Detox diets are utilized mainly due to their claims to eliminate toxins, cleanse the body, and boost energy levels. However, their recent surge in popularity may also be attributed to claims of rapid weight loss in certain individuals. Shedding excess pounds is not uncommon during detox diets, but often times this effect is temporary. Not many are aware of this fact, which is why it it’s important to differentiate the types of detox diets, as well as their corresponding effects.
What is a Detox?
A detox is a method of cleansing in which an individual makes lifestyle alterations to rid the body of toxins. These lifestyle alterations normally involve refraining from certain habits and foods, while improving body functions. Some of these changes are short-term, such as following a cleansing diet, while others are long term.
These days, detox diets are more popular than ever. These diets are aimed at cleansing the blood and eradicating damaging toxins from our system. Still, it is not totally clear how these diets achieve this, and if they actually are effective at permanently eliminating undesirable elements from the body.
Can Detox Water Help with Weight Loss?
Detox diets are mostly short-term dietary changes intended to eradicate toxins from the body. By getting rid of these toxins, weight loss may occur as a result. This is the case for detoxes that reduce water retention and cause bowel movement.
A characteristic detox diet will involve a duration of abstinence, trailed by a rigid food regimen of vegetables, fruit, soups, juices, smoothies and water. At times but not always, a detox may also contain teas, herbs, supplements and colon enemas or cleanses. (1)
This entire process is claimed to:
- Encourage the liver to eliminate toxins
- Give the organs a respite by fasting
- Encourage toxin removal through urine, feces, and sweat
- Deliver healthy nutrients to the body
- Improve blood circulation
Detox treatments are usually recommended due to exposure to toxic chemicals in the diet or environment, like synthetic chemicals, pollutants, heavy metals and other dangerous elements. These diets are also purported to aid in many health issues such as digestive problems, obesity, autoimmune diseases, inflammation, allergies, chronic fatigue and bloating. (2)
Benefits of Detox Water for Weight Loss
Research has shown that consuming water naturally improves your metabolism, besides other water health benefits. Drinking detox water to achieve weight loss can be an effortless way to boost water consumption. Other than tasting good and having no calories, detox water has many extra health benefits, such as:
- Improved Mood
- Toxin elimination from the body
- Appetite suppression
- Release of fat cells for water weight loss
- Food moving effortlessly through your system
- Organs are healthier through sweat
- Lessened muscle fatigue during exercise
- Recovery more rapid from a workouts
- Avoiding feelings of sluggishness later in the day
Water and weight go hand in hand. Consuming water to shed weight and become healthier is one of the most effortless ways, much more so since one can create so many varieties of detox water.
Studies have observed that consuming infused water could aid at improved weight loss and support long term weight loss management.
Drinking water raises the level of calories you burn by as high as 30% within 10 minutes of drinking, and this water weight loss boost could linger for as long as 60 minutes. (3) Anyone who wishes to lose weight quickly without much fuss should try drinking more water. Drinking water considerably raises the resting energy expenditure (REE) by up to 25%.
How Much Detox Water Should You Consume?
According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), 2.7 liters for adult women and 3.7 liters for adult men of water (from all beverages and foods) per day covers the needs of healthy people in temperate climates. (4)
Many individuals find that drinking infused water for weight loss makes it easier to consume such copious amounts. Since infused water is low or absent in calories and has no artificial ingredients, one can drink unlimited amounts of it.
Certain detox water recipes even have metabolism enhancing ingredients that naturally help hasten weight loss.
The Best Detox Water for Weight Loss
The easy answer to that is the one you will consume the most.
Consuming infused water for weight loss is a powerful tool that can be used to further your weight loss goals. There are so many detox water recipes you can try, so don’t be afraid to experiment until you find one that’s right for you.
5 Detox Water Recipes You Should Try
Cucumbers are a popular vegetable known for their antioxidant, antidiabetic and lipid-lowering properties. They contain tannins and flavonoids that can help reduce free radicals in the body with regular consumption, while protecting the body from oxidative stress that could increase one’s chances of developing cancer.
Cucumber is also a low-calorie food, meaning you can eat plenty of it without eating too much into your daily caloric intake. At 16 calories per 100 grams (5), you can rest assured that tacking on some cucumber into your meals or into your water, won’t cause unwanted weight gain. In fact, it does the opposite.
