Detox Diets


Over the past year, detox diets have become a rising trend. The plans, which range from consuming fruit juice to just raw foods, are alleged curealls. They promise to fix anything from acne to aches and pains, but are they really what they are cracked up to be?


Losing weight and flushing toxins are the main purpose of detox diets. Weight loss will certainly occur when a detox is done. However, it is usually not permanent. Susan Rapp, a physician, said this to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, “When you stop [extreme diets] after [a period of time], even if you return to a diet of healthy foods and beverages, how much of that weight loss do you think is going to be maintained?” Toxins enter the body daily from pollution, food and drinks. The body processes these toxins relatively well. But detox diet fans feel as though this isn’t enough. They do detoxes to get rid of accumulated toxins and reap rewards such as clearer skin, fewer headaches, added energy, and  improved mood and health. As promising and appealing as that may sound, it is not completely scientifically proven. Dr. Peter Pressman told Web MD that there’s no evidence at all that any of these approaches augment the body’s own mechanisms.


There are many different types of detox diets. Undoubtedly, the most popular is the Master Cleanse. The Master Cleanse is a concoction made of water, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and lemon juice. It was made popular by celebrities such as Beyonce, Denzel Washington and Demi Moore. Another popular detox option is following a strict raw food diet–nothing can be cooked or processed. A variation of the raw food cleanse is a juice detox with fresh squeezed juices to keep the dieter functioning. Others include brand name powders and drink mixes. Whatever method one chooses to detox with, it is important to understand the side effects. Extreme exhaustion, hunger, headaches, upset stomach and mood swings are common side effects felt from detox diets.


Anya P., a 22-year-old wellness representative at an all natural food store, went on a weekend long fruit juice detox diet. “I noticed some changes after. I feel cleaner but it’s not the grand change I was expecting and it was tough! I stayed home all weekend because I had a headache and snarky attitude from not eating.” Changes can be felt from detox diets some big, some small. What is important is that they are done safely and with realistic expectations. Consult your doctor before taking up a detox regimen. Not sure if a detox diet is for you? Try taking a tip from the detox plans and incorporating more whole and fresh foods into your diet.

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