The festive period is in full swing, and you’ve probably had plenty of food and drink with friends and family, and a few days/weeks of overindulgence. You might well be thinking of a January detox, and a chance to get yourself back on track in the new year.

But it is the detox craze all it is hyped up to be? And is it worth your hard-earned cash?

What is a detox?

A detox is a short-term dietary intervention, designed to eliminate toxins from the body. Predominately by a period of fasting, and very low calories, predominantly made up of fruit and vegetables; or what has become incredibly popular in recent times, supplements and some form of meal replacement. All of which are designed to remove “unhealthy” foods from your diet such as alcohol, processed foods and refined sugars.

Do they work?

For some they do, you can feel more focused and energetic during a detox but this is more than likely from the elimination of processed foods, and the addition of vitamins and minerals through fruit and veg that you were lacking before.

From the perspective of weight loss, if the detox involves an extreme calorie restriction then you will inevitably lose weight. However a detox is short-term solution and without changing long term habits the success you see will most likely be short lived as you resort back to your old ways. The majority of the weight lost in a detox is most likely from a loss of fluid and carbohydrates stored in the body, rather than fat, and as soon as you start eating normally again after your 30 day detox plan which cost you £50 that weight will amost certainly return.

Most importantly, are they worth the money?

If a detox is something which is going to make you feel better and start making you make positive changes to your lifestyle by introducing new habits then there is a case for them being worth it. In my opinion however, you are far better off spending your money elsewhere. The majority of the time the body does a pretty good job looking after itself without expensive supplements being required. Save your money, start learning about nutrition and improving your lifestyle by avoiding junk and start making some positive changes to set you up for a long-term solution rather than a short-term fix.

Drink more water, reduce the amount of processed foods you eat, eat more fruit, eat more veg….detox completed.

Are detoxes the answer, NO!