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New case study shows New Year’s Detox can be deadly

January 4, 2017

Every January, many of us turn to thoughts of dieting to take off those extra pounds. There is so much literature out there around the do’s and don’ts of dieting, but we wanted to bring your attention to a growing trend – the post-holiday detox. Doctors and nutritionists are quick to caution that detoxes can be dangerous to your health.

A new study in the British Medical Journal describes the case of a 47-year-old “previously fit and well” woman who ended up in hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries after she took on a New Year’s “detox,” subsisting on liquids and various herbal remedies, doctors out of Milton Keynes Hospital said. It was linked to an abnormally low level of sodium in the blood.

The journal says the problem isn’t just dehydration, in this case and others the condition was triggered by the herbal remedies associated with the detox. In addition, detox dieting or other forms of crash diets are largely ineffective because we regain the weight and then some once the diet ends.    

Global News recently interviewed three women who shared some of their simple tips for healthier living (and they lost weight). Some of these suggestions may work for you:

  • Don’t focus just on weight loss. Focus on leading a healthier lifestyle over the longer term.
  • Keep a food journal. Invest in a notebook to keep track of what you are eating and when so that you can find any bad patterns that you need to break.   
  • Have a plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner, too.  Check out the Canada Food Guide for suggestions on healthy foods.
  • Just commit to 10 minutes. Adding physical activity to your day is really important! If you haven’t been active, start with small steps! 
  • Cut out the “low hanging fruit”. Sugary drinks, cookies and cakes, and fast food were off the table for the trio of women Global News interviewed.

 Here’s wishing you a healthy and happy 2017!