Detox diets revealed

Published On: Nov 15 2013 11:15:00 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 16 2013 12:03:34 AM EST

Detox diets are trendy and ask participants to cut out everyday items, including dairy, gluten and even beans.  But how well do they work?

ORLANDO, Fla -

With two dogs, two baby boys and one husband, as Natalia Foote puts it, things can get pretty hectic around a Lake Nona couple's home.

[WEB EXTRA: Detox diets detailed]

Natalia and her husband, Michael, spend a lot of nights eating out to eliminate cooking and clean up time around the house.

But both young parents wanted to make an effort to get healthier, so they decided to take part in a neighborhood challenge.  Over a six week time-frame they agreed to workout more and eat healthier.

So when Natalia saw that Local 6 was looking to track volunteers through a three-week detox program, she quickly volunteered.

"I think signing us up so that all of Central Florida knows about us, that will keep us accountable, " said said.

Meanwhile, in Geri Goldstein's Heathrow home, the kids are a little older but life is just as hectic. 

Goldstein had tried detox plans in the past but was never able to stick to it. 

She volunteered to be part of the story as an added incentive to lose weight.

The Footes followed along the "Whole 30" plan, based on the book "It Starts With Food" by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.

The Hartwig's book and website has gained popularity recently with fitness gurus, personal trainers and group fitness gyms.   Dallas is a physical therapist and Melissa is a certified sports nutritionist.

In their New York Time's bestselling book, they ask willing participants to eliminate sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy and white potatoes.

Tara Gidis, the nutritionist for Run Disney and the Orlando Magic, questioned where the Hartwigs got some of their science.

"I'm all about eating some lean meats and lean vegetables, but why are we cutting out beans when beans are one of the healthiest foods you can eat?" she said.

Gidis, who just published "Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies," also questioned how the book recommends some fruits and vegetables over others.

The Hartwigs defend their position on legumes in Chapter 10 of their book.

They explain that the bacterias in beans, sometimes known as the "magical fruit," can cause digestive symptoms like gas and bloating.

"The Detox Diet," by Elson M. Haas, MD, allows for beans and whole grains while still eliminating dairy, sugars, alcohol and caffeine.

Goldstein followed this plan and found the book difficult to follow.

She also said the plan did not call for enough food at times, and she would find herself having to add more proteins at dinner to sustain energy.

Michael Foote had that same issue with the "Whole 30" plan.  He actually quit just 10 days into the challenge because he was so exhausted.

Gidis warned that could be a potential pitfall with these detox plans: they do not provide enough carbohydrates.

Natalia Foote stuck with the plan for a three week time-frame, but was looking forward to eating sugary treats again as soon as it ended.

Gidis said that can be problematic as well.

"Usually, it's too extreme and at the end of it you throw it all away and you don't end up with better habits at the end of it because it was too extreme," she said.

Michael Foote lost 11 pounds during the detox, although for most of the three weeks he was just eating a more balanced healthy diet.

Goldstein lost 6 pounds and had the hardest time throughout cutting out her morning coffee.

Goldstein said she did not feel she spent more on her grocery bill during the detox, because she typically purchases a lot of fruits and vegetables anyways.  On average though, she spends about $130 a week on groceries.

The Foote family said while all the additional fruits and vegetables were costly, they ended up saving money because they weren't going out to eat as much.

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