Detoxing the Safe, Natural Way | STACK Fitness

Detoxing the Safe, Natural Way

May 10, 2013 | Katie Davis

Must See Nutrition Videos

Detox programs have a strange allure.

In Theory

Detox sponsors claim to help you shed pounds quickly by following a sophisticated system of cutting out. Then there are those "real life" stories of people whose pounds melt away every time they step on a scale. A miracle! Weight loss overnight! Detox promoters claim that everyone needs to "cleanse their colon" of the toxins that build up over time. A detox, they state, is the way to flush out those toxins and re-set the body.

In Reality

We already have a wonderful detox system in our bodies. It's called the liver. Cleansing the body and flushing out the "bad stuff" is exactly what it does (with help from the kidneys). Plus, if you ask a gastrointestinal doctor, he or she will tell you there's no buildup of anything in your colon over time.

But what about those dropping numbers on the scale? They're no surprise when you realize that in many detox regimens, you're supposed to cut out certain foods, or even entire food groups. Most of the weight lost is water. Drop your caloric intake low enough and you'll also lose muscle tissue. You'll feel it in the form of fatigue, crankiness, poor sleep, headaches and poor athletic performance. (See Food Myths Busted: Skipping Meals Helps You Lose Weight.)

Safe Detoxing

Want to detox without sacrificing your training or your sanity? Here is the most effective way: cut back on treats and eat more of the good stuff. You all know what I'm talking about. It's not magic. (See Iron Chef Michael Symon's Tips for Preparing Healthy Meals .)

Cut back on:

  • Sugar and sweets
  • Fried foods and saturated fats
  • Regular soda
  • Energy drinks

Increase your intake of:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Lean proteins
  • Whole grains

Your body functions best when you give it the best fuel. You don't need to give up treats completely, but remember that they're called "treats" for a reason. When you're trying to lose weight, limit your treats to one or two a week (not per day). (Read Craving Unhealthy Foods? What You Can Do to Stop.)

I promise that you will feel much better when you are well-fueled with the good stuff instead of poorly fueled with the bad or completely random stuff (cayenne pepper...I mean, really?).

And here's a little secret: hydrate. Your body is around 70% water. This should tell you how important daily water intake is for your health. Water helps you use what you eat and flush out what you don't need. Sip H2O consistently throughout the day.

Safe, natural detoxing in the most effective way to go.

Topics: DIET
Katie Davis
- Katie Davis, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, helps ordinary athletes become extraordinary competitors by using whole-food-based nutrition to improve their performance. She is the owner of...
Katie Davis
- Katie Davis, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, helps ordinary athletes become extraordinary competitors by using whole-food-based nutrition to improve their performance. She is the owner of...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

How to Maximize Tennis Performance With Your Diet

High Protein Diets Won't Fix Everything

Natural Food and Beverage Choices for Athletes

You're Doing It Wrong: The Muscle Building Diet

The Easiest Healthy Diet Tips

The Only 2 Running Diet Rules You Need to Know

Intermittent Fasting: Secrets of Success

Diet Changes: 5 Tips to Help You Stick to Your Plan

Vegetarian Recipes for the Carnivorous Athlete

How to Eat Organic Without Breaking the Bank

The 9 Strangest Foods Favored by Athletes

Grading the Best (and Worst) Food Crazes of 2013

Should You Go Gluten Free?

Personalize Your Diet Plan With the ShopWell App

Low-Carb Diet Plan

Wrestlers: Study Examines Effect of Rapid Weight Loss

Orthorexia: Can 'Eating Clean

Diet Tips to Improve On-Ice Performance

Weight Loss and the Mediterranean Style Diet

The Meat-Free Athlete

Lose Weight by Changing Your Diet

Can the Paleo Diet Work for Athletes?

Why the Number of Meals You Eat Per Day Doesn't Matter

Surprising Things You Can't Eat on a Paleo Diet

The Low-Stress Diet Game Plan

4 Tips You Should Follow Before Becoming a Vegetarian

Power Your Training With Superfoods

How to Stick to Your Diet at Starbucks

Can Instagram Affect Your Diet?

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

Ketogenic Diet 101

5 Eating Rules the L.A. Lakers Live By

Should Athletes Follow a Pescetarian Diet?

Detoxing the Safe, Natural Way

Top 5 Reasons Why You're Not Losing Weight

3 Nutrition Hacks to Improve Your Sports Performance

Does a Vegan Diet Contain Enough Protein for Athletes?

How to Use Cheat Meals to Lose Fat Fast

Easy Gluten-Free Meals for Athletes

The 8 Most Common Healthy Eating Mistakes

Vegetarian Diets for Football Players