Celebrities praise detox diets that changed their life drastically for the better, but students should be aware of the dangers before attempting any diet of this caliber.
One of the more popular detox diets is the lemon water detox. Drinking only water with a hint of lemon juice for 168 hours could be potentially harmful, and it is attracting the attention of young women in the search for perfection.
“I’m not aware of any proven benefit to a detox diet, and I can’t understand why a treatment such as this would be helpful,” said Dr. Carver Nebbe, physician at Thielen Student Health Center.
The word cleanse implies a purification of the body, but this new fad can have some major nutritional draw backs.
“It could cause some fatigue, and you might find yourself feeling quite hungry,” Nebbe said. “I would not recommend it for a diabetic or person with another major chronic medical problem.”
In some cases it can cause nausea, dizziness and a low-functioning immune system.
“I can see how it would result in some short-term weight loss, but long-term weight loss with these methods would be really hard to maintain because of the major changes in diet,” Nebbe said.
Students who really want to lose weight are encouraged to make lifestyle changes.
"Instead of a short term detox true weightloss comes from portion control, a balanced diet and exercise," said Lori Lines, junior in dietetics.
Before you decide to jump into any sort of cleanse or diet it is always good to get advice so you are informed of any drawbacks.
“It’s not a bad idea to get input from someone who knows a bit more about evidence and drawbacks,” Nebbe said. “Many physicians likely don’t know a lot about these treatments since they are not medically based or FDA approved. This, however, immediately will raise concerns in the minds of most physicians.”
Another drawback is the cost associated with this type of diet.
“It’s likely to cost a fair amount of money for the shakes and other products marketed with these cleanses,” Nebbe said.
Fitness companies all across the United States have jumped on advertising drinks and vitamins that make you shed pounds. The most effective way is simple and students have heard it since grade school: fruits, vegetables and exercise.
“If a person is able to change and maintain their diet to a low-fat, high fruit and veggie diet, they may lose weight and maintain that weight loss. But I’m not sure that I see the benefit of the enemas or the fad shakes that go along with it,” Nebbe said.
The standard of a balanced diet has changed over the years.
"Instead of the food pyramid we are now taught about My Plate," Lines said. "This means half of your diet consists of fruits and vegtables."
The rest of your dietetic needs are split into 30 percent grains, 20 percent protien and a small amount of daily products, said Lines.
Being fit is not a one-week dedication but a lifetime project. When it comes to healthy dieting, there are certain ways in which one can safely cut calories.
“This depends a lot on the person and their activity level,” Nebbe said.
In the diet process, every individual person is unique and has their own needs. It is good to talk over goals and the process of your weight loss with a professional.
“I do a lot of counseling on this, but definitely tailor [the diet] to the person,” Nebbe said.