The 3 Best ‘Detox’ Diets for Weight Loss

re you searching for the best “detox” diet to slim down? Are you looking for a detox diet to kickstart your weight loss plan? There are hundreds of 3-day, 5-day or 7-day plans to choose from, but not all of them will help you lose weight. To slim down, you need to choose a detox that is healthy and specifically designed for weight loss.

But before you choose a plan, it’s important to understand the lingo.

A smart dieter understands what a “detox” diet can and cannot do and makes intelligent decisions for good health. So, if you’re ready to get slim and healthy, gather your facts, then check the three detox diets below to find the best one for you.

What the Best Detox Can (and Can’t) Do

The word “detox” sounds like a complicated medical term. So, many dieters assume that detox diets provide an essential medical benefit. But your body already has systems in place to detox on its own.

“The term ‘detox’ has become a buzzword that is often misused by the media and consumers,” says Jackie Armstrong, MPH, RDN, EP-C. Jackie is a Performance & Wellness Nutritionist at Stanford University and the founder of She says that detox diets are often misunderstood. “Our organs and tissues are constantly in a state of detoxification — getting rid of unwanted substances produced by the body or from our environment.” She goes on to explain that research is lacking to support the effectiveness of most detox diets.

And Ian K. Smith, M.D. agrees. Dr. Ian is a Harvard graduate, founder of the SHRED Lifestyle, and the author several best-selling diet books. He explains that the liver, kidney, lungs, skin, and gastrointestinal system remove toxins that accumulate in the body. But following a detox diet full of natural foods can enhance the body’s ability to cleanse.

He adds, however, that dieters should make no assumptions about health when choosing a detox diet. “Detoxes have gotten very trendy, and many of them are unhealthy and quite dangerous.”

How to Choose a Detox Diet

So, how do you choose the best detox diet that is healthy and not harmful? The experts agree that a healthy program should include whole, unprocessed foods full of fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients.

There are some things that dieters should avoid when looking for the best detox.

  • Detox diets that are very low in calories. “Look for one that will give you enough calories throughout the day, so that you can function normally,” says Dr. Ian. Jackie adds that very low-calorie plans should only be followed with medical supervision.
  • Detox diets that make big promises. Avoid programs that promise unusually quick weight loss or a cure for disease. You may also want to be wary of diets that require you to buy expensive pills or products.
  • Detox diets that eliminate food groups. Jackie recommends that you look for a detox plan that includes a variety of nutrient-dense whole foods rather than relying on juices and supplements.

The Best Detox Diet for You

So, which detox diet is best for you?

There is no single detox that will work for everyone, but there are some I think are better than others — and I try diets all the time.

As a weight loss expert, I get information sent to my office about detox diets, detox drinks, and detox pills on a regular basis. I try some but not all of the programs. These are the diets I like best, and these are the programs that I choose for myself when I do a detox.

  • The SHRED Power Cleanse  If you have two weeks to commit, this program by Dr. Ian a great one to consider. Why? Because it’s filled with whole, nutritious, fiber-rich foods, a common sense approach to eating and an exercise program that is based on smart science. It is not designed to be a weight loss program, but you’re likely to lose weight while you’re on it. And during the program, you learn healthy lifestyle habits (like planning ahead and journaling) that you can use for long-term weight loss and weight maintenance.
  • The 3-Day Detox Diet. Don’t have 2-weeks for a full detox? This 3-day detox is my own plan. It’s easy, it’s simple and there are no fancy foods required. In fact, it follows guidelines developed by the USDA’s MyPlate nutritional program. This is the plan that I use when I need to reset my tastebuds after a busy party season or a vacation full of indulgent foods.
  • The Drinking Detox. If you’re not ready to change what you eat, you might start by changing what you drink. Many experts (and smart dieters) will tell you that the easiest way to lose weight is to give up alcohol either permanently or for a short time. Booze provides no significant nutritional benefits, it’s full of calories and it may cause you to eat more junk food. For many dieters, simply saying no to alcohol is the best way to detox the body, sleep better at night, boost energy levels, and slim down.

Remember that when you choose a diet or a detox program for weight loss, your health is on the line. Find the program that is best for you based on the amount of time you’ve got for the diet, your level of commitment to making a change and a healthy dose of common sense.

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