You’ve seen it on Instagram, Facebook and many other forms of social media. The Flat Tummy Teas, Fit Tea cleanses and various other weight loss elixirs that claim to get rid of excess buildup of toxins and boost metabolism while helping you to lose weight. While the concept of human beings trying to rid their bodies of toxins while performing cleansing rituals such as sweat lodges, bloodletting or enemas isn’t new–it has however, become more of a fad than anything else.
Take celebrity culture for instance. We often see celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyonce and even my beloved Oprah touting various elimination diets particularly when award season is approaching. But why? Are these so-called weight loss cleanses effective? And do we really need to detox?
In a word, no. Unfortunately, many of these products are designed to prey on society’s obsession with weight loss. The truth is, our bodies are equipped with organs such as the liver, kidney, skin, lungs and digestive system to help remove unnecessary substances every day without the help of external forces.
So why are detox diets so popular? Many people believe that because we live amongst thousands of environmental pollutants, consume various medications or antibiotics, that our livers are overstressed thus requiring outside assistance. Or, some people simply use detoxes as a quick means of losing weight. Not realizing that much of the weight loss experienced on a detox diet is due to fluid loss and very restrictive eating regimen. Once we go back to consuming our regular diet, the weight–and sometimes even more, quickly resurfaces.
The fact of the matter is that the human body can defend itself against most environmental pollutants. What we should focus on is eating a diet rich in whole natural foods, drink adequate amounts of fluids, exercise daily and get sufficient sleep instead of relying on quick, easy and ineffective ways to ‘cleanse‘ or lose weight.