It seems like every second day we hear of someone we know on a detox, be it a three-day juice cleanse or a shift to raw and plant-based food for a few weeks.
Detox plans can vary from strict day-by-day meal plans to more general ones where you simply cut out a list of foods from your diet.
Whatever the method, the main aim of a detox is to flush the body of the potentially harmful toxins found in alcohol, caffeine and processed foods containing excess sugar and fat.
So is a detox for you? Here are a few of the pros and cons to get you started…
1. It introduces order to your diet
If you find yourself grabbing food on the go or mindlessly eating handful after handful of crisps in front of the TV, a detox is a great way to simplify your eating and to help you identify your problem foods and the times of day you are most likely to binge-eat.
2. It can help you to overcome cravings
By taking out the option to grab a chocolate bar when you're feeling stressed, you'll be better equipped to overcome the psychological process behind your cravings. Many detoxers often report that their cravings for sugar and salt reduce hugely after a few days of cutting out certain foods.
3. It takes the stress out of eating
When the decision to have a sneaky drink or slice of cake is already made for you, your daily eating becomes much easier to control. A detox removes the social and psychological pressures that many of us struggle with when dieting.
1. It's not always easy or convenient
Yes, a juice cleanse might be straightforward enough during your normal working week, but if you have a super-stressful day or a weekend event like a birthday or wedding, it can suddenly become very difficult to maintain that strict plan. So make sure you don't schedule a detox for an especially stressful or busy week.
2. It can be costly
Stocking up on ingredients you'd normally never buy can be more expensive than you'd think, especially if everyone else in the house is still eating normally. But on the other hand, you'd be surprised how much you'll save by not impluse buying snacks and ready-made meals when you're hungry.
3. Boredom can set in
If you're the type of person that hates repetitively eating or dirnking the same thing each day with no variety, a detox cleanse might not be for you.
So what's the verdict?
At the end of the day, everyone is different and a detox cleanse may simply not be the right choice for you if you prefer to be in control of what you eat and when. But if you thrive on structure and love seeing quick results, then why not give it a go? Always remember though, if you have a history of disordered eating it may be important ot contact your GP before embarking on any kind of strict diet plan.