A 5-day detox always seems like a good idea when summer’s around the corner, and you need to look amazing in a bikini. Or when there’s a wedding coming up and the last thing you need is the backhanded compliments about how chubby you are from that nosy aunt you haven’t seen in a while.
But before you jump on a trendy juicing diet that promises to detoxify your body and burn fat, there’s something you need to know. You can’t detox your own body, as it does that on its own. Plus, that juice fast won’t have long-lasting results.
The good news is you can think of the detox as a sane way to revamp your eating habits and get started on healthy foods that’ll move your scale in the right direction. Read on to find out how.
What Is A Detox?
A detox is the removal of harmful substances from the body. These are usually found in foods or environmental pollutants and are considered negative because they can cause problems for your health (7).
The idea behind a diet detox is to remove these toxins from your body through methods such as drinking lots of water, juice, or fasting. Many times people refer to this kind of diet as a “cleanse” (11). But in reality, the only thing that drinking a lot of liquids will do is make you go to the toilet more than you should.
The idea behind a detox or cleanse is that it will help you get rid of toxins and lose weight. But this isn’t true for several reasons. The most important thing is when you lose weight through dieting, you’re just losing water and/or lean muscle tissue. The actual fat loss rate is very minimal (2). So, even if toxins were stored in the fat cells, going on a cleanse wouldn’t result in detoxification.
When you don’t eat very many calories, which happens usually because it’s part of the diet plan, your body perceives this to be a form of starvation. It then signals your body to slow down and start holding onto its nutrients and energy reserves. This is why people who do these kinds of diets can often feel tired and sluggish. Your body is slowing down because it’s trying to act like you’re in a famine (1).
5 days of an extreme calorie deficit will not have permanent results, especially when you go back to eating regular meals. Extreme restriction can make cravings stronger, and you’re more likely to overeat. Furthermore, crash diets can trigger an unhealthy relationship with food and result in disordered eating (3).
So, what should you do if you want to kickstart your weight loss plan? The answer is simple – forget about detox diets that promise fast results in five days or less. Instead of aiming for rapid fat loss through starvation, which means losing water and lean muscle tissue, aim for slow but steady fat loss.
How To Detox Without Going On A Juice Fast?
Instead of a liquid crash diet, think of a detox as a meal reset program. It means getting rid of all the junk you’ve been eating that’s been causing bloat, sluggishness, and putting your health at risk, and eating delicious, wholesome meals that will leave you more energized (4).
The foods you’ll stay away from thanks to this 5-day detox cleanse diet plan include:
- Refined sugar
- Saturated fats
- Trans fats
- Processed foods
- Starchy carbs (bread, rice)
- Soda/Coffee/Plain water (avoid these fluids if possible for the best results in appetite suppression!)
Instead, you’ll be eating:
Glycine-Rich Lean Protein Sources (To Your Heart’s Content!)
Meat, chicken, and eggs are proteins rich in glycine. Fish like tuna and salmon is another source of this amino acid. Protein helps reduce sugar cravings, which often come from carb withdrawal, keeps your blood sugar stable, provides satiety after meals so that you’re not tempted to snack, and helps boost immunity throughout the detox period (10).
Fatty Acids Found In Olive Oil Or Coconut Oil
Shaking up your diet from heavy meats and proteins makes room for a more balanced intake of fats which are major components of cell membranes and are necessary for proper hormone production (6). Frying with quality oils will allow you to add flavor back into your food without all the unwanted side effects. The best part? This means ditching canola and vegetable oil in favor of real unsaturated fats, also known as heart-healthy fat.
Veggies provide that much-needed crunch factor in our lives! In addition to being delicious “fast food”, they also release energy slowly and stay with you longer than most foods, meaning your body doesn’t have to work hard to digest them.
Ginseng And Green Tea
These two super foods help detoxify our bodies by supporting organ functions like the liver and kidneys (8). A cup of ginseng tea or a shot of ginseng extract is also said to help curb sugar cravings!
Gluten-Free Whole Grains (In Moderation)
Brown rice, quinoa, millet are all gluten-free carbohydrates that will keep your appetite at bay while you’re detoxing.
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Ditch the yolk and enjoy the egg whites instead. Egg whites contain zero fat and almost no calories, so they’ll be great for people who need to watch their calorie intake during a detox (5).
Sample Of 5-Day Detox Diet Meal Plan
Here’s a sample detox diet weight loss 5-day plan. You can easily arrange your daily menu by switching out specific recipes to fit your tastes, diet restrictions, food availability, etc. For instance, you can always substitute grilled tuna with any other type of fish (or a protein-rich chicken breast if you’re not fond of fish). Remember meal planning is crucial as it ensures variety and better diet quality (9).
- Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with fresh cheese
- Lunch: Chicken salad made from grilled chicken thighs, veggies with olive oil dressing
- Dinner: Bone-in chicken with a side of quinoa
- Breakfast: Scrambled egg whites with fresh cheese and spinach
- Lunch: Steamed salmon served on top of a salad made from cucumber slices, red pepper chunks, arugula leaves, and olive oil dressing (you can add some turkey or ham cubes for added protein content if you like)
- Dinner: Grilled steak with spiralized zucchini
- Breakfast: Overnight oats topped with banana slices
- Lunch: Chicken salad with sunflower seeds, avocado, and vinaigrette dressing
- Dinner: Steamed fish filet with a side salad made from cucumber slices, tomato chunks, olives, olive oil dressing, and fresh cheese
- Breakfast: Scrambled egg whites with fresh cheese, spinach, and cauliflower
- Lunch: Grilled tuna steak with sauteed onions, peppers, carrots, and tomatoes
- Dinner: Grilled steak with a side of brown rice or quinoa topped with olive oil dressing (you can add a cup of chopped cucumber for some crunch!)
- Breakfast: Scrambled egg whites with fresh cheese and sauteed peppers
- Lunch: Salad made from whole grain quinoa, red peppers, black olives, tomato chunks, olive oil dressing, and tuna cubes
- Dinner: Salmon in lemon sauce with sauteed mushrooms and rosemary (you can use your preferred fish instead)
The Bottom Line
It’s believed that detoxing your body at least once a year helps flush out any unwanted toxins or impurities, allowing our organs to have some much-needed rest and rejuvenation. But in reality, a juice fast does very little to help your body.
What you should do instead is get rid of unhealthy foods and go on a clean diet to help your body detox itself. By following the 5-day detox diet meal plan, it should be pretty easy to get started on your detox program without missing any necessary meals throughout the day.
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This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Adaptive thermogenesis in humans (2010, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Changes in fat-free mass during significant weight loss: a systematic review | International Journal of Obesity (2006, nature.com)
- Dieting in adolescence (2004, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Eating highly processed foods linked to weight gain (2019, nih.gov)
- Egg, white, raw, fresh (2019, fdc.nal.usda.gov)
- Fats and Other Lipids – Diet and Health – NCBI Bookshelf (1989, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Nutritional aspects of detoxification in clinical practice (2015, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Pharmacological Effects of Ginseng on Liver Functions and Diseases: A Minireview (2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Planning Meals | Healthy Weight, Nutrition, and Physical Activity (2020, cdc.gov)
- The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance (2015, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- “Detoxes” and “Cleanses”: What You Need To Know (2019, nccih.nih.gov)