Along with new year comes New Year’s resolutions and for many people that will mean drastic diets and detoxes, not least in the wake of the indulgences of the festive season. But before you reach for the latest cleanse pack, starve yourself with the latest fad diet, or jump on board the latest juice cleanse, here are the reasons not to.
Nutritionist and sports scientist Chloe Moir tells us why there are better and more healthy ways to nurture and nourish your body in the long term.
1. The human body does an amazing job of cleansing all by itself without the need for expensive detox drinks and potions. The colon, kidneys, liver, and skin naturally metabolise and remove toxins from the body.
2. The few kilos that you shed during your detox diet will be body water and stored carbohydrates. Both of which are usually gain right back once the calorie restriction is over.
3. Detoxing and severe calorie restriction can cause dizziness, fatigue, and will compromise your immune system. Once the immune system is down, your body is less able to fight off viruses that you encounter every day.
4. Your training in the gym will be compromised as you will not have the energy to exercise while living off minimal calories. This will set you back in your training programme and it is highly likely you will lose muscle mass.
5. The increase in bowel movements or ‘colon flushing’ you experience during a detox is not from years of colon build up and toxin blockages. It is purely due to an increase in fiber, from all those green smoothies you have suddenly started drinking.
If you really want to make a difference in the amount of toxins that you ingest, make long-term change behavioural changes instead of starving your body for a week. Start to buy local and organic produce, exercise regularly, get 7-8 hours sleep each night, improve your digestion and eat more natural earth grown nutrients and less foods from packets.
Author: Melanie Swan is a journalist, blogger, Yoga teacher (RYT200 Yogaworks/Yoga Alliance), and Reebok yoga ambassador. Check out more of her writing on her personal blog, Desert Swan.