“One cannot think well, love well & sleep well if one has not dined well”

We made it to June! After this hellish winter, I’m loving it. Who doesn’t want to see more sunshine and a bunch of toothless, bearded guys hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup? On the flip side, this time of year brings for many a sense of panic, as summer is here. Shorts, tank tops and swimsuits – oh my! Regardless of size or body confidence, the thought of all that exposed skin can be intimidating to anyone. I think this is why detox diets gain a lot of buzz this time of year.

I’m not going to weigh pros and cons, nor am I going to explore both sides of the argument. No beating around the bush, I’m 100% against detox diets. Cleanses, juice fasts, any diet that promotes severe calorie restriction or liquids-only gets two thumbs down.

It's okay to eat - even enjoy a slice of pizza.

It’s okay to eat – even enjoy a slice of pizza.

Throughout the years, I’ve heard a lot of reasons why people choose to put themselves through these unpleasant diets. Now I’m going to shoot them down one by one.

*Disclaimer – The libertarian in me wants to remind you that it’s a free country and you can and should do whatever you please. If you want to drink nothing but lemon juice with cayenne pepper for days, go for it. I’ll just be over here, eating my veggie pizza, salad and Raisinettes. 

I Want To Cleanse My System and Flush Out Toxins

Toxins you say? Geez, what the heck have you been eating?! Jokes aside, “cleanse” diets are unnecessary. Thanks to your liver, your body possesses the ability to detox and cleanse itself without cutting out food or drinking bizarre concoctions.

Also, you don’t have to stop eating real food to feel lighter and cleansed. Just scale back the processed and junk foods, and instead opt for so-called “clean” foods. Fresh veggies, healthy salads, fiber-rich fruits, lean protein and low-fat dairy are all delicious, real food that will leave you feeling satisfied – not like you need to devour an entire sleeve of double-stuff Oreos.

I Need To Go Extreme To Jumpstart Healthier Eating

Back in college, I had a couple friends who couldn’t start a new healthy eating plan without an extreme kickoff – which meant forgoing food entirely and going on a liquids-only diet. I don’t need to tell you they were miserable every time, always succumbing to cravings after the second day and partaking in some serious overeating.

Unless you have a horrible stomach bug, there’s never a good reason to completely cut out food from your diet. Drastically reducing calories sends your bod into starvation mode and throws your metabolism out of whack. Not to mention no one is going to want to hang out with you if they feel they can’t eat or enjoy a cocktail without risk of being mauled or chastised. (“Yes, please stare, judge me and tell me how many calories I just ate.” Said no one ever.)

If you need to be extreme, eliminate less-than-the-healthiest foods cold turkey. Satisfy your sugar fix with berries instead of candy. Craving carbs for dinner? Nix pasta with garlic bread and instead try spaghetti squash with light sauce and veggies. It’s gonna take some willpower to make those good choices every time but remember – this way, you still get to eat!

I Want A Quick Fix For My Upcoming __________ (Class Reunion, Pool Party, Etc.)

It’s hard to argue with this one. Yes, if you stop eating, you’ll probably drop weight fast and feel lighter for said event. But what happens after, when you go back to normal eating? The weight is going to come right back and all that’s going to plummet quickly this time is your self-esteem. Then comes negative self-talk, feelings of failure and, very likely, bingeing.

It’s not worth it. Why not use this event as a reason to start a healthier eating program, rather than a reason you need to go on a crash diet? As for the event itself, focus on feeling confident and happy. Buy something new that flatters your best assets and always surround yourself with friends who don’t judge you based on the fact you have a real body with real cellulite and maybe even some arm flab (it’s okay, we’ve all got something).

Finally, a simple point that’s especially true for athletes but also applies to anyone who gets out of bed every day and lives life in some form – you have to eat. Plain and simple, you can’t survive without eating. And, c’mon, what would life be without dinner dates, a small tub of popcorn at the movies and one delish cupcake to celebrate your best friend’s birthday? Just keep it in check and reasonable. When you do over-indulge, get over it and get back on track at your next meal.

Agree with my views on detox or think I’m totally off? Comment or tweet me your opinion, @runlikeagirl311


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