During this time of the year “detox” and juicing diets are very popular. You might have considered them too as they promise both health boost and weight loss.
But what does actually happen to your body after a few days on “detox” diet?
You eat less calories for a period of time therefore you lose weight. Regardless of the expensive teas, roots and raw vegetables you will start consuming, the reason you will lose weight is CALORIES!
If you choose a detox that's devoid of carbohydrates you lose weight as body cells empty of fuel
and they dehydrate. Most of this weight loss will be water, stored glycogen(energy stored in muscles and liver) and waste products and the majority of it will be regained when you return to normal eating patterns.
Some detox diets can be extreme and, when followed for a sustained period of time, may lead to dangerous nutritional deficiencies.
If you just want to see the number on the scale go down, keep in mind most people however will binge post detox rendering the weight loss negligible and also negatively impacting your lifelong relationship with food.
“Detox” diets decrease the volume of work on digestive system as you're feeding yourself like newborn: Liquids and semi solids. This means less waste in your digestive tract and you feel lighter. Your pancreas typically gets hammered if you're 'juicing' though as you've just taken away all the 'essential' nutrients (fat, carbs, protein) your body needs (that means your body can't make them and has to get them from diet). Essential amino acids and essential fats deficiency impact all of your tissue, skin, hair, nails and the “detox" diet promoter will tell you it's impurities coming out. (Cells are malnourished).
Your skin will feel better as almost all detoxes involve drinking lots of water. For once in the year you're not dehydrated so yes your skin may well feel better.
Detoxing won't make your liver or kidneys work any faster or more efficiently than they already do.
There is no scientific evidence to support the need or the value of a detox and that’s because our bodies are designed to repair, regenerate and detoxify themselves. We have specific organs like the liver, kidneys, skin, digestive system and lungs as well as enzymes in our cells that work hard to break down and eliminate toxins and internal waste products. In fact, by cutting back on key nutrients like protein you’re far more likely to compromise rather than support your body’s ability to detoxify.
There is a better way to boost your health and lose weight. Stop alternating binging and malnourishment. Make sustainable changes to your habits and behaviours into the new year. Start small and with achievable things. Once you've achieved them move onto others.