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Lynn Baer, M.A.,C.N
Weight Loss & Nutritionist

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Detox Diets and Weight Loss


DIET, WEIGHT LOSS & NUTRITION
Reader Questions for Lynn


QUESTION: I keep hearing a lot of great stories about detox diets for weight loss. I'm looking to plan my own weight loss, so is this something I should consider?


Lynn Answers:

There is not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. In all fairness, the answer is "it depends". Whether or not you particularly should try a detox diet in order to lose weight will depend on a few central factors. Therefore, I in turn must ask you these three questions:

1. What approximate percentage of your body fat is cellulite? If you've answered fifty percent or more, then yes, a detox diet will be a good fit for your weight loss program. Cellulite is a type of body fat that defies regular weight loss approaches. This is because the presence of cellulite -- and this is what creates that dimpled cottage cheese appearance -- is both a structural issue and a toxicity issue. Structurally, the tissues that lie between the outer layer of skin and the fat cells themselves loose their strength and integrity. These tissues collapse here and there, thus causing the fat to bulge unevenly. The collapse of these delicate tissues is greatly exacerbated by several factors: 1) lack of exercise, which helps oxygenate and tone the tissues; 2) lack of circulation, which helps to carry away natural waste products that can get caught in the tissues; and 3) bad diet and environmental toxins, which load up your body with additional waste products. Which leads us to my next question.

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2. Has your diet typically included these foods: dairy products, refined and heavily processed foods, fast food, junk food, foods high in sugar or fat content or foods with artificial ingredients? If you say YES to any of these, you are well advised to supplement your weight loss plan with a detox diet. Not only are these foods congesting and insulin-producing (both of which will cause your body to store fat rather than burn it), they will produce toxins in your digestive track that your body will have to work extra hard to eliminate, lest they circulate through your bloodstream and find their way to the nearest bunch of fat cells. There are two reasons why we get fat: 1) we grow new fat cells and 2) the fat cells we already have get bigger. Toxins are stored in our fat cells, so the greater the toxic load on your body, the bigger your fat cells will get. And the bigger you will get. You begin to see that there is a relationship between what I like to call body ecology and weight management. Which leads us finally to my last question.

3. Have you been experiencing any of these symptoms of body toxicity: digestive disorders, bad breath, foul-smelling stools, constipation, diarrhea, rashes or other skin disorders, headaches or migraines, achiness, general fatigue or PMS? If you have, then you would do well to do a detox diet.

Now, having said all that, be cognizant that detoxing can be an extraordinarily useful health method when done wisely, but if done improperly, it can do more harm than good. It is really important that you research this issue and select a detox plan that is best for you and, most significantly, is natural and safe. Extreme detox plans should be be avoided like the plague.

An excellent web resource for studying about safe, natural detox methods is www.detoxsafely.org.

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