Are you suffering from chronic constipation or skin breakouts? Do you ever wonder why almost everyone is talking about detox diets and cleansing supplements? How can detoxification help with weight loss?

Detoxification diets, more commonly known as detox diets, are designed to remove harmful toxins from the body by following a strict diet for a short period. Today, our environment is no longer clean, and this includes the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. Our bodies are stuffed with toxins and foreign chemicals from these resources. In order to maintain good health, everyone needs some type of detoxification.

Although basic detoxification begins with a diet, it can range from a few days to a few weeks and varies depending on the type of detox program being used. Some programs work only with the bowels; others may cleanse the liver, kidneys, or skin. In order to benefit from a detoxification diet, you should make sure you’re getting proper nutrition, adequate hydration, regular exercise, and plenty of rest. Make nature your best friend and enjoy the fresh air.
Detoxification for the body may refer to the cleansing of the bowels, kidneys, or liver because these are the organs that are involved in the removal of chemicals and toxins from the body. Your liver is a big detoxification factory – it breaks down toxins and eliminates waste through the kidneys as urine, the skin as sweat, and the bowels as feces. Maintaining a good harmony between these eliminative organs is essential to optimal health.

A Healthy Weight Starts with a Healthy Gut

Your bowel flora plays an important role in maintaining a healthy weight. When that flora is disrupted by pathogens, your weight can fluctuate. Moreover, many scientists believe that the toxins secreted by these pathogens can cause many different diseases.

For more information on how to achieve a healthy gut and boost your weight loss, read Is Your Gut Microbiota Causing Your Weight Gain?

Today, we are much less active compared to our ancestors. Many people spend their days in front of a computer and nights in front of a TV. It’s not surprising that constipation is a common modern disease. When the bowels slow down, toxins are not removed efficiently and thus can be reabsorbed. This, in turn, puts more stress on your eliminating organs. Even worse, the increased levels of toxins become fuel for pathogenic bacteria to overgrow in your gut, leading to more clogged bowels. Thus, the vicious cycle repeats.
Probiotics such as lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidus, and prebiotic-rich foods like yogurt and other fermented products, can both help improve the beneficial bacteria in your gut after cleansing and promote optimal bowel function.

For more information about prebiotics and probiotics, read How to Use Pre/Probiotics to Guard Your Gut and Improve Your Overall Health

Make sure you have plenty of fiber in your diet, specifically insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber from vegetables and whole grains helps to speed up bowel movement and prevent constipation. If you are not getting a sufficient amount of fiber from your diet, taking psyllium fiber husk powder with a glass of water can help.

How Does a Detox Diet Work for Weight Loss?

A detox diet usually works in two different ways. First, it removes harmful substances from your diet to give your body a chance to be cleansed. The waste it removes includes pesticides, caffeine, alcohol, and many more chemicals that can compromise your health. The result is a state of optimal well-being and weight reduction.

Second, a detox diet frees up energy in the body. During the detoxification process, the body is no longer using as much energy on digestion and thus, can use that extra energy on natural detoxification.
Unlike detox ion baths, foot pads, or boxes, a detox diet only uses the body’s natural mechanisms in order to detoxify the body.

There are several different types of detox diet programs out there, but if the program is too extreme, it can ultimately do more harm than good. During detoxification, make sure you’re not starving your body and that you’re getting a sufficient amount of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids – especially the essential amino acids required to maintain normal body functions and repair cell damage. Below are a few of the most popular detox diet programs.

Lemon Diet

detox-diet-imgWidely known as a Master Cleanse, this detox diet consists of only liquids and lemons. However, I do question its effectiveness since the body does require sound nutrition to support healthy detoxification.

4-Week Detox Plan

This highly methodical program aims to flush out toxins from different parts of the body. Many people refer to this type of detox diet as a complete overhaul. In addition, it explains how herbs, foods, aromatherapy, exercise, and breathing techniques can help you feel better.

Martha’s Vineyard Detox Diet

Developed by Roni Deluz, this detox diet program contains a series of steps to be followed in order to drop one pound a day for three weeks. Such rapid weight loss can be dangerous and do more damage than good. Plus, the initial weight loss is mostly water.

Ultra Simple Diet

The Ultra Simple Diet was created by Mark Hyman M.D., a pioneer in functional medicine. This program is based on the theory that weight loss challenges are caused by health problems, thus, it tries to address underlying health issues such as inflammation and toxicity. To follow this detox program, you will need to undergo a strict diet and exercise regime, take dietary supplements, and visit saunas.

Is It Necessary to Follow These Types of Detox Diets?

The big question when it comes to choosing a detox diet is often, “Which program is the most effective when it comes to weight loss?”

