Do Detox Diets Really Work? Here is The Truth Behind Them

10 Myths & Facts About Detox Diets
3 Jul 2024
8 mins
Table Of Content
Do Detox Diets Really Work? Here is The Truth Behind Them

    You love ‘detoxifying’ your body at least twice a week - eat fresh and only rely on things that are the apparent “fruits of nature!” But, have you ever given it a thought on what good it really does to your body? Can a few weeks of clean eating offset the countless cheese-burst pizzas or frittatas? 


    We bet you not (for real)! And that’s why we have you covered with a handful of facts that you must read to get out of the fictitious world of plans that are created out of fancy. So, read on!


    What food can I eat during a detox?


    Detox diets are dietary regimens aimed at removing toxins from the body. These typically involve a period of fasting, followed by a strict diet of fruits, vegetables, juices, and water. Some versions also incorporate herbs and supplements. Proponents claim that detox diets can improve health, boost energy levels, and aid in weight loss.


    Why do people do detox diets?


    The allure of detox diets lies in their promise of a quick fix. The idea of rapidly cleansing one's body of impurities is highly attractive. Moreover, detox diets often promote the consumption of whole foods and the avoidance of processed foods, which aligns with general healthy eating principles.


    10 myths and facts surrounding detox diets


    Want to know if what you have been following is right or not? We have got you covered!


    Myth 1: Detox Diets Are Necessary to Eliminate Toxins 


    Fact: Your body is naturally equipped to eliminate toxins.


    One of the most common detox diet myths is that you need a special regimen to cleanse your body. In reality, your liver, kidneys, and digestive system are constantly working to filter and eliminate toxins. 


    The liver, for instance, plays a key role in detoxification by breaking down and removing toxins from the body. The body has an effective detoxification system in place that doesn't require special diets or supplements to function optimally.


    Myth 2: Detox Diets Lead to Sustainable Weight Loss


    Fact: Weight loss from detox diets is usually temporary.


    While detox diets often promise quick weight loss, the results are typically short-lived. Most of the weight lost during a detox diet is water weight and glycogen rather than fat. 


    Once normal eating resumes, the weight often returns. Sustainable weight loss is best achieved through a balanced diet and regular exercise.


    Myth 3: Detox Diets Improve Skin Health


    Fact: Healthy skin is more about long-term nutrition and skincare.


    Detox diets claim to clear up your skin by eliminating toxins, but there's little scientific evidence to support this. 


    Skin health is more closely related to overall nutrition, hydration, and proper skin care routines than short-term dietary changes. Maintaining a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals is more beneficial for your skin in the long run.


    Myth 4: Cleansing Diets Boost Energy Levels


    Fact: Energy boosts from detox diets are usually due to calorie restriction.


    People often report feeling more energetic during a detox diet, which can be misleading. This increase in energy is usually a result of cutting out processed foods and sugars, leading to more stable blood sugar levels


    However, severe calorie restriction can eventually lead to fatigue and nutrient deficiencies. A well-rounded diet is a healthier way to maintain energy levels.


    Myth 5: Detox Diets Can Prevent Chronic Diseases


    Fact: There's no conclusive evidence that detox diets prevent chronic illnesses.


    While proponents claim that detox diets can prevent diseases like cancer or heart disease, there's no scientific evidence to back these assertions. 


    The best way to reduce the risk of chronic diseases is through a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, along with regular physical activity and other healthy lifestyle choices.


    Myth 6: Detox Diets Cleanse Your Digestive Tract


    Fact: Your digestive tract is self-cleansing.


    The idea that detox diets can cleanse your digestive tract is a common misconception. The digestive system is designed to eliminate waste and toxins naturally. 


    Fibre-rich foods, adequate hydration, and regular exercise support healthy digestion without the need for extreme diets or supplements.


    Myth 7: Detox Diets Provide Essential Nutrients


    Fact: Many detox diets lack essential nutrients.


    Detox diets often involve severe calorie restriction and the elimination of entire food groups, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies. 


    Essential nutrients like protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals are crucial for overall health. A balanced diet that includes a variety of foods is necessary to meet your nutritional needs.


    Myth 8: You Need to Detox Regularly to Stay Healthy


    Fact: Regular detoxing isn't necessary for health.


    Again, the belief that you need to detox regularly to maintain health is a mistake. The human body is constantly detoxifying itself. 


    Adopting healthy habits such as eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and avoiding excessive alcohol and processed foods is a more sustainable approach to maintaining health.


