The Delusion of Detox Diets
Before you buy your next detox kit, do this for me-- open your wallet, take out all of your money, drop it into your toilet, and flush it down. Congratulations, you’ve just found a better use for your money than spending it on a detox!!
Just kidding guys, please don’t do that.
In all seriousness though, we need to address all of these delusional views on detoxes. There are so many people who use these drastic measures to kick-start their weight loss journey or to “cleanse” the body after a weekend of indulgence. The most popular detox methods utilize extremely restrictive dieting practices that last anywhere from 3 to 21 days. These methods may include drinking nothing but juices or smoothies for a week, eating nothing but raw vegetables, or even not eating anything at all.
These unsustainable measures are unnecessarily intense and unpleasant for most people. Join me for a quick little game of “true or false” to see if detoxes are really worth all the hype.
#1 True or False: detox diets detoxify your liver and cleanse your colon.
By “detoxifying the liver” or “cleansing the colon,” countless products on the market claim to help us optimize our bodyweight, our health, and our beauty in just a matter of days. But let me be clear, the answer is FALSE. There is NO evidence supporting the claims that these products make. Unless you are undergoing an intensive rehab process from alcohol or drug addiction, there is unlikely to be any true detoxification going on in your body.
#2 True or False: detox diets can help you lose weight.
This one is technically true, but any weight loss sustained on a detox diet is purely temporary. The water weight and what little bit of fat mass that may have been shed will come right back once you stop the detox and resume your prior nutrition habits. What do you expect after essentially NOT eating for 3 weeks?
#3 True or False: detox diets give you more energy and mental clarity.
Many people do anecdotally report feeling increased energy and clarity while on a detox diet, but this is largely attributable to placebo effect. While many may believe they are feeling the profound effects of “toxins leaving the body,” it’s probably more so related to the satisfaction of perceived progress and having taken actionable steps to do something positive for themselves and their body.
Investing in a detox may thrust you into having a more “health-centered” mindset, but it is the behaviors which follow the detox period that determine your long-term progress. Detox diets do nothing in terms of helping you build sound habits and foster independence in making constructive choices related to your health and wellness, which is why any “progress” that was made during the detox is essentially erased in about the same amount of time it took to achieve it. You’re left with an empty wallet, an empty toolbox, and an empty stomach.
Some people claim that they just need that extra “push” to get started, and when an ad pops up promising to help you “drop 30 lbs in 30 days” it’s hard to look the other way.
I cannot stress this enough: you will have much more luck in reaching your body composition and health goals by focusing on the proven and sustainable fundamentals of nutrition and exercise.
As always, you don’t have to go do it alone. Our Hybrid Nutrition coaches can help you resist wasting your hard-earned cash on these senseless detoxes and navigate countless other nutrition myths to help you reach your goals and feel empowered in the pursuit of them.
I want to hear about the most ridiculous detox claims you’ve seen-- leave your comments below!