People always ask me, “Alex, how often should I detox?”
My response: NEVER!
Detox diets are extremely popular because they encourage laziness and a lack of discipline. This may sound counterintuitive to you, but if it does that just means that the marketing departments of companies that peddle this junk are doing their jobs well.
Detoxing frees you from the discipline and responsibility of truly healthy living. It encourages the (FALSE) notion that you can change your body in a week or a month.
Sure, you can lose 10 or even 20 pounds in a week, if you sit in a sauna and starve yourself the way that many prize fighters do in the days before a big match, so that they make weight.
Using this sort of process as a regular part of your health routine, however, is 200% counterproductive and will only lead to a “bounce-effect”. In other words, any “benefit” you got from detoxing will bounce back and smack you in the face with adverse results
But I’m not here to make you feel bad over past mistakes. I would rather provide healthy, sustainable alternatives which will lead to a lifetime of improvement and better living.
Alex’s First Rule of Health
It’s very easy: Respect Your Body!
The body is NOT a mechanism that needs outside intervention to perform optimally.
The body is ALREADY a perfect mechanism. We just need to ensure that we are NOT POISONING that mechanism with unnecessary (and harmful ingredients)
The philosophy behind “detox” diets is that the body needs regular cleaning. Herbalists and other health gurus argue that we should periodically refrain from eating solid food in order to squeeze toxins out of our bodies.
The only foods to be eaten during most detox diets are fruits, vegetables, and other “approved” juices. For example, some say that you should have 10 glasses of lemonade with cayenne pepper as your only nutrition each day during the “Lemon Cleanse” detox.
This supposedly removes and eliminates all disease and toxins from your body.
I admit this sounds like a good thing even to me, but it doesn’t do what the gurus claim.
They say that your body accumulates toxins and metabolic wastes from food additives, pesticides, and other “evils” in our foods today. They reason that even our air and water are full of chemicals and we need to get rid of these toxins from time to time by purifying ourselves. They are correct that we are exposed to toxins, but JUICES DON’T DO A BETTER JOB OF ELIMINATING THEM THAN OUR BODIES.
The detoxifying “machines” in your body – your kidneys, spleen, lungs, and liver – do a far better job of detoxifying than any detox can.
But there’s a catch: in order to do so, they need proper nutritional support, such as the amino acids that make toxins more water soluble, which make it easier for your organs to flush toxins from your system. When you are on a detox diet, you are not giving your body the nutritional support it needs. Thereby, you are actually causing your body’s natural detoxification mechanisms and leaving yourself more vulnerable to the exact toxins you’re trying to remove in the first place.
Before we move ahead, first, let’s understand what toxic even means:
Anything can be toxic. You can drink too much water and end up dying, for example. You can eat chocolate, but if you give it to your dog, it could die due to the high content of theobromine in cocoa, which is poisonous to dogs.
Give conjugated linoleic acid to a mouse and it will end up with a fatty liver, but you can take it and everything will be fine. Too much of anything is bad for you; it’s the dose and context that are important when determining acceptable-to-dangerous toxicity levels.
People avoid fish because they contain heavy metals, and end up depriving their bodies of the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids that are present in them. The heavy metals in fish have an approximate 50 day half-life in the human body.
So why not just eat fish less frequently? Your body can accumulate heavy metals from fish, but it has a mechanism to eliminate them over time. If you end up with heavy metal poisoning (which is rare), you won’t go on a detox diet; you will need chelation therapy for that.
Calling a compound toxic without viewing it in the proper context doesn’t make sense; whether it be natural or synthetic, the dosage is what matters and determines whether or not something is bad for you.
Our organs don’t need our help. The only help we can give them is to eat a healthy diet, because if we deprive our bodies of nutrition, we deprive them of their ability to detoxify themselves.
When you provide your body with proper nutrition, you give it the power to remove harmful substances and excrete the waste products of your metabolism.
Ask any detox guru what toxins are targeted by their diet or supplement.
They will get very quiet and try to talk a circle around you, because they cannot name them!
They can’t ever provide any EVIDENCE to back up their belief that a specific toxin or toxins are being eliminated as a result of their plan. It just sounds good and people “eat it up.”
“But, Alex, what about colon cleansing?”
Are you seriously asking me that? Flushing your colon with water and herbs is useless and bad for your health. It’s unnecessary and a waste of money. I have seen so many people get sick from colon cleansing that I really believe that it should be banned. Currently there are precisely ZERO scientific studies that support colon cleansing as valid health practice.
Its popularity dates back to ancient Egypt. The concept was that intestinal waste can poison the body and the colon needs some kind of cleaning. People believed it and thus, the practice was born.
But there is no biological mechanism that enables toxins to be absorbed into the blood from the colon. It’s NONSENSE. Toxins do not build up in the colon, and there is nothing to clean from there – the issue is that what you clean it with is what can make you really sick.
People practicing colon cleansing end up with kidney failure, blood infections, and can even die due to intestinal inflammation. Those who are dependent on enemas are those who have lost the ability to generate proper bowel movements (some due to colon cleaning!).
Holy crap, this topic makes me shudder. Enough!
Today detoxification is a word that is used to make money off you. Plain and simple. It’s a marketing strategy and nothing else.
Allow your natural detoxification system to do the job instead of believing these get-rich-quick-storytellers. Remember, a healthy, balanced diet is all you need.
We tend to fall for detoxification marketing because it’s easy to believe that we need it. It’s like we are hardwired for it. Even the bible preaches in Ephesians 4:22-24:
22 So get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to – the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires.
23 Your hearts and minds must be made completely new,
24 and you must put on the new self, which is created in God’s likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy
I think this is how detoxification was somehow hardwired into us. Cleansing practices are part of most of the world’s religions, so no wonder we fall for them quickly. Our ancestors have passed down the genetic memory of this folly as fact on to us!
Keep in mind that 100 years ago science discarded detoxification practices as false and quackery, yet they still survive and people are still buying useless detox products.
If you stumble upon any of these gurus, ask them what toxins their products or diets remove and then email the answer to me, because I want to have a good long laugh!
They will surely stutter in finding an answer for you, because they can’t name the toxins.