This question is quite difficult to answer, and in fact, you would be hard-pressed to find two experts who will give you the same answer. In order for you to find the diet that works best for you, you need to know your flexibility, your motivation to stick with the program, your current health, and your body type. Knowing these factors, you can find an effective detox diet for you.

Many detox diets require you to redesign your life around a strict diet plan, down to the exact ingredients and timing. However, the truth is that most of us want flexibility in our lives, making these types of detox diets difficult to follow and stick to.

Since many people decide to go against strict diet plans like the Master Cleanse, they tend to design detox diets on their own. Do you want your detox diet to provide you with more energy, or do you want it to clear up your skin? Do you want to use your detox diet program as a way to lose weight? Through a personally designed detox diet, you can discover what works best for you and your overall goals.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for simplicity, you can get sweaty in a sauna or at the gym. As a result, your body will be detoxified through sweat.

Why Do Food Choices Matter in a Detox Diet Plan?

Having a safe and effective way to detoxify your body is an important point that you must always consider. This is why a good detox diet plan should be implemented in the first place.

Since toxins target your immune system and promote illness, you should try to stop the toxins from building up. You can start by choosing the right foods that will give a boost to your immune system, as well as gear yourself up with a focus on increasing your health.

While following your detox program, it’s a good idea to boost the process with these super-charged foods to fire up your detoxification engine. You can be assured that your detox diet will go smoothly and healthily. Remember, water is a great way to wash away harmful toxins safely and effectively.

Super Detox Food List


artichokeThis wonder food is at the top of the list due to its prebiotic which promotes healthy gut bacteria and enhances immunity. It’s also a great source of fiber, which wipes out toxins and wastes in your body, keeping it light and clean.


Beets have a unique combination of natural phytochemicals and minerals that make them stand out in blood purification in liver cleansing. In addition, they also help improve your body’s cellular intake of oxygen, making them an excellent detox food for overall body cleansing.


Sweet and tasty berries such as blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, and cherries contain a natural type of aspirin that reduces chronic inflammation, repairs tissue damage, and lessens pain. They are loaded with super-charged antioxidants and detoxifying compounds such as proanthocyanidin that speed up the detoxification process. Berries such as cranberries also act as an antibiotic, helping to prevent infections in the urinary tract. Moreover, fresh berries are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber that help to regulate your bowel function and slow down the aging process by creating more resilient skin.


Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable and contains sulforaphane, a chemical that eliminates toxins. Cabbage is also a booster is glutathione – an antioxidant that promotes detoxification of the liver. Plus, this vegetable is rich in fiber to cleanse your digestive tract and keep you full longer. No wonder it’s such an excellent food for weight loss! In addition to this, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage contain powerful cancer-fighting compounds and demonstrate powerful detoxification abilities by neutralizing harmful compounds in the body.

For more information on anti-aging foods, read A Super-Charged Anti-Aging Diet – Part One.

Flaxseeds and Flaxseed Oil:


Flaxseed is an ideal detox food that’s packed with essential fatty acids such as omega-3, which is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. They help lower bad cholesterol and reduce chronic inflammation. These fiber-rich seeds help cleanse the blood and remove toxins from the intestinal tract. Ground flax seeds can be mixed with cereals and smoothies, and are a great bulking agent to keep you full longer, reduce food cravings, and promote weight loss.


Studies from McGill University indicate that seaweed helps remove radioactive waste from the body. It’s a perfect food choice for weight loss because it is low in calories and rich in iodine and fiber, which binds to heavy metals and cleanses the liver.

For more information about the surprising health benefits of seaweeds, read Why Would Anyone Want to Eat Seaweeds?

During the detoxification process, you may experience headaches, nausea, or vomiting due to the toxins being released. If this occurs, you should back off your plan and proceed more slowly. When toxins are released, you may feel bad for a day or two, but soon you will feel renewed energy and restored health. Detoxification can be maintained regularly with regular bowel function, clean skin, and a wholesome diet. Many people today may not experience what good health “feels” like; they survive on sub-optimal health with abundant toxins accumulated in their bodies.

In the end, it is up to you to choose whether you want a detox diet that has already been used by many, or a personalized diet just for you. Either way, you should reach the same goal – cleansing your body in a healthy way – but it is up to you where to focus.

What are your favorite detox foods and recipes? Please share your thoughts.

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About the author: Lucy Liu
Lucy Liu

As a Holistic Health Practitioner, Registered Dietitian, TCM Practitioner, Energy Healer, Master Hypnotist, Reiki Master, Advanced Theta Healing Practitioner, Author and Speaker, Lucy Liu, the founder of, has gained a good reputation in holistic health after many years of serving patients and clients as a holistic health practitioner. Lucy has developed a unique and comprehensive approach, which combines Western Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Energy Medicine, and Alternative Medicine together, to help others achieve optimal health by creating harmony between the body, mind, and spirit, and maintain long-term success for healthy lifestyle changes.
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