By Anthoney J. Andersen – Steroidal.com
America. 2015. A place in time where Hollywood continues to show its utter lack of originality, and a place where Americans stick to disrespecting their bodies by cramming their faces full of fatty/high caloric foods as a way to achieve – or at the very least – stabilize some shred of happiness.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for 2014, it was documented that 27.7 percent of the nation was obese. That’s up from the 2013 rate of 27.1 percent, which was the highest annual rate ever measured by the CDC.
So, people are probably asking themselves: “What can I do to lose weight? Which diet is the best?”
The good news is there are a plethora of diet plans offered by physicians and nutritionists alike. And one of the more popular diets that has gained widespread attention in the past few years is the infamous – ‘Detox Diet’.
WHAT DOES IT ENTAIL?
Before starting any diet regimen, it’s best to first research not only the benefits, but also the drawbacks and potential damage that it can do to your body.
With that said, detox diets have become widely popular in the recent years, but they are not scientifically proven to work. Most detox diets come packaged and labeled with the promise that they will flush out toxins from your system.
According to WebMD, detox diets can be risky, and possibly do more harm than good. So, the following are a few helpful tips about detox diets that you should know about before venturing down that avenue.
One of the most popular forms of detoxification is the ‘liver cleanse’. The liver is one of the organs in the body that is often forgotten about until it fails. Excessive drinking and the consumption of certain drugs – like steroids and other performance enhancing supplements – have been known to poison the vital organ and cause severe health problems.
According to Mayo Clinic, the liver is responsible for much of your body’s detoxification functions. It not only has the capability of eliminating toxins from your body, but it’s also responsible for digesting food, storing glucose for energy, metabolizing proteins and fats and breaking down and flushing out toxins that you might ingest.
The first phase in the liver cleanse is fasting, followed by a very strict diet, which usually involves various teas and herbal remedies. According to Health.com, the average fast lasts about two days, but the details of the fast differ. For example, some call for the consumption of water, fresh juices and salads – while others focus more on apple juice, Epsom salts, olive oil and lemon juices.
The fasting portion of the cleanse can be daunting and frustrating both mentally and physically. You’re going to want to eat (obviously), but you want to fight that hunger the best you can.
According to Weightlossnutrition.org, if you must eat, eat raw salad. Over the next few days, you can gradually increase your consumption of solid foods – remembering to avoid things like red meats, alcohol, fried foods, caffeine and other foods that contain high levels of sodium.
While on the liver cleanse, you should eat mostly raw fruits and vegetables, while making sure to drink plenty of water. You should only eat one cooked meal a day, and it should consist of cooked vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
THE COLON CLEANSE
The second popular type of cleanse to detox your body is the colon cleanse. Now, there are different ways to cleanse your colon – you can do it in the form of powdered or liquid supplements that can be taken orally and through the rectum like an enema – or you can focus on some of the natural ways to flush out your colon, via healthy foods.
The gastrointestinal tract can cause problems for a lot of people due to the types of foods they put into their bodies, which happen to lack many of the essential vitamins and nutrients necessary for the body to function at peak performance.
According to Naturalnews.com, digestive problems no longer have to be a cause for concern. With a few minor changes in diet, a person can correct many colonic issues.
According to Healthnews.com, many advanced colon-cleansing practices include whole apples, applesauce, apple juice, or apple cider vinegar because they contain certain properties that make it a powerful cleansing agent.
Apples are not only high in fiber – which is essential for proper digestion – but it’s also rich in pectin – a carbohydrate compound that acts as a thickening agent inside the gut.
FLAX AND CHIA SEEDS
Flax and chia seeds are unique and highly beneficial to everyday health because they contain fats and fiber that help promote healthy digestion and a clean colon. Both are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which has been known to reduce inflammation. This can be essential to athletes and bodybuilders who suffer from muscle soreness and inflammation from intense training.
“You want things in your diet that are multi-functional in that they have micronutrients in them like vitamins and minerals, and also help with digestion and fiber,” says Sheah L. Rarback, M.S., director of nutrition at the University Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida. “Omega-3s are an added benefit and can help with inflammation, which is the cause of certain chronic conditions.”
THE POTENTIAL DRAWBACKS
What’s interesting about detox diets nowadays is that it’s not only attracting people who are overweight, but it’s also garnering the attention of both normal-weight and fit people. However, many people go into the diets without researching the potential drawbacks that comes with fasting and reducing your food intake.
“Extreme detox diets are not nutritionally balanced,” says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, a Maryland-based medical doctor and registered dietician. “When you’re not getting enough protein and calories, you can lose muscle mass and experience dangerously low blood sugar, which can cause you to pass out and create electrolyte imbalances that – in extreme cases – can lead to a heart attack.”
Of course, not all detox diets take you down the ‘starvation approach;’ some allow you to supplement a shake with a respectable amount of calories (around 1,200 per day) and protein.
In today’s society, where obesity continues to be on the rise, the need to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle has become more crucial than ever. The body can be very forgiving depending on the damage that has been done to it, but toxins in the human body are poisonous substances that are known to cause harm.
So, the question still remains: can a person actually flush out all the poison and reverse the harm that they’ve done to their body? Or is it simply too late?