Detox diets & body cleansing treatments - what do they really do?
Are detox diets & body cleansing treatments as good as they’re claimed to be?
Hello from Bottrop! My name is Maria Mineva-Shrieh and I have been working as a practice assistant at Naturheilzentrum Bottrop (‘NABO’ for short) for many years.
Through my work as an assistant at the practice, I am often approached by patients on the subject of weight loss. Many are unhappy with their weight and want to make changes to it. However, the majority of them are confused by the large number of diet and weight-loss programs that are around nowadays.
The so-called ‘detox diet’, which is also known as ‘body cleansing treatment’, is particularly in vogue at the moment. ‘Detox’ is the keyword – for purifying and cleansing. What is it and how recommendable is it really?
Why try a detox diet? Good reasons to lose weight
However, before we get onto the subject of detox diets, I would like to briefly mention the reasons for losing weight. Some People do it for mainly cosmetic reasons. Personally, I think there is a much better reason to slim down: your health.
In particular, People who suffer from obesity can benefit greatly from weight loss. Indeed, the dangers associated with adiposity (obesity) are numerous and worrying: https://www.ifb-adipositas.de/adipositas/folgeerkrankungen
Diabetes, atherosclerosis, and fatty liver disease are just some of the conditions associated with being overweight. High blood pressure has also been linked to it, and my manager, the naturopath Christian Rüger, recently published a blog post about this.
However, losing weight is not only worthwhile for those who are severely obese. Even a few pounds too many can have a negative impact on your health. I see this every day in my work at Bottrop’s naturopathic practice, and I know from experience that each of you can counteract it in everyday life, e.g. by following a healthy or the right diet.
How do body cleansing treatments differ from a normal diet?
Let's go back to the detox diet or body cleansing treatment. My boss, Farid Zitoun, explains to our patients that a whole series of diet models are hidden behind these terms. Some of them differ greatly from each other, but all have the same goal: to "clear" the body of unwanted toxins. Detoxification and purification, in other words.
This can, for example, also be in the form of juice cleansing. NABO has looked at the topic of juice cleansing in detail in the blog and news sections of Naturheilzentrum Bottrop’s website, among other places. Nevertheless, I’ll go over this once more because the new video on the Naturheilzentrum Bottrop YouTube channel again deals with the topic of losing weight with numerous practical everyday tips.
The concept of a detox diet differs from an ordinary diet, where you reduce your daily calorie intake. A body cleansing treatment usually only lasts a few days and normally consists of completely abstaining from food. Instead, you only drink juices, for example. When the cleanse is over, normal eating usually resumes once again.
Although the German Society for Nutrition (the ‘DGE’) states that such a detox diet can lower body weight in the short term (https://www.dge.de/ernaehrungspraxis/diaeten-fasten/entgiftungsdiaeten/), the effect won’t last for a very long time in many cases. Of course, you’ll lose weight if you don't eat anything for a few days. But if you then just carry on as you did before, the weight will usually pile back on. This so-called ‘yo-yo effect’ will certainly be known to many of you who have tried to lose weight in the past with such diets.
Of course, the same also applies to any other form of diet.
Sustainable health instead of a ‘flash in the pan’ detox
What I don't really like about the concept of a body cleansing treatment is that it suggests a kind of ‘shortcut’. In accordance with the motto: Do the cleanse for a few days and after that you can ignore your diet for the rest of the year. In itself, a detox diet doesn't have to be a bad thing. It carries a few risks, which is why I recommend that everyone should definitely discuss their intention to follow it with a doctor or naturopath beforehand. But it can have positive effects.
However, I am concerned about the sustainability of it. Instead of simply carrying on as before, the patients here at the practice for complementary medicine are advised by the naturopaths to look at their own diets more closely together with the therapists, or to seriously overhaul them.
Personalized dietary plans are created with us to help People achieve a healthier lifestyle in everyday life.
Consuming fewer calories still seems to be a recipe for success for most diets. There are many ways to do this. One of them is interval fasting, which will soon be the focus of the new YouTube video as well as a new news article.
Body cleansing treatment can also be part of a food plan, as can any other form of diet. But it's not just about the calories; it's also about what's on the plate. More vegetables, more fruit, more whole grains. Less meat and saturated fat. Less salt, less sugar.
In addition, you can do even more for your health, e.g. by playing sports. You can even reduce the loss of muscle mass during a diet, as this study among others shows: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5421125/
If you have any questions about weight loss, you should definitely seek specialist support, who will be at your side with expert knowledge – or accompany you, which is even better. Of course, we’ll also there for you if you need information or support when losing weight. One thing is certain: we’re stronger together than when we are alone.
Do you know what I'm really looking forward to now? Hearing about your experiences with body cleansing treatments and detox diets. Write them in the comments and let me and everyone else share your experience.
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