5 detox diet myths and healthy eating tips for bloating and weight loss _ self

Sonya heard about detox diets from her yoga teacher. Avocado and egg microwave Sarah got the tip at a health food store. Avocado and egg hair mask Kendell’s real estate agent urged her to try one. Avocado and egg diet All three were told detoxing would rid their body of toxins, give them energy, and help them lose weight—fast! You’ve probably heard it, too, from celebrities touting the perks of detoxing, or from ubiquitous ads for supplement regimens and juice-fasting kits.

Here’s who won’t tell you to detox: doctors and registered dietitians, most of whom agree the habit can become dangerous and lead to disordered eating—and that detoxes don’t even deliver on the promise of bringing about long-term weight loss, either.


Poached egg and avocado Detoxing may make you shed water weight, but it quickly returns. Baked avocado egg microwave Worse: A lack of nutrients can make your body eat into muscle for energy. Avocado and egg breakfast ideas Since lean muscle keeps your metabolism chugging smoothly along, this can wreck any strength and weight-loss goals you may have. Avocado and egg salad sandwich It also becomes harder to burn calories because your body conserves what little energy it gets, Peter Pressman, M.D., an internist with the U.S. Avocado and egg treatment for the hair Navy Medical Corps and a fellow of the American College of Clinical Nutrition, tells SELF. Avocado egg and olive oil hair mask “Clinical evidence shows that the notion of a nutritional scrub is nothing more than highly profitable fiction,” he says.

In truth, our bodies need no extra cleansing—they’ve got the detoxing thing handled. Avocado and egg for breakfast “We have a liver and kidneys, and they are quite efficient at processing out anything toxic,” American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Lona Sandon, R.D., assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, tells SELF. Avocado and egg salad Colon-cleansing products might actually weaken immunity by killing good bacteria that fend off invading germs in the gut. Avocado and egg for skin And in the worst cases, fasting can trigger arrhythmia and even cardiac arrest because of the rapid loss of key electrolytes.

But it’s undeniable that many women find detoxes intriguing. Avocado and egg weight loss “They give people a sense of control,” Sandon says. Egg and avocado bake recipe Fasting may even have a short-term calming effect caused by the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, in response to the stress of not getting enough fuel (as in, a calming effect that’s really not worth it because it’s due to taxing your body). Avocado and fried egg And the caffeine in some detox products can provide a shot of energy. Baked avocado w egg But when the diet ends, the high fades and women crash, often feeling sick, sad, and ashamed they couldn’t stick to their strict regimen, or that the results don’t seem to last. Bacon egg and avocado Enter: cleansing again to regain the initial feeling, leading to a vicious cycle that can take a toll on both your body and mind.

It’s time to stop sabotaging ourselves! SELF paired five cleanse fans with registered dietitians for 30 days to create eating plans that provide everything they hoped for from a detox but without the deprivation or danger. Avocado and poached egg Here’s what they learned when their eating habits got a healthy makeover—their tips can help you closer to your health and weight-loss goals, one bite at a time.

Why she cleansed When her Bikram yoga instructor began touting detox diets, VandeKerkhof was pregnant with her first child, and the idea resonated. Avocado and egg baked in oven “I started to think a lot about toxins,” she tells SELF. Is avocado and egg good for your hair “Everything you eat transfers to your baby.” After weaning her second child, she was bloated, tired, and anxious, and she finally gave the trend a try, spending $300 for a 28-day Arise & Shine colon-cleanse program. Egg and avocado breakfast “For three weeks, you eat only raw foods, then for one week you have only juice or water,” she says.

Her new eating plan VandeKerkhof made a big discovery when Dara Godfrey, M.S., R.D., a dietitian in New York City, asked her to keep a food diary. Avocado deviled eggs recipe no mayo “Turns out, I was a saltaholic,” she says. Egg and avocado on toast When she wasn’t fasting, she snacked regularly on chips and salsa, pickles, and olives. Poached egg and avocado breakfast “I started eating salsa with cucumber slices or high-fiber crackers instead. Avocado and egg sandwich Right away, I lost five pounds.” VandeKerkhof also took Godfrey’s suggestion that she eat more dairy and protein to keep her feeling fuller longer and that she stabilize her blood sugar levels so she’d feel less moody and less captive to cravings. Avocado egg roll recipe from cheesecake factory Godfrey also encouraged VandeKerkhof to eat a high-fiber breakfast (like Kashi Go Lean cereal) and a filling yet portion-controlled lunch (such as vegetable soup and a turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread), as it was the afternoon crash that typically sent her reaching for salty snacks.

The results At the end of the month on SELF’s plan, VandeKerkhof was amazed to find she’d lost 10 pounds. Avocado egg bacon breakfast “I have a lot more energy, and I don’t feel like I have the highs and lows anymore,” she says. Avocado egg rolls recipe cheesecake factory “I’ll use what I learned in this process for the rest of my life.”

