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What you need to know about detoxing

It’s that time of the year! Pumpkin spice lattes, Halloween candy, holiday desserts and comfort meals are about to be in full effect. If you’re like me though, you’re marking this time of year as an opportunity to flush the system and start anew.

With only three months left in the year, this is a good time to assess your health and make adjustments as needed so you can reach your wellness goals.

There are a lot of misconceptions on the proper way to detox, so I’m breaking it down and giving it to you straight.

Here are three things you should know before starting a detox:

1. Your body does not need help to detox.

Your body is designed to detoxify itself. Contrary to the advertisements you may see on tummy teas, elixirs and pills, your body does not need anything to cleanse.

Detoxing is less about what goes into your body and more about what comes out. Toxins in your body originate from two sources:

  • endotoxins — byproducts your body makes, such as lactic acid, urea and feces
  • exotoxins — toxins that come from outside your body like chemicals from cleaning products and cosmetics, pollutants from the air or water, and pesticides on food.

Your liver’s primary function is to detoxify your body. The most important thing you can do to help your body rid itself of harmful toxins is to take care of your liver. This means limiting unhealthy fats, sugars, and high alcohol consumption, drinking the proper amount of water for your body weight, and exercising so that your liver doesn’t get overwhelmed and work harder than it’s designed to. This leads me to my next point.

2. Detoxing will not reverse the effects of bad nutrition.

This is the time of year where you will notice heavy marketing for you to indulge in ALL the things your heart desires whether that’s food, shopping or traveling. So, naturally you may feel less inclined to maintain a balanced diet, continue moving your body and getting regular exercise, after all, it is the most wonderful time of the year.

The reality is that these things are OK in moderation. If you overindulge too often, your liver can be damaged over time, and this is something no detox can repair. So, don’t wait until the new year to start your healthy lifestyle, start it now! Your body will thank you.

3. Detoxing is not a great way to lose weight.

Weight loss from detoxing is not sustainable. You may lose a few pounds, but that’s usually due to loss of fluid and some lean muscle mass, not body fat.

When you participate in short-term weight loss strategies, your progress will more than likely be temporary.

Your body is a perfect design. All you need to do is help it do its job. So, instead of adding the detox products to your Amazon cart, first start by making small changes to your lifestyle that will support your overall wellness.