What if the secret to weight loss wasn’t really a secret at all? According to Christine Gerbstadt, author of Doctor’s Detox Diet, The Ultimate Weight Loss Prescription, everything we need to slim down is right in front of us–no special fasting diets, lemonade drinks or meal replacement bars. Instead, she says the key is to choose whole foods that work together to support our organs. Specifically our liver, kidneys, skin, intestines and lymphatics. When we optimize these organs through our diet choices, they remove more toxins and waste, fight inflammation, and speed-up metabolism to burn existing fat and keep it off.
To find out more about how to best support permanent weight loss, we talked with Gerbstadt who says that it starts–and continues–with a good detox.
What exactly is detoxing and cleansing? Are they two different things?
The scientific definition of detox is not the way we use it. The technical term really just means to remove drugs or alcohol or other toxic substances from the body. Or it can mean emptying the colon for a procedure like a colonoscopy. But the way we use it now is really just removing the body of impurities. We’re not going to remove things like mercury because that gets into our bones, but we can remove things like cholesterol, fat and refined sugar. It’s basically removing impurities from our diet and from our bodies. Cleansing is the same, but people think about cleaning up their lifestyle a lot more than just what you eat or drink here. Cleansing can include adding exercise, avoiding pollution, avoiding UV rays, etc.
So is a detox diet a short-term diet or a long-term lifestyle?
The detox diets that have become popular with celebrities where you can drop 10 pounds in 10 days are focused on starvation, restriction, fasts and eliminating almost everything from your diet. Those kinds of diets are nothing more than fad diets and definitely only work in the short term. In fact, with those you only lose water weight because it takes three weeks to start losing fat. Eating a detox diet needs to be an on-going long-term, lifestyle commitment. You don’t just do it once a month or once a year and then eat whatever you want the rest of the time, thinking that a few days of fasting is going to clean you out. You’ll still have high cholesterol, diabetes and excess pounds.
So what do you recommend eating during a detox diet?
It’s using mostly whole foods and focusing on foods in their natural states, like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, beans, etc. People can choose to be vegetarian or not, and if they don’t eat meat, that means including more legumes. Basically, eating a detox diet means you’re eating healthy diet most of the time to support your organs, release impurities and keep them out of your body.
How is your detox diet different than other whole foods diets?
The focus of mine is on the five detox organs–your skin, intestines, kidney, liver and lymphatic system. You need to make a meal plan that is going to include foods to support each organ system. For example, I recommend a lot of herbs and spices because they are really potent sources of nutrients that help to support the organs; basil is really good for your kidneys and liver. Once you start eating more whole foods, they become very familiar and you start including this variety into your everyday diet and not wanting the processed foods anymore.
So when you say a detox diet, you basically mean a detox lifestyle, right?
Yes, this is an ongoing way of eating. Not a short-term fix.
How does this detox lifestyle help you lose weight?