Your body doesn’t deserve any harm, so consider the consequences before you try one of these popular detoxes. 


Detoxes and cleanses have become extremely popular. Some people turn to them to rid themselves of ‘excess’ toxins or lose weight. This idea that waste needs to be forcefully removed from our bodies may be popular, but that doesn’t mean it’s accurate. Your body is perfectly capable of doing so all on it’s own when it’s properly supported.

The truth is, many detoxes cause more harm than good. Here are a few to steer clear of:

1. Master Cleanse.

That concoction of maple syrup, lemon juice and cayenne pepper seemed to work for your favorite celebrity. I know she dropped 20 pounds in 2 weeks, but just because she lost the weight doesn’t mean she kept it off. And it sure doesn’t mean she was any healthier or happier at the end of those 2 weeks.

Why is the master cleanse such a bad idea, you ask? Well, for one it’s woefully lacking in fiber, protein, fat, calories, and most vitamins and minerals. These are the very nutrients your body needs to carry out detoxification.

2. Severe restriction of fluids or foods without medical supervision.

Following a water-only fast or total fast in an attempt to detoxify is never a good idea. Your body requires a lot of nutrients to fuel itself and function at it’s highest level. Not getting enough of nutrients does not cleanse or detoxify your body, it starves and weakens it.

3. Juice-only cleanse for extended periods of time.

Even when freshly made with a good balance of fruit and vegetables, pressed juices often strip away the majority of an important nutrient that supports your body’s ability to detox: fiber. Fiber is invaluable for regular bowel movements, and bowel movements are one of the main ways your body filters out waste.

4. Activated Charcoal.

Where do we even start with this one? Because charcoal is used by doctors to treat certain forms of ingested poison, many people think it must be great at ridding their bodies of toxins. Doctors use it because it’s extremely effective at trapping certain chemicals when those chemicals are still in the stomach and small intestine. The only problem is, charcoal’s action stops there. It doesn’t get absorbed and float through your blood, drawing toxins out of your organs and blood the way some of its proponents suggest.

Aside from doing nothing to help your body clean out waste, drinking charcoal can worsen or cause constipation, which won’t help anyone dispose of their excess waste. Plus, it can interfere with your ability to digest and absorb food, drinks, herbs, supplements, and medications.

Rather than turning to detoxes, trust your body’s natural ability to release what doesn’t contribute to its health and wellbeing.

Adapted from the original article.

Kendra Tolbert, MS, RDN, CDN, CLC is a registered dietitian nutritionist, certified lactation counselor, and certified aromatherapist based in Alexandria, VA. Through her private practice, she helps women and couples prepare for pregnancy and enjoy healthier, happier pregnancies. Learn more about Kendra at Live Fertile.