If you have been on the diet front lately, you have probably heard of detox diets. Basically, detox diets are the next big player in the fad diet game.
Like Atkins, South Beach, even the cabbage diet, different detox diets are popping up. What exactly are detox diets, do they work, and are they safe?
The premise behind detox diets is that your body is full of toxins, many of which come from the foods you eat. A basic detox diet will have you fast for a certain period of time, which means you will not eat at all. You will then only eat specific foods that are believed to be toxin-free, completely refraining from other foods, such as sugar, red meat, wheat, and eggs. Most detox diets also call for a cleansing process during which colonics, or enemas, are used or herbal colon cleansers.
It is important to understand that detox diets are not really designed for weight loss; instead, they are to cleanse your body of harmful toxins. The goal should not be to lose weight. Secondly, there is a great deal of controversy over these diets and whether they are safe.
For the most part, the diets are meant to be relatively short term, or at least the most stringent part is. You will only be required to fast and undergo body cleansing for a few days. Anything longer will definitely cause health problems. Fasting for any length of time will cause nutritional deficiencies, fatigue, dehydration, and possibly eating disorders. Likewise, the colon cleansers that are used to rid the body of waste are basically laxatives that can also cause dehydration and nutritional deficiencies if used in excess. So it would seem that you are doing something very dangerous, but because you only do it for a short time, they try to pick out the potentially beneficial aspects of it.
While healthy people may be able to go on a detox diet, not have any complications, and potentially even benefit from it, a person that is not at their best should see a doctor before taking part in it. Likewise, children and teenagers should not go on a detox diet because their bodies still need a certain number of calories and fat grams to maintain healthy growth and optimal development. If there is any question, see your doctor before starting any diet plan.