Your tip So-called toxins don’t cause belly bloat and lethargy, but too much salt will. Egg stuffed avocado recipes In addition to cutting back on pickles, olives, and chips, watch for stealthy sources such as canned veggies and condiments. Baked avocado and egg Look for high-fiber packaged snacks that contain less than 100 milligrams of sodium per serving to help keep the digestive system humming.

Why she cleansed Johnson, a mother of four, gained 50 to 60 pounds with each pregnancy and could never manage to get back to her starting weight. Avocado with egg recipes “When I’m pregnant, I don’t worry about what I am eating at all,” she tells SELF. Avocado and egg pizza After her second child, Johnson was 189 pounds and went to a health food store for weight-loss ideas. Egg and avocado breakfast ideas The counselor—who was not an M.D. Recipes with avocado and egg or an R.D., the only people qualified to give diet advice—suggested a detox. Baked avocado and egg recipe After trying the master cleanse and getting sick to her stomach, Johnson created her own regimen, having only water for three days, then only juices for 17 days. Avocado and egg pizza recipe She dropped weight, a predictable consequence of not eating solid food for three weeks. Avocado and egg for weight loss But she felt sluggish and bloated and found that she bruised easily. Baked egg and avocado recipe Even after her cleanse, she continued eating too few calories, skipping breakfast, and sometimes lunch and forgoing the meals she made for her family to eat merely a raw vegetable plate. Egg white and avocado She repeated this pattern (overindulging while pregnant, cleansing for 20 days, then eating raw food) two more times. Avocado egg rolls recipe healthy “I was going to extremes,” she says. Healthy egg and avocado recipes “I just wanted balance.”

Her new eating plan Dietitian Sandon calculated that Johnson was eating only 800 calories a day—so few that she was slowing her metabolism and unable to build muscle. Is avocado and egg good for you She created a plan to raise Johnson to 1,500 calories a day, enough to get nutrients without causing weight gain. Boiled egg and avocado Working with Sandon, Johnson began eating three meals a day, including a breakfast of eggs, fruit, and whole-grain toast, which is high in fiber, to keep foods moving through the body. Eggs and avocado healthy recipe At each meal, Johnson added a nutritious bonus, such as a yogurt smoothie for calcium. Egg and avocado recipes Finally, Sandon urged Johnson to share in the meals she cooked for her family to make eating a positive experience for her and to set a good example for her daughters.

The results At the end of the month, Johnson was shocked to find that, even after eating nearly twice as much, she felt less bloated and her clothes fit better. Avocado and egg for face She had also lost eight pounds. Avocado and egg toast recipe “I couldn’t believe how great I felt. Baked avocado and eggs I no longer had that midday drag. Salad with egg and avocado I realized I hadn’t been kind to my body by eating as little as possible,” Johnson says. Baked avocado and eggs recipe “I’ve felt better in the past 30 days than I have in a long time. Fried egg and avocado I get out of the shower and look at myself in the mirror and feel so great. Egg white and avocado breakfast I’m getting off the roller coaster.”

Your tip Johnson was scared of carbs, she says, and working with a dietitian helped her get past her fears. Healthy avocado and egg recipes If you’ve been detoxing to avoid carbohydrates, start slowly by adding two to three servings a day of the healthiest kinds—whole-grain breads and starchy vegetables, including peas, sweet potatoes, squash, and corn. Avocado and egg salad recipes Work your way up to the recommended three to five daily servings.

Why she cleansed “I was looking for focus,” Kelly, who was traveling for work, studying for the bar, buying a home, and moving, tells SELF. Hard boiled egg and avocado recipes She often ate meals out with friends and reached for Twix bars and fries on the road. Egg and avocado breakfast sandwich Kelly’s real estate agent suggested her frazzled client try the cleanse outlined in her favorite book, which called for days of only fruit followed by days of vegetable juices. Avocado and egg for hair “I needed energy, so I was willing to go along with the potential craziness.”

Her new eating plan Instead of detoxing to get more produce, Kelly needed to consume more whole fruit and vegetables as part of a balanced diet, Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D.N., in Chicago, tells SELF. Egg and avocado bake “Dawn taught me ways to work them in, like adding lots of zucchini to pasta sauce,” Kelly says. Avocado and boiled egg Kelly planned for treats, such as a small cup of ice cream, that she could enjoy without overdoing it. Egg in avocado hole recipe And she cut back on takeout by cooking big meals and saving half for later.

The results “I felt great right from the start,” says Kelly, who also resumed strength training. Baked avocado egg bowl She didn’t lose weight immediately, so instead she decided to focus on her health and energy. Avocado and egg bake By week four, she had lost three pounds, felt less anxious, and had curbed her fast-food habit.

Your tip Restricting food in stressful times with a detox is counterproductive because it deprives your body of energy. Avocado and egg nutrition You can get plenty of immune-bolstering vitamin C by filling half your plate with bright produce such as broccoli, bell peppers, kiwifruit, tomatoes, and strawberries at every meal, including in restaurants. Toast with avocado and egg “The lure of detox is that it’s a quick fix,” Blatner says. Avocado and egg on toast “But whatever you do for a few days will never make up for how you treat your body the other 362 days a year.”