The biggest lie in Nutrition: Don’t believe the detox hype

The biggest lie in Nutrition: Don’t believe the detox hype

“I need a detox after that weekend” is something you might say, or something you might hear others say a lot. Particularly after Christmas the word ‘Detox’ becomes somewhat of a buzzword as people frantically try to undo any damage that might have been done. The truth is you probably do need a detox, but your body is already taking care of that.

The lies

If I told you that you couldn’t detox your body by eating certain foods or drinking certain things you probably wouldn’t believe me. I wouldn’t blame you either; we are bombarded all year round with naturopaths, newspapers, magazines, blogs, and the purveyours of detox products that we need to consume certain things in order to flush toxins out of our body. If it’s everywhere, it’s hard not to think that it’s true. It’s not true though; you can’t force unwanted toxins out of your body by following a detox plan.

Whether it’s the ridiculous notion of drinking Epson salt mixes (hello, Diarrhoea Town!), drinking special teas, consuming nothing but juice for days or drinking aloe vera and reducing your calorie intake, you will not do your body any good by partaking in Detox Dieting. The idea is nice; some of these remedies claim to ‘flush’ toxic sludge (that’s not even a thing) from your body leaving you refreshed. Really they flush everything out of your body because you’re left with a bad case of the trots. This is, to put it as nicely as possible, psuedomedical BS. This thinking was designed to manipulate people who may not be feeling great about themselves into purchasing products and books. Essentially you are forking out money for an idea.

The science

Scientifically speaking, a detox is the treatment of people with serious drug addictions. However the very serious terminology has been dumbed down slightly to cater for the so-called treatment of toxins that your body is supposedly exposed to from eating and drinking too many ‘bad things’. It’s also a scientific fact that if you eat a lot of products with chemicals and drink lots of alcohol you will feel bad; you’re dehydrate, lacking in essential nutrients. The only way of feeling better is adopting an overall healthier way of eating. Think about it; it doesn’t make sense to cut back on calories and drink a nutritionally lacking product in order to nourish your body.  

Your body does it itself

Bodies are built to excrete; your bowels, bladder, your heart, your lungs, your skin; they all rid your body of anything that doesn’t need to be in your body. You breath in Oxegen and Carbondioxide, you breath out the latter because your body doesn’t need it. It’s smarter than any money spinning detox diet.

If you have a healthy body there is no way of making your body do what it does naturally even better than it already does. You especially won’t do this by depriving your body of the essential nutrients these bodily activities require; something a lot of detox diets will do.

Toxins, eh?

Here’s something I dare you to do; the next time you are being told to go on a detox diet, ask the person exactly what toxins the diet will help you get rid of. Their answer won’t be satisfactory, I can guarantee you. We can consume hundreds of thousands of toxins; they are poisonous chemicals that you can ingest or breath in, but when it comes to detoxifying your body of toxins there is no scientific proof, or any clarification as to what the diets are getting rid of.

Similarly, you don’t have toxic sludge in your body. A lot of detox diets will tell you probably do, but you definitely do not have sludge! You are sludgeless.

Detox sellers will claim that your body will breakdown and expel said sludge and that’s what will cause you to lose weight. Well. That’s just against everything science has taught us. Your body loses fat if you create a calorie deficit and you can do that without spending money on something that, long term, is more like to cause damage than fix or prevent it.

What does this mean?

This means that too many of us are falling for what is a fad and a marketing scam; I’ve fallen for it myself. Secondly, it means that you should be wary of anything that says the word ‘detox’ on it.

It is a scientific fact that your body cleanses itself of things it doesn’t need and it absolutely doesn’t require assistance from a restrictive diet.

Finally, it means that as consumers, we need to realise that there is no quick fat loss or health restoration fix. Your body maintains a healthy state, loses fat, gains muscle and simply functions on the basis of varied, balanced, nutrient rich diet and specifically tailored exercise. We need to enjoy food more and embrace it, not treat healthy food as a punishment for a period of overindulgence. Healthy food gives you the stamina and the energy to enjoy a full life; and life is too short to deprive yourself of real food for any period of time.

If you really want to invest in your body in order to feel healthier and happier, skip the detox and visit a genuine nutritionist, take up Personal Training or start attending fitness classes.

 For more facts on detoxing visit these links:


Claire Kane

Claire is's Community Manager. She has been a regular feature in Ireland's blogging community for years and is known to not mince her words! A passionate would-be-writer, culture vulture, professional marketer, fitness & health enthusiast with her finger in a few writing pies.