Are Detox Diets a Proven Weight Loss Method & Are They a Safe & Healthy Way to Lose Weight?

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Is Detox Diet Safe?

There are many books and sites promoting the benefits of detox diets, even celebrities like Beyonce Knowles tried this diet regimen to shed weight. But, a detox regimen is not proven scientifically. Still, some people support it blindly, without knowing about its effects and benefits. Supporters believe that detox diets claim to cleanse our body by flushing out toxins, removing excess fat and bolstering our immune system.

The basic premise of a detox diet plan is to temporarily avoid foods that are assumed to contain “toxins” such as sugar, dairy products, meat and certain grains. The detox regimen starts with fasting followed by a strict diet of fruit and fruit juices, raw vegetables and water. Some detox diets advocate the use of enemas (colon cleansing), herbal laxative teas and antioxidants to cleanse your liver and intestines. The time frame for each regimen ranges from a week to 10 days.

What do Experts have to say about Detox Diets?

There is little evidence that a detox regimen can help to cleanse the body or lose weight. Most dietitians think they are based on “junk science”. Jackson-Blatnor, American Dietetic Association spokeswoman and Northwestern Memorial Hospital Wellness Institute says, ”These diets can give people a strong sense of security, a feeling that they have been protective of their health. Then, when the diet is over, they go back to their normal way of eating.”

Experts doubt the toxin cleaning claims of a detox cleansing diet are deeply flawed. According to Dr. Nasir Moloo, gastroenterologist at the Capitol Gastroenterology Consultants Medical Group in Sacramento, California “There is no evidence that these types of diets are helpful. Your body does a perfect job of getting rid of toxins on its own.” In fact, kidneys, liver and gastrointestinal tract do a great job in eliminating toxins from the body within hours of consuming foods.

Harmful Effects Caused by Detox Diets?

There are some harmful effects caused by following a detox diet plan. Some groups, including teenagers, pregnant women, diabetics, and people suffering from heart disease may suffer severe adverse effects from detox diets. Peter Pressman, (MD, internal specialist at Cedars-Sinai Medical center in Los Angeles) does not suggest a detox diet plan for these groups as they can be vulnerable to cardiac and intestinal problems.

A Detox cleansing diet advocating laxatives also raises concerns among dietitians. The National Eating Disorders Association does not encourage laxatives as a useful weight loss control. Laxatives are absolutely not a good idea as they can cause mineral imbalances, dehydration and digestive system problems.


The best diet is the one that is based on vegetables and fruits, whole grains, sources of unsaturated fat foods and proteins. Maintaining a healthy diet with regular exercise can assure a solid foundation of good health. A detox diet plan is yet another pointless fad diet with some dangerous consequences to serious vulnerable groups.