Detoxing? Non sense!

Meyken Houppermans, PhD. CrossFit Level 3 Trainer.
Founder and Head Coach
Detox is non-sense and comes with the risk of gaining weight, lacking vital nutrients and losing money on expensive products with unknown substances.

What is dietary detoxing

Dietarydetoxing is interventional dieting specifically designed for toxins elimination, health promotion, and weight management. These short-term dietary interventions involve multiple approaches, including total calorie restriction, dietary modification, or juice fasts, and often involve the use of additional minerals, vitamins, diuretics, laxatives, or cleansing foods. Detox diets or methods often consist of dietary restrictions such as a fasting period combined with the intake of detox products, and sometimes more radical methods such taking products with laxative effect or undergoing colonic irrigation (infusing fluids into the colon).

Many of these diets or detox products are prescribed by self-proclaimed health professionals to prevent or treat a number of conditions like gastrointestinal disorders, inflammation, autoimmune disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and weight loss.[1] 

Lack of evidence

Detoxing is very popular. The number of people who struggle with overweight/ obesity increases, and so is the search for quick fixes. In the United State it is a multimillion dollar industry that keeps growing, regardless of the lack of evidence regarding the effectiveness of detoxing. 

Research shows detoxing diets fail to identify the mechanisms of eliminating toxins, and implicitly suppose that general human physiology is not sufficient enough, in other words that the liver and kidneys are not efficient in removing toxins from the body.

In 2024, there is no clinical evidence confirming or negating the effectiveness of commercially available detox regimes for losing weight. It is known that the success rate of dieting, in general, is only 20%. Calorie restriction leads to reduction of metabolic rate and stimulation of appetite, resulting in a weight loss plateau. Furthermore studies show fasting can raise stress hormone levels, and stress stimulates appetite, and can thus promote weight gain. 

Many of the detox diets are liquid-based, low-calorie, and nutrient-poor. These diets may induce stress and increase appetite, resulting in difficulty in losing weight, followed by binge eating and weight gain. 

Health risks

Additional to the health risks related to losing too much body weight too fast, and of malnutrition due to the intake of nutrient-poor products, components of detox products may not be according to the food label since there is no regulatory authority that approves such products. (Do you need supplements?). Simply said: the consumer cannot be 100% guaranteed of the safety of the product. This is an even higher risk for people with chronic diseases or other health conditions.[2]. 


Research shows detox diets tend to work because they lead to extremely low caloric intake for short periods of time, however tend to lead to weight gain once a normal diet is resumed. (Compared to high intensity training such as CrossFit that according to research actually does show remarkable sustainable weight loss and improvements in cardiovascular health). Health risk sinclude excessive weight gain, malnutrition, and a risk of the intake of unknown substances with unknown health risks.

Create your own health!©


[1] TahreemA, Rakha A, Rabail R, Nazir A, Socol CT, Maerescu CM, Aadil RM. Fad Diets:Facts and Fiction. Front Nutr. 2022 Jul 5;9:960922. doi:10.3389/fnut.2022.960922. PMID: 35866077; PMCID: PMC9294402.

[2] TahreemA, Rakha A, Rabail R, Nazir A, Socol CT, Maerescu CM, Aadil RM. Fad Diets:Facts and Fiction. Front Nutr. 2022 Jul 5;9:960922. doi:10.3389/fnut.2022.960922. PMID: 35866077; PMCID: PMC9294402.

Klein AV, Kiat H. Detoxdiets for toxin elimination and weight management: a critical review of theevidence. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2015 Dec;28(6):675-86. doi:10.1111/jhn.12286. Epub 2014 Dec 18. PMID: 25522674.

Obert J, Pearlman M,Obert L, Chapin S. Popular Weight Loss Strategies: a Review of Four Weight LossTechniques. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2017 Nov 9;19(12):61. doi:10.1007/s11894-017-0603-8. PMID: 29124370.

Malik VS, Hu FB.Popular weight-loss diets: from evidence to practice. NatClin Pract Cardiovasc Med. 2007 Jan;4(1):34-41. doi: 10.1038/ncpcardio0726.PMID: 17180148.