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5 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Detoxing: A Doctor Explains

Exercise during a detox

  • Continue with your regular exercise routine, provided you really listen to your body. 
  • Walking is detoxifying, as is burst training.
  • Be sure to hydrate well after a workout — detoxing requires significant water consumption in order to flush out toxins.

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5 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Detoxing: A Doctor Explains

5 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Detoxing: A Doctor Explains

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-15063/5-things-i-wish-everyone-knew-about-detoxing-a-doctor-explains.html

mindbodygreen.com

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Key Ideas

Detoxing ≠ juicing or cleansing

Juicing or cleansing practices are techniques for detoxing. 

There are dozens of different protocols you can follow to perform a detox, though not all are created equal when it comes to safety or efficacy, and they don't necessarily need to include juicing.

Your body's detoxing systems

The effects of modern life — pollution, poor dietary choices, contaminants in our food and water, stress or a sedentary lifestyle — can compromise the body’s ability to effectively detox the way it’s supposed to. 

The result of this toxic internal “congestion” is that we gain weight, develop diseases and lose our natural energy and vitality.

Tired or sick

While it’s normal to feel somewhat fatigued during the first few days of detox, most experience more energy and sleeping better once they’ve adjusted.  Mostly, detoxing shouldn't make you feel tired or sick.

Part of the reason for this is that your body is doing less work digesting, which means you’re getting the benefit of that saved energy.

You won't be hungry all the time

  • Don't give up solid food during a detox, as this can imbalance your blood sugar levels and potentially disrupt your hormones. 
  • Do eat a diet that consists of mostly vegetables, lean protein sources, some fruits, raw nuts and seeds, and perhaps a minimal amount of gluten-free grains like rice or quinoa.
  • Give your body a break from “offender” foods like alcohol, sugar, caffeine and dairy. 
  • Curb hunger on a detox with plenty of healthy fat, which is found in foods like avocado or coconut oil.

Exercise during a detox

  • Continue with your regular exercise routine, provided you really listen to your body. 
  • Walking is detoxifying, as is burst training.
  • Be sure to hydrate well after a workout — detoxing requires significant water consumption in order to flush out toxins.

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Detox and its limitations

Detox diets are generally short-term dietary interventions designed to eliminate toxins from your body.

A typical detox diet involves a period of fasting, followed by a strict diet of ...

Most Common Ways to Detox

Most detox diets involve at least one of the following:

  • Fasting for 1–3 days.
  • Drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies, water, and tea.
  • Drinking only specific liquids, such as salted water or lemon juice.
  • Eliminating foods high in heavy metals, contaminants, and allergens.
  • Taking supplements or herbs.
  • Avoiding all allergenic foods, then slowly reintroducing them.
  • Using laxatives, colon cleanses, or enemas.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Completely eliminating alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, and refined sugar.
Which Toxins Are Eliminated

Detox diets rarely identify the specific toxins they aim to remove. The mechanisms by which they work are also unclear.

There is little to no evidence that detox diets remove any toxins from your body.

However, your body can clear itself of most toxins through the liver, feces, urine, and sweat.

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Your body doesn't need outside help to detox
Your body doesn't need outside help to detox

Your body is capable of handling toxin removal all on its own. 

While it's true that things like a regular habit of drinking too much can eve...

Detoxing is not an easy fix

After end-of-year binges on unhealthy and often processed foods, the post-New Year's detox can feel right. People love a quick fix.  The issue is that they're just not sustainable.

True health is about making long-lasting changes that you can stick to, and that's the opposite of what a detox really is.
Slashing certain macronutrients

Carbs, protein, and fat are the trifecta of perfection for keeping your body healthy. 

  • Carbs offer both physical and mental fuel, 
  • protein helps keep you full and is the building block of muscle, 
  • fat is satiating and prettifying (it often has skin-improving antioxidants). 
When you eliminate these important nutrients, you may see slowed metabolism from drastically decreasing calories, dry skin, decreased energy, and crankiness.

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Detoxing is a hoax
There's no evidence that drinking a series of juices, teas, or any of other so-called 'detox' product...
Toxins explained

A toxin is something that can be harmful to you, but this is about as broad a term as it gets. There's a spectrum; toxicity depends on what it is and how much you take in. 

The urge to detoxify your body come January has nothing to do with a buildup of toxins. Feeling bloated and fatigued is the result of the entire gingerbread village you ate on Christmas and washed down with a gallon of champagne on NYE.

Your liver helps you detoxify
Pretty much everything you do ingest goes straight to your liver, where some complicated chemistry determines what to do with it. 

If it's something useful the liver sends it out into circulation, but if it's not immediately usable or could be harmful, your liver has enzymes to neutralize it and send it off as waste to be removed from the body through urine, mostly.

The best you can do to help your liver out is to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. That, and exercise.

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