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Do Detox Diet Methods Really Work?

In diet circles, detox is still the buzzword, and the most extreme detox plans show that some people will stop at nothing to lose weight. But do these detox plans really work and do they result in long-term weight loss?

Well, according to the American Dietetic Association, the main reason to follow any diet for detoxification is for 'physical purification,' not for weight loss. Physical purification is the process of removing toxins from the body, particularly the digestive tract, respiratory system, and the skin. Even so, if you google 'weight-loss detox,' you'll find a huge number of weight loss detox diets. These diets range from absolutely ridiculous down to just plain extreme. For example, there's the 'water detox diet' and even the 'air diet.' Yes, with the air diet you consume nothing but actual air, and while you might lose weight, you will probably also be dead!


Most of the time, detox diets are meant to be followed for only a few days and not as a long-term way of life. That's at odds with the advice of most dietitians who stress that any weight loss routine has to capable of being sustained for the long term.


On WebMD, Dr. Michael Smith advises against a detox diet as a way to lose weight since you will only lose glycogen and water. You might be able to lose a few pounds, but you'll gain it all back, he states. The Mayo Clinic also takes a negative view of detoxing for weight loss and emphasizes that these diets are never a solution for the long term. But sometimes a detox diet can be a way to jumpstart your weight loss and prepare you for making healthier food choices. For example, after you detox, you will probably be ready to cut out unhealthy fats, processed foods, and sugars.


According to Dr. Smith, there is only one detox diet that works for weight loss, and that's the clean eating detox diet. But the clean eating diet is very similar to the recommendations of most dietitians which are to limit high-fat, sugary and processed foods and replace them with whole fruits and veggies. The HCG Diet Protocol also fits the bill for a good detox diet. For a max of 30-40 days, in conjunction with taking HCG drops, you choose foods from a list of unprocessed proteins, fruits and veggies and drink plenty of water. This regimen not only results in rapid weight loss but also cleans your palate and helps to eliminate cravings for sugar and carbs. Enjoying the taste of whole nutritional foods instead of junk food will naturally make the task of maintaining your new, lower weight easier.


The Mayo Clinic Diet gives advice that is very similar to clean eating. This diet advises that dieters include fewer processed items and eat more real foods. The clean eating diet recommends cutting back on added sugar and salt along with a balanced diet including moderate amounts of fruit, loads of fresh vegetables and smaller portions of fish, chicken, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains.


In conclusion, it is always best to eat real food, watch your alcohol consumption and get rid of all foods that were made in a factory. Try not to listen to all the hype about cleanses and detox plans that sound so enticing. If you make healthy food choices, eat a balanced diet and generally adopt other healthy habits, you will get more sustainable results.


Begin today by figuring out which of your dietary habits are not sustainable such as eating more food than you burn, always eating dessert, and/or not exercising. Then create a plan to change your habits. You'll be glad you did.