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3 Important Things You Need to Know Before Trying a Detox Diet
1. A Healthy Body Already Does A Good Job Of Flushing Toxins
Detox diets claim they help flush toxins like pesticides and metals out of your system, but your body already has an amazing detoxification system in your liver, kidneys, and colon. “There is not any researched information to show that any of these detox diets do anything more than what our bodies do naturally in response to reducing sugar, fat, and caloric intake,” says Cassandra Forsythe, Ph.D., R.D., a Connecticut-based dietician specializing in nutrition for fat loss.
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2. Most Detox Diets Are Super Low In Protein
Six glasses of green juice every day may help you lose weight temporarily, but it will not the protein you need to build or maintain muscle. You’re essentially “starving the muscles of their building blocks,” Forsythe says. So while you may be losing weight, some of that weight may be muscle mass.
(For better healthy-eating ideas that will help you lose weight, check out .)
3. Detox Diets Encourage A Poor View Of Good Nutrition
Detoxing isn’t an eating disorder, but it can certainly fit into the category of disordered eating. Look at the Master Cleanse, in which you ingest only lemon juice, cayenne pepper, maple syrup, and water for 10 days. (Sounds delicious, right?) When your 10-day sentence is over, you're probably going to want a quad-stacked bacon cheeseburger, large fries, and a chocolate milkshake—something you wouldn't have downed if you hadn't just starved yourself for a week and a half. Plus, that burger binge will likely lead to you feeling terrible about your body (and yourself in general), putting you on the path to another restrictive eating period. It's a viscious cycle.
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