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11 Feb 2015

Is there a detox for you?

In the age of the internet where new diet fads pop up one day and are denounced the next, can a Google search really help you find the right health and wellness plan?

One of the most popular health fads online is detoxing the body. A detox, or body cleanse as they are also known, is the process of removing toxins from the body usually through dieting, fasting, eliminating certain food groups or only eating particular foods.  Detoxing can take many forms – here are just some of the most talked about.

The Lemon Detox Diet

The most popular detox of them all is the lemon detox. Also known as the Master Cleanse, it originated in the 1940s and was revitalised online in 2006. The lemon detox diet had celebrity endorsement from Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. During the detox, you are required to drink up to 8 cups a day of a concoction of water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup for 10 to 14 days. The diet is said to help the body cleanse itself naturally, however more recent research has found that whilst you will see a drop on the scales, this is temporary. Many of the claims made by advocates of the lemon detox have now been debunked. Dieticians consider this one of the worst diet fads.

Juice cleanses

Green smoothies have taken over our Instagram feeds over the last few years and like the lemon detox, have celebrity endorsements from Jessica Alba, Miranda Kerr and advocates on the blogger sphere. Juice cleanses also have the backing of leading Australian nutritionist Lola Berry, although she is quick to state that she doesn’t fast on them.

Juice cleanses are a safer option to the more extreme lemon detox diet as they tend to last only 3-4 days and include a range of juices, rather than the single lemon detox product. When it comes to juice cleanses, not all are made equal or have scientific backing. If you think that a juice cleanse is right for you speak to a qualified nutritionist or doctor before you start.

Alcohol free month

There are many health benefits to going alcohol free. In fact abstaining from alcohol for more than two weeks can help to reverse some of the tolls placed on the body by regular drinking, such as weight gain, dehydration and bloated appearance. Alcohol is empty calories. It takes 15 minutes of intense spin class to burn just one glass of wine. Even if you don’t see changes to your waistline during the detox, going without alcohol for a time will improve your health! Alcohol contributes to a fatty liver so abstaining will also help improve the health of your liver. Alcohol is also dehydrating, causing drier skin, tired eyes and wrinkles. Swapping a glass of wine with a glass of water will help to improve the look of your skin.  A booze-free month may also mean a better sleep as alcohol can lead to a restless sleep.

As a part of a charity initiative, “Dry July” requires you to go booze-free for the entire month of July. It is a worthy cause supporting adults living with cancer. However, your detoxing efforts don’t have to wait – detoxing from alcohol can be carried out at any time!

If you have found some magical cure-all detox online it’s best to speak to a qualified nutritionist or doctor to make sure that it is right for you.  Always check with your doctor prior to commencing any weight loss program.