After weeks of indulging in cocktails and holiday goodies, who wouldn’t want to melt away the unwanted fat and pounds that seem to accumulate faster than we lose them? Whether it be juice cleanses, alkaline diets or a 10-day trip to Starvation Island, all detox diets come with some good, many bads and quite a lot of ugly.

The Good

The incredible claims and reviews of detox diets and cleanses range from improved digestion to feeling 20 years younger. These products and programmes are claimed to promote better health, a flat stomach, less stress and fatigue… It’s almost as if we’ve found the fountain of youth.

But, to be honest, a lot of these programmes and advertisements about juice cleansing and detoxing aren’t completely wrong. They do get you to eliminate all processed foods, cut down on alcohol and drink lots of fluids – these are all good things. Detox diets also encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables, and most of us don’t consume even half the daily fibre recommendation.

The Bad

Despite these “expert” claims and reviews, there’s not even half a page of evidence to back them up.

Our body does a pretty good job of breaking down waste and flushing out toxins on its own. The body’s major weapons include the liver, the kidneys and the skin. They process and eliminate all the substances (harmful or not) that our body doesn’t need. There’s no evidence out there that proves that our body needs the extra help to clear out toxins. It’s probably safer and a lot wiser to let our body do the work itself.

However, health isn’t the only motivation for everyone, with many hoping that a detox diet can help them to lose weight. Yes, these diets can lead to quick weight loss, but that’s really for the same reason that all fad diets do – due to the severe caloric restrictions they impose! Unfortunately, instead of fat, you’re mostly losing water weight, which all comes back just a few hours after the detox ends. It’s likely that you’ll be back to square one following a detox – the original weight before you started the programme. If weight loss is your goal, there are smarter, healthier and more sustainable ways to achieve this.

And, don’t forget, your wallet usually takes a big hit – many of these detox plans can cost quite a lot, especially when you only get a few bottles of juice in return.

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The Ugly

Detox diets are usually very restrictive, and the calorie levels in these diets cannot support the energy that the body needs. Some types of detoxes can even cause headaches, dizziness and dangerously low blood sugar levels.

Aside from stripping away a significant amount of calories needed for daily functioning, they do not usually provide adequate protein, which can lead to muscle loss. They also deprive the body of the necessary vitamins and minerals that are vital to fighting off infection and inflammation.

This lack of proper nutrition can ultimately cause increased irritability, anxiety, a sense of deprivation and a lack of focus.

The Bottom Line

Detox diets may encourage people to consume more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods (the good), but they are based on false claims (the bad) and can lead to serious health issues if done long term (the ugly).

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Eatology provides healthy and effective weight-loss solutions to the public. Gourmet recipes are created with wholesome, nutrient-dense ingredients with great flavour – just to help you to reach your goal. Meal programmes are available at under 1,200, 1,500, 1,800, 2,200 and 2,600kcal to fit different nutritional needs.

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