Detox Diets Should Be Cleansing And Promote A Sustainable Healthy Lifestyle

Detoxification is the process of removing toxins from the body. The best known Detox plans (the kind which are affiliated with celebrities) should not be continued for long periods of time. They are generally used to kick-start a healthy lifestyle plan and depending on which plan you follow can last between 3-10 days.

For many of us, Detox makes us think of being starved of food and drinking nothing but water for days on end! Detox diets which are this extreme tend to result in a junk food binge which negates the point of a healthy and cleansing eating plan. A successful detox should leave you energised, radiant and seeing positive changes to your weight and body composition.

You may be considering starting a detox plan following the recent Easter chocolate filled weekend, particularly with beach body season just around the corner (although it may not feel like it in this weather). In order to plan and implement a successful detox which will lead onto a healthy lifestyle change, you need to know which foods you CAN eat as well as which foods are best avoided.

Recommended To Avoid:

- Red Meat

- Wheat

- Cheese, butter, ice cream

- Pasta, bread, pastries

- Confectionary

- Fried foods

- Saturated & trans fats

- Additives & preservatives

- Alcohol

- Tea, coffee

- Fizzy drinks

- Sauces – ketchup, salad cream, spaghetti bolognaise sauce

- Fruit juice, squash

Recommended To Eat:

- Oats

- Garlic & herbs – turmeric, wheat grass

- Steamed/raw vegetables

- Fruit – acai berries, gogi berries, pomegranate, grapefruit, orange, apple

- Water

- Lemon & hot water

- Herbal teas – thistle, nettle, dandelion

- Apple cider vinegar

- Eggs

- Fish

- Poultry

- Brown rice, sweet mash, quinoa

- Raw nuts

Example Meals:

Cleansing Breakfasts:

- Oats mixed in water, banana slices, Hot water & lemon.

- Mixed berries with natural yoghurt, green tea.

- DETOX SMOOTHIE – aloe vera, acai berries, wheat grass, pomegranate, nettle and lemon are all cleansing ingredients which are ideal to kick start your day. Add one or two of these ingredients to other fruits/vegetables you may be using and mix well. Experimenting with flavours and ingredients is a great way to prevent tedium.

- Two poached eggs, one piece of fruit, hot water & lemon.

Cleansing Lunches:

- Homemade vegetable soup (avoid tinned or ready-made soup).

- Tuna and sweetcorn, brown rice, green leafy salad.

- Guacamole – avocado, lemon juice, chilli, tomato and garlic with vegetables.

- Avocado and prawn salad.

- Grilled fish and vegetables.

Cleansing Dinners:

- Turkey/vegetable stir fry.

- Baked salmon, quinoa, steamed vegetables.

- Chicken, brown rice and black beans.

Detox Snacks

- Citrus fruits

- Berries

- Natural Yoghurt

- Nuts/seeds

- Plain popcorn

By eating and preparing natural foods you will feel less bloated, irritable, stressed and tired among many other health benefits. If you are feeling any of these, you may be restricting your calories too severely and should consult our calorie calculator to get a better idea of the energy you require to lose weight in a healthy way. Always avoid detox diets which promote prolonged severe calorie restriction, those which encourage the use of laxatives and those which do not promote a balanced diet. Deficiency in macro and micro nutrients will impact your health negatively. Common negative consequences of deficiency include anaemia, muscle breakdown, fatigue, decreased immunity, depression and even cardiac arrhythmia.

The idea of a good detox is to eat pure and natural foods that will aid the function of the lymph, kidneys and liver, NOT to starve in a bid to drop weight rapidly. To be in optimum health takes constant care and you cannot expect 3-10 days of restrictive dieting to make up for years of eating junk food and neglecting health.


Cuervo AM, Calorie Restriction and Aging: The Ultimate “Cleansing Diet”, Journal of Gerontology, 2008, 63(6):547-9.

Rose N, The Raw Food Detox Diet, book published October 2009.

Baillie-Hamilton PF, Mason R, Chemical Toxins and Obesity, Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 2002, 218-23.

About the Author

Job Role Sports Nutritionist and Social Media Coordinator Qualifications Bsc Sport and Exercise Science Steph has a competitive athletic background which spans 19 years. As a child she performed with the English Youth Ballet and had performed on the West End stage by the age of 10. Her enthusiasm for sport and fitness continued to grow as she did, encouraging her to learn more about nutrition and training. She began using her knowledge and personal experience to help others when she began coaching at the age of 16. From here, she went on to study Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Essex during which time she also received the Most Promising Newcomer Award from her University to mark her outstanding contribution to sport. During her first year of study she was introduced to partner stunt acrobatics and artistic gymnastics. After one year of dedicating herself to a lifestyle revolving around her sport, she was training with the best team in the UK who are currently ranked fifth in the world. Steph has worked in both the private and public sector coaching children and adults from grassroot to elite level as well as providing them with cutting edge advice on how to reach their goals. Steph has received awards for her choreography and has competed nationally and internationally meaning that she can back up her scientific knowledge with a wealth of experience. As our resident Sports Nutritionist, Steph is here to provide the most current and evidence based fitness, health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals.
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