We’re a bit salty about detox diets here at Coach. While there are toxins you certainly want to avoid ingesting, detox regimes of the types you’ll find in magazines tend to involve a period of drastic calorie reduction. As far as we’re concerned, these won’t cleanse you of anything except some weight and water.
All the same, what do we know? We’re journalists, not experts with the appropriate qualifications. But we do know some of those, so we turned to dietitian Ro Huntriss (@DietitianRo), a consultant dietitian and expert for the TerriAnn 123 Diet Plan, to assess a sample three-day detox from our sister publication Women’s Fitness, which you can find further down this page.
Are there any risks to following this detox plan?
The diet presented appears to be a very low-calorie, low-carbohydrate diet. That means it is not nutritionally complete; however, it is unlikely to pose any significant risks if you follow it for just three days.
There are certainly some who should avoid doing this even for three days. That includes women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. And anyone with a health condition such as diabetes should consult their physician before embarking on such a diet.
How does it help you to lose weight?
People following this plan will lose weight for two reasons. First, the calories consumed on this plan are less than what any adult would normally burn, therefore fat stores will be used for energy and weight loss will result. Second, when limiting carbohydrate in the diet, you’ll lose water weight from the body. When carbohydrate is reintroduced, though, water weight is regained.
Are there any positives to following this plan?
You could argue that it does have positives as it will create weight loss. Furthermore, healthy foods are recommended in the plan, such as fruit, vegetables and nuts.
Does it promote long-term healthy eating habits?
In short, no. Diets like this can be used to kick-start a weight loss, but the choices you make following the three-day “cleanse” will be crucial to your success. It must also be mentioned that this “cleanse” is unlikely to “cleanse” or “detoxify” anything. Having a healthy, well-balanced diet, staying hydrated, keeping active and having a functioning liver will do all the detoxification you need.
This diet involves replacing breakfast, lunch and snacks with juices, soups and smoothies, while still allowing a nutritious dinner at the end of the day. Breakfast is a cup of lemon water followed by a different green juice every day to help kick-start liver health. This is followed by a filling mid-morning smoothie snack, a hearty soup for lunch and a protein-rich healthy dinner. Our diet is designed to revitalise rather than restrict, so if you feel very hungry between lunch and dinner you can add in a cup of miso soup.
You should refrain from intense exercise while undertaking the diet (relaxing yoga and meditation is fine).
Please note: If you have a medical condition, please seek advice from your GP before embarking on the diet. Do not follow this plan if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
Breakfast: Super greens juice
Cup of hot water and lemon upon rising then juice the following ingredients:
- Chunk of cucumber
- 1 pear
- Handful of spinach
- Handful of parsley
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- ½tsp grated ginger
Mid-morning: Coconut delight smoothie
- 1tbsp chia seeds
- 250ml coconut milk
- Handful raspberries
- 1 banana
Lunch: Pea and mint soup
Sweat 1 onion, 1 celery stick and 1 carrot. Pour in 300ml vegetable stock, 200g garden peas and a handful of fresh mint. Add 1tbsp low-fat crème fraîche and blitz until smooth.
Dinner: Baked cod and steamed vegetables
Scatter ½tsp ground cinnamon and ½tsp ground nutmeg on 1 cod fillet. Add the juice of half a lemon, wrap in foil and bake in the oven. Serve with unlimited steamed mangetout and kale.