It’s not surprising that people get excited about the idea of a 5 day or 15 day program that’s magically supposed to detox your body back in to health.
But do they actually work? Let’s dig in.
What is a Detox Diet?
Generally speaking, a detox diet is a short term plan that is supposed to help your body rid itself of toxins built up over time. Typically the detox diet calls for some period of fasting, followed by a strict diet, and a cleanse at the end.
Detox diets become all the rage around New Years.
People want to “Jump Start” their metabolism, get their body right for their new year goals, etc. They want to eliminate all the toxins from the past month of Holiday parties.
But here’s the thing about detox diets in particular. There is very little scientific evidence that they do anything for you. According to a review done in 2015 through the NIH - There was no compelling research to support the use of “detox” diets for weight management or eliminating toxins from the body. Another review in 2017 found that “detox” diets can cause initial weight loss because of the low intake of calories, but study participants gained the weight back once their resumed their “normal” diet.
Of course, if you fast and eliminate a ton of calories, you’re going to lose a few lbs. But if that’s all your going for - there are much better ways to do that than starving yourself through a typical detox protocol.
More importantly, the average American doesn’t have a toxin problem to begin with. They have an eating problem and a lack of exercise problem. Two things only solved by LONG TERM lifestyle changes, not a quick fix detox.
What to do instead?
The 2017 study we referenced above is really important to us. We are firm believers in taking small incremental changes, day by day, that add up to a new you.
For example, let’s say you tend to snack too often. And you tend to snack on things that aren’t exactly healthy. Get some Switchback smoothie mixes. Next time you go to grab for the bag of chips, have a Switchback instead. Or, grab an apple. Or a bowl of berries. Or some granola. Or or or. The point is, replace the unhealthy thing with something healthy. Do that every day and you’ve cut out that 1 extra unhealthy snack you used to have.
What about exercise? Same approach. Just get moving. Commit to something each day that you can do. Maybe you decide you’re going to go for a walk after lunch. Take 20 minutes and go. And then the next day. And the next. And the next. Eventually you’ll be ready to turn that walk into something more, once you’ve built up the habit of being active after lunch.
We have this tendency to equate the word small with insignificant. But when it comes to self improvement, small = mighty. Small changes, small steps, small habits built up over time are the only way to make major long lasting changes.
Don’t believe us? Go on Matt’s Facebook page and look at pictures from him in the 2010’s… He’s lost over 40 lbs since then and has maintained it for the past 8 years. Nothing crazy about his plan. Eat right. Exercise. Rinse and Repeat.
Here’s to the goals you’re trying to achieve this year - and ditching the whole idea of “Detoxing” your way to them!!