Detox diet: a fad or a lifestyle?

Written by Marian Pagulayan , as originally posted at the Philippine Online Chronicles.

Now that “ber” months have officially arrived, we are not spared from that holiday eating spree in the next few weeks. With all the delicious food to choose from during this season, who can’t resist to indulge some extra sugar and carbs once in a while?

For diet buffs and health conscious people, a so-called “detox diet or cleansing” is the perfect solution to undo the effects of the coming “cheat” days and to get their bodies back in shape. But before you give it a try, you may want to know what it is all about.

Detox defined

juiceDetox or cleaning has become a new diet trend and many people – especially women – are attracted to it. The concept has been made famous by some of our favourite local and international celebrities and bloggers who credit their healthy and slim bodies to it (as seen in their Instagram posts). Even Dr. Mehmet Oz of the famous “The Dr. Oz” show had an episode focusing on detox diet back in 2011.

Although detox regimen varies, “they generally entail a ‘juice fast’ lasting days or weeks and often include a ‘cleanse’ with limited food and/or ‘detoxifying elements,’” an online medical article states. Its potential to produce dramatic weight loss is what makes it tempting to many dieters. Not only that, detox diet is also believed to help improve overall health by flushing those impurities and toxins from your body.

“I like it because it’s like a substitute for solid food. It keeps me full and energized. I also noticed that my skin got better!” says Anna Bettina Pangalangan, a 23-year-old advertising professional who started her detox cleansing early this year. Her detox regimen involves juicing (beets plus carrots, apples), detox water (lemon, lime, cucumber), and tonic made with apple cider, calamansi, and honey.

“Be careful not to overdo it,” Anna adds. “Besides, real food is also needed by the body. These days I use it to complement my food intake. I suggest you go to a market and do everything from scratch. It might take some time before you get the hang of it, but with proper diet and exercise, you can really benefit from it.”

Twenty-eight year-old architecture professional Joie Clemente has been doing detox cleansing on intermittent schedule.” Just like Anna, she added some cucumber, mint leaves, and lemon (whichever is available) in her regular drinking water. “Though I felt that it helped detoxify my body, I found it to be costly and tedious to prepare,” she says.

What do experts say

detox-smoothiesSome medical experts note that detox diets have restrictions and should not be taken to extreme levels. Although it’s being done by many, it doesn’t mean that it’s applicable to everyone. But if you really want to embark on it, it’s best if you consult a certified nutritionist or dietician first.

At the end of the day, taking care of one’s body is our sole responsibility. Sans any form of detox diet, our body has a natural and self-detoxification organ that will help filter those feared toxins – the liver. “You just have to give it a good fuel in the form of healthy food” a health expert says. “Besides a lifetime of good, healthy eating is going to be more effective than a short-term cleanse.”

So don’t just start a detox diet because it’s a fad. Measure if your body really needs it and how your overall health will benefit from it. (Experts’ insight source: www.ideafit.com)

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