4 Biggest Detox Myths Debunked

Does the “d-word” make you want to run immediately in the opposite direction? You’re not alone. Suggestions of “detoxes” or “cleanses” can conjure up images (or worse, memories) of all-liquid diets, mad dashes to the loo, expensive supplements, hunger pangs and deprivation…A whole lot of suffering for little to no reward.

The truth is, if done in an informed & supported way, cleansing can do you a lot of good. Case in point: two full classes are about to graduate from our 3-Week Cleanse Program we recently held at the clinic. We’ve been thrilled to witness their results and cheer on their wins with weight loss, energy, hormone balance and personal empowerment in their health. Well done!

When I’d returned from a holiday in Cuba and received the sincerest congratulations on my pregnancy (I was not pregnant), I decided it was high time to roll up my sleeves and get back to the cleanse program I’d relied on time and time again for my patients!

Having been through the good, bad and ugly when it comes to cleanse and detox programs…I also want to share the good news is that with a simple approach to cleansing it’s super possible to boost your health in many ways. Our clients have celebrated having less pain and swelling, better moods, freedom from PMS, resolution of perimenopausal hot flashes and clear skin. Add better sleep, more energy, conquered cravings, clear skin, and reduced stress, all with little to no side effects, and I’m now questioning whether I even want to revert to my pre-cleanse diet. I’m kind of hooked.

4 Biggest Detox Myths Debunked

Let’s count ’em down:

Myth #4: You won’t enjoy anything you’re eating while on a detox.


While you might have to eliminate certain foods that you enjoy, detoxing isn’t all about surviving on water and lettuce. There are many delicious recipes that can be prepared using healthy ingredients that not only taste amazing, but nourish and detoxify your body.
The best part is, many of them don’t involve any fancy ingredients and can be prepared even by a cooking novice. In fact, my cleanse participants always discover new foods and recipes that they absolutely love that have become staples at their family tables long after the cleanse ends.

Myth #3:  You’ll constantly be hungry while detoxing.

While you might end up consuming fewer calories while following a detox, you shouldn’t feel deprived or hungry. Going on an extremely low-calorie diet can actually disrupt your hormones and metabolism, including shutting down your thyroid and turning on “survival mode” hormones that make you gain more weight back in the long run.
Everyone’s caloric needs are different, so a detox should never dictate how many calories you consume. By consuming whole foods that provide you with the right nutrients, you help detox your body while feeling satisfied.  My participants are always amazed at how much they can eat and still lose weight and feel great, and that they never feel hungry during my cleanses.


Myth #2: Detoxes are just a way for people to make money on expensive supplements.

Supplements involved in a detox should be just that, a supplementary part of the program, not the primary source of your nutrition.  While on a detox, you get most of your vitamins and minerals from whole-food sources.

Supplements may be recommended to help your body make the most of the nutrients it receives from these foods.  For example, by including probiotics in your diet, you help your body produce vitamins, absorb minerals and remove toxins from the body.Certain supplements are so effective at promoting your natural detoxification processes that they actually make you feel awful. I’ll explain how this works. Supplements that “push” toxins out of safe storage sites like your fat tissue where they’re kept inert, is like taking all the disorganized contents of my desk drawer and tossing them around my office. My desk drawer will look nice and empty, but my entire office will be a mess. And, I’ll feel so bad about it that I’ll just sweep everything up and stuff it back into my drawer.


These kinds of supplement programs aren’t actually doing you any good. Waking up your stored toxins, moving them around your body and making you feel ill, only to store them back in your fat or liver is doing more harm than good.


To ensure success with supplements, you need the right nourishment to help you open the organs of elimination and let toxins drain out – within your physiological limits, and without horrid side effects. This is like opening all the beautiful windows in my office and letting all the junk from my desk fly right out.


Our cleanse programs are “food first” and never require supplements, while your individual naturopathic doctor can guide you around choices that will effectively complement your cleanse goals and work with your physiology, if you need them.


Myth #1:  You need to do an all-liquid detox to remove toxins from your body.

Liquid-only detoxes have had more than their fair share of popularity. These types of detoxes can backfire: Not only do people often gain the weight back as soon as the detox ends, but such restrictive eating for several days can be detrimental to your health. Most liquid diets are essentially “processed foods” that often contain the inflammation-causing ingredients that a healthy cleanse should eliminate, such as sugars, artificial sweeteners, dairy, high-fructose corn syrup. An effective detox will include a variety of whole foods to help nourish your body and produce long-term results.