The holidays have just passed us. Filled with loads of eating, drinking and all around good times. Seems fun right? It does, to a point. I’ve always associated Christmas with a high amount of guilt. Especially when it comes to food. This is a period where self hatred starts to rear its ugly head.
I know I’m not alone. Millions of people feel the same way. I shouldn’t have had that cake. My belly looks huge today. Why did I eat so much. It can be a very anxious time. The thing is that fitness companies seem to be extremely aware of this.
With the new year on the horizon, they are starting to circle us like sharks. There is blood in the water. They are willing to profit off the fact that weight loss becomes one of the most searched words on the internet around this time. The detox/cleanse/fit tea promotions are upon us.
Today, I’ll be deep diving into these ‘products’. I’ll let you know why they are useless, and how some can even cause harm to your body. Don’t worry. I won’t leave you empty handed. We’ll end by looking at some healthy ways you can tackle self hatred surrounding weight loss.
Self hatred and detox teas
These teas make a lot of grand promises. Lose a significant amount of weight in 7 days! I thought to myself, there’s no way this is possible in a healthy way. I spent the past few weeks trying to find any scientific evidence to back these claims. But it just doesn’t exist. Don’t get me wrong. I’m British. I love a good cup of tea. Something about its warmth helps me unwind in the evening. However, the guarantee that it somehow helps me lose weight is a complete lie.
So, if it doesn’t work, how come it’s so popular then? Well, it comes down to the way it is marketed. There are two main areas of weight loss they focus on. Meal replacement and vigorous exercise
Many detox teas are marketed as meal replacements. Guess how many calories on average each tea bag contains? 5-10 calories. The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK recommends that adult women should eat 1600-2400 calories in a day. 2000-3000 for men.
Appendix 2. Estimated Calorie Needs per Day, by Age, Sex, and Physical Activity Level – 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines | health.gov
That’s close to 500 of these detox tea bags a day. Let’s give these companies the benefit of the doubt and say that they expect you to eat half of your meals from natural meals. That’s still 250 tea bags. I don’t know about you but that sounds like a lot. Impossible to consume in a day. So, what do you think happens? You end up with millions of people, consumed with hatred about their bodies severely undereating. A recipe for disaster
The formula for weight loss is quite simple. If you burn more calories than you take in, you lose weight. But when you take it to the extreme by undereating, your body goes into starvation mode. Your brain believes that there is an actual physical threat to you. That must be the only reason why you’re eating so little. So, it holds onto fat for its energy reserves. As a result, you guessed it, you don’t lose any weight.
These teas also recommend that drinkers take part in vigorous exercise. They are making good use of that weight loss formula I talked about earlier. By making their buyers (that’s us) engage in exercise, we end up naturally creating a caloric deficit.
Can you see the trick they are playing? They get us to burn the calories ourselves through exercise. Then, they credit any weight loss that happens to the detox tea. It’s very smart from a business standpoint but extremely horrific to us as people. These detox teas prey on the self hatred that we all go through during difficult times and then make millions in profits.
So we’ve established that these detox teas don’t work. That’s as bad as it gets right? Absolutely not. Let’s talk about some of the side effects that can happen when you take them.
One of the most common claims made by detox tea companies is that they help expel toxins from your body. Another trick. They say this so that when the diarrhoea starts, you won’t be surprised. It’s just toxins leaving the body after all. We can thank Senna for this.
Senna is a herbal treatment used to treat constipation. Yes, it’s a laxative. Those pills you see people use in prank videos to cause others to run the toilet constantly. That’s in detox tea. So as you battle self hatred from over having that extra piece of cake, you have to deal with constant diarrhoea as well.
A huge consequence of this is dehydration, as you lose a lot of water in the process. Things can get bad quickly from there. It starts off with a headache but as you get deeper in the ‘cleanse/detox’, you start to create an imbalance in your body’s electrolytes. These are minerals that help the body function properly. An imbalance leads to a whole host of serious issues such as muscle twitching, high blood pressure and seizures.
Electrolyte imbalance: Symptoms, causes and treatment (medicalnewstoday.com)
Detox Tea: Side Effects, Purported Benefits, and How They Work (healthline.com)
Another risky ingredient in detox teas is guarana, a plant that’s often included in energy drinks. These can also lead to the stomach issues mentioned above but it mainly leads to over-caffeination issues. These include symptoms such as:
- Sleep disruption
Detox Tea: Safety, Side Effects, and More | Health.com
I believe the worst aspect of detox teas is the effect on our mental health when it doesn’t work. The spiral into self-hatred deepens. Why didn’t it work for me? I’m so fat. I’ll never lose this weight. I hate my body.
I’m here to tell you that’s it’s not your fault for falling for these lies. You’re not alone. Millions of people across the world are in your position. Let me provide an alternative path for you. A path filled with smart self love.
Replace self hatred with self love
Now, my version of self love is a bit different. Just because we want to love ourselves doesn’t mean we get to avoid the hard choices. Deciding whether you’re happy with your body is a difficult choice.
If you want to lose a bit of holiday weight, that’s entirely up to you. It’s your life. Don’t let anybody try to control your choices. If you do end up on this path, I want you to make this change from a place of love, kindness and respect to your body, not self hatred.
5 Brutally Honest Ways To Be Kind To Yourself – The Insignificant Soul (thebeautyinbeinginsignificant.com)
How do I deal with self hatred?
I personally decided that the weight I gained was unhealthy. It made me feel sluggish. I laid in bed more. It wasn’t a pretty sight. If you’re looking to make a few changes, here are some healthy recommendations.
- Instead of running everyday till you’re exhausted, talk a nice long evening walk.
- Instead of restricting your calories to the point of starvation, eat smaller meals throughout the day.
- Use positive affirmations to ensure you are supporting yourself throughout the process
50 Morning Affirmations To Start An Amazing Day – The Insignificant Soul (thebeautyinbeinginsignificant.com)
I haven’t lost all the weight yet. It’s a slow process but I’m feeling happier with my body. I’m giving it the attention it deserves.
At the end of the day, don’t allow self hatred because of weight gain to control you. The scale does not dictate your worth. Avoid fit/detox/cleanse teas as they don’t work and can be very harmful to your body. If you want to lose a bit of weight, take a balanced approach to it. Treat your body with kindness and it will serve you for a long time.
Did you have a good holiday period? Have you had any experience with these teas? I’m curious to know so let me know in the comments below. If you feel like you’ve learnt something then please do share this post with your friends, family.
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