Why Weight Loss and Detox Aren't Synonymous

Weight loss. Detoxing—programs that aim to remove toxins that can harm the body—can lead to a lower number on the scale. But this result may have less to do with flushing out toxins and more to do with restricting calories and cutting out junk food and alcohol. By eating clean, you may lose weight without altering the amount you eat or work out.

While weight loss may be a result of detoxing it's not a given, nor should it be your top priority. Here’s why: Detoxing can serve as a lifestyle reboot, which can lead to eventual weight loss over time. And research shows gradual weight loss—in the neighbourhood of .5 to 1 kilogram per week—is more sustainable than dropping a lot of weight in a short period of time. So now that we’ve got that cleared up, let’s break down the top notable advantages of detox programs.

Benefits of detox programs (beyond just weight loss)

* Boosted energy

Eliminating added sugar and processed foods, which are often loaded with unhealthy fats and artificial ingredients, can prevent you from feeling sluggish and run down (one small study found that junk food can lead to fatigue and laziness). While soda and a candy bar may give you a quick jolt of energy, healthy food can provide sustained energy to get you through the day.

* Fewer added toxins

Most detox diets will have you cut out the junk, but that’s only part of the equation. Adding in plenty of fresh, healthy foods—often organic—means you’ll ingest fewer chemicals and toxins. Organic fruit, vegetables, meats, and dairy products have fewer harmful chemicals, residues, hormones, and antibiotics than conventional produce.

* Improved hydration

Processed, shelf-stable foods (most of which are nixed from detox diets) often contain very high sodium levels. In fact, processed foods contribute to an estimated 80 percent of dietary sodium in Australia. Amongst many other benefits, cutting out loads of salt can prevent dehydration. And staying hydrated has a multitude of benefits—from improved cognition and exercise performance to yes—even weight loss.

* A kick start to a healthier lifestyle

Since detox diets are often very restrictive, it’s not reasonable or advisable to stick to them for long stretches of time. You can, however, consider your detox a kick start to a healthier new you. By swapping unhealthy snack foods with healthy, energy-boosting replacements, you’ll likely feel encouraged to keep your pantry and refrigerator stocked with plenty of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Detox diets and weight loss may go hand in hand, but there are plenty of other impressive benefits of detoxing that surpass trimming down. As with any new diet or program, make sure to get the okay from your doctor before you start and remember to view detoxing as a lifestyle reboot versus a short-term fix.

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