Friday, October 15, 2010

Detox Shmeetox: A Buyer Beware Adventure

This as been a topic of interest of mine for the past five or so years. I used to work for a health food store and I wondered if detox programs work. I took a brochure for one of these detox/cleanse plans from work one day and showed it to my biology teacher in high school. He informed me that detoxes don't work and that they are a scam. He said that the body already has built in detoxifiers and they are called the liver and kidneys. 

So, finally I (and with the help of others) got to do the research I've always wanted to do. In my group I focused on U Weight Loss. U Weight Loss is a weight loss program that is developed by a physician and involves the processes of detox and cleansing in order for their clients to loose weight. Now, I was a little skeptical myself because I thought how can eliminating toxins from your body help someone loose weight? And what are these toxins? And how do they chemically interact with the human body? 

So, I decided to book myself in for a consultation (I had won a free detox kit from a raffle I signed up for half a year ago, but I realized that you don't have to win in order to have a consultation and free detox kit).  I also was curious about all these medical professionals who advertise on the radio and see if I can actually speak with one. 

When I went in for my consultation I was set up with someone who is called a health coach. When I asked the health coach how a detox will help me she explained that there are tons of toxins in our world (for example pollution in the air we breath and the food we eat). She explained that the difference between their formulated detox plan is that it targets the liver and not the colon. I asked her what exactly is a toxin chemically and how does it interact with the body. She answered that it is pollution in the air. So then I asked how does pollution in the air affect my liver if I'm breathing it through my lungs. I also asked how the detox targets my liver and what supplement actually targets it to that specific area and she said it was just a combination of all of them. I tried to ask more about the actual weight loss program after the initial detox and she gave me very little information. She said that it is three phases and once all three phases are completed the person then goes on a maintenance program. She said that they formulate meal plans which include all nutrients (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates) and that all families can eat the meals.

After my consultation I went and spoke with someone who had been on the program before. She said that the detox portion to the program is just a ploy to get people in the door. She said that it didn't benefit her or help her loose weight in any way. She was promised at the beginning of the program that she wouldn't have to buy any more supplements or detoxes but she said that she could tell the health coaches were commissioned because they kept trying to sell her more products every week. She said that the first phase of the weight loss program forced her to eat excess amounts of protein (ex: 4 eggs and a protein shake for breakfast and a fast food option that included a chicken salad with 2 extra chicken breasts from Wendys). She began to experience severe headaches and found she couldn't adhere to the diet plan at all. She decided to quit the program but only after spending more then a $1000. She said that U Weight Loss is a scam and that the people who work there are scam artists.

I also decided to consult a fitness expert. He said that in his 20 years as being a coach he has never heard of toxins as a cause of obesity. He said that this may sound harsh but people sometimes blame their weight on something else (toxin) in order to absolve themselves of guilt (it is the toxin that is the cause of extra weight). 

What Consumers should be Aware of:
Detox is a ploy to get people in the door. Detox does nothing to help weight loss but it is the meal plans that make people loose weight in an unhealthy way. U Weight Loss uses nutrition, supplements, and words like “registered nutritional consultant” as a disguise for an unhealthy way to loose weight. There is no proof detoxes help people loose weight. 

Here is the Free Detox Kit:


1 comment:

  1. So what's all that small print? You will have to show me this for my own knowledge!!