The aim of the detox diet is to alleviate chronic ailments that develop as a result of exposure to any number of toxins—smog, mercury, food additives, cigarette smoke, pesticides, etc. The theory behind the diet is that as these toxins build up, we begin to see outward effects such as bloating, cellulite, wrinkles and weight gain. Although "detox diets" vary widely, depending on whose advice you take, one of the more aggressive approaches requires that you fast before you can even go on the diet. You have to go three days without eating any food and can only drink purified water. For these three days you are cautioned to keep activity to a minimum and not venture into any extreme climates.
Top 3 Diet Plans (based on Diet Channel visitor activity):
Sonoma Diet - "Get to eat great food and even enjoy a glass of wine." Learn More...
Jillian Michaels - "Jillian guides you through the diet and exercise changes you know you need to make." Learn More...
South Beach Diet - "This hugely popular diet promises diligent followers an initial weight loss of 8-13 pounds in the first two weeks." Learn More...
Detox Diet Phase #1: The Monotrophic Diet
After the first three days, you must put yourself on a monotrophic diet. This simply means you are only allowed to eat one type of fruit with each meal. For example, for breakfast you choose a certain kind of melon, such as honeydew, and eat only that. For lunch you might just eat oranges or grapefruits. Before dinner, you must have a glass of fresh carrot juice and for dinner it's the same story: you will only eat one type of fruit, but as much of it as you want. This monotrophic diet is meant to be maintained for one week.
Detox Diet Phase #2: The Raw Food Regimen
The next phase of the diet is supposed to be a month long "raw food regimen" that is primarily composed of mixed fruit. Some versions of the diet warn that it is common to feel lightheaded, nauseous, and tired at this point in the diet, due to the process of eliminating toxins that have built up over years.
Is the Detox Diet healthy?
In fact, these symptoms are not likely to be due to elimination of toxins, which a healthy person can accomplish via the skin, lungs, liver, and kidney. These symptoms are likely to be caused by malnutrition. A three-day water fast followed by a 40-day diet primarily composed of fruit is simply not healthy. Even if you are able to meet your body's calorie requirements, the absence of sufficient protein, essential fats, and minerals will cause your body to become less healthy, not more healthy, as you begin to break down muscle tissue. There are many other diets available that will deliver far healthier, more sustainable results than the detox diet.
Don't starve yourself. That's ridiculous. The premise of the detox diet is to dramatically change your diet and replace the bad with good. Try the Jillian Michaels Diet or the South Beach Diet instead.
More on these diets below...