do to get rid of those toxins is pee.
Myth 2 // Cleanses lead to permanent weight loss.
Okay yeah, eating nothing for a week and drinking only kale and cayenne will help that number on the scale to dip slightly. This weight reduction however is due to a loss of water weight as your body uses H2O to burn the carbs that you have stored up. If you venture down the detox road long enough you’ll actually notice your body losing muscle mass — we don’t want this! Furthermore, cleanses and “detox” diets that include a lot of diuretics (e.g., lemon juice) cause you to expel more urine, exacerbating water loss.
Please, enjoy your morning green juice. Just rehydrate when you’re finished!
Myth 3 // Okay, cleanses aren’t necessary. But they’re not bad for you.
Sorry. While some cleanses, especially those that comprise nutrient-rich, cold-pressed juices, do supply you with nutrients and anti-oxidants, the majority lack fat and protein and leave you calorie-deficient. As a result, you’re more likely to binge on carbohydrates and caloric, processed foods (which contain all that bad stuff you were trying to get rid of in the first place) and counter any “weight loss” or nutritional enhancement you’ve gained through the cleanse. And that’s a best-case scenario. Detox diets (and I’m not going to name names but we all know what I’m talking about), that involve mostly water and a few mix-ins are liable to upset your electrolyte levels and cause you to experience dehydration, confusion, extreme fatigue, and even an irregular heartbeat.
Want to make sure you’re nice and “clean” inside? Do your body a favor and skip the torturous and often expensive fancy cleanses and detox diets. Drink lots of water, limit your alcohol intake, and fill your plate with foods that boost liver and kidney function.
Tried any of these tips or have your own detox hacks? Let us know in the comments!