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March 17, 2022
RESET DIETS: MYTH OR REALITY? | By Hubert Cormier
Who wouldn't want to do a reset once in a while? The idea of detoxifying our body or eliminating an accumulation of toxins seems tempting. This concept, which is intended as a new beginning, seems reassuring and even guilt-free for some, but is it? Let's look into it. Doing what is called a "total body reset" may not be as good as you think. Let's look at the explanations.
WHAT ARE RESET DIETS?
Reset diets are short sequences lasting about two weeks where the majority of the food is ingested in liquid form, usually juices or smoothies. These smoothie recipes contain several ingredients that are said to have benefits for detoxifying the body, eliminating impurities, helping to lose weight, improving health and even helping you to have more beautiful skin.
In most "reset" diets, you purchase smoothie mixes from a certain company that will also sell you a recipe book—or an e-book and a myriad of nutritional supplements.
These diets are generally divided as follows:
- Phase 1 (5 days): all meals are replaced by smoothies, and you are allowed two snacks per day. For physical activity, you should complete 10,000 steps per day.
- Phase 2 (5 days): Replace two meals a day with smoothies and eat a low-calorie solid meal according to the recipe guide provided by the company. You are always entitled to two snacks. Add five minutes of resistance training every day following a program sold by the company (of course), in addition to continuing to aim for 10,000 steps per day.
- Phase 3 (5 days): Replace one meal per day with a smoothie and eat two low-calorie solid meals according to the recipe guide provided by the company. You can have up to two snacks a day and the physical activity goals are the same as in Phase 2.
The daily intake of ingested calories for this kind of diet is completely insane. The average adult needs a lot more energy in order for their basal metabolism to function properly.
SAY NO TO CALORIE RESTRICTION!
In this type of diet, the extreme caloric restriction is the same regardless of your age, gender, physical activity level, and overall health. Your plan is not personalized at all. Initially, some people who start this type of diet feel hungry (hello hypoglycemia!), become irritable, and even see their concentration levels decrease. Of course, the weight loss (actually water loss!), often quickly noticeable following this period of calorie restriction/deficit, is purely mathematical! However, this lost weight will be quickly regained once you return to your old eating habits!
SAY NO TO FALSE PROMISES!
Be aware that there is no scientific evidence to support commercial "reset" diets for either weight loss or body detoxification.
DETOXIFICATION DOES NOT EXIST!
According to many experts, the very idea of doing a "reset" is based on myth! If toxins really built up in your body, you would probably be very ill or even dead by now. According to researcher Edzard Ernst of Exeter University, your kidneys, liver, skin, and lungs are already detoxifying your body as you read this. This is one of the many roles played by these organs. Edzard Ernst says the principle of a "detox" is just like painting flames on the side of your car to make it go faster—it's completely useless!
IS IT HARMFUL IN THE LONG TERM?
Going without food for two weeks may result in a small weight loss, but this effect is not related to detoxification! This kind of restriction can even lead to possible eating disorders. In addition, following these diets greatly hinders your ability to listen to your satiety signals and undermines your relationship with food.
However, the foods recommended by these "reset" diets are healthy! Emphasis is placed on fruits and vegetables, fibre, daily physical activity, etc. All of this already sounds like Canada's Food Guide recommendations! It is the extreme deprivation of these diets that makes them harmful in the long run and the fact that these eating habits are very difficult to maintain over time. This type of extreme caloric restriction also causes discomfort, dizziness, fatigue, and a feeling of irritability.
In short, there is no need to try "reset" or "detox" diets. They are a will waste of time, money, and energy. Instead, opt for more fresh, whole, and colourful foods. Exercise a little more every day. If you want to drink a juice or a smoothie, do it because you want to and because it makes you happy!
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