Detox Diets 101 and How To Avoid Disastrous Health Consequences
Detox Diets are everywhere you look for quick-fixes for the body. These dietary methods are often one of the first recommendations made to those who are trying to improve their health and cleanse their bodies.
I CONFESS: I used to be swayed by Detoxes and Fix-Quick Diets back in my days of frustration and swinging from diet to diet. Maybe you’re no different than I used to be?
Back from 2008-2012 when my Binge Eating and Dieting cycles were at their peak, I would have never believed I was about to embark on an educational and transformation journey–one that would begin with some awful dieting advice and resultant psychological consequences, but ultimately lead me to nutritional discoveries nothing short of miraculous. I will get to that wonderful stuff, but first, let me share with you the basics of Detoxing.
Detoxes can come in the form of juice fasts, elimination of food groups, drinking certain teas, taking recommended supplements, and fasting. They appeal to those who have overindulged (maybe for a long time) and are trying to clean their body and try again. They may also appeal to those who feel inflamed or are experiencing constipation and other gut irritation.
In this blog post, I will be sharing answers to the following questions:
- What are toxins and free radicals?
- Does detoxing help with weight loss?
- How often should you be detoxing?
- How to recognize a Detox Diet Disaster.
If you’d rather listen to my podcast episode on this topic than read, click here to listen now.
What are toxins and free radicals?
Toxins are harmful agents, molecules, peptides, or proteins that can be found in nearly every food you eat (yes, even healthy foods), as well as in the environment. These toxins, when not properly eliminated from the body, are capable of causing disease when they come in contact with or are absorbed by body tissues.
Toxin build-up is rumored to be one of the leading causes of poor health, weight gain, and disease. As a Mind and Body Strategist, I choose to look at “toxins” as a label upon a combination of lifestyle factors that are not helping a person achieve a more optimal level of health.
Free radicals are reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species that are generated by the body. They are derived from normal metabolic processes or external exposure to X-rays, ozone, cigarettes, pollution, or industrial chemicals. But there is to be balance, and “when free radicals overwhelm the body’s ability to regulate them, a condition known as oxidative stress ensues.” (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov).
Your body is designed to eliminate toxins through one of three methods: exhalation, sweating, and evacuation. When your body is well fed with nutrient-dense foods (minimum of a Tier 1 of the Power Foods Lifestyle), the process of removing excess toxins happens naturally. When your body is mistreated through refined and processed foods, alcohol, tobacco, or other environmental factors like pollution.
Does detoxing help with weight loss?
Not in most cases that detox diets are designed. They do not support a healthy metabolic shift in actual body composition (ratio of fat to muscle) due to too much nutrient and energy (caloric) deprivation. While this may aid a reduction in scale weight temporarily, this is mostly from the depletion of glycogen stores (stored carbohydrates), intestinal evacuation, and water weight. This weight usually returns within 1-2 days following the detox diet’s completion.
Doing a starvation diet, juice cleanse, tea cleanse, or any other iteration of detoxing your body will not help you lose weight in the long run as you cannot sustain those habits. If you have any pre-disposition to over-consuming food (emotional eating, Sleep-Related Eating Disorder (SRED), binge eating (B.E.D.), etc., this may trigger these habits with greater intensity.
Most detox diets are short-term which make them very appealing to you psychologically and emotionally. Yes, you think. I can do this! But when you commit to a change in dietary intake only for the short-term, you set yourself up for greater frustration down the road and perpetuate the Diet-Binge cycle. My goal here at Body Buddies is to help you break that cycle through proper education and strategies to your nutrition and fitness optimization efforts.
How often should you be detoxing?
When you are eating a Power Foods Lifestyle (baseline Tier 1), your body will naturally be detoxing.
If you are just beginning to learn about the Power Foods Lifestyle, my 10-Day Power Foods Detox is a great place to start. This program is a food-based program that helps you learn, focus, and cleanse while priming your metabolism for the next level of your Power Foods Lifestyle learning. I take the majority of my custom coaching clients through this process before we move into the appropriate strategy for their unique and specific goals.
