Why Detox Diets Are Dodgy And Don’t Work

Have you ever been seduced by the phony weight-loss claims of popular detox diets?

You’re not alone. These days, everyone’s looking for a quick fix and multiple ads screaming at us to pop the latest pills and/or try “miracle” liquid diets can be very persuasive.

RELATED: Are You Addicted To These Fatty Foods?

Perfectly smart, sane women I know have completely lost their minds over these fad diets and been very disappointed with the results.

Leading Sydney dietitian, nutritionist and author Susie Burrell (pictured) says this isn’t surprising given detox diets are a sham and can do way more harm than good.

detox diets, healthy eating, weight loss

Susie, who recently launched her new program: Shape Me, The 30 Day Plan, says our bodies are already highly efficient at waste removal.

“The first thing to keep in mind when considering a detox or period of rapid weight loss is that the body does not actually need to be detoxed – the liver and the kidneys already do a very good job of this,” Susie says.

“And for this reason, any pack of pills and potions that cost $39.99 and promise you the world are not likely to really be doing much at all!

“But what tends to happen is when people follow a strict regime, they lose weight quickly (or fluid) and think it is the detox diet when really it is just not eating much at all, or plenty of fresh food without the caffeine, sugar and processed foods,” Susie says.

“Poor diets without adequate fluid and fibre can mean we feel less than our best and think a detox program will fix that – instead, it just gives us something specific to follow.”

And here’s the important health warning, ladies: these bogus detox diets are not good for you, despite what clever marketers would have us believe, and do not provide any actual benefits.

“In general, anything that eliminates a large number of food groups; or encouraging no food is not safe or healthy long-term,” Susie says. “The dangers can include a reduction in metabolic rate as our body breaks down muscle to fuel itself; hunger; fatigue; abdominal distress; diet cycling and becoming obsessed with food.

“And another big issue I have with commercial detox programs is that they also may contain a number of additives which can potentially give cause for concern.

“While we do need a certain number of vitamins and minerals to allow our body to function optimally, more and more of these essential nutrients are not a good thing, and in fact could even be toxic long-term.

“For this reason, any program that encourages multiple vitamins, supplements, herbs and powders should be approached with extreme caution. Even the good, old ‘protein shake’ needs to be checked, as many varieties contain the full ratio of essential nutrients which means that consuming several of these a day may leave you vulnerable to constipation and exposed to a toxic level of some nutrients.”

detox diets, healthy eating, weight loss

So, is good, old-fashioned regular exercise and a balanced diet still our best fast track to weight loss?

“Yes, boring but yes!” Susie says. “I also recommend calorie control, plus more fruit and vegetables; less crap and lots of movement.

“Eliminate all of your processed foods, cakes, bars and snacks and simply get all of your nutrition for a week or two from clean, whole foods.

“While it may not sound as flash as the latest and greatest program, you are guaranteed to feel better, lose weight and save some serious cash in the process, without doing any possible damage to your body long term.”

Meanwhile, the Dietitian’s Association of Australia (DAA) has also publicly condemned detox diets, saying the science shows they’re dangerous and they make bogus claims.

DAA spokeswoman Simone Austin, a Melbourne-based dietitian, says detox diets are to be avoided. “Do not believe the hype,” Simone says. “Don’t get sucked in by the fad.

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

“There’s no scientific evidence that shows detox diets actually work. And healthy adults have extraordinary systems for removing toxins from our bodies every day.

“Our lungs, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract and immune system remove and neutralise toxic substances within hours after we eat them.

“For most of us, we can improve our diets simply by increasing our vegetable consumption in particular.”

Simone also believes detox diets are “unnecessarily restrictive and for some people, they can be very dangerous”.

detox diets, healthy eating, weight loss

In addition, consumer watchdog, Choice Magazine, via choice.com.au, recently released a report condemning the growing popularity of detox diets, juice diets and highly restrictive eating regimes.

It put 10 popular detox diets and pills to the test, including Pure Natural Health Australia’s Lemon Detox, $87, as endorsed by none other than American reality star/socialite Kim Kardashian, through to the Skinny Mini 5 Day Detox and Weight Loss Program, $44.95.

And the results were conclusive: while they encourage a healthier lifestyle, detox diets do not work, contain potentially dangerous ingredients and have no real health benefits whatsoever.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is the government body responsible for regulation of medicinal products, including detox diets.

We savvy consumers are warned to be very wary of any marketing claims on detox products, such as “aids” and “assists”, which largely absolve manufacturers.

Susie Burrell’s new e-book Change Your Mindset And Lose Weight Fast: The Motivation You Need To Lose Weight is out now. Visit www.shapeme.com.au or www.susieburrell.com.au.

What do you think? Have you ever been conned by a detox diet?

Images via www.pixabay.com

The Skinny On The Dangers of Kim K’s Torturous Waist Training

The old saying: “beauty is pain, darling” takes on a whole new dimension thanks to the latest US weight-loss craze: waist training. Usually, I feel fairly indifferent at best towards Kim Kardashian, but I did feel white-hot feminist rage and incredulousness when I saw her Instagram pics of her “extreme beauty secret” – her corseted waist training – on TV.

RELATED: Year Of The Booty: Kim K’s One Redeeming Talent?

What the hell, ladies?! There are very good reasons for the eradication of all-day corsetry wear – these torture devices, hailing from the 16th century, cause breathing difficulties, crushed ribs – oh and they damage your internal organs. Call me crazy, but surely no amount of skinny waist action is worth this pain and bodily damage?!

Some enlightened doctors called for corsets to be banned as early as the late 19th century, but we have our feminist forebears to thank for their public protests about the damage corsets do to women’s bodies and unborn babies.

Kim Kardashian, waist training, corsets
Now, corsetry is being touted as a way to train your body to retain a slim, curvy figure even when you’re not wearing one. What a croc!?

And it’s not just Kim K who’s to blame for this bullshit trend – other celebrities, such as burlesque queen Dita Von Teese and Jessica Alba have long praised the benefits of wearing them, with the latter confessing to wearing not one, but two corsets after giving birth to her second daughter Haven in 2011.

Are these women mad? My bet is Kim K is way too smart (I hope) to be wearing a corset for any length of time for waist training, but is instead being paid a ridiculous sum of money to endorse them via her social media channels.

For, any personal trainer or doctor of repute (like my outraged health practitioners, scathing in their thoughts on waist training) would have surely set her straight as to the extreme dangers, right? Sad but true, nothing matches or replaces the benefits of healthy eating and regular exercise, the old-fashioned way.

Sure, who doesn’t want to lose a few kilos, but are you going to risk your health to do so? Doctors say fainting spells are also a major side effect of waist training, due to the corsets quite literally constricting your lungs and airways. And other health experts have quashed the idea that you can get slimmer over time by wearing corsets, as fat’s squishy, and unfortunately, it bounces back (bugger).

Kim Kardashian, waist training, corsets
The only positive I can see from waist training is that the restrictive stress of it – while it’s causing you to develop malformation of organs – might make you eat less, by default! And I jest – anyone who tells you waist training is good for you must be selling something. Hang your head in shame, A-list celebrities – what a sick and dangerous message to send to young girls and women.

What do you think? Have you felt pressured to try waist training?

Main image via realitytvmagazine.sheknows.com; cartoon via blackdoctor.org and corset shot via necolebitchie.com.

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