It might be possible to lose approximately 10 pounds within two weeks on Dr. Oz's 10-day detox diet or on his two-week diet plan. However, most experts say that losing 1 to 2 pounds per week is safer and more likely to result in sustained weight loss.
What Is Detox?
Before detox diets and products became popular, the term "detox" referred to medical procedures that removed dangerous levels of drugs, alcohol or poisons from the body, says Harvard Health. Now, the natural health community promotes an array of detox programs, also called "flushes" or "cleanses," that purportedly eliminate toxins and foster weight loss.
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Detox programs vary. Methods include fasts, juice fasts, dietary supplements, colon cleanses and severely restrictive diets, notes the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. However, amid the body of scientific literature, no convincing evidence supports the premises that they promote weight loss or foster toxin removal. Weight loss from detox diets is likely due to the very low calorie content of the eating plans.
If the detox plan involves laxatives, it isn't unusual for it to result in immediate weight loss. The problem is that this usually stems from the loss of water and possibly muscle tissue if the program was very disruptive, states Science-Based Medicine. Once the diet ends, the body will regain the weight unless the person makes permanent dietary improvements.
Science-Based Medicine urges consumers to be skeptical of detox claims. The effects of a poor diet, lack of exercise and inadequate sleep can't be purged away. For long-term weight loss, the best approach is to eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, says the Mayo Clinic.
Harvard Health advises anyone with health issues to see a doctor rather than go to a detox spa. Also, don't start any diet without checking with a doctor first.
Two-Week Diet Plan
Alternative medicine proponent Dr. Mehmet Oz has a two-week diet plan for rapid weight loss. It includes the following daily components:
- Hot water with lemon juice upon waking
- Breakfast smoothie
- One 6-ounce serving of turkey, chicken or fish
- ½ cup of brown rice
- Moderate intake of healthy fat from avocados and olive oil
- 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
- Unlimited low-glycemic vegetables
- Hummus, nuts or pickles for snacks
The plan involves eliminating wheat, white sugar, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, dairy products and caffeine. It advocates abstaining from eating between 8 p.m and 8 a.m., along with refraining from engaging in additional exercise. The diet program also includes taking probiotics and a multivitamin, as well as a detox bath, which is a soak with 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of Epsom salts mixed into the water.
Dr. Oz's two-week rapid weight-loss recipes can give dieters an idea of how to prepare meals. They include the following recipes: portobello mushroom salad, spicy salmon steaks, cabbage steaks, white chili, avocado Greek yogurt dressing, vegetable broth and a smoothie.
10-Day Detox Diet
Claims of Dr. Oz's 10-day detox diet include fast weight loss of up to 10 pounds and alleviation of some chronic health problems such as Type 2 diabetes, digestive disorders, asthma, headaches, joint pain, brain fog, autoimmune disease, eczema, allergies and acne.
According to Oz, the same dietary elements that lead to illness also lead to weight gain. When dieters stop eating these non-nutritious foods, their metabolism resets, which results in the benefits, he contends.
The tenets of the program are similar to the two-week diet plan. They involve eliminating processed foods, hydrogenated oils, refined vegetable oils, grains, starches, dairy foods, beans, coffee, tea, alcohol and foods made with flour. The plan also prohibits foods with added sugar, artificial sweeteners, dyes, colorants and preservatives.
Breakfast is a shake, lunch is a salad and dinner consists of nonstarchy vegetables with 4 to 6 ounces of protein from selected sources. Allowed snacks include mixed nuts or hummus with vegetables.
Detox Safety Issues
There are safety issues associated with detox programs and products, warns the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Fasting, for example, can cause weakness, fainting, dehydration, headaches and hunger pangs.
Some detox schemes advocate drinking unpasteurized juices, which may contain bacteria that can produce illness in people with compromised immunity. Because some juices have a compound called oxalate, high intake may pose a danger for people with kidney disease.
Read more: Just Say "No" to That Detox Diet or Juice Cleanse
Diets that severely restrict calories might not supply sufficient energy and nutrients needed for daily life and health. It may be especially difficult to exercise when following these eating plans, states Cleveland Clinic. Other possible adverse effects include gastrointestinal problems along with altered glucose levels and metabolic rates.
Detox programs that feature colon cleanses also involve problems. Laxatives can lead to diarrhea, electrolyte imbalances and dehydration. Colon-cleansing procedures can have harmful effects, which are more likely to occur in people with a history of kidney disease, heart disease or gastrointestinal disease, notes the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
The Food and Drug Administration says that many over-the-counter weight-loss products, including those for detox, have hidden ingredients that can harm health. They may contain unstudied pharmaceuticals or be laced with prescription drug ingredients.
Positives of Detox Diets
It should be reiterated that research doesn't support the theory of detox dieting because they're highly restrictive. However, the eating plans have positive aspects that you could implement in a healthy diet comprised of the recommended calorie intake. These positives involve the inclusion of nutritious foods and the exclusion of nutrient-devoid foods.
Plant foods like fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, states the Cleveland Clinic. The fiber in these foods has multiple advantages, including facilitating nutrient absorption, slowing digestion and removing toxins through bowel movements. Fiber also nourishes the beneficial bacteria in the gut, which strengthens the immune system.
Some people report having more energy and mental focus during a detox diet. These positives may be due to the elimination of sugary foods and highly processed foods required by such diets, adds the Mayo Clinic.
- Harvard Health Publishing: "The Dubious Practice of Detox"
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "'Detoxes' and 'Cleanses'"
- DoctorOz.com: "Dr. Oz’s Two-Week Rapid Weight-Loss Plan"
- DoctorOz.com: "10-Day Detox Diet One-Sheet"
- Food and Drug Administration: "Tainted Weight-Loss Products"
- Mayo Clinic: "Do Detox Diets Offer Any Health Benefits?"
- Cleveland Clinic: "Are You Planning a Cleanse or Detox? Read This First"
- Science-Based Medicine: "The Detox Scam: How to Spot It, and How to Avoid It"