Detoxing the Safe, Natural Way | STACK Fitness
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

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

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

The Boston Cannons'

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

How to Eat Organic Without Breaking the Bank

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

Living Near Fast Food Could Increase Your Odds of Obesity

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

5 Non-Boring Ways To Eat Chicken

Tips for Healthy Weight Gain

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

The Cheat Meal Day: Why It's Not So Smart

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

10 Easy Ways to Eat Real Food

5 Nutritional Power Combos for Athletes

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

Small Change, Big Difference: 5 Foods You Should Buy Organic

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

The 6 Worst Foods for Athletes

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

5 'Healthy' Side Dishes That Are Worse Than French Fries

STUDY: Eat More Fruits and Veggies, Live (Almost) Forever

Spice Up Your Healthy Cooking With These Lively Combos

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

3 Nutrition Mistakes Endurance Athletes Make and How to Fix Them

Why You Need Dietary Fiber

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

The Case for Red Meat

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

How to Deal With Your Sugar Cravings

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Does It Really Matter?

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

5 Ways to Fuel Your Early Morning Workout

10 Athlete-Approved, High-Protein Healthy Cereals

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts