I remember one conversation I had when I first looked into the “detox diet”

It was a person claiming they had pills that helped detox your body, which in turn meant you’d lose weight. The cost was $100 for a couple months supply. I asked them what was in the pills:

“Oh, some folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and other vital ingredients to really clean out your gut,” was the response.

“What other ingredients?” I asked

“Well, just some turmeric and other vitamins”

OK, so a really expensive multi-vitamin pill…

There was a catch to losing weight with these “detox pills.” You had to take them for six weeks, exercise almost daily and drink a ton of water while you’re at it.  If you didn’t, the pills wouldn’t “work properly.”

It’s these types of scams that are frustrating to me. As a personal trainer who actually cares about my customers, I’m not a fan of these gimmicks to help you “Lose Weight Fast!”

If you’re looking to “detox,” there are better, much cheaper alternatives. Check them out below.

Why Detox Diets Aren’t Effective

The main reason a detox diet isn’t worth spending money on is simple: Your body knows how to detox itself. Your liver’s job is to flush out any unnecessary or toxic chemicals so that it does not enter your body. Despite what these detox products claim, there aren’t any herbs or food that help the liver detox better, as many scientist say.

“Our bodies are very good at eliminating all the nasties that we might ingest over the Festive season. There is a popular notion that we can speed up the elimination process by drinking fancy bottled water or sipping herbal teas, but this is just nonsense. In fact, many of the detox diets and supplements really aren’t that good for you, nor have they been properly tested. These alternative remedies are now regarded as having little value medicinally, and while they might have trace amounts of active ingredients, they do not stand up to close scientific scrutiny as effective treatments.”
– John Emsley, chemical scientist and popular science writer

“Detox diets and products may not do harm–except, perhaps, to your wallet–but neither do they do you much good, except, perhaps, psychologically! Your natural bodily functions are effective at clearing out harmful substances and there is little you can do to enhance these. Patience and a proper diet are more valuable than detox socks and supplements.”
– Paul Illing, toxicologist

Six Alternatives to Detoxing

1. Cut the Calories

The reason a detox helps you lose weight is actually because you cut calories during that time. As long as you cut your calories to a safe amount (no less than 800 in a day), you can lose weight quickly.

But remember, a severe calorie deficit diet should not last much more than a few days. To see that right amount of calories you should be consuming, come in for a free consultation.

2. Get Active

Although this may be the last thing you want to hear, fitting in a workout will help you shed some pounds.

Even if it’s just taking the stairs or parking farther away, burning calories will help you get back on track. Of course, once you’re ready to take the next step, you can always start your workouts with Jed’s Gym.

3. Decrease Your Carb Intake

While this may not work for losing weight in the long run, eating less carbs can be a great way to lose weight fast.

Stick to meats, veggies, protein powders, berries and nuts for a couple of days for much better results than detoxing.

4. Increase Your Protein

This one is good for you no matter what you want to accomplish.Whether you’re wanting to shed a few pounds, increase in muscle or strength or simply eat healthier, increasing your protein helps your muscles to rebuild and it takes more calories to break it down. This will help you be able to both increase muscles and lose weight.

Instead of a sugary bowl of cereal, try a smoothie with some protein powder added. Or replace that pasta with some meat and veggies.

5. Add Some Greens to Your Diet

One of the biggest selling points those detox programs have is that they give you herbs or greens that are good for the body. So here’s a much cheaper, better solution: Eat more greens. There are plenty of ways to enjoy some greens without feeling like you’re suffering with each bite: juice them, add them in a smoothie or even roast it in the oven with some yummy seasonings. Eating more greens won’t necessarily “detox” the body (because your liver already does that), but it will ensure that you get more vitamins, antioxidants and other important nutrients that veggies can add to your diet.

6. Drink Lots of Water

You should drink half your body weight in ounces of water.

For many of us, that sounds like a lot of water, and at first it will be. But your body will adjust, and it will be much better for you in the long run.

Should you have any questions or are interested in developing a dieting plan, come visit! I am happy to help, and your first consultation and personal session is free! Check out our Rates and Services page for more information.

In the meantime, stay focused and keep working.

– Jed


  • For those of you who have tried these alternatives, what were your results? Share your story in the comments below!