Once you complete the program, it can be effective to repeat the program in the frequencies below depending on your goals:
- Fat Loss (20+ pounds): Once per month*
- Fat Loss (<20 pounds): Every other month*
- Digestion Improvement: Every other month*
- Maintenance Healthy Lifestyle: Once every three months** in combination with another Body Buddies nutrition program until you arrive at Maintenance Healthy Lifestyle.
How to recognize a Detox Diet Disaster
It is important to arm yourself with knowledge of how to avoid a Detox Diet Disaster. With the way the internet and free-enterprise works, anybody could make up a cleanse and say it will clean out your body. It’s important you stop believing everything you hear and anything that appears in the first Google search you make. Because that program or article was a top hit, you may happen to think it’s factual and take the article you read seriously.
Three tips to help you recognize a Detox Diet Disaster include the following:
- Make sure the individual or company promoting the Detox Diet has credentials and, more importantly, experience with real people.
- Ensure the Detox Diet has appropriate amounts of calories (no fewer than 1,200 for women and 1,600 for men).
- Double check the protocol of the Detox Diet is building habits into your lifestyle that you will continue as sustainable.
One Final Word on Detox Diets . . .
As a Mind and Body Strategist, I look at not only nutrition and fitness optimizations, but more importantly the root cause of your behavior. This is often found in your emotional and psychological tendencies. When a person wants to do a “crazy diet” (yes, I am promoting my 10-Day Power Foods Detox as a “healthy detox approach, not a crazy one), there is usually something deeper going on.
When you keep falling short and running into the walls and the excuses you make over and over, you tend to look desperately for a solution. Emotions run your life and dictate your behavior and you’re very frustrated. You feel angry at yourself and feel helpless and lost. You might even feel you’re a failure in the health and body department. That is the root of this problem I call the “desperation dive.” If you’d like to hear more of what I have to say about the emotional side of this, please click here to listen to my podcast episode: Detox Diet Disasters.
How I Figured All Of This Out…
Nutritional healing is powerful,and I got my first taste of it when I started competing in Figure competitions in 2012. I swung from an excessive and obsessive life of binge eating, dieting, and excessive exercising into an excessive and obsessive life of controlled, calibrated dieting, strategic training, and narrow focus. In the midst of that first epiphany of learning about protein and veggie backbones (it just dawned on me one day while listening to a YouTube video on nutrition, I decided to start a Facebook page called Body Buddies.
From that time on, as well as starting my first blog called What I Wish I Would Have Known, people came to me for coaching. While I had been a certified personal trainer since 2010 and a dance teacher since 2002, I initially turned them down. I was still figuring it out and wasn’t ready to help others.
But after enough pleading, I did take on clients with one rule: we were to work as a team. I would research, they would comply, and we would treat their body as giving us data on my hypothesis. This process by which each of my clients have worked with me as a team has led to the greatest evolution in knowledge of the science that works in each unique person’s body for different goals. Now, having coached over 2,000 people at the time of this writing, I am so grateful for those years of working in the trenches with my clients.
I study the academia–peer-reviewed research, and books and other information put out by respected naturopathic doctors, therapists, physicians, and trainers. I absorb all of the information, then ask deeper questions to find the flaws in the data and research–to leave room for the what if scenario that may happen for someone. This inquisitive mindset has helped me to be teachable, and continue to refine my teaching of the Power Foods Lifestyle for all of my Body Buddies who find the information blessing their lives.
I love bridging the gap between the science of what we need to do and the practical daily application for you. It’s doable, and we love the high-level research. But everyone needs a “Kristy Jo” who can help them strategize the what, when, how, and why. I would love to be a part of your journey.
Here is a video of me telling the story in more detail if you’re interested.
Love your bud,
P.S. join my 100% Free Facebook group here to get strategic meal ideas, nutrition tips, and support from people working to be healthier too!