Detoxes to Avoid in 2018

Jennifer O'Donnell-Giles | March 7, 2018

New Year’s resolutions seem to be synonymous with losing weight. And quick weight loss tends to be synonymous with gimmicks. A very popular gimmick nowadays is a five-letter word that begins with D and ends with X.

We constantly see too-good-to-be-true detoxing cleanses that promise six-pack abs, quick weight loss, and the cure-all feeling of youth.

Unfortunately, it turns out that most of these cleanses are, in fact, too good to be true. They are typically very expensive and usually ineffective – or worse, harmful. The truth is that millions of people are still attempting these detoxes in 2018 because of persuasive marketing that makes promises too brilliant to resist. Here are a few words and phrases you need to know and look out for in order to be safe if you’re considering a cleanse this year.

  • Homeopathic. It’s nothing but savvy marketing meant to convince you that the product is natural and healthy when it actually provides little to no benefits. The FDA is currently working to take action against products marketed with this misleading term.
  • Yeast overgrowth. A quick search on the internet will give you page after page of blogs sharing ways to “treat” yeast, or candida, overgrowth. While they say that a candida cleanse diet can help with various symptoms, from fatigue to bloating, there is little evidence to support that claim. A healthier diet will generally improve how you feel, but whether or not it directly addresses yeast overgrowth is still up for debates. The best option is to talk to your doctor about your health concerns.
  • Control your pH. Your body is incredibly amazing, and it can usually control your pH just fine without the help of a detox or cleanse. All it needs is plenty of water with a healthy and balanced diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables. Once food enters your stomach, it combines with gastrointestinal enzymes that take care of the rest. If a cleanse claims to make you more alkaline, beware of the scam! There is such a thing as being too alkaline.
  • Toxins. The selling point of cleanses is the claim that they remove toxins from your body, but what toxins are they actually talking about? Companies say that you will feel better, have more energy, lose weight and so on, but where are the details? How exactly are their products going to help you detox? And what can their products do that a healthy diet and lifestyle can’t? These are questions that you should be asking before opening up your wallet.
  • Cleanse your body. There is a serious lack of understanding about biochemistry here. You do not need to go on a cleanse to clean your internal organs. There are precise chemical reactions that occur within your body to make sure nothing accumulates in your liver or kidneys. Trust in your own biochemistry more than a company that’s trying to steal your money!

The bad news is that there is no quick fix to good health. The good news is that, with the right resources, the path to good health can be a simple and enjoyable one. Eat a nutritious and balanced diet and find an activity that you love to keep your body moving. Do these two things every day and see for yourself!

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Before changing your diet and lifestyle, be sure to consult with your physician and address the health concerns that might have prompted you to make those changes.


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Jennifer O'Donnell-Giles

Jenn Giles, R.D., C.S.S.D. is all about health and wellness. She has over 15 years’ experience, including a dual master’s degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Columbia University. She is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD). She supplements all of this with her spin instructor certification and USATriathlon Level I Coach Certification.

Jennifer is passionate about (actually, obsessed with) the sport of triathlon. She has been personally participating in triathlons since 2000 and running road races since 1992. She is a two-time Ironman finisher and has completed countless numerous marathons. She has been a member of Power Bar Team Elite since 2006 and competed as a member of the 2006 Aquaphor/Active.com Sponsored Athlete Team. She was ranked as USAT All American Honorable mention in 2006 and 2011. Jennifer does all of this along side of her husband, Patrick, who is an equally accomplished triathlete and runner. They try as hard as they can to do all of their training and racing together.

She will tell you, however, that her most important, most rewarding and most challenging job is as a mother of four. She knows first hand the challenges of maintaining optimal fitness, overall good health and achieving goals while raising a family - of which good nutrition is the cornerstone.

Most importantly, she knows how to motivate, inspire and challenge athletes based on their own abilities, strengths and everyday lifestyles. She believes there is an athlete in everyone - no matter what their abilities are – and if those abilities are manifold, then there is an even better athlete in there!

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