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Is a Detox Diet For You?

By HERWriter Blogger
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Weight Loss related image Photo: Getty Images

Everyone from celebrities to the other moms in the carpool lane seem to be talking about one detox diet or another. From a homemade cayenne pepper mixture to simple juice fast, people everywhere, especially women are trying to cleanse their symptoms and possibly lose weight at the same time.

Detox advocates say it is healthy to rid the body of toxins. Critics say detox regimes are just another type of fad diet whose adverse effects can be unhealthy.

In an article for WebMD, Dawn Jackson-Blatner, a dietitian at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Wellness Institute and American Dietetic Association spokeswoman said, "these diets can give people a false sense of security, a feeling that they've been protective of their health. Then, when the diet's over, they go back to their normal way of eating."

Later in that same article, Peter Pressman, MD, an internal medicine specialist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles agreed that the science behind the detox diet is flawed because “the body already has multiple systems in place -- including the liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract -- that do a perfectly good job of eliminating toxins from the body within hours of consumption.”

However, there are some health advocates who say a gentle form of a detox can be a good thing, and in fact is quite the opposite of a fad as humans have been doing it for hundreds of years.

In an interview for this article, holistic nutritionist Michelle Butler, says “the whole detox idea has been popularized in the media as a favorite celebrity weight loss regime. But many ancient medicinal systems use detoxification as a vital healing technique for chronic conditions. For example, Native Americans use fasting and sweat lodges for purification, and Ayurveda (the medicinal system in India) uses herbs, massage, sweating, and various other methods to detox and cure the body of many ailments.”

Ms. Butler went on to say that most detox methods are extremely stressful on the body, and aren’t sustainable with today’s fast past living. She created a 21-day detox for her nutrition clients that she says is healthier and not as extreme on one’s body as most other detoxes.

She says there are many benefits from her program, but the top five benefits she’s seen in the participants doing the detox program are:

1. Boost in energy and mental clarity
2. Boost in happiness and confidence
3. More mobility and complete reduction of pain in the joints
4. Almost, if not complete, reduction of belly bloating, and an increase in regular bowel movements
5. Weight loss of 5-15 pounds

Anyone interested in trying a body detox should talk to a health care professional about the particular program and should consider all the effects before starting one.


WebMD.com, "Detox Diets: Purging Myths". Web. 28, September, 2011. http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/detox-diets-purging-myths

Email interview with Michelle L. Butler CHHC, AADP, RYT. 27, September, 2011.

Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment11 Comments

Do you have high metabolism or thyroid problem? Either one of these could be the cause. Try having more of fruits and vegetables and always do have plenty of water.


November 21, 2011 - 6:42pm

The way I lose weight is fairly detoxing. When I'm working on reducing, I cut out everything except lean meat, fruits, and vegetables. It clears all the inflammation and my system starts humming!

November 21, 2011 - 12:20pm
HERWriter Blogger

Great! Do let us know!

October 31, 2011 - 8:20pm

I have not tried the Detox diet just yet. But I will provide feedback....

October 31, 2011 - 11:41am

What you suggested sounds very refreshing and healthy. I'll keep it in mind.


October 15, 2011 - 2:22pm
EmpowHER Guest

FYI: I have tried a simple 2 day fast: dilute lemonade only. 1/4 c lemon juice, preferably fresh, 1/4 c sugar, and 6 cups of water. Just sip on it all day. When it is gone, drink only water.

I have only raw food for a couple of days before (apples and broccoli), and a couple of days after. Love how light and fresh I feel after this, and the feeling keeps me from overeating for seveal weeks. (low cost, simple)

PS: perhaps a typo on page 1 of the article: fast-PACED life, not PAST

October 15, 2011 - 10:44am

Hey Conny, Out of all the foods and drinks out there the best is water. No matter how much you have in a day has no harm what so ever. I know a really great drink which is pomegranate juice. That has excellent source of antioxidant. I usually buy them for the holiday Rosh Hashanah and now I'm buying them regularly also. Eating healthy and having plenty of water is the best.


October 11, 2011 - 11:01am

I know some fruits that are great for intoxicating the body such as blueberries and all kinds of berrys, but the best thing as Melissa6666 said is the water...Drinking plenty of water is the best way to help your body fight the fats and the poison cells in it.

October 11, 2011 - 8:41am
HERWriter Blogger

Good information!

October 3, 2011 - 6:04pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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