The detox industry is a booming one. Detoxing is quickly becoming a popular dieting strategy amongst many people looking to lose weight and remove “toxins” from their body. At the same time, a recent literature review published in 2014 by the Journal of British Dietetic Association concluded that there is no compelling scientific evidence so far to support detox diets with respect to weight loss or health benefits. As a personal trainer in Mississauga, I question why detox diets are so popular despite the lack of evidence to support their effectiveness by the scientific community.
What are detox diets and why are they so trendy?
Detox diets are traditionally designed to help eliminate toxins from the body, promote health, and assist with weight loss through dietary restrictions. In the weight-loss industry in particular, their popularity has grown tremendously over the last several years. The diet encourages fasting and severely restricts calories to control what the participants can or cannot consume. Supporters of detox diets claim that the weight loss that people experience is due to the eliminations of toxins from their body. The word toxin, however, is very loosely defined in this industry and can include any organic or non-organic substance in the body that might be considered harmful to a person’s health. These diets typically involve the unnecessary large uses of laxatives, diuretics, vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants.
Are detox diets safe and effective for weight loss?
According to research from Macquarie University in Australia, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that detox diets are a safe and effective method for losing weight. In fact, the diet’s severe energy restrictions and nutritional inadequacies pose a huge health risk. Furthermore, many dieticians have spoken against fasting because it can lead to electrolyte imbalance, protein and vitamin deficiency, or hypoglycemia.
Are detox diets worth the try?
If you are looking for a diet for weight loss, stick to one that is supported by a qualified fitness professional so you don’t end up harming your body. As a personal trainer in Mississauga, I will tell you that fasting is never the right approach to weight loss no matter how appealing it sounds. Although you might see short-term results from severe fasting, it never works for maintaining a healthy weight in the long term. No diet is going to replace the weight loss results seen from eating natural, properly portioned meals, and, of course, by exercising.