Do detox diets really work?For Mike Miller, the benefits of a detoxification diet were twofold. Not only did he like the idea of a body cleanse, but the Red Wing resident also hoped some weight loss would come out of sticking to the strict rules outlined in program.
By: Regan Carstensen, The Republican Eagle
For Mike Miller, the benefits of a detoxification diet were twofold.
Not only did he like the idea of a body cleanse, but the Red Wing resident also hoped some weight loss would come out of sticking to the strict rules outlined in program.
He was right — about dropping a few pounds, anyway.
“You’re going to lose weight on it because it’s a restriction thing,” Miller said. “It’s restriction, but it’s restriction of the bad things.”
Throughout the 10 days of his diet Miller dropped 10 pounds, but it didn’t necessarily come easy. Only one day in and he was already forbidden to take in something he never starts a morning without — a freshly brewed cup of caffeine-filled coffee.
“The first day was tough going through the caffeine withdrawals,” Miller said.
But several days of pain soon brought pleasure as Miller said he found himself feeling more invigorated about midway through the diet.
“I actually had more energy on that than when I was drinking coffee twice a day,” he said.
In addition to eliminating caffeine, Miller also took alcohol, refined carbohydrates and sugar out of his routine for 10 days. The diet he was on allowed foods like broccoli, cauliflower, apples, pears and lettuce. Also included in his nutrition regimen were dozens of scoops of powder to mix into drinks as part of “the cleanse.”
“That’s where you’re getting the protein,” Miller noted.
Though the week-and-a-half didn’t come without its set of struggles, Miller said he felt better after completing it.
“It kind of just reset me to zero,” he said.
So-called detox diets come in all shapes and sizes, much like the people on them. While some have you sipping cabbage soup for days on end, others encourage strange concoctions of maple syrup and cayenne pepper.
“There’s some out there that just sound terrible,” Miller said.
Instead of filling his belly with Mrs. Butterworth’s, Miller opted for a diet that kept him stocked up on fruits and vegetables.
All of the restrictions required by detox diets are what have some doctors questioning the success of the method.
Liz Knapp, a registered dietician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing, said she doesn’t promote detoxification diets at all.
“From a health care perspective … it’s a quick fix,” Knapp said. “Most of the time you’re going to go back to eating the way you were.”
Additionally, she doesn’t understand how some of them can be considered cleansing. While certain detoxification diets are based around the foods a person eats, others incorporate pills that need to be taken.
“If you’re putting pills into your body to detoxify, how are they really detoxifying you if you’re putting chemicals in your body?” Knapp questioned.
Instead of going to extremes, Knapp suggests simply taking in a nutritious assortment of foods.
“I would encourage people to do it naturally if at all possible and just eat an overall healthy diet on a day-to-day basis,” she said.
While the detox diet helped Miller changed some of his past habits, he admits there are others that have returned. Namely, drinking beverages he wasn’t allowed to have.
“That’s what I missed the most — a Summer Shandy on the deck.”