Should you go on a Detox Diet?

It's a common question at our chiropractic clinic in downtown Toronto: Should I go on a Detox Diet?

It's a big topic for many people, some people swear by them, others claim they do nothing. I personally have tried a detox diet a couple times and noticed no change.
To help explain this common question from our chiropractic patients, I sought information from Punya Puri a Registered Clinical Dietitian at St. Michael's Hospital.
Here's what she wrote:

Should you go on Detox- Diet?

Lose weight in 2 weeks, get a glowing complexion, feel healthy, banish bloating- are some of the false promises that these detox diets promote. Whether you smoke, drink alcohol or caffeine, eat poor diet or tend to overeat during holiday season, detox diets do not work. Dietitians of Canada, American Dietetic Association and Dietitian Association of Australia have bust a myth around detox diets which shows that there is no scientific evidence that supports the use of detox diets in creating healthy bodies rather they cause more harm than good .

Detox diet ranges from herbal medications, herbal drinks, Liver tonics, colon irrigation, enemas, spa treatments and fasting. These methods allege to flush toxins from the body leading to more energy and weight loss, promising amazing results in a limited amount of time.

Our bodies are designed in such a way that they are completely capable of excreting waste without the aid of ‘detoxing’ – that’s what our liver, lungs, kidneys and skin are designed to do. The adverse/side effects of detox diets can include dehydration, fatigue, bad breath, constipation, dizziness and nausea. Long term detox diets can cause nutritional deficiencies which lead to a number of diseases. For example, if one eliminates diary from the diet, it’s hard to meet calcium requirements thus resulting in depletion of calcium from the body. This then results in bone disease like arthritis, bone fractures/ brittle bone diseases, osteoporosis and so on. Another example would be that of calorie restricted detox diets. In this regime the body will go into starvation mode using the carbohydrate and fluid stores, and stripping the muscle in turn causing muscle aches, protein loss, dehydration, tiredness.

Detox diets are “yo-yo” diets which are impossible to sustain for long-term. Usually people will gain back all the weight they have lost during the period of detox diet – hence the word “yo-yo”. The best way to remain healthy is to eat healthy and exercise 30 min/day intense- vigorous. I like Craig David’s philosophy , “Eat clean. Train dirty.”

Eat healthy, Stay healthy

If you have any chiropractic or spinal health related questions or are looking for a chiropractor in downtown Toronto question feel free to email me at or give us a call at 416-504-8880. If you would like to ask questions to Punya you can email her at

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