Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are detox diets safe?"
Several of my girlfriends are going on 'detox' diets, and it seems to me like they're just not eating very hearty foods ? lots of rice and bland vegetables. Is this safe? Is It a good idea?
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for your health. A diet is a commonly tried and often frustrating experience. I recommend you talk to your doctor as he or she can help you with weight loss strategies, discuss weight related medical problems, as well as put you in touch with a nutritionist or dietitian that can help tailor an appropriate diet for you. In general, detox diets are not recommended. Firstly, they may not be safe. Our bodies are complex systems that require sufficient amounts of minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins and fluid. These detox diets often involve limiting one or all of these. This is not healthy. Long term effects can be truly detrimental...some people actually prevent with signs of starvation after these diets. The other major problem with detox diets are they don't work. When one looks at the extended data from the studied diets--people tend to lose weight at three and six months but at one year and further out the weight loss is gone. This highlights an obvious point--these diets are not sustainable. As easy as it is to say---there is no magic to losing weight. A sensible, portion-controlled diet and exercise are the best strategies. Talk to your doctor before starting any radical diet.
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