Natural health practitioners believe that detoxification methods can help boost weight loss. According to "New Medicine: Complete Family Health Guide" -- edited by a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Arizona School of Medicine and a leading practitioner in integrative medicine -- modern society overwhelms the body with toxins. Toxic overload makes it difficult for all systems to work properly, including your body's detoxification system. As a result, you might encounter side effects such as fatigue, headaches and weight gain.
What is Detox?
Detoxification involves various processes that help to diminish or remove the toxic quality of compounds and to remove them from your body, according to Jacqueline Krohn and Frances Taylor, authors of "Natural Detoxification." They also point out that "depuration," which means to cleanse or purify, is a more accurate term for the processes used to remove toxins from the body.
Detoxification can include methods such as fasting or juicing, which require using a juicer to help unleash the nutrient benefits of vegetables and fruits, according to Brenda Watson, author of "The Detox Strategy." Increasing consumption of fibrous foods such as vegetables, fruits, cereals, nuts and seeds is also a part of a detox diet. Exercise is also considered a detoxification method. According to Taylor and Watson, exercise increases blood circulation and helps to release toxins through sweat. Holistic at-home detox treatments include saunas and hot baths.
Detox and Weight Loss
Losing weight without detoxification might be counterproductive, according to Ann Louise Gittleman, author of "The Fast Track One-Day Detox Diet." As she explains, when you lose weight, your body releases toxins that were stored in fat. She recommends making detoxification essential when you're trying to lose weight. Also, detoxification reduces your exposure to foods that contain chemicals that disrupt hormonal activity and metabolism in your body, according to Gittleman.
Studies have investigated various components of detoxification and shown their benefits on various aspects of weight loss. For instance, a study published in the Journal of Lipid Research in 2010 revealed a correlation between dietary cholesterol and weight gain. Detox diet ingredients such as fiber and cranberry juice help lower cholesterol levels. Also, in a study published in the February 2010 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers concluded that a higher intake of fiber, especially cereal fiber, can be beneficial in preventing gains in body weight and waist circumference.
If you have a medical condition, do not make any dietary changes without first consulting your doctor. Be aware that detoxification methods can cause side effects such as headaches, dehydration, fatigue and insomnia.