The 14-Day Food Detox – Oxygen Magazine

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Cleanses sound appealing, we’ll give you that. But while the thought of rapid weight loss and ridding your body of circulating toxins seems magical and healing, fact is you may be doing more harm than good. Here’s why.

Society has done a great job of convincing us that we are walking toxic dumps — our systems replete with scary elements from non-organic foods, environmental pollution, artificial additives and sundry chemical compounds. These undesirable toxins wreak havoc on our health, bodyweight and energy levels, and the only definitive solution for expelling them is a cleanse. Right? Meh – not so much. 

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To date, there is no scientific research that supports the efficacy of a purging cleanse, and moreover there’s no data that reveals that these supposed lawless “toxins” even exist. True, a cleanse may help some people feel better initially — especially if their diet was filled with processed, high-calorie foods — and some people may experience a rapid drop in scale weight, but both these benefits are temporary.

Most cleanses or detox diets essentially starve your body of the essential nutrients and calories it needs, eliminating nearly all food groups and relegating you to handfuls of supplements, oddball drinks, laxative teas or even enemas. But no matter who you are, after a few days of severe calorie restriction, your energy will tank and fatigue will set in.

As for the weight loss, sorry to say it’s all water: When you eliminate carbs from your diet, your body releases the intercellular water that is used to metabolize those calories, hence you drop a few pounds. However, continued calorie restriction means eventual catabolism — in which your body uses your muscles for fuel — so while you might finish a cleanse weighing less, you’re probably still carrying around the same amount of body fat but now have less muscle, causing a drop in metabolism.

Au Naturel

Fortunately, these kinds of cleanses are an unnecessary experience because you were born with two corporeal cleansing tools — your liver and your kidneys. Your liver converts toxins like alcohol, heavy metals and medications into harmless substances. Those substances then travel to your kidneys, which filter your blood, remove wastes and expel them as urine. Frequent urination means you’re effectively detoxing yourself on the reg — no nasty beverages required.

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