Today the marketplace is cluttered with detox diets that promise to help you lose weight, boost your energy levels and more. However, many popular detox diets, especially those that involve extreme low-calorie fasting, can rob the body of important nutrients and place the body in starvation mode, which actually slows your metabolism. Other downsides of many detox diets include: dehydration, fatigue, dizziness, nausea and even colon damage.
Although their efficacy and safety are constantly scrutinized by the FDA and other organizations, manufacturers of thermogenic “diet pills” often claim that taking these supplements can help improve weight loss almost effortlessly by boosting your metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories). Some may also be at least somewhat helpful for decreasing your appetite, curbing cravings for junk foods and giving you more energy, which can be used for physical activity.
Deprivation never works. It is a painful struggle that will almost always result in failure. Instead of starving your body of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy, eat “more” good stuff. Break your meals down to 5 or 6 small ones a day to reduce snacking (which is when a good chunk of weight gain takes place for a lot of people) and to prevent your body from storing more fat-which is does when it feels “starved.” Also ask yourself why you’re eating in the first place-we so often eat out of boredom or nerves or stress. Wait until you feel a rumble and let your stomach tell you when it needs to eat.
If your goal is to detox your system, don’t waste your time or money. Your body is an expert at getting rid of toxins no matter what you eat. Toxins don’t build up in your liver, kidneys, or any other part of your body, and you’re not going to get rid of them with the latest detox wonder. Especially avoid diets that promise to detox your liver with supplements or “cleanse” whatever the diet determines needs washing out.
If you do these things on a weekly basis you are guaranteed to have fewer toxins in your body while enhancing overall health. We need to turn the short-term cleanse idea on its head. Cleanses can be helpful but they are often presented as binges. Binge cleansing is no better than binge dieting. We basically go crazy for 48 hours doing something that we couldn’t possibly sustain on a regular basis, then go back to our unhealthy lifestyle. We must turn this thinking around and adopt a detox lifestyle, where we are living in a healthy and reasonable way most of the time, so that we are constantly detoxing (because we are constantly exposed to unwanted chemicals). And save the binging for the bad stuff. Break down and have some yummy barbecue ribs and fries if you must. But make that the exception. Or maybe a cheese platter is your big weakness. As long as it isn’t a daily cheese platter.
Typically, skinny teas are composed of one or more of the following ingredients: green tea, mint, fennel, ginger, yerba mate, senna, dandelion and/or milk thistle. There’s nothing novel about these ingredients, and certain cultures have been using them as natural digestive aids for thousands of years, so each of these ingredients have proven themselves to be effective in alternative medicine, which is why they’re so commonly found in these teas. For example, the reason why people who are sick with a stomach flu are advised to take gingerale is the ginger content/flavor (although there isn’t much ginger in it at all). Similarly, Middle Eastern cultures are known for drinking mint tea after a meal, since mint leaves are also a digestive aid. Native South American cultures have been using Yerba Mate for thousands of years as a digestive aid to reduce bloating and/or constipation. All that being said, despite the fact that “skinny” is not synonymous with “healthy”, there is absolutely nothing wrong with drinking “skinny” teas that contain these ingredients. In fact, when I have a queasy stomach, I usually make a potent cocktail of grated fresh ginger, fennel seed, and muddled fresh mint.
While we don’t like to advocate cleansing as a weight loss tool, many find that this is a side effect of cleansing. If weight loss is your goal, cleansing can be a great way to lose the first few pounds, but more importantly, is a great way to reset your mindset and put a change to your eating habits while setting you on a path to better overall wellness!
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