Updated: December 16, 2015

Q. A friend of mine lost a lot of weight by doing a detox diet. Are detox diets healthy for you?

A. There are certainly better ways for you to drop a few pounds. Detoxification, or cleansing, diets aim to rid your body of disease-causing "toxins" by limiting the types and amounts of food you can eat. Some plans permit nothing except certain fruits and vegetables (which are often spun into juices), while the popular Master Cleanse fast restricts you to a cayenne pepper-laced elixir for 10 days.

Since the daily calorie count for many detox plans tops out at 700, you will slim down if you follow them, says David Grotto, R.D., founder of Nutrition Housecall, a personal- consulting company in Elmhurst, Illinois. But the weight you'll lose will consist of water and lean muscle tissue rather than body fat. And don't expect to be thinner for long: Because these detox diets put your body into starvation mode, it hangs on to every calorie to conserve energy. The loss of lean muscle mass dampens your calorie-burning furnace as well. So once you revert to your old eating habits, says Grotto, your metabolism will have slowed down, making you even more likely to regain the weight. Vitamin deficiencies are also possible, especially with the plans that limit fruits and veggies.

What's more, the whole concept of detox diets is misleading and it's a better strategy to stick to a balanced healthy diet. "Your liver and other organs naturally remove so-called waste from your body," says Grotto. "Eating whole grains, produce, healthy fats, lowfat dairy, and lean protein keeps these organs and your body's elimination process in top condition. If you cut your calorie intake to 1,500 daily, you'll lose weight, too."

Find weight loss tips that really work – and discover how to lose weight by eating a balanced healthy diet.

Advertisement


Comments (25)

Anonymous
April 19, 2019
Over the years I've tried many methods recommended by both my friends and family but none of them seemed to work out for me until I chanced upon this holy grail where I've lost almost 33 pounds in just 1 month trying it out! I can now fit in dresses two sizes down and receive many compliments from not only my lovely husband, but colleagues and girlfriends about how great I look right now! I'm here to share with you guys because I really am thankful and hope someone who also needs this can experience similar results as me! Here is the link to my holy grail method! https://bit.ly/flatbelly21dayfix
Anonymous
April 2, 2019
I tried every diet in the book in an effort to lose weight. My life consisted of lots of cardio and eating like a bird. Soon, I was totally burned out. I felt like a failure. When I finally put the puzzle together, within a short amount of time I was losing stubborn fat while building lean muscle. A new, improved version of me was emerging. Now in my mid-thirties, I’m in the best shape of my life. My story is here ==> https://bit.ly/mydietstory
Anonymous
March 14, 2019
Hi, my name is Sara and I'm 40 years old. My body transformation journey started when I came across Emma's story. Emma's husband left her for a younger woman, which sent her into a downward spiral that made her gain a lot of weight very fast. Luckily she discovered an amazing workout program that allowed her to achieve the best shape of her life. Read her story here =====> https://bit.ly/getabikinibody
Anonymous
February 12, 2019
Did you know there’s a “deep detox” you can do first thing in the morning to burn more fat? And the good news is It only takes 13-seconds! Here it is: https://bit.ly/2x45lQy
Anonymous
January 19, 2019
Lost 41 pounds and 4 dress sizes. I am in the best shape of my life. Wish I had seen this amazing video earlier: https://bit.ly/2xZoIIy
Anonymous
January 10, 2019
Sometimes you may need to lose a lot of weight quickly. I've tested this plan because i was looking for a way to lose weight fast before an event, and it worked wonders. Do you have trouble losing weight? You came to the right place. Get ready for weight loss without hunger. Try this program >> https://bit.ly/howtoloseweightveryfast
Anonymous
December 17, 2018
The simple 30 second ritual that stops fat storage: https://bit.ly/2LjBabD
Anonymous
December 14, 2018
Losing weight is not so difficult with the right guidance and methods. What worked for me was this amazing guide: https://bit.ly/2QvsWDd Explains the science of losing weight, right foods to eat, foods to avoid, tips and tricks to lose weight quickly and stay healthy.
Anonymous
November 16, 2018
This controversial method can make you lean fast: https://bit.ly/2DmMBxk
Anonymous
November 3, 2018
hey i found a rapid weight loss program that can help you lose up to 23 pounds of pure body fat in just 3 weeks!!! watch this video here -> 3weeksdiets.net
Anonymous
October 27, 2018
Did you know there’s a “deep detox” you can do first thing in the morning to burn more fat? you can burn 1.2lbs daily and It only takes 13-seconds! watch this video : flatbelydetox.net
Anonymous
October 14, 2018
Unusual weight loss method that actually works: https://bit.ly/2NeMdD5
Anonymous
October 14, 2018
Losing weight is not so difficult with proper guidance and discipline. What helped me in my desire to lose weight and get fit was this amazing weight loss program. watch the video here: => https://the2weekdietnow.com
Anonymous
October 12, 2018
The Secret to Losing Unwanted Weight Fast and Keeping It Off: https://bit.ly/2pRzPPy
Anonymous
October 4, 2018
Lost 41 pounds and 4 dress sizes. I am in the best shape of my life. Wish I had seen this amazing video earlier: https://bit.ly/2xZoIIy
Anonymous
August 20, 2018
36-year old mother of 3 Reveals The French Weight Loss Solution That Helps You Naturally Slim Down Without Exercise: https://bit.ly/2KOb2Ee
Anonymous
July 27, 2018
Hi now I can show off my body on the beach. down 12 kilos of fat from my belly in 7 weeks I feel great, I lost successfully weight with this method: https://bit.ly/2rHqH0d
Anonymous
July 27, 2018
Every woman who wants to lose weight should watch THIS now: https://bit.ly/2mLKSZ1
Anonymous
July 21, 2018
Since I turned 40 it has been increasing harder to lose weight. I have tried every diet, watch what I ate etc., nothing worked. One day my husband came home and told me about this system, I thought why not. Three months later I lost 34 pounds and 3 sizes. Now that I’m on the maintenance part of the system I lost a total of 38 pounds and now down 4 sizes…. This system works. It really had me change my eating habits. I have learned valuable nutritional information to ensure I keep the weight off and look great. Three months later I lost 34 pounds and 3 sizes, just following this system: http://leanbellybreakthrough1.club
Anonymous
July 16, 2018
I find detoxing as a life style change not really something you do for a few days and then you're done! I like to feel cleansed all the time! I tried this tea a few months ago and its AMAZING! It has helped me lose weight and given me back my energy I havent felt in years! Its really hard to sift through all the crap online to find the real actually amazing products! This is one of them! I'll give you the link so you can check it out but really it is a great product! I hope this helps! https://bit.ly/2LdYkTf
Anonymous
July 11, 2018
My life is totally transformed after I followed this diet. https://bit.ly/2safCoC Have Lost 27 pounds in last 1 month and feeling great about myself.
Anonymous
September 25, 2018
Great success, congrats and all the best. Thanks for sharing this.
Anonymous
June 21, 2018
Did you know there’s a “deep detox” you can do first thing in the morning to burn more fat? And the good news is It only takes 13-seconds! Here it is: https://bit.ly/2x45lQy
Anonymous
September 25, 2018
Its very effective, thanks.
Anonymous
May 19, 2018
I had used Brian’s method to reduce 8 kg in just 3 weeks; I followed step by step procedure as per Brian’s instruction. This is one of the perfect weight loss product to reduce weight without any side effect and keep the body fit for lifelong, refer here: http://weightlossin3weeks.com/the-best-diet