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Q&A: Is it Necessary to Detox Before I Start a Diet?

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Q: In order to get a fresh start before dieting, should you “clean out” your system?

A: Absolutely not—it can actually dangerous! Restrictive detoxification diets like Master Cleanse and Fruit Flush promise miraculous weight loss, healthier skin, and dozens of other health benefits. These diets are popular, especially among celebrities, but there is a lot of misinformation about the actual benefits.

Limiting your daily intake to water-based concoctions (mixed with cayenne pepper, lemon, and maple syrup, among other things), has a number of unpleasant side effects. One of the major downsides is a lack of nutrients. While you may drop pounds at first, this is water weight. Once you’ve deprived yourself of calories and nutrients for long enough, you body begins to breakdown muscle tissue.

So, if you exercise during this time period with hopes of losing even more weight, you’ll be energy deficient and feel fatigued. With an extreme imbalance of calories and nutrients, you’re breaking down muscle tissue even more. In addition to muscle breakdown, detox diets also reduce the body’s ability to fight illness (decreased immunity), cause unpleasant bowel issues due to deprivation, and can—if practiced for too long—lead to kidney and diabetic issues due to hypoglycemia.

A better way to lose weight: Start eating healthier and exercising today. If you want to decrease the amount of toxins in your body, lose weight, and feel healthier, eat a clean diet loaded with veggies, fruits, fiber, and lots of water. With a healthy diet, your body’s liver and kidneys will work to naturally rid your body of toxins.

Tags: Health, Weight Loss, Q&A