The very word itself explains the actual idea: Detox stands for detoxification. Detoxification means cleaning the body of toxic or generally harmful substances. Normally, the body regulates this on its own. Organs such as the liver and kidneys function to a certain extent like the body's own sewage treatment plants and detoxify very effectively. However, stress, poor nutrition and other burdens can disturb these self-purifying powers of the body. This is where Detox comes in. Through a reduced, deacidifying diet, the body should be cleansed from within and detoxify itself. Harmful substances are broken down and excreted and the organs are strengthened.
There are two essential ways for a detox cure or a detox diet. With the first variant you drink a lot and do completely without solid food, very similar to fasting. Instead, fruit and vegetable juices, green teas, soups or special detox juices are consumed. In the second variant, however, only basic foods are allowed. These alkaline foods include almost all types of fruit, vegetables and salads, mushrooms, almonds and herbs. They contain substances that the body metabolises in an alkaline way, such as magnesium, calcium and iron. They also contain no or very few acid-forming substances.
You can learn even more about the background of the detox treatment in this article:
How detox helps to lose weight
The loss of body weight is an inevitable consequence of reduced diet and the radically lower amount of calories consumed. Instead of the 2,000 to 3,000 calories that an adult consumes daily, patients on a detox diet often only have 400 to 500 calories a day. Due to the cleansing of the intestines and the low calorie intake, weight loss is very fast.
However, how much weight is actually lost depends on several factors. First of all, people metabolise differently and therefore lose weight in different ways. In addition, it depends very much on whether people actually do not eat at all when detoxing, or whether they simply avoid foods for pleasure. In the Waldhotel, for example, we recommend that you only eat easily digestible basic and cooked foods.
The bottom line is that an average daily weight loss of 200 to 500 grams seems realistic - but of course there are always outliers. By the way, it should also be remembered that especially at the beginning of a detox diet, water is lost rather than body fat.
But how does such a diet really work?
This is how a detox treatment is structured
In the preparation phase, which usually lasts 1 to 2 weeks, the body is prepared for the efforts of the diet. Here it is important to continually reduce the intake of heavy and acidic foods. If possible, the intake of alcohol and other toxins should also already be greatly reduced.
The subsequent cure or fasting phase usually lasts 1 to a maximum of 3 weeks. During this time, the diet is changed and only basic foods are consumed. As mentioned above, these include fruit, vegetables, salad, mushrooms, almonds and herbs. They carry substances that the body metabolizes alkaline and have no or very few acidogenic substances.[PH1] Instead of a few large meals, you will eat many small portions during this time and drink juices and plenty of water. In some cases, dietary products are also used as food supplements.
At the Waldhotel we recommend our Detox Pro programme as a detox treatment, or a special Detox Yoga programme accompanied by the Waldhotel Color Cuisine. This cuisine is free of wheat, sugar and other toxic foods and is supplemented with alkaline foods such as pulses, grains, raw vegetables, nut milk and green smoothies. However, our experienced experts also support the course participants in all other matters. In any case, it is optimal to carry out this phase in a relaxing holiday or a cure in order to benefit from the new energy in the best possible way.
In order to be permanently healthy, it is therefore important to move on to a controlled build-up phase after the fasting phase. From day to day you can now eat more solid food again and gradually get the body used to a normal diet again. After a few days, usually after a week at the latest, you can conclude the build-up phase.
Is Detox a diet?
However, the completion of the three cure phases should not mean that you simply return to your accustomed lifestyle and diet afterwards. All the quick positive effects that a detox cure brings with it, might disappear over time and if you don't optimise your diet in your everyday life, you will always be back to the beginning. The body has had to learn to cope with less energy during the cure and you will quickly regain weight if you are not careful - the so-called yo-yo effect.
Detox is not a classic diet for losing weight anyway. Diets are explicitly designed to lose weight. That is why effective, tried and tested diets are usually based on a fundamental change in eating habits. The detox approach, on the other hand, basically aims at detoxification. Losing weight is a side-effect and it makes sense to rebuild at least some of the lost kilos.
Nevertheless, what has been learned can be applied sensibly. A healthy, low-sugar low-carb diet, for example, can be helpful for your body and mind in the long term. A healthy lifestyle permanently supports the body's self-cleaning powers and ensures that the detox experience is transformed into something positive in the long term.