Detox Diets – do they work?

November 12, 2012

Detox Diets – do they work?

Detox diets are renowned for cleansing your system from the toxins it picks up each day, but can also be very difficult to stick to as they lead to extreme hunger in many cases.

Detox diets are touted as the ideal way to recharge and refresh your system. Very often, they claim to ‘change your life’ and make you feel better than ever.

7-day detox

Dieticians have been known to recommend a detox diet, such as the 7 day plan which claims to ‘restart, refresh and recharge’ your system. This plan is really just a very healthy and balanced diets with an added list of banned products, which, it has to be said, are obvious bad guys.

  • Eat plenty of pulses, fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, tofu, potato, rice, nuts and honey.

  • Avoid meat, dairy (with the exception of natural yogurt), coffee, alcohol, wheat and condiments.

This particular detox plan is an excellent choice for the non-cooks among us, with huge amount of variety and very little preparation involved. Since fruit and vegetables form the mainstay of this diet it might be a great time to check out your local fresh product market.


Breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day, recent studies have shown that those trying to lose weight by skipping breakfast lose far less than those who take the time to eat first thing in the morning. Options include -

  • Smoothies – choose soymilk or natural yogurt, add two types of fruit – different colours of course, some ice-cubes, whizz it all in your blender and enjoy. Adding a drizzle of honey will give your smoothie an edge of sweetness if needed.


If you are out at work all day then you will need to plan your lunches and make sure you have the right containers to take it with you.

  • Salad

    – Even without dressing, it is easy to prepare a great chopped salad full of healthy leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, you can even add some tinned butter beans or chickpeas or a few nuts for added texture. Use the juice of a lime or a lemon for some added flavour, and maybe some fresh herbs.


After a hard day at work, it is often easy to grab the nearest thing and eat it while vegged out in front of the T.V. but even when detoxing there are plenty of choices available.

  • Tinned fish is a great standby to have in the store cupboard, choose the kind that is canned in spring water or tomato and with the addition of a big fresh salad and a jacket potato; you should be able to enjoy your evening meal. If the potato is too bland without seasoning and butter then try cooking up some fresh tomatoes with onion and a few herbs which should help liven it up.

Buying ready made

Even when doing a detox diet for only 7 days it is often tempting to cut corners by just buying a smoothie on the way to work, or choosing a shop bought pre-prepared salad for lunch. Even products that are labelled ‘healthy ‘ or ‘organic’ may include a huge amount of sugar for example – sugar in particular can come in many guises – evaporated cane sugar; agave; organic brown sugar. Check out the list of ingredients on everything before you buy and remember that the higher up the ingredients list something is the more of it is in the product.

Eating out

Most restaurants nowadays are happy to provide ingredient information and to accommodate special diets. Do not be afraid to ask about dishes and if necessary to ask for a substitute.

Day 5

If you have managed to stick to this plan for 5 days you should, by now, be noticing a difference – you should be less bloated, glowing with health as well as feeling energised.

Day 7

Moreover, if you have managed to make the full 7 days no doubt you are feeling pretty great. Hopefully you have discovered the benefits of eating breakfast and a healthy lunch with no stodge and perhaps learned some new habits you can stick to.


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