Detox Diets : Which One and Do They Work?


It’s the beginning of a new year and the beginning of renewed efforts to watch what we eat, move our bodies and achieve or maintain a healthy weight.  Every year it seems there’s a new wrinkle in the way folks try to do that.  This year, it’s the detox diet.

Certainly, after a long holiday of eating foods we don’t eat that much during the rest of the year, it feels like our bodies could use a little cleansing.  And while our bodies are evolved to cleanse themselves through a variety of channels, sometimes a little help, well, helps.  Particularly given all the environmental toxins we come in contact with daily.

But which detox diet should we consider — body detox plans like the long popular lemon detox diet or one that includes special detox foods?  How about just a balanced eating plan that features plenty of cleansing vegetables and minimizes ingredients that tax our bodies?

The last is the one we encourage.  Read more about the detox diet in our latest FitBriefing. And if you think you could use a little help following a healthy eating plan that supports your body’s natural detoxification systems, talk to us.  Our new Food as Medicine program debuts tonight as a 3-day workshop.  But we’ll be integrating the concepts into our regular program throughout the year.  Stay tuned for updates!

Have you ever tried a detox diet?

9 responses to “Detox Diets : Which One and Do They Work?”

  1. People ask me about detox diets all the time. I’m not a fan of those master cleanse type programs, but eating real foods that happen to have the added benefit of detoxing your body is totally fine. Thanks for discussing the difference and sharing foods that will help people with this goal!

  2. A Detox Diet. Whoa! It sounds like the diet mentality to me. After leaving Green Mountain, I experienced food liberation. Diet is not in my vocabulary any more. What’s with this about?

  3. Marsha says:

    It’s just healthy eating, Leslie, that supports the body in getting rid of some of the toxins from foods that aren’t particularly supportive or other substances we’re exposed to. The term “detox diet” is a bit of a buzz word but it does speak to the issue.

    Many of the women who come to us continue to have problems with their eating even after learning how to eat mindfully and eat what they want. Their problems center around physical issues, not emotional, and include continued cravings, problems with hunger management and other physical problems. Our Food as Medicine program is a program that will help women explore these continuing struggles. It can be a first step for them in helping them move more successfully towards eating what they want and feeling great as a result.

    A prominent nutritionist I know describes this kind of diet as “D.I.E.T.” — Developing Intuitive Eating Techniques. It’s a way to help people balance their bodies so their intuition serves them well. That said, Green Mountain is still completely non-diet if you use the standard definition of diet which is about rigidity, deprivation, etc. We’re not about that but about finding out what works for you. Sounds like our basic program worked well for you. Hooray for that! That program will remain intact and continue to serve women like you. (Later edit: Actually that program will be an integral part of the Food as Medicine program as well.)

    Thanks for your comment! We expect that there will be some confusion about what we’re doing but we want to reassure everyone that our basic philosophy remains unchanged. This is just an attempt to help those who need a deeper exploration of their health.

  4. Marsha says:

    I had another thought, Leslie, that we dietitians often say but it gets lost in the general noise about weight loss diets. A “diet” is actually what a person, or a population, eats. It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with restriction. The term has just been co-opted by weight loss plans for so long, that’s all most of us think about when we hear it.

  5. I love the idea of “Food as Medicine” Im looking forward to hearing/reading more about this!! My dietary choices are my biggest downfall! I’m actively making a change!!
    Thank You for the info

  6. Marsha says:

    You’re wise to recognize where you are, Leslie. That is key to successfully moving forward. If we try to start change from a place that we need to change to get to, well, it’s obviously a much harder journey.

  7. Leslie says:

    When I left Green Mountain, I experience the joy of food liberation. For the first time I had choices. This has contributed to a new found joy and serenity. It sounds ridiculous, but intuitive eating sounded like a novel idea. Who would have ever though that tuned in listening to my body, could be a way out of hell for me. Whatever it is called, it works. So whoopee!

    I am finding so many supportive blogs online that I feel I am not alone in this journey. I hope the weekend program went well.

  8. I like to make soup out of organic chicken broth, kale, dandelion greens and sip on throughout the day when cleansing- Cleansing helps me focus on “mindfulness” body, mind and spirit…

  9. Marsha says:

    Thinking intuitive eating a novel idea does not sound ridiculous at all, Leslie. It’s sad but diet thinking has so become the norm, many of us don’t realize we have an internal wisdom that can truly guide us in being well and living well if we support and trust it. Or if we do hear it, we don’t really know what it’s telling us or we distrust it. We think the best advice about what we “should” do lies outside us. Good information can help us make informed decisions but in the end, the best person to make the decision for ourself is ourself. Not sure that’s correct English but you know what I mean. 🙂

    So happy to hear you have really grasped what intuitive eating is about and are so clearly benefitting from it. And thanks for your comments. These kinds of conversations are really helpful as we start to offer the food as medicine approach at Green Mountain. We do not want to engender feelings of deprivation, restriction and all the other aspects of the diet mentality that create that hell for so many women (and men).

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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