With the start of another year, so comes the collection of new diets, gym memberships, and resolutions to become fit and healthy. After months of holidays indulgence and a lackluster fitness routine, it may sound like now is the perfect time to give your body a detox and start the year off on the right foot.
But what exactly does a detox even mean? This article will explore what is involved with a detox diet, compare some of the most popular detox diets out there, and help you decide how to detox your diet routine the right way.
What Is A Detox Diet?
A detox diet is exactly what it sounds like: a diet that is aimed at ridding the body of toxins, provide more energy, and jumpstart the journey to a more healthy and balanced lifestyle. There are many different variations of a detox diet, but most of them include a period of fasting, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and plenty of water.
Despite being highly popular – especially with the celebrity crowd – there is no scientific evidence that detox diets actually work to remove toxins from the body. The inclusion of lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, water, and the elimination of processed foods and sugar are more likely the answer to the energy and general well-being experienced by those who try them. Here are some of the most common detox diets, and what you can expect with each one.
While the thought of drinking delicious and fresh-pressed juices all day may sound appealing, it doesn’t exactly live up to its hype. The diet involves drinking a fruit or vegetable juice every few hours for 3 to 5 days for every meal and snack. Besides water, no other foods or beverages are allowed during this time. While the juices may include lots of beneficial vitamins and minerals, your body is not getting the calories, fiber, and variety of nutrients it needs to function properly.
Essentially, you are starving your body for the duration of the cleanse, which is not the answer to long-term weight loss, maintenance, or muscle building. Try incorporating fresh-pressed juices into a regular balanced diet to enjoy both the taste and nutrients they provide, while also giving your body the energy it needs to build muscle and crush your workouts.
Raw Food Diet
If a juice cleanse sounds a little too extreme for you, the next thing to consider may be a raw food diet. This plan is based on the idea that raw foods contain powerful nutrients and enzymes that are destroyed with heat and cooking. Most of the foods eaten on a raw food diet include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs, and for the most extreme, sometimes even raw meat.
Even though fresh fruits and vegetables make up the bulk of the raw food diet, it can still lack many of the nutrients and calories the body needs to function properly if followed for an extended period of time. Try to incorporate a mix of both raw and cooked fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, cooked lean meats, beans, nuts, and seeds for a more nourishing and well-balanced and sustainable diet.
As illusive as the title may sound, the master cleanse is far from the ideal detox diet. The regimen, also referred to as the lemonade diet, calls for consuming nothing else but a concoction of lemon juice, water, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper for ten days straight.
Ultimately, the master cleanse is a starvation diet, which may guarantee weight loss but it comes at a high cost. While you may lose weight in a short amount of time, you are also slowing down your metabolism, and make it even harder for you to lose weight and keep it off once the torture of the cleanse is done. You are also robbing your body of necessary nutrients needed for daily growth and functioning, which can lead to serious health issues if the cleanse is done regularly or for an extended amount of time.
Instead of focusing on fast and short-term weight loss, it is better to make small and permanent changes to your diet and lifestyle for long-term weight loss and health. Here are some of the components that should be part of any and all healthy eating styles:
- A serving or more of fruits and/or vegetables at every meal and snack.
- Most beverage choices as water daily.
- Limited intakes of processed, refined, and high sugar foods.
- An enjoyable form of physical activity daily.
Now it’s your turn!
What’s your favorite way to get back on track to a healthy diet?
What’s the weirdest diet or cleanse you’ve heard about?