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Why you should avoid ‘tea cleanses’ at all costs

As summertime rolls around so do the inevitable “get fit quick” scams that plague the interwebs such as detox and tea cleanses, waist trainers, and expensive meal plans. As our Instagram Explore feeds are flooded with endless posts of sun-tanned beach goddesses, we too are flooded with the stress to look like these gorgeously toned Insta models

Smiling, skinny, tan; when you’re trapped in the library polishing off your second strawberry Pop-Tart it’s hard not to be at least a little envious of the glamorous lives these posts depict. 

Instagram post by SkinnyFoxDetox Programs © skinnyfoxdetox on Instagram Instagram post by SkinnyFoxDetox Programs

A recent method to reaching beach body goals cropping up on the internet has been “tea cleanses.” Many promise to slim you down in a matter of 7 to 28 days by simply drinking their “detox” or “cleansing” tea.

But, when you look past the transformation photos and the sassy branding, a much scarier truth lies hidden within the ingredient list, nestled between the organic and beautifying ingredients. 

So, what is the big deal?

Senna, a natural medicine derived from the leaves of the senna plant, is used as a thinly veiled, all-natural laxative. Natural as it may be, the ingredient can be seen sprinkled within tea cleanse and detox recipes throughout the industry. 

The logic behind the teas works as follows: by detoxifying the colon and liver through laxative use, the user will subsequently lose bloating in the stomach and, impermanent as this weight loss may be, appear slimmer. By literally expelling the contents of your bowel tract at an increased frequency, you look skinnier because you are empty.

In reality, most of what laxatives expel from your body is not that cheat meal comprised of pizza and ice cream, but fiber and necessary electrolytes and minerals that help your body work. 

Simply put, the teas make you poop more so you have less hanging out in your gut, therefore you look slimmer. 

Simple, right? Well, not really. 

Although natural, Senna is still a laxative. Most doctors recommend using laxatives no longer than two weeks, and there’s a good reason why. With a slew of side effects including electrolyte and mineral imbalance, muscle and liver damage, comes the scarier possibility of atrophy of the muscles that actually make you go to the bathroom. 

With prolonged use of laxatives your body can’t work by itself anymore, creating a further dependency for laxatives, usually resulting in larger and larger doses. In extreme cases this means having to be tethered to an enema for the rest of your life, unable to “go” by yourself. 

With some cleanses lasting beyond 28 days, it’s easy to see why these pink-packaged and sweetly-flavored teas are more dangerous than they appear. 

Perhaps a grander issue lies in the sentiment behind the teas. In a world where young girls and boys are drowning in media that show them how they should look (or how they should want to look), practices like tea cleanses fall right into the norm, making their dangerous side-effects slip unnoticed among the public. 

I could write a million articles on how tricks like tea cleanses, waist slimmers, fat burning pills, etc., are all lies. Or how this culture of finding tricks to appear “slim” and “skinny” support a scary and false psychology and a poorly conceived notion on what it actually means to be healthy.

So, this summer instead of chugging a tea that promises you a dream body, have a smoothie. Maybe go for a walk on the beach instead of drinking that extra margarita. Focus on being healthy and happy

There’s no quick fix for a healthful lifestyle, so don’t fall for the products that promise a false reality and just try your best. And, remember, beauty is more than skin deep.

Don't let starvation diets trick you.: Don't let these fad diets fool you. There's a reason people feel so accomplished when they lose weight: for most of them, it's hard work, and for some, it can take a lifetime to find a plan they can stick to successfully.While we've heard the "calories in, calories out" approach a million times, for many people, seeing those numbers on the scale go down takes more than just knowing how to lose weight; they also need to apply that knowledge day in and day out, no matter how many times a double cheeseburger or ice cream sundae seems to be calling their name.The problem in with the notion that eating less and moving more is all it takes to get to your goal weight is that it's painting weight loss as a one-size-fits-all issue, when there are so many components that go into a successful weight loss plan. It's why so many people give up on healthy eating when they don't see immediate results, and why so many turn to the false promises of fad diets to help them.What they don't realize, while they're popping diet pills, fasting, or injecting themselves with supposed weight loss hormones, is that all these fad diets do in the end is slow their metabolisms, make them more likely to binge, and create a vicious cycle of crash dieting that can feel nearly impossible to break free from. To improve your chances of long-term weight loss, add some of the 100 Superfoods That Double Weight Loss to your menu and make sure to steer clear of the 40 Wildest Ways People Try to Lose Weight! The 40 Wildest Fad Diets

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