To Detox or NOT to Detox...that is the question.

*I'll premise this post by saying that consuming raw juice full of fruits and vegetables is a wonderful way to add some much needed nutrients. It is something you may incorporate into your diet to supplement the whole foods you should be consuming several times per day. The key is supplementing the staples, much like protein shakes. Protein shakes and raw juices may be one of the many tools on your tool belt that help meet your dietary needs. By no means should they be your primary source of nutrients or calories in your diet*

The holiday weekend has come and gone. You may or may not have had your fair share of alcohol, junk food and sweets. 

It's time to get back on track. You need your routine; your body is craving rest, nutrient dense foods and water.

So you may be thinking "What about a detox? " A little cleanse to shake off the weekend? Or maybe a kickstart to a new diet? It'll surely get you ahead of the game. You can juice away the weekend's shenanigans. 

Before your spend some serious cash on a detox kit or cleanse, read below through a few bullet points. Then decide if it's worth it....

  • Toxins are everywhere. Nearly everything we consume has some level of toxins in them. And not just alcohol, sugar, grains, etc. I'm talking about plants - they all have natural, toxic defenses to keep us (animals) from eating them out of extinction. 
  • Our bodies are designed to cleanse themselves. Our major "detox" organs include the digestive tract, kidneys, skin, lungs, liver, lymphatic system and respiratory system. 
  • The body does a pretty good job of detoxifying itself when we treat it properly. We do this by evacuation, sweat or breathing. The key is...if we treat it well. The consumption of processed foods, alcohol, tobacco, medication and other pollutants hinder our ability to function optimally. 
  • Detox diets typically recommend nutrient-rich "superfoods" such as lemons, green tea, omega-3 fats and colorful fruits and vegetables. Those are all great things to incorporate into your diet on a regular basis. But 90% of people who participate in cleanses and detoxes go right back to eating poorly afterwards. "I made it through my 5 day cleanse! Now I get to celebrate with pizza!"
  • Any weight loss from a detox diet is probably water, carbohydrate stores and intestinal bulk -- all of which come back in a few hours after the detox ends. Sorry... no fat loss will come from your cleanse or detox fix.
  • Most detox diets and juice cleanses are extremely low in calories.. you'll be starving. Many cleanses are so low in calories that they'll negatively affect your hormonal health. Body composition is ALL about the hormones. 
  • The restricted eating involved in a detox diet can result in anticipatory deprivation and trigger pre-existing food obsessions. If the thought of a restrictive diet makes you go on red alert and want to overeat ("my diet starts tomorrow so I'm going to fill up now"), a detox/cleanse is not for you. 
  • The juicing process strips fiber from the fruits and vegetables. Fiber slows down digestion and aids absorption of nutrients. If you want to "clean out" your body, the last thing you want to do is eliminate fiber. 
  • Many cleansing diets are also low in protein. Protein deficiencies can inhibit the body's ability to eliminate toxins. So if you want to "clean house," temporarily eliminating this macronutrient doesn't make sense.

The moral of the story is, simply get back to your routine. You don't need a cleanse, a detox or a kick-starter after going overboard on alcohol and junk food. Simply get back to eating nutrient dense, whole foods, consuming plenty of water and sweating everyday. 

We can teach you how to eat and exercise for health and wellness. You may find you'll love the way you look in the process. Click here to start your free trial at SPSC Crossfit. 

-Nicole Race, Coach/Co-Owner St Pete Strength and Conditioning, home of SPSC Crossfit