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Four Reasons To Advise Against Detox Diets

Why detox diets are not recommended

Four Reasons To Advise Against Detox Diets

So-called “detox” or detoxification diets are an increasingly popular trend, and your clients may ask for your advice about them. On the surface, it may seem like a good idea to begin a new fitness or nutrition regimen with a detox or “cleanse,” but science offers numerous arguments against the concept. Here are some of the reasons to counsel your clients against pursuing a detox diet:

1. The concept of a detox diet is unsupported by scientific evidence and ultimately counterproductive to weight loss goals. As the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide puts it, “There are no data on [detox diets] in the medical literature. But many studies have shown that fasts and extremely low-calorie diets invariably lower the body’s basal metabolic rate as it struggles to conserve energy. Once the dieter resumes normal eating, rapid weight gain follows.”

2. Your body does a great job of “detoxifying” all by itself. Filtering ingested toxins is the job of your kidneys, liver, lungs and skin, and they do it quite effectively.

3. Extreme dieting comes with risks. Depending on what specific foods the diet eliminates, there could be potential for deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances are another risk, particularly with diets that have laxative properties. Finally, diets with extremely limited calories make vigorous exercise inadvisable.

4. The positive effects of the diet can be attained in easier ways. Weight loss and increased energy can be attributed in large part to what isn’t included in most detox diet plans: processed and packaged foods, high-fat foods, and added sodium and refined sugar. Any diet that eliminates those foods in favor of fruits, vegetables and other whole foods is likely to make someone feel better and gradually lose weight, as long as it includes enough calories to fuel the body properly.

Even though detox diets might sound like a great shortcut for weight loss, there are more sustainable ways to achieve the same results, even if they may take a bit longer. Be sure to do your research before making any professional recommendations to clients about their nutrition and be wary of anything that sounds too good to be true.

Additional resources:
Detox Diets Debunked

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