Detox and Cleansing – What Truth Is There to the Myth?

Are you tired and stressed? Are your pants getting too tight? Then it’s time for a detox. Detoxing, or cleansing your body from the inside, can give you renewed energy and a better figure.” Detox diets promise this and more. Especially in spring and in the months leading up to it, many people want to shed a few pounds – and that as soon as possible. Hollywood stars and models do it all the time… But what truth is there to promises to cleanse your body and achieve the figure you always wanted in just a few days? Read on if you want to find out the real deal about detox.

What is detox?

Detoxing” is the process of ridding your body of toxins and is very popular in the months leading up to bikini season. This method is based on the idea that a high-fat, high-sugar diet and the consumption of alcohol and nicotine slow down your metabolism. The body develops waste products that it can no longer eliminate by natural means. These harmful substances, according to detox philosophy, form deposits in your body known as “slags.” By ridding your body of these toxins, detoxing is supposed to restore your body’s equilibrium and regulate your acid-base balance. The weight loss associated with detoxing is merely a welcome side effect. Detox diets often involve juice therapies, although many people also use these days to cut out alcohol, refined sugar, and white flour products.

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There is no such thing as “slag”

The fact is that there is no scientific evidence for the existence of “slag.” Our kidneys, liver and digestive tract have their own metabolic processes for eliminating toxins and poisons from our bodies. Therefore, no miracle cures or expensive detox diets are necessary. Also, your body doesn’t need any special fasting therapy to relax and restore its balance.

Breaks can help

Short detox breaks are not bad for your body. In fact, they can help show those interested in losing weight the right way to a healthier diet. The path to a slim and fit body is pretty clear: It starts by cutting out foods rich in fats and sugar and eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, high-fiber whole grain products, and high-quality protein. Drinking plenty of water and exercising regularly is important, too. Most cleanses also involve eliminating junk food, sugar and alcohol from your diet. If you make these healthy foods a regular part of your diet, you will of course lose weight during your diet. A detox therapy is also an excellent opportunity to think about your daily lifestyle. The strict diet can help you to say “no” in future to a large portion of French fries or a second glass of wine.

Weighing the pros and cons of detoxing

Detoxing treatments are often expensive. There is a huge number of detox camps to choose from, and the selection of juice therapies and teas these days is mind-boggling. Before shelling out a lot of money, ask yourself the following question: “Do I really need this? Must I really go on a liquid diet for five days to achieve the figure I always wanted?” For detox therapies aren’t that much different than other diets in terms of results: After a few days, you go back to your old habits  and regain all the weight you had lost (which was probably mostly water anyway). That’s frustrating, isn’t it? A balanced diet, regular exercise and plenty of sleep are the right way to a slim body you can maintain.

Another problem is the lack of protein. Perhaps you have been exercising regularly and building up muscle before you start. During cleanses, you often eat only soups and smoothies. If you maintain this unbalanced diet for weeks, you run the risk of losing muscle.

So, to recap:

There are both pros and cons to detoxing. Fasting for a few days can help you to break bad eating habits and start leading a healthier lifestyle. Vegetable and fruit smoothies give you energy in between and can even replace meals from time to time. What speaks against detox therapies or cleanses, however, is often the price and the unbalanced diet. You shouldn’t follow a restrictive diet for more than a couple of days. And you should know that detox diets are not necessary to stay healthy.

What do you think of detoxing? Are you planning to fast before spring? We look forward to exciting discussions!

If you are looking for a healthy snack between meals and want to skip detoxing, we have one more tip for you:

Someone is making a green smoothie

Recipe for a delicious power smoothie

Ingredients for 1 serving:

  • a handful of spinach or kale
  • a handful of cucumber
  • a small handful of celery
  • 1 small pear
  • 1 banana
  • 1 glass of coconut water
  • 1 tsp fresh mint
  • juice of one lemon
  • ½ tsp chia seeds
  • some freshly grated ginger


Cut up the fruit and vegetables. Blend all the ingredients until smooth and enjoy 😉


Julia Denner Julia is a dietician and sports nutritionist. Before she began her position as Communications Specialist at Runtastic, she spent several years working as a dietician in the surgical department at Vienna General Hospital. Julia is passionate about inspiring others to eat a healthy, balanced diet. View all posts by Julia Denner