How do you know what works and what does not? Which is the best choice?

There are many ways to “theoretically” detox. Among them are:

  • Juice fasts
  • Water fasts
  • Blended shake fasts
  • Single food fasts
  • Supplementing usual diet with “detox” pills
  • Modified diet “cleanses” (ie raw food, healthy foods)
  • Colon cleanses (including colonics and those involving laxatives)
  • Detox cleanses involving shakes, healthy food and “detox supplements”

It makes sense that a super strict regimen lacking healthy foods may be more difficult to follow and may not lead to carryover of healthy eating following the detox program. Also, many of the above methods lack proper nutrition and may be harmful to the body, especially if they are lengthy. Colon cleanses may assist in removing debris from the colon, however do not address toxic buildup elsewhere in the body. Although just modifying your diet to be healthier is obviously a good thing, it may not be enough of a boost to rid your body of toxic overload trapped in fat and other cells, tissues and organs.

You will feel much more energized and satisfied with a detox program that is science-based and includes a solid meal and a snack every day, along with tasty, filling shakes. This allows chewing and enjoying real food: nutritious lean protein, veggies, fruits and a wide selection of other choices. It lessens the feeling of deprivation, which often leads to binge eating or rebounding back to unhealthy habits. I have found that a sound 14 or 21 day program is adequate to achieve realistic detox goals.

A good detox program does not have to be calorie restrictive. Although most people report losing weight during detox cleanses, the primary purpose of detoxification is to rid the body of trapped, harmful substances. I recommend a plan that allows for healthy snacking (raw nuts, avocados, etc.) if someone does not want or need to shed extra pounds.

When detox cleanses are done every few months, many people notice greater tolerance to exercise, which increases overall health and well-being; they often report feeling much more energetic, notice clearer skin, and experience better quality of sleep. Performing a cleanse with the beginning of each season is an easy way to incorporate this program.

If you have a severe or chronic medical condition such as diabetes or cancer, or if you are pregnant, nursing, under 18 years old, or have any concerns about whether this type of program is right for you, please check with your medical practitioner before doing a detox cleanse.

The cost of a detox cleanse can vary greatly. Obviously the monetary cost of an extended water cleanse will be low, but what will the cost be for your health? Please be sure you choose a program that is safe and healthy. There are highly advertised detox cleanses that are quite expensive, but there are almost identical programs that cost less than the food you would normally eat during the same time period.