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  • Writer's picturekvlbcba

Detoxes Are Bullsh*t

Yeah there it is, I said it. Detoxes and cleanses are super popular for weight loss and health and yet, they are complete and utter bullsh*t. Yes the idea sounds inviting. Take this/drink this a few times and clean out your system, which needs to be rescued from all the scary things you have put into your body! But what is really happening here? Let's start with that buzzword "toxin." All detoxes and cleanses are marketed on the idea that they clear these mysterious, scary "toxins" out of your body. What is a toxin? The actual definition is an organic poison produced by plants or animals. This is funny considering that people screaming about toxins are generally considering as toxins are things that are unnatural, synthetic, chemical. Something toxIC on the other hand is anything that can cause serious injury or death, which is what they seem to be referring to as toxins. Even then, if you had something truly toxic in your system you would need to be under medical care. Dietary restriction would not be an effective solution. Also, even some things as safe as water, which we literally need to survive, can be toxic in large quantities.

scary toxin, run away!

Bottom line, these "toxins" that detox pushers are talking about don't, actually, exist. Sure we ingest things into our bodies that aren't useful for our body. Our bodies are magical things, though, and are designed to handle reasonable quantities of things that could be harmful. We have an amazing liver and most have 2 fabulous kidneys that filter out unnecessary substances. This is how medications are metabolized in our bodies. If our bodies didn't filter out unnecessary "chemicals" we would only have to take one dose of a medication and then would have to "cleanse" to remove them from our system. But that's not how it works, and you are smart enough to know that. So remember it next time someone tries telling you that you need a "detox" to remove these mysterious, unnamed "toxins."

These types of non-solutions are so popular because they feed on our fears. We have to remember to trust our bodies! People who create these cleanses and detoxes are working off of misunderstandings of how our bodies work. Also, if there were toxic substances in our foods there would be massive lawsuits! We have all sorts of systems in place to try and make sure that anything we put on or in our bodies is SAFE. A real toxin is something like, say, listeria, which produces a toxin and and if that is found in a food product it is all recalled. On the other hand, things that actually CAN build up and accumulate in your body are things like fat soluble vitamins. We're not going to stop eating any fat soluble vitamins just because too much of one can be harmful. That would kill us just the same and never drinking anything because too much water can kill you.

Oh and while we're at it, we don't need to detox from sugar either. This is another perfectly fine substance to put into our body, the issue is only in quantity. ALL carbohydrates break down in your body into sugar. It's another thing that our body needs but can't handle too much at once, although too much sugar (unless you are diabetic) will simply make you gain weight (due to a surplus of calories) and maybe feel ill for a short time rather than actually killing you.

Another irony here- most commercial cleanses/detoxes are little more than expensive sugar water. Sugar water with no evidence that they are either effective or on a more basic level even safe. Oh and apples and broccoli both contain arsenic (how is that as a toxin for you?) but both are healthy to eat! And potatoes are literally poisonous (aka, chock full of actual toxins) before we cook them. And yet, the premise of "detoxes," "cleanses," and even "clean eating" are that anything man made is not natural and is toxic while natural foods are perfect. Yet many natural foods have substances that can be harmful. It's another of these black and white, all or nothing thought processes that is seriously unhelpful when trying to lose weight.

So ditch the detox. It's not doing you any favors. Eat your veggies (even if they contain arsenic!) and focus on a balanced diet, even if that balance includes sugar and processed foods. Rest easy, your body is doing its job and filtering out whatever it doesn't need.

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