Detox Products: Do they work? Are they healthy?

Detox Products: Do they work? Are they healthy?


“I need to go on a detox *sick emoji*” – Facebook post from Susan, who’s overindulged on junk food and alcohol over the weekend.
‘Weight loss detox’ – slogan for super quick weight loss product. ‘Detox starts now’ *picture of lemongrass unicorn tea* – Instagram post from Claire who’s just returned from a 14 day all inclusive holiday in Benidorm.

When it comes to losing weight, or improving health, the word ‘detox’ is never far away. Like that one random guy who jumps in on your team photo on a night out. Who’s there, associated with you, but you just don’t quite know how he got there!


What is a detox?

According to the internet and to various weight loss companies, a detox is ‘a short period of time where you rid your body of toxins’. It usually involves drinking ‘cold-pressed juices’ or ‘fancy teas’. And it usually comes at a heavy financial cost. But that’s ok, cause you can’t put a price on health – right?


Is it science-backed?

After the night out analogy, you’ve probably already grasped the direction of this blog. And yes, you got it, it has absolutely no scientific backing. It’s kind of like the word ‘toning’… we are so programmed to seeing and hearing about it within the fitness industry that we just assume it must actually be a thing.

But did you know that our bodies already have an inbuilt ‘self-cleaning’ system to help rid us of toxins? The purpose of our liver, kidneys, skin and lungs is to rid our bodies of foreign chemicals.

Detox products sell us this idea that our bodies’ insides periodically need to be rinsed through by specific juices and herbal teas. Like Mr Muscle of the human pipe system; they clean the grimy toxins from the walls of our digestive system. But we have a highly efficient system that does that for us, unlike the U bend underneath your kitchen sink.

Chemical scientist, John Emsly, sums it up well, “there is no scientific reason for people to waste time and money on so-called detox regimes, fancy diets or expensive remedies, none of which can compare to the detox system that is already inbuilt into our natural system.”


My opinion

Every time I hear the word ‘detox’ I cringe, because it usually involves people putting their hands in their wallets. Like many other products within the fitness industry, you must be wise to the fact they are curated by businesses whose primary interest is to make money. Not improve your health or body shape.

Detox diets generally slam you into a massive calorie deficit. Playing on the fact that when stepping on the scales in the first few days you will see dramatic ‘weight loss’. Unfortunately, this weight loss is predominantly water weight from putting yourself into an unhealthy and unsustainable calorie deficit.

Point in hand? Detox diets and products are often the total opposite of what they state; they are unhealthy and potentially dangerous, as was highlighted in an extreme case of a woman who got brain damage due to being on a ‘detox diet’.


Take home point

If our body’s built in detox system had a voice it would be very angry at the idea of you wasting your time and money trying to detox your body, when it is already doing such a brilliant job.

You can, however, assist it by reducing the amount of toxins you put in it. Our modern lives, surrounded by alcohol and processed foods, means our inbuilt detoxifying systems are working over time. Sticking to a predominately wholefood based diet and minimising your alcohol intake is highly recommended.

From a weight loss point of view, a detox diet is a big no-no. Spend your cash on quality foods and maybe a respected personal trainer/nutritionist instead. Appreciate you cannot shortcut your bodies evolutionary functions in relation to weight loss.

If you want to become an online or gym floor client then visit the membership page of my website to be shown the real way to lose weight and improve your health.

All the love,

Sam Jones Fitness


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