Detoxing is something I hear about a lot and many people ask me questions about it. There are lots of products that say they help you to detox; teas, pills, books and diets (and they usually cost lots of money as well). But do they actually work?
The first question we have to ask is what is detox? The answer depends on the product you are using. Different products promise different things. Some will help you lose weight, others will burn fat, give you more energy, clean your body or get rid of toxins from your body. In fact a 2009 study by British scientists found that no company had the same definition of detox as the others. They also found that there was no evidence used to back up the claims of many of these products.
Let us assume that your detox is cleaning toxins from your body. But what exactly are these toxins? None of the products actually say which toxins they remove. The other thing that the products don't say is that your body already has a system for detox. Your liver and kidneys work all day to detox you (your body is amazing!). Your liver helps convert harmful substances (such as excess nitrogen and alcohol) to harmless substances that your body can then get rid of. Your kidneys filter your blood to remove waste products and excess water. These products are also then removed from the body (when you urinate). If you did not have your liver or kidneys working then you would not be alive.
The other problem with detox diets and products is they normally tell you to cut out certain food groups or eat very few calories. This means that you will lose weight while doing the diet but as soon as you finish you will put it back on. Because you cut out some food groups you will also be missing lots of nutrients your body gets from a balanced diet. So this detox may be harmful for you.
These products sell because people are looking for a quick and easy answer. Unfortunately it is never that simple. You can not eat junk food and drink too much all the time and go on a one month cleanse to repair your body. The only way to do this is to live a healthy lifestyle most of the time. But don't worry I have the answer!
To help you all I have devised a 3 step Detox Program
1) Quit smoking and cut down on junk food, alcohol and fizzy drinks.
2) Enjoy a healthy and balanced diet full of whole foods from all the food groups
3) Exercise regularly
This isn't really my program, it is recommendations that any good doctor, nutritionist or personal trainer will give you. I know this is not as easy as taking some pills or drinking tea but I promise you it will be a lot more effective and cheaper as well.