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Popular detox diets & cleanses

What is a master cleanse?

The Master Cleanse is one of the oldest detox recipes around.  It has been around since 1940, but became more well known after Beyonce Knowles reported losing 20lbs in preparation for her part in Dreamgirls with this detox plan.   While weight loss is a side effect of detoxing, most doctors don’t recommend detox diets for weight loss.  When you stop eating, the first thing to go is water weight and muscle, rather than the belly fat you are trying to lose.  Fat takes much longer to lose, so if you are trying to lose weight and keep it off, a detox diet may not be right for you.  About half, or more, of the weight lost doing a cleanse may come back as well.

Some of the reasons people do the Master Cleanse are:

  • Weight loss- this diet has been known to help people lose 20lbs in just 10 days.
  • Ease chronic pain
  • Cleanse internal waste
  • Boost energy levels
  • Clear skin

How does the diet work?

  • No exercise- it is difficult to maintain physical activity while having such few calories and nutrients
  • No solid food
  • No supplements

What can you have?

You consume only the lemonade beverage, 6-12 times per day.  A single serving of the drink is:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grade-B organic maple syrup
  • 1/10 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 10 ounces filtered water

You also drink an herbal laxative tea each night before bed, as well as water mixed with 2 teaspoons of salt each morning.  Both of these drinks have a laxative effect on the colon, so always be near a bathroom when doing this diet.

Most people follow this diet from 3-10 days.  It is best to do this diet when you have time off of school or work.  It may be difficult to focus or do normal activities while following this detox plan.  After following the diet for however long you choose, it is important to ease back into normal eating.  Try only eating the following foods for 3 days after the cleanse:

  • Vegetable soup
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Juices
  • Smoothies

Side effects

Many people experience:

  • Hunger
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Sluggishness
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Constipation

Following a detox plan is not an easy thing to do, but many people report that after a few days it becomes easier.  Some people even experience a “high” from not eating.  When starting this plan be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any chronic health problems, as this diet can be dangerous for some people with certain conditions.

Martha’s Vineyard Detox Diet

One of the most popular detox diets is the Martha’s Vineyard Detox Diet, also known by the name “Lose 21 Pounds in 21 Days diet”. It was invented by Roni DeLuz, a registered nurse and naturopathic doctor, as a way to heal her body. The detox can be followed for two days, seven days, or the full 21 days. DeLuz recommends people do a full 21 day detox once a year, a seven day detox once per season, and a two day detox every week! The diet is supposed to help the body get rid of toxins, which in turn will help with weight loss.

How does it work?

The principles of this diet are “rest, reduce, and rebuild”. By resting the body and the digestive system, the entire body has a chance to direct energy towards healing rather than digesting all of the food we normally consume. Dieters are supposed to drink liquid every two hours for each day of the diet. These drinks can include:

  • Water
  • Homemade soups
  • Fruit or vegetable juices
  • Powdered greens or berries mixed with water

Supplements are also an important part of the plan as they can further aid in the healing of the body. These include:

  • Enzyme capsules
  • Herb cleansing formula
  • Aloe vera

On top of the supplements, the following activities are recommended to accompany the diet:

  • Lymph drainage massage
  • Cellulite treatment
  • Liver flushes
  • Kidney cleanses
  • Body wraps
  • Detoxifying baths
  • Weekly coffee enemas
  • Colonics

Exercise can be part of the plan as long as it is not too straining. It can be difficult for some people to exercise while only consume so few calories, and for some it can even be dangerous. The types of exercise recommended to accompany this detox diet are:

  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • A chi machine
  • Jumping on a trampoline

This detox diet provides numerous vitamins, minerals, and enzymes from the abundance of vegetable and fruit juices. It is quite low in calories and protein, which may be dangerous for some individuals. The diet will most definitely help you lose weight, but once you are finished with it, DeLuz recommends introducing solid foods slowly back into the diet. Start with things like yogurt, cooked vegetables, fruits, salmon, nut milks, and protein powders to see how you digestive system handles them. It may be tempting to eat as much of whatever you want after not eating for a long time, but this will put the pounds right back on. 