    Myth 9: Detox Diets Are Safe for Everyone


    Fact: Detox diets can pose risks, especially for certain groups.


    It's important to remember that detox diets can be risky, especially for certain groups. 


    If you have underlying health conditions, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or are elderly, these diets can lead to nutrient deficiencies and electrolyte imbalances, resulting in constipation and other health issues. 


    Always consult a healthcare professional before starting any detox regimen to ensure your safety.


    Myth 10: All Detox Diets Are the Same


    Fact: Detox diets vary widely and can have different effects.


    It's also important to note that not all detox diets are the same. They can vary widely in their restrictions and effects. 


    Some may focus on consuming different types of fresh-pressed juices, others on fasting or eliminating specific food groups. 


    The effectiveness and safety of these diets depend on their specific components and how they are followed. Being aware of these variations can help you make informed decisions about your health.


    What are the best alternatives to detox diets?


    For those seeking a healthier way to cleanse and rejuvenate, consider these sustainable alternatives to detox diets. Not a great change from your daily routine, but just a bit more control over it :)


    1. Reduced Consumption of Processed Foods: Reduce the intake of unhealthy fats, added sugars, and artificial additives by eliminating processed and sugary foods.

    For instance, replacing sugary snacks with whole fruits like apples and berries can improve overall nutrition and reduce the risk of metabolic disorders.

    2. Improved Hydration: Experts stress the importance of drinking plenty of water, which supports the body's natural detoxification processes and overall health. For example, starting the day with a glass of water infused with lemon can aid digestion and keep the body hydrated.

    3. Promotion of Healthy Eating Habits: Indulge in mindful eating and the development of healthier eating patterns. For example, planning meals that include a variety of vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help establish balanced eating habits that continue beyond the detox period.

    4. Potential for Reduced Inflammation: Focus on certain anti-inflammatory foods, which can help reduce inflammation in the body. For example, incorporating foods like turmeric, ginger, and fatty fish (rich in omega-3 fatty acids) can help manage inflammation and improve joint health.

    5. Enhanced Digestive Health: Eating high-fibre foods can promote better digestion and regular bowel movements. For instance, adding chia seeds, flaxseeds, and legumes to meals can increase fibre intake, support gut health, and prevent constipation.

    6. Focus On A Healthy BMI: Rather than going on an aggressive weight loss regime, start by eliminating high-calorie, processed foods and increasing consumption of low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods.

    Including plenty of vegetables and lean proteins can help shed a few pounds quickly, which might motivate further healthy eating and exercise.

    Some expert advice


    Noted health expert Dr Rujuta Diwekar cites the following pieces of advice for anyone looking to go on a diet:

    1. Personalisation is Key: A personalised diet plan that caters to individual needs and backgrounds rather than following generic diet charts available online.​

    2. Incorporation of Ghee: The inclusion of ghee in meals helps in combating fat and is an essential part of a balanced diet​.

    3. Mindful Eating: Diwekar stresses the need for mindful eating without distractions like mobile phones.

    4. Seasonal and Local Foods: She recommends eating local and seasonal foods, which not only support local economies but also ensure that you consume the freshest and most nutritious ingredients.​

    Additionally, our in-house advisor, Dr Tejashwin Adiga, shares the top three essentials you should consider before going on a detox diet plan: 

    5. Consult a Healthcare Professional: A registered dietitian can assess your nutritional needs and recommend a balanced plan that supports your health goals without unnecessary risks.

    6. Avoid Extreme Restrictions: Rather than fasting or relying solely on juice cleanses, aim for balanced meals that include proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates.

    7. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your body responds to changes in your diet and adjust accordingly. If you feel tired, dizzy, or experience digestive issues, it may indicate that the detox diet is too restrictive. 

    Things to keep in mind


    The body's natural detoxification system is sufficient for maintaining good health when supported by a balanced diet, hydration, and healthy lifestyle choices. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet or starting a detox regimen.




    Here are the sources from which this blog’s information has been picked:

    Written by
    Dr. Tejashwin AdigaMBBS
    AboutDr. Tejashwin Adiga is a skilled and compassionate physician. He is dedicated to providing high-quality care and prioritizes patient education and preventive medicine. Known for his personalized approach, Dr. Adiga ensures each patient receives tailored treatment. His motto is to stay updated with medical advancements to offer the best care possible, making him a trusted and respected healthcare provider.
    Tags :Detox dietsDetox diet mythsHealth benefits of detox dietsCleansing dietsDetox diet facts