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Quickly becoming a more routine practice by members of your local gym to Hollywood actors to Oprah Winfrey, detox diet plans are purportedly designed to cleanse the body of toxins while helping you jumpstart a weight loss program. Marketing pushes pills, drinks and powders, claiming they are the key to ridding your body of toxins. Following a few simple rules, however, you can attain the same results by eating the right foods at the right time. Although cleanse lengths vary, 21-day detox diet plans typically elicit optimal results without drastic sudden changes to your body.


Today’s fast paced society lends itself to quick, easy-to-fix foods full of preservatives and other chemicals. A build-up of these chemicals can cause your body to not operate as efficiently as it is intended to work. Detoxification diets intend to flush the toxin build-up from the body, thereby increasing energy, clearing skin, improving bowel movements and digestion and increasing metabolism and concentration.

General Rules

Although detox diets vary greatly, the majority have similar acceptable and unacceptable foods. Organic and unprocessed foods and drinks, fruits, vegetables and large amounts of water are included in most detox plans. Psyllium seed, licorice root, yucca root, milk thistle seed and gentian root are commonly recommended herbs. Most plans suggest nixing alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, drugs, many supplements and processed, refined foods.

The Clean Diet

A New York cardiologist, Dr. Alejandro Junger, developed a 21-day detox diet program titled The Clean Diet. His plan calls for a liquid meal for breakfast, a solid meal for lunch and a liquid meal for dinner, aiming to remove toxins, restore what is lacking in the body and rejuvenate your life from the inside out. Exercise is highly recommended throughout the diet.

Quantum Wellness

Author Kathy Freston is credited with the creation of the Quantum Wellness detox plan that was made famous by Oprah’s participation in it. The plan centers around a vegan diet, and focus is placed on meditation, visualization, fun activities, conscious eating, exercise, self-work, spiritual practice and service. The psychological and spiritual aspects of this plan set it apart from most others.


Because of the increased nutrient demand placed on the body of pregnant women, you should never begin a detox diet plan during a pregnancy. If you have any health conditions such as anemia, eating disorders, heart disease, low immunity, low blood pressure, ulcers, cancer, drug or alcohol dependency or if you are underweight, you should not attempt a detox unless instructed to by a doctor.