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Debunking the Detox

debunk-the-detox-smoothie

Okay, raise your hand if you've ever done a detox! 

I have. 

All right, let me think. There was the high fiber cleanse from the health food store with the laxative pills, Master Cleanse (I think I may have done that one more than once), the juice cleanse at the end of this one diet that I never actually got to, the one cleanse I'd rather not mention, and juicing.

The idea of detoxing sounds beautiful, right? We'll be free from toxins! Free from the fat on our hips! Free from every effect of the Industrial Revolution! 

We'll look like one of those happy women in a stock photo!

happy-free-woman

But the truth is, there is very little, if any, scientific evidence of detox diet benefits; detox rituals such as juice cleanses rarely live up to what we think they will. In all my searching, I didn't find any studies done that proved these liquid regimens actually aid in long-term weight loss or the removal of specific toxins from the body.

While it's true that going on a ten-day juice cleanse is sure help you lose pounds and inches—not to mention make you feel lighter, thinner, and even euphoric—most people who embark on the regimens report that those feelings only lasted for the short term.

The truth is, our bodies are already equipped with organs that work to detoxify the body—namely the liver, the kidneys, and the skin. 

The best thing we can do to cleanse our bodies, then, is to support those organs and adopt some of the beneficial practices a detox plan provides. 

Dejunk. One of the main reasons a juice diet can help us feel cleaner is that they cut out the junk we may normally have trouble resisting on a normal day of eating. With the simple question of "Is it the juice I'm allowed to drink or not?" in our arsenal, we may find it easier to say no to things that contain artificial sweeteners, caffeine, refined sugars, and fried food.

So instead of just telling yourself what you can't have, make a list of foods you love that are clean and beneficial, such as wild-caught salmon, Greek yogurt, cauliflower and hummus, raspberries, or roasted asparagus. 

Water. I know. I know. You've heard it a jillion times. But it really is the key to having a body that functions—and cleanses your system—properly. 

Often, we think we are hungry when in reality we're thirsty. Next time you think you want a snack in the middle of the day, ask yourself, "When was the last time I drank a glass of water?" If it's been more than an hour or two, drink a glass, and then see if you're still hungry afterward. 

Drinking water can also help you feel full, so you may eat a little less than you would have without the drink.

Exercise. Not only will you be gaining the benefits of better muscle tone and cardiovascular health, you'll be getting rid of the toxins in your body by sweating it through your skin. 

Fiber. Getting enough fiber—both soluble and insoluble—is vital to keep things moving. 

Probiotics. Have you ever heard that your gut is your second brain? By keeping it healthy with a good quality probiotic, you can help keep your mood and overall sense of well-being in check.

Have you ever tried a detox?

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