The Best 2- or 3-Day Detox to Lose Weight

A two-day natural detox diet filled with fresh juices, herbal teas, fresh fruits and vegetables can be a good way to jump-start your weight loss. It might also help you to establish some healthier eating habits.

A two- to three-day detox diet may be a way to jumpstart your weight loss. (Image: sveta_zarzamora/iStock/GettyImages)

However, the best two-day detox diet shouldn't cut out solid foods, but include foods that help your body work better.

Tip

An effective two- or three-day natural detox diet isn't about starving yourself. Instead it's about flooding your body with fruits, vegetables, herbal teas and other foods that help it to work better.

The Truth About Detox

Detox diets claim to help your body expel toxic substances, and this, in turn, is supposed to improve energy and health while helping you lose some weight. However, there's no scientific evidence to support any claims that a detox diet can improve upon something your body is able to do all on its own.

As long as you're in good health and your liver and kidneys are in good working order, your body is able to naturally detoxify itself on a daily basis and eliminate harmful substances through urination, bowel movements and sweat.

Strict fasting can actually suppress your body's natural detoxification process, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Best Three-Day 'Cleanse'

If you're looking for a way to improve your health and help your body detox itself, you want to eat foods that support the normal workings of your kidneys and liver. That doesn't mean limiting your intake to juice, but including whole foods that are low in fat, high in fiber and rich in nutrients.

The best three-day cleanse options include fresh fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. Other good options include beans, lentils, whole or cracked grains, fish, unsalted nuts and seeds, olive oil, fresh herbs and spices and plenty of water and decaffeinated herbal teas.

These foods are part of a natural detox diet that's great for a two or three-day detox, and even better as a long-term way of eating because it fills your body with lean protein, long lasting carbs, healthy fats and an abundance of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Cutting Calories for Weight Loss

A natural detox diet is a great way to jump start your weight loss. However, to lose 1 pound of fat, you should create a 3,500-calorie deficit, which may be difficult to do in a two- to three-day period.

The National Institutes of Health recommends creating a deficit of 500 to 750 calories per day to lose between 1 and 1 1/2 pounds per week. When you lose more than 2 pounds in two to three days, you're losing water, and maybe even some muscle, instead of fat.

According to an article published in the September 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, loss of skeletal muscle can actually have a negative impact on your metabolism, as well as insulin sensitivity, and other metabolic functions.

When you do a natural detox for weight loss, you should still eat balanced meals that include some protein, healthy fats, and lots of vegetables. Rather than cutting out solid foods, the best way to create a calorie deficit is to cut out processed foods, like chips, soft drinks, desserts and fast foods while filling up on lower calorie whole foods.

Natural Detox Diet Foods

As with any healthy diet plan, try to eat regularly throughout the day to maintain energy levels and keep hunger at bay. Eat smaller meals, and add a snack or two. Some good food options for the best three-day cleanse can include:

  • Protein: Skinless chicken breast, fish, eggs, organic tofu
  • Healthy fats: Avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil
  • Fruits and vegetables: Any
  • Grains: Quinoa, farro, millet, sorghum
  • Beverages: Herbal tea, green tea, plain or fruit and herb-infused water
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