“Have you ever tried a detox diet or cleanse?”… I seem to be asked this question more and more these days. As a trainer, my first thought is usually, ‘I’m not a doctor or nutritionist, so who am I to tell my client whether or not to try a detox or cleanse’. I’m always honest in admitting that I’ve never tried such a thing (and wouldn’t consider it, either), and I usually recommend the client consult one of the previously mentioned professionals and proceed with caution. However, I’m guessing with all the information online and doctor shows on television these days, most clients just jump right into one of these toxin-destroying regimens if they have the urge. And to be honest, that makes me a little uneasy.

Detox. Cleanse. Rid your body of toxins. Feel better. Have more energy.

Wow, that is some advertisement. Sounds pretty enticing, right? Typically a detox diet or cleanse requires you to ingest a very specific, and limited, list of foods or liquids for a certain period of time. During that time your body supposedly rids itself of harmful toxins.

The overwhelming positive to following such a diet is that you’d be cutting out any bad habits you have. I can guarantee there’s no fast food, processed food or alcohol included on the shopping list. It’s no wonder you’d feel better afterward!

However, the limited caloric intake often associated with cleanses and/or detox regimens is a huge turn off, in my opinion. I bet you’ve heard of the cleanse where you only drink a mixture of maple syrup, lemon juice and cayenne pepper for a few days. Maybe I’m unique, but that does not appeal to me at all. First of all, you’d want to stay far, far away from me because I’d probably be an angry, hungry mess of a person! And, I’m pretty sure its safe to say the negative side effects are not a sign that toxins are being released. Not to mention the halt you’d put on your metabolism with the inadequate caloric intake.

If you ask me, the detox diets and cleanses you hear about are just trying to induce a quick fix. You may shed a few pounds, but you’ll most likely gain it right back once you start to eat solid foods again. Why not try to create good eating habits ALL the time? Ever heard the phrase, ‘EAT CLEAN’? Well, that’s exactly what I mean. Eating more fruits and vegetables is a good place to start.

Simple ways to healthfully detox:
– Drink more water
– Avoid processed foods
– Don’t smoke
– Avoid alcohol
– Eat more fiber
– Exercise vigorously

For those of you who have tried a detox or cleanse and possibly do so regularly, my best advice would be to quit seeking a short-term fix. Making a constant effort to eat healthy is your best option. It’s a lifestyle change that can last a lifetime.

Besides, the last time I checked, we have an entire organ in our bodies devoted to removing harmful toxins. It’s called the liver!