Recently, we were told that we nutritionists are against “detox” cures and diets. At first, we wanted to defend ourselves by saying no, and then finally we were inspired this article, because in reality, the answer is yes.
In fact, it’s not that detox / cures aren’t popular with nutritionists, it’s rather that they haven’t been scientifically proven to provide any benefits. Our work is based on scientific evidence … Holders of bachelor degrees in nutritional science, it is normal that we advise you based on these.
That being said, the reasons why we can refute the use of these drastic methods depend on what kind of cure / detox we are talking about and most importantly, for what purpose. We could therefore expand on the subject for several articles, but we will limit ourselves to making a brief update here.
The concept of detox
The theory would be that our way of life is filled with toxins, pollutants, that the body clogs up over time and that waste accumulates. Detox diets therefore aim to purify the body of all this dirt via various techniques: juice cures, glass of apple cider vinegar before eating, etc.
You should know that the body does NOT need any help to eliminate toxins. Yes, the body produces waste. On the other hand, it is able to get rid of it by itself. This is also the main function of the kidney and liver … If they did not work well, we would probably be very sick or worse … dead.
Many detox diets also aim to help lose weight.
First, many detox products contain laxatives – so obviously if your bowels empty for a whole day, you are less heavy.
Normally, we will also eat little and consume only juices (if we are doing a juice cleanse). Obviously, juice will never replace the amount of calories you eat every day. Result? There will be a big calorie deficit and we will lose a few pounds. However, a juice cleanse is often short-lived, because we cannot survive very long by cutting off all sources of energy to our body … In such a short period of time, it is not fat that will be lost, but muscle and water. We therefore have the illusion of being “clean” because we are momentarily lighter.
Why we aren’t so warm at the idea of detox diets is not the fact of wanting to do a cure as such. After all, it’s good to want to be healthy!
A. Detox diets and clean eating
It is rather the fact that a good part of the population does not eat in a balanced way (not enough vegetables, a lot of red meat, alcohol in large quantities, eating out several times a week or prepared meals) , then try a cure in the hope of “erasing” all that.
We agree that if we ate well most of the time ( most of the time, not 100% of the time!), we would have nothing to “erase” …. Indeed, most people who come to us do not consume enough fruits and vegetables, to name just one example. Already, if we started by consuming 1/3 to ½ of our plate of vegetables, we would feel less full, lighter, less bloated, and we would even have more energy.
B. Detox diets and weight loss
We could also talk to you about the importance of moving more, limiting alcohol intake, reducing stress, etc. because these are all factors that have a major impact on your health.
Like any drastic diet, it’s a vicious cycle. After the cure, we eat well because we feel invigorated and motivated by weight loss, but afterwards we quickly fall back into our old habits … It’s normal, the cure did not teach us anything about good eating habits ! That’s when we’ll decide again in a few months to do a second cure … and the vicious circle continues to turn. As you can imagine, there is nothing better than a good old change of lifestyle, balance (we eat well 80% of the time, we eat pleasure foods 20% of the time) and variety to be healthy and feel good, all the time.
In summary, before attempting a drastic gesture such as a cure / detox / diet to solve a problem (whether for weight loss, due to poor digestion, an accumulation of fatigue, etc.), you must start by looking at what you can change in your current diet, which is FREE and less drastic. Yes, it’s more difficult to change our lifestyle. It takes a fair amount of motivation, hard work and patience, but in the end, it costs less, and it’s good forever 😉