No need to fast or purge yourself to rid your gut of bad bacteria. No diet, supplement or particular food will "cleanse" your body of "toxins". There is no such thing as toxins for the body other than poisons. Sugars, salts, caffeine, alcohol, etc., in and of themselves, are NOT toxic. Sure, in excessive amounts, the intake of any of these substances can become toxic. But, in general, a moderate intake of sugar (the body's primary source of fuel), salt, caffeine, alcohol, etc. is healthy. By the way, any weight that's lost from fasting within one to two days is mostly due to water loss, not fat loss. Prolonged fasting is not healthy because of the risk of malnutrition and disruption of the balance of electrolytes (e.g., sodium, potassium) and healthy intestinal microorganisms. There is no such thing as "resetting" your metabolism.
The risks of following a "detox" diet include:
- Decreased energy levels due to lack of nutrients and calories
- Slower digestion which may decrease metabolic rate
- Increased prevalence of headaches possibly due to increased nitrate intake
- Increased incidence of blood sugar fluctuations--not healthy if you're diabetic
- Decreased fiber intake which may cause a decrease in nutrient absorption within your intestine
- Decreased healthy fat intake
- Increased electrolyte imbalance
- Increased incidence of unhealthy "feast" or "famine" eating behavior--one extreme or the other which makes for a miserable experience
BOTTOM LINE: "Detox" diets are unnecessary and may be harmful. Save your money and avoid falling prey to any marketing claim for a product or diet that claims to "cleanse" your body of "toxins". The best way to "detox" your body is to ensure your filtering organs perform optimally. How? By living a healthy lifestyle including doing the following:
- Eating a healthy diet (i.e., cut down on excessive processed sugar, salt, and fat intake and eat plenty of fiber from fruits and especially vegetables and probiotics found in foods like yogurt)
- Avoiding tobacco
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Drinking lots of water and tea
- Getting adequate sleep, and
- Exercising regularly.
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."