Cucumbers offer support to the digestive tract, which aids the liver in cleansing the body of toxins. They are likewise considered a natural diuretic. This helps the body expel accumulated waste, thereby reducing bloating and water retention.
2. Lemon Water
Lemons are loaded with nutrients and are a great source of vitamin C. (6) This helps protect your immune system against illnesses and oxidative stress.
According to studies, diets rich in ascorbic acid such as the kind found in lemon juice, help protect the stomach against peptic ulcers and certain types of cancer. This is partly due to its alkalizing effect once digested. If you suffer from acid reflux and find that it affects your eating habits as well as impairs digestion, consuming just one tablespoon of lemon juice with 8 ounces of water will help prevent symptoms. (7)
As well, regularly sipping on lemon water can help you shed some weight because it contains a type of fiber called pectin. Fiber slows down gastric emptying, making you feel fuller longer. Foods high in fiber are preferred, as the slower-digesting carbohydrates do not cause insulin spikes that may cause cravings. Just make sure to include the lemon pulp in your detox water.
Apple cider vinegar is an ancient folk remedy known for its many household purposes.
For detoxing, it is mostly used to help users with a high carb intake, as apple cider vinegar lowers blood glucose levels and improves insulin sensitivity. These contribute towards greater weight loss in the long run. Furthermore, apple cider vinegar may increase satiety, helping you eat fewer calories.
According to one study on obese individuals, consuming apple cider vinegar daily resulted in lower triglycerides, reduced waist circumference, and weight loss. Anecdotal evidence also indicates that apple cider vinegar may suppress appetite. This is beneficial for individuals who are prone to overeating, as calorie control is a key component of weight loss.
When purchasing your apple cider vinegar, make sure to look for “The Mother” on the label, as this is where most of the beneficial effects of apple cider vinegar stem from. Distilled or white vinegar will not have the same effect as organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar.
4. Aloe Vera Gel Water
Aloe vera gel is made up of water, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and anthraquinone. Oftentimes thirst is confused for hunger, causing the individual to eat more than what is necessary. Aloe vera is 99% water (8) and promotes hydration, which is good for controlling hunger signals in the body.
Aloe vera gel has been found to have weight loss anti-tumor, antioxidant, anti-diabetic and anti-bacterial properties. In one study on obese subjects, results showed that those who were taking aloe vera capsules saw a reduction in body fat by up to 4%.
5. Apple Cinnamon Water
With as little as two tablespoons of cinnamon a day, you can reap the many benefits of this age-old spice.
The apple slices add sweetness to the detox water, making it a refreshing option for those with a sweet tooth.
If your goal is to lose weight, finding simple ways to incorporate cinnamon into your daily diet, such as through detox water or healthy desserts, is a surefire way to stoke your metabolism.
Detox Water Guidelines and Tips
- Always use distilled water for detox water. Tap water may be contaminated and cause the ingredients in your detox water to spoil more quickly due to the presence of bacteria. By ensuring that your water is completely clean and fresh, you can maximize the shelf life of your detox water.
- Use organic ingredients. Though organic farming standards vary worldwide, its general features strive to promote ecological balance and reduce harm. According to the USDA, use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and are often processed with fewer artificial conditions, materials and methods such as genetically modified ingredients, food irradiation, and chemical ripening are not allowed.
- Reduce consumption of processed foods. The point of a detox is to rid your body of harmful toxins and waste materials. Consuming processed foods is counter-productive to this goal, as processed foods have been linked to diseases such as metabolic disease and cancer.
- Do not drink a large volume of water in a short period of time. In general, more is always better, and the aim is to drink as much as you can without forcing yourself to the point of water intoxification or water poisioning. Water poisoning occurs as a result of drinking too much water in a short period of time. It is recommended that you keep under 0.8-1.0 liter an hour to avoid hyponatremia symptoms.
The Bottom Line
All of these detox principles and ideas are great strategies for weight loss and improving health. If you are determined to detoxify, put a stop to food addiction, and curb sugar and carb cravings, give infused water a try. It is one of the simplest and least expensive paths to better health.
P.S. Have you signed up for my free 24 Hour Detox Challenge yet? If not, you can download the free meal plan and sign up here (includes my favorite raspberry and peach morning detox water, avocado and blueberry salad in a jar, ginger lemon tea and 4 other detox recipes for weight loss).