Pros and Cons to Cleansing Diets
Turning to a cleansing, or detox, diet after a period of unhealthy eating may seem like a good idea. Cleansing diets typically involve restricting food/beverage choices to a few different options and eliminating certain foods, notably dairy, some grains, caffeine, alcohol and sugar. The benefits range from clearer skin to weight loss to reduced symptoms of certain health ailments.
As with any type of diet, it is best to consult with a physician after which, consider the pros and cons before making a final decision.
While there is no scientific proof that cleansing diets actually rid the body of harmful microorganisms, the nature of these diets suggest that cleansing may take place. Many of the diets concentrate on eating natural, whole fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water and fruit juices. The increase in vegetable fiber helps to flush out the digestive system, and the influx in liquid consumption can cause you to visit the bathroom more frequently, ridding the body of substances in the blood and urine.
Restricting certain foods will result in reduced caloric intake, particularly moving from high-fat foods to fruits/vegetables. A certain amount of water weight will come off, which is a temporary benefit. If a healthy eating plan is implemented after the short-term cleansing diet, it may be possible to keep the weight off permanently.
Indifference. After one week on a restricted diet, you may no longer crave the foods you thought you needed on a daily basis. The diet may serve as a catalyst for a change in eating habits.
Some people report that cleansing the body gives them more energy.
Some doctors argue that a detox diet is not healthy because it can lead to nutrition deficit problems. By limiting the foods you eat, you may not be getting all of the essential vitamins/minerals your body needs.
Restricting foods could backfire. If the body feels it is being starved by a lack of eating, it could actually go into a "power-saving mode." Your metabolism slows down to conserve the amount of your stored fat. Therefore, eating less may stop weight loss.
Side effects could include fatigue, confusion, dizziness, and headaches, which may occur from calorie/food restriction. These symptoms may abate when you include more foods back into your diet.
It may be possible to develop an eating disorder if the results of a cleansing diet are positive. Instead of engaging in the diet for a limited period of time, you may be tempted to continue in a strict restriction of food, which may be unhealthy in the long run.