After a month of Christmas parties, mince pies, and drinking at noon on Tuesdays (hey, it’s Christmas!) you might feel like your body needs to detox for a month in order to recover.
While we’ve seen plenty of health benefits from cutting out the booze, the trend to go on trendy juice cleanses and detox diets for a few days, weeks, or months is more likely to make you lose £ pounds, rather than lb pounds.
There was a great article published in The Guardian back in 2014 entitled “You can’t detox your body. It’s a myth.” In it the author basically calls bullshit on the store-bought detox diets, and here are a few reasons we agree.
1. Your body detoxes itself
The first thing to remember is that your body detoxifies itself, if it didn’t you’d be dead. So fancy spa treatments and tubs of green powder will not change that. However, it can help to understand what your body needs in order to detoxify at peak efficiency.
2. Look after your liver and kidneys
While the kidneys are important in detoxifying the body, the main organ that removes toxins from your body is the liver. In addition to filtering your blood to remove toxins, it also uses a two-phase process to break down chemicals and toxins. In phase 1 toxins are neutralised and broken down into smaller particles, and in phase 2 they’re bound to other molecules in order to be – for lack of a prettier term – excreted (that means turned into poop and pee).
3. Get those vital vitamins
In order for the aforementioned processes to take place, your body needs sufficient nutrients such as B-Vitamins, flavonoids, branched chain amino acids, fish oil and the super-vitamins A, C and E. If you make sure you have a healthy level of these nutrients through a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, dairy and lean meats, your body can efficiently and effectively detoxify itself.
So eat properly! If you eat foods that support your liver and kidneys, or avoid foods that stress your liver and kidneys, you’re already detoxing every day.
DON’T do a cleanse
It may seem cathartic, and an easy way to shed some pounds and expel some toxins, but going on a cleanse will probably do your body more harm than good. And while fruits and vegetables are good for you, drinking nothing but fruit and veg juices and smoothies for a week, you’ll shed weight not toxins, and not the good kind of weight.
The water stored in your muscles will be depleted due to your low glycogen levels and as soon as you go back to eating normally you’ll gain that water weight right back.
You’ll be missing out vital nutrients like protein, fiber and fat, as well as lacking the energy to do much of anything in the gym. So all-in-all, just a bad idea.
Maybe just go to the gym instead
A better use of your money would be to sign up for a gym membership. There are plenty of venues that offer introductory offers and flexible memberships these days so don’t worry about getting ripped off.
Be sure to check out our list of gay-friendly and gay gyms in London if you’d like to work out in a more accepting space.