Is it worth doing a detox after the holidays? What does a professional trainer say
Oh, these Christmas and New Year holidays... It seems that at some point, they turn into a food competition. And the goal in this frantic race is the refrigerator. Or rather, it's completely emptying. After all, how can you throw away all that pile of salads left over from the party? Even though they don't fit anymore, and you don't feel happy about them anymore, you continue to absorb the remnants of the holiday luxury. Multiplying the centimeters on the waist and increasing the same damn number on the scales...
Insta-bloggers say it's no problem; you can go on a detox, and it will drive out all the demons and extra pounds. But is detox as good as it is portrayed? And is there any point in fasting days after holiday feasts?
"A detox program is a diet (exactly a diet) based on the consumption of vegetable juices and smoothies, with various procedures, including hydrocolon therapy - colon lavage. Such simple things are a multi-billion-dollar business. People are told that they feel bad, look bad not because they eat irrationally and are stuck to the couch, but because their body is clogged, with toxins and slags accumulated in it," says Viktor Mandziak, a professional trainer, author of the book on healthy and adequate weight loss without stress and restrictions "The Trainer Allows!" (Vivat, 2021).
It is true that when you detox, your body weight decreases dramatically, which makes you feel happy and believe that you are on the right track. In fact, this dramatic weight loss is due to the following mechanisms. Muscles accumulate glycogen - energy for muscle work. There are about 400 grams of this energy in the muscles. The peculiarity of glycogen is that it binds water, 1 gram of glycogen is 3-4 grams of water. So, you are starving, and detox programs are, in fact, almost starvation (vegetable smoothies are very low-calorie drinks, and you can't drink anything else during "detoxification").
That is, if you also move during the "cleansing" (and I'm not talking about training, but daily household activities), the glycogen in the muscles is depleted, and new glycogen does not accumulate because there is nothing to use. And you lose at least 1200 g of body weight due to this mechanism. Then there are the muscles themselves, "they also crumble like a Chinese vase that was accidentally hit at a housewarming party because we don't eat protein, we can only have smoothies." And when the body lacks amino acids, it takes them from myofibrils, i.e., it breaks down the muscles. And the incredible calorie deficit that is inevitable during "detoxification" only contributes to this process. Fat, of course, also burns a little, but only a little, because these detoxes are short-lived.
Thus, a wonderful and wonderful detox turns into a tool that is more evil than good for your body. It won't save you from the pounds you've gained over the holidays, but it will add to your health problems in the new year. Detox programs, as well as quick post-New Year's express diets, mostly make no sense. After all, a competent post-holiday weight loss process is simply a return to the pre-holiday regimen. Of course, you can indulge in these trendy detox and express weight loss systems, but it is much more effective to gradually return to your usual (of course, healthy and balanced) diet, drinking enough water and doing adequate exercise. And you will be happy!
Viktor Mandzyak is a well-known Ukrainian professional trainer and fitness blogger. He supervises a weight loss program that more than 10 thousand Ukrainians have gone through. He popularizes proper weight loss, debunks popular myths, and teaches people how to be thin and healthy. He has more than 400 thousand followers on Facebook and more than 200 thousand followers on Instagram.