Nothing is more alluring to those trying to lose weight than a quick fix. Power, pill or liquid—detox products promise lost pounds and inches in no time at all. But they can do more harm than good. Let's take a look at the facts and some better alternatives.
Many concoctions are nothing but caffeine, laxatives, intestinal irritants and other fillers and flavorings. They can make you feel energized (via the caffeine) and spend a lot of time in the bathroom (due to the laxatives). Cramping or odd sensations in your intestines (caused by the intestinal irritants) can fool you into believing the product is working.
Because these products are often combined with ultra low-calorie diets or complete fasting, the number on the scale goes down, furthering the hope that the product is working. During the process, your body fails to absorb the nutrients it needs to function properly.
You may lose weight, but it's likely water weight or possibly even muscle. Losing fat takes time and shows on the scale as one to two pounds lost per week, max.
The body does a perfectly good job on its own of "detoxing," using something it already has—your liver. Your liver is constantly ridding your body of toxins and maintaining its homeostasis.
Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on detox products, use the money to complete the following steps. This is how you naturally detox your body, jump-start your metabolism and lose extra weight for the long term.
- Cut out the junk: Don't eat processed foods such as cookies, crackers, chips, sugary cereals and sugary granola bars. Clean out your pantry and vow to purchase whole, unprocessed foods.
- Once you have dropped weight simply by reducing the junk, eat plenty of these foods: fresh and frozen plain fruits and vegetables, beans, lentils, skinless chicken breast, lean beef, salmon and other fish fillets, unsalted nuts, nut-only nut butters, olive oil, and whole grain bread/pasta/rice. It's time to go back to whole foods in their most original form.
- At each meal, fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, one quarter with lean protein and one quarter with whole grains. If you are an athlete in season, add another serving each of grains and fruit with each meal.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock