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Detox Dieting - A Useful Aid or a Silly Fad?

Posted by Jona

Open any magazine dealing with ‘celebs’ and their lifestyles and you’ll quickly read about detox dieting. More and more celebrities are singing the praises of even more weird and wonderful detox dieting plans. And because people who are anxious to lose weight will often try anything new and because ‘celebs’ have such an influence on the lives of us lesser mortals, we’re fair game!

However, we should never lose sight of the fact that any new diet plan needs to be scrutinized to see what the benefits are and what the potential dangers or side-effects are. This is even more vital when dieters already have health complications, as untried or irresponsible dieting plans can make these complications even worse. The aim of any plan we embark on should be to keep us balanced, healthy and strong. And this includes detox dieting plans.

Detox Dieting Benefits

Those in favor of detox dieting claim that our bodies are contaminated daily by impurities and toxins that are difficult to avoid. These include fumes from industrial pollution, from vehicle exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke, even from central heating and air conditioning systems. In addition there are the toxins we consume through alcohol, caffeine and many of our modern processed foods. Detox dieting, they claim, will rid the body of these harmful agents and allow the digestive system to do its work properly – thereby achieving balance, which in turn will facilitate weight loss.

Whereas most detox diets do lead to rapid weight loss , some people believe this is simply due to the fact that these diets impose many food restrictions!

The Downside to Detox Dieting

This leads us to the aspect of detox dieting that some people find unacceptable: they tend to restrict and even eliminate foods that the body needs for healthy growth and repair. Many people find it a step too far to avoid their favorites, such as dairy products, beef and fish, caffeine, sugar and alcohol. Avoiding some of these may cause no harm at all, but they make people yearn for them – and this can doom a dieting plan to failure. Avoiding others may mean the loss of essential nutrients. Malnutrition and other health complications may quickly follow.

One of the reasons why detox dieting plans come and go so quickly is that they are notoriously hard to keep to. The limitations may lead to the cravings suggested above, and these in turn will almost certainly lead to a breakdown in resolve and a sudden binge. And try enjoying a meal at a friend’s or in a restaurant when almost everything on offer is forbidden!

To sum up, then, detox dieting can be useful to give the dieter a quick boost before embarking on a balanced and gradual diet plan, but careful consideration should be given to following this type of plan for any extended time. There are many factors which can make it an unpleasant if not downright dangerous activity.

By Frank McGinty

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