Detox with apple cider vinegar

One of the simplest ways to detoxify and cleanse your body is by incorporating apple cider vinegar into your diet. Apple cider vinegar is one of the oldest folk remedies, used by people all over the world for thousands of years for a variety of ailments. People love it for its ability to support a healthy immune system, control weight, promote healthy digestion, regulate the body’s pH balance, soothe dry throats, and remove toxins from the body. It can also be used externally to tone skin for a youthful look.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is made when the sugars in pulverized apples are broken down into bacteria and yeast. This process is called fermentation, during which the sugars turn into alcohol. If the alcohol is allowed to ferment longer it turns into vinegar. Vinegar is French for “sour wine”.

What are the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar?

ACV lovers claim that it is the miracle remedy for all ailments. It really does have almost endless uses. But many of these are not backed up by scientific evidence. A few studies have been done on it and have shown promising results in the following areas:

  • Diabetes- Several studies have found the vinegar can help lower blood glucose levels.
  • High cholesterol- studies have shown that ACV can lower cholesterol
  • Heart health- researchers have found ACV can lower high blood pressure.
  • Cancer- A few lab studies have found that vinegar may be able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth.
  • Weight loss- ACV has been shown to help people feel more full when consumed with food than when eating food alone.

How should you take apple cider vinegar?

The most common recipe for consuming apple cider vinegar is 1-3 teaspoons in 8oz of water 3 times per day. You can also add it to juice, tea, and other beverages. Warm water with apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of honey is a favorite of many people. The Bragg’s brand is a good choice when choosing a vinegar, because it is raw and contains the “mother” bacteria.
Apple cider vinegar is rich in minerals, vitamins, and enzymes, which all help to support the body. This makes it an excellent addition to many diets or detox cleansing programs. In addition to consuming apple cider vinegar, be sure to get moderate exercise, eat a balanced diet full of natural and unprocessed foods, and get plenty of rest.

The Beauty Detox Diet

The Beauty Detox diet is all about feeling younger, feeling healthier, and looking beautiful!  Kimberly Snyder, celebrity nutritionist and fitness expert, designed this cleanse as a means of losing weight and improving appearance.  This detox involves eating easily digestible foods in the correct order and combinations to “promote optimal digestion and elimination of toxins”.

Snyder believes the consuming proteins in the form of animal toxins strains the body.  She says digesting proteins produces toxins in the body that clog the colon and expand fat cells.  While she sounds like a vegetarian herself, it is possible to follow the Beauty Detox Diet Solution without turning vegetarian.  She even includes option for the best types of animal proteins to support your beauty detox.

While following this diet 80% of your foods should come from fruits and vegetables, preferably raw, whole, and uncooked.  The remaining 20% can come from avocado, whole grains, raw nuts, seeds, and a small amount of animal proteins.  There are three phases to the plan, but dieters can start with whichever one works best for them.  The phases are broken down into:

  • Blossoming beauty- helps you adjust to eating alkaline foods and get rid of candida, which is an overgrowth of yeast in the digestive tract.
  • Radiant beauty- consists of “glowing green smoothies” and eating only alkaline foods in the morning.
  • True beauty- the final phase.  Begin each day with a glowing green smoothie and eat small amounts of animal products if desired.

Recommended foods:

  • Green smoothies
  • Green juice
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Sprouts
  • Sea vegetables
  • Raw nuts
  • Raw seeds
  • Coconut
  • Avocado
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat noodles
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Raw goat cheese
  • Fish
  • Seafood
  • Organic hormone-free meat
  • Miso
  • Raw honey
  • Organic maple syrup
  • Raw cacao
  • Stevia

Exercise is not a huge component of this detox plan.  Snyder recommends yoga, but says you do not need to exercise in order to see results and get a lean and healthy body.   Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet is always a good idea.  This detox plan is safer than most as it incorporates a large array of foods and promotes mindful eating.  The fresh juices and smoothies may also heal the skin and lead to a clear and youthful complexion.

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