The Sinister Side of Detox’s

Ever thought that embarking on a quick detox diet will be the quick answer to your health goals? Detox diets and products have become a thing of norm among the world of Instagram and influencers but these detox promises can often cause more damage than good. Read on to hear about the dark side of detoxes by our in-house nutritionist.

Detox teas
Often touted to help you get a “flat stomach” or “lose weight”, these detox teas can be packed with ingredients that you wouldn’t find in your standard herbal infusion. One of the reasons you may get ‘results’ from these teas is the addition of laxatives – products that promote increased bowel movements and diuretics – ingredients that make you urinate excessively.

When used in excess, laxatives can irritate the gut and lead to diarrhoea, dehydration and stomach cramps. They impact nutrient absorption and in the long-term affect the way your bowels work.

One of the main ingredients to watch out for is Senna – a natural laxative that can be helpful in the short run for periods of strain or constipation but is not for long term consumption!

Fasting is an ancient ritual that has been used for centuries, and while certain dietary regimens that include some fasting have been shown to be beneficial, there is a dark side to fasting. Fasting for long periods of time can leave people dehydrated, increase risk of fainting or dizziness, can trigger additional stress in the body and can impact female sex hormones. If you want to introduce fasting to support your health, start with a 12 hour fast and incrementally increase the hours over time until you get to a comfortable point without feeling shaky or low in energy – with a good upper time frame of 16 hours fasting.

Weight loss pills
They may seem appealing, but the rows of pill bottles to help you shed weight or speed up the metabolism are far from miracle cures. They are often packed with caffeine, capsaicin (a chemical from jalapenos), green tea, L-carnitine and chromium. Studies suggest that some of these ingredients can impact appetite and calorie burn however the direct impact they will have on your weight loss journey is likely to be limited. And high consumption of some ingredients such as caffeine and L-Carnitine can have negative side effects.

It is agreed among diet and health professionals that the most sustainable, healthy way to lose weight is to move, de-stress and eat a well-balanced diet!

Juice cleanses
A juice cleanse can have its benefits. Giving your digestive system a break, can help you pack in nutrients and keeps you hydrated. However, long-term or very regular juice cleanses can leave you lacking in nutritional intake. Fat and protein are two macro nutrients groups that are key for health, and missing in a juice cleanse diet. Additionally, juicing can leave us with little fibre to break down which is not good for the gut! If doing a juice cleanse, opt for predominantly green juices and keep it to a short period of time or add in some protein rich snacks.