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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Post Holiday Detox?


Over the years I've heard many clients, friends, and family members say things like, "I feel like I need to detox after all that holiday eating." This always gets me a little concerned, but it depends on their definition of detoxing. To some, it may mean no more indulging in extra goodies; you know, just getting back to eating regular balanced meals. But other "detox" programs are extremely strict - and potentially risky.

Detox regimes that involve fasts and cleanses can lead to nutritional deficiencies, leave you feeling weak, cranky, irritable, faint, and unfocused, and can cause you to become dehydrated and lose muscle mass. You see, fasting doesn’t trigger your body to break down only fat reserves. Our bodies need a certain amount of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals each day, from food. When we under eat, these nutrients don’t show up for work. And that means the jobs they do (fueling, repairing, and healing) just don’t get done. That's why fasts take a toll, even after a few days – you’ll lose not just body fat, but also water and muscle tissue (this accounts for the quickie weight loss) and can even run down your immune system. In other words, fasts actually deprive and weaken the body – exactly the opposite of what they promise.

Finally, true toxins (harmful substances in the body) are readily cleared by our liver, kidneys, digestive system, lungs, and skin – our natural detoxifying organs. We don’t need drinks, pills, magical diets, or potions to help them do their jobs. So if you’re feeling a little blah and bloated from overdoing it, getting back into balance is great. Just don’t underdo it. For more info, check out this link (it’s aimed at teens but the info applies to adults as well).

P.S. If you celebrated Christmas, I hope it was wonderful!

Photo courtesy of GeekPhilosopher
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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