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When To Detox Diet

Detox diets have been growing ever more popular for the past several decades. There have been dangerous detox diets, such as the lemonade or grapefruit detox diets, where necessary food groups and nutrients are restricted.

More recently detox diets are being designed so they are healthier, including lemonade / grapefruit diets which have been modified so you are now getting the needed nutrients (often through vitamin pill supplementation or the addition of specific foods).

Personally my own fitness philosophy revolves around good old-fashioned healthy eating and lots of exercise - but I am a personal trainer and not everyone is as patient as I am. Eating good food in abundance, and not so good food in moderation, and avoiding horrible food entirely is just the beginning.

Good food and a consistent fitness regimen, is the tried, tested and true way - short cuts are more likely to result in yo-yo dieting. However there are some benefits to detoxification, so lets explore the pros and cons of detox diets:

Pros of a Detox Diet

#1. If you have always had an unhealthy diet containing a lot of horribly carcinogenic foods a detox diet may help to correct bad habits. Many detox plans will be restrictive, such as avoiding nightshade vegetables, or bread but will allow most vegetables, beans, and legumes. Simply trying a detox diet might break the cycle of a poor diet, so it's worth a shot.

#2. Placebo Effect. Sometimes just doing something - anything healthy that it - will help you to feel better about yourself. Whether it's because the diet is actually working, or due to the psychological benefit of sticking to a goal, it has the potential to make you feel good about yourself and accomplished. And if the cycle of positivity continues then you will just continue to feel better and better about yourself, making huge strides towards both eating better and exercising more.

#3. Identifying food sensitivities. It's very common to realize that your 3 PM fatigue, bloated or stomach upset has been caused by something you are eating. A detox diet will eliminate fast, processed, fried and (saturated) fatty foods, while increasing water intake - and a lot of people don't drink enough water. This can make a person feel much better and discover that a certain food, like pizza or french fries has been causing breakouts, or gastronomical distress, or even excessive farting.

Cons of Detox Diets

#1. You don't need to do a really radical diet to cleanse your body of toxins. We are already designed to detox our own bodies through our internal organs, to rid ourselves of toxins and pollutants. A rich and well rounded diet will take care of "body flushing" without huge food restrictions... all you really need to do is cut out the fatty foods, foods that are not "natural" (basically anything containing chemical additives) and avoid cigarettes and alcohol. (Which is harder for some people who can't stop themselves.)

#2. Many detox diets claim to aid weight loss. However, many of these diets combine food and beverages with diuretic and laxative effects. Basically, you lose a lot of water weight that will simply come back once the body is rehydrated, just like when we sweat. So if you do detox, remember to drink a lot of liquids.

#3. Long term detox diets can cause certain sensitivities to food that has been restricted - possibly even making you allergic. If you never had a problem eating bread, and then you stop eating it for a year, you may find that your stomach can no longer handle it. Do you really want to give up bread forever? Thus if you want to preserve you ability to eat certain foods you should still eat them once in awhile.

#4. Any diet that is not sustainable on a long term basis will not be an effective weight loss plan. As soon as the detoxee person eats normally again, it can all come back again (sometimes very quickly) as your body will think you were on a fast and will want to replenish itself immediately. You need to be thinking a long term change in your eating habits if you want long term results.

I am not against detox diets. In fact I encourage them, but they need to be done in such a way that you are not hurting yourself and you make some kind of permanent change so that you kick a specific habit - like giving up sugary chocolate and switching to small amounts of dark chocolate instead.

Healthy moderation and balance is the key to a healthy diet. Learning that is something you have to do yourself - and once you've learned it you realize that the sweets taste that much better because you only have them when you're having fun with friends or family instead of consuming them when your bored, lonely or depressed.

You really should only be detox dieting if you have genuine worries about toxins in your system - like if you are quitting smoking and you want to detoxify. Or quitting alcohol. Or you were recently poisoned by a jellyfish... Doing a detox diet to "lose weight" is not a necessity if you already eat healthy.

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