Published Date July 11, 2022

Does the detox diet actually work?

By Hetvi Shah

4 min read

This diet is a short term intervention in your regular diet in order to cleanse your body and improve your health.
Does the detox diet actually work?

Detoxification or detox diets claim to cleanse or eliminate toxins from our bodies. These diets have become prevalent in the past few years. They are thought to help lose weight and overcome certain chronic diseases too. Let's see to what extent would such a diet work.

What is a Detox diet?

Generally, these diets eliminate processed and junk foods while they allow only a few selective food items and a period of observing fast. The diet promotes consuming more fruits, vegetables, juices, herbs, teas, and plenty of water.

A detox diet is followed to - 

  • Relax vital organs,
  • Improve blood circulation,
  • Supply the body with healthy nutrients, and
  • Eliminate toxins from the body

This diet is a short-term intervention in your regular diet to cleanse your body and improve your health.

Common ways to Detoxify:

Some ways to detoxify are mentioned below - 

  • Fasting for 1- 3 days
  • Exercising regularly
  • Eliminating alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and refined sugar
  • Breaking down heavy meals
  • Including teas, smoothies, and juices in the diet
  • Adding vitamins and minerals-heavy foods or supplements
  • Using laxatives, colon cleanses, and enemas

Effects of detox on Weight Loss

Losing weight can be very easy/quick when on a detox diet. But rather than losing fat, you tend to lose fluids and stored carbohydrates. The effects of a detox diet thus can easily diminish when you go off the diet and the body restores its fluid and carbohydrate reserves. Only a handful of researchers believe in the long-term and sustained weight-losing capability of a detox diet.

Pros and cons of a detox diet:

Though the cons weigh more than the pros, let’s decide after seeing what they are whether you should trust a detox diet or not. 

Pros -

  • High in antioxidants
  • Promotes high intake of water
  • Help reduce bloating and constipation
  • Reduction in inflammatory food intake (fried & processed foods and refined sugar)

Cons -

  • results in fatigue, weakness, excessive hunger, and muscle aches very frequently
  • This may lead to a poor relationship with food and eating disorders
  • Disturbs the gut flora which is essential for digestion and immunity
  • Juice diets may lead to potential health risks like diabetes and kidney disorders
  • Temporary loss of weight and lean body mass slows down the metabolism
  • No impacts on blood pressure, cholesterol or heart health
  • Severe dietary restrictions can lead to low blood sugar levels
  • No dietary diversity
  • Not strongly supported by research
  • Known to cause intestinal damage

Are detox diets really effective?

It is more commonly observed that during or post-detox diet, people have reported feeling more energetic than before. However, there is no clear scientific research that backs up the theory that detox diets improve energy levels.

One reason could be that since there is no inclusion of processed or junk foods, the rather simple and raw foods get digested faster by the body. The idea is that since they are digested easily, our organs have more time to rest before another meal and we feel hungry more often. Also, raw food is more nutrient dense thus providing the body with more nutrients.

Although the reason must be justified, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor if you are feeling unwell during or post your detox diet.

But what if we say that our bodies are perfectly capable of cleansing themselves better than any detox diet or detox process like an enema?

The liver's sole job is to keep breaking down non-food substances in our body like medicines, and alcohol. The kidney filters the blood and intestines creating a barrier against harmful microorganisms. The waste is then excreted in different ways like urine, stools, sweat, and tears.

In other words, if you see any changes in your body it is clearly because of dietary changes and not due to the elimination of toxins. 


From the very beginning of mankind, the human body has been producing and eliminating toxins naturally. Detox diets and detoxification has gained popularity in recent years. People in the olden times used to eat simpler food-”satvik bhojan” that helped them maintain good health and keep diseases at bay. if your regular diet is "satvik", you won't have to follow a detox diet now and then.

Related Tags

Vitamins & Minerals

Contains Antioxidants


Weight Loss




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