It’s that time of year again when detox and diets start rearing there ugly heads. This year for the first time a well-respected scientific journal has highlighted just how ineffective dieting is. What is more they have made this statement about all diet regimes regardless of which of the macronutrients (protein, fat or carbohydrate) is manipulated. The other really significant development within this particular article was that it highlighted that lifestyle change was the key and that how to make this type of change was what should be researched in the future. Therefore that would seem to be the end of the diet argument. I don’t believe that for a moment and people will keep trying every diet on offer, especially if they are offering quick fixes and fast weight loss.
Diet to Detox
That then brings me to the topic of detox diets. These are being pushed on the premise that it is toxins in your body that cause you to either put weight on easily or it is these same toxins that mean your body can’t burn fat easily. The first thing to say about either of these theories is that there is no scientific and/or physiological basis for either. Your liver is perfectly designed to deal with toxins and your gastrointestinal system is exposed to these regularly and copes very well. I am sure some people are reading this either thinking ‘well I always lose weight when I go on a detox’ or ‘I always feel better after detoxing’. Well this is not really surprising given what most detox diets recommend. First off you are told to avoid caffeine and alcohol and drink plenty of water. You are then advised to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and avoid processed foods. Some detox diets will recommend that you also limit meat intake. Now last time I looked we called this healthy eating and as a pre-eminent professor of nutrition once pointed out “I don’t know why people do this in January when they should be doing this year round”.
You feel better because you are fuelling your body correctly giving it the right balance of all the required nutrients. It has nothing to do with the removal of toxins. You lose weight because your original diet was full of either calorie dense processed and fast foods. If you add alcohol to the mix not only does this increase the kcal intake dramatically but it has a profoundly negative effect on the health of your gastrointestinal wall. If your diet is now predominately fruit and vegetables with a good intake of water it is very likely you will now have a kcal deficit, hence the weight loss. You are also very well hydrated and this can make you feel a lot better and give you a load more energy. Your body is one big chemistry set and most chemical reactions that take place in your body require an aqueous environment (plenty of water).
So rather than embark on a short term detox or FAD diet why not start a healthy lifestyle eating regime and more importantly ensure you make changes that you are happy to stick with for the rest of your life. If you make this long-term commitment rather than the quick fix approach you will be well on your way to permanent weight loss and better long-term health. The choice is yours what do want –short term temporary gratification or long-term permanent good health?
The LEAN Man System is “Lifestyle Education for Activity and Nutrition” this is based on the long-term good health route. If that is what you want then sign up for the FREE seven videos to find out more. Simply complete the form below and start to receive some helpful nutrition tips.