Guest Blog: Detox – The Natural Way! by Ali Cavill
Detox – The Natural Way!
This article was authored by personal trainer and health & fitness writer/consultant, Ali Cavill.
A detox, or detoxification, is a natural process the body undergoes to eliminate or neutralize wastes and toxins to prevent disease and harm to body tissue. In the modern world we are exposed to any number of toxins on a daily basis including food additives, cigarette smoke, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones in food, chemicals from food packaging, household cleaners, detergents, heavy metals, pollution, drugs, and alcohol.
Our bodies are designed to undergo a natural detox, with the liver, intestines, kidneys, lungs, skin, blood and lymphatic systems working together to ensure that toxins are transformed chemically to less harmful compounds and excreted from the body.
However many people, through lack of knowledge and expertise, time, resources and money, may possess a diet that lacks the nutrients required for this process, impair the body’s natural ability to detoxify chemicals, which further leads to their build-up in the body.
Detox diets have seen a massive increase in popularity in the last decade to counteract this issue and are available in a wide range of forms including package and store bought detox products, juice detox, body wraps and cosmetic methods, surgical procedures such as colonic hydrotherapy and the exclusion or restriction of foods in our diets. A detox diet is designed to eliminate the harmful toxins from our body in a short time, performing the function that our body is otherwise not performing adequately. There is also a common belief that a detox may kick start the metabolism and aid in weight loss and skin repair and hydration, however there is limited evidence to suggest that a detox can lead to permanent weight loss.
There are benefits to detoxing in that they encourage people to drink plenty of water, eat plenty of natural foods such as vegetables and even suggest the addition of various herbs and supplements, however there are also side effects to detox that can be harmful. A detox diet, similar to a fad diet, can recommend unsafe practices such as prolonged fasting and severe food restrictions, which can lead to a slowdown in your metabolism, in turn having the opposite effect and making users actually gain weight, so that the benefits of any initial weight loss are reduced each time you try and fast.
In essence, a cleanse or detox plan that suggests adding more fresh and natural foods to your diet such as legumes, vegetables, lean protein, fruit and wholegrain cereals, eliminates non-essentials such as alcohol, coffee and nicotine, promotes consumption of plenty of liquids as well as regular sleep and exercise, is a great idea! It is the extreme or sporadic detox practices based on little scientific data that can be hazardous. So, go fresh and natural and soon your body will recover to again take care of itself!
About Ali Cavill
Ali Cavill is Head Trainer and owner of Fit Fantastic, which provides health and fitness services. She is also a popular Group Fitness Instructor in Australia, teaching gym classes throughout NSW. She currently trains corporate and school groups including Stella Maris, Wenona, Cromer Public, Heart Foundation, OOSH Northern Beaches and Taronga Zoo Corporate Group, and has recently launched Fit Moves!, a program providing health and wellness options to schools throughout NSW. Ali is a Brand Ambassador for Rockwear and a Warrior for Australian Institute of Fitness, featuring in their national ad campaigns. In her spare time she has held fitness and acting roles on Home & Away, Biggest Loser, The Circle, Foxtel TV, Great Gatsby, just to name a few!
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!