Thoughts on Dr. Oz’s 3-day Detox Cleanse

We were recently asked on Twitter, our thoughts about Dr.Oz’s 3-day Detox Cleanse and it made us think about detoxes/cleanses in general. A response on these definitely cannot fit into 140 characters, so we thought we’d share with all our readers here!

From Kelsey:

Cleanses are an area that I’m really interested in learning more about, and will even try myself (so as to better understand them.) I think before recommending a cleanse it is always important to identify why you are doing it, and to ensure you are getting the appropriate support to do it properly.

But, cleanses can be done many different ways, and not all are equal. Some done through elimination diets, some through juicing and some can be found in a box (I would not recommend this type). My biggest concern with cleanses is that many people use them as a band aid and never address the real issue. For instance a client of mine whose diet was full of processed foods, take out, and indulgences. She did a cleanse for one week, lost weight, and then rewarded herself with the indulgences that she had deprived herself all week! Needless to say although she lost weight during the week, she quickly gained back more that she lost. In this situation the cleanse, and motives behind it, was not warranted. We now are working together on changing her environment, reducing stress, increasing the balance of her diet, and slowly moving to less processed foods.

On the other hand,  if you already eat a whole foods based diet, rich in vegetables, lean protein, high fibre starches, some fruits, health fats, and little or no sugar, then trying a 3 day cleanse to see if you feel better can be warranted, but I would encourage you to be mindful, journal your food, energy levels, and symptoms for one week prior, during the cleanse, and one week after. The more knowledge you have on how it affects your body, the easier it will be for you to identify if this is something your body will benefits from doing again.

Dr.Oz’s cleanse is one I am ok with because it still encourages whole foods…just blending them. Interestingly enough, the Revive Performance dietitians were discussing the pros and cons of drinking your calories every few months to give the body a break from eating. (Maybe after the Crossfit open is over I’ll try it and share my experience.)

Bottom Line:
Don’t use a cleanse as a quick fix (ie. for poor eating habits or weight loss)

A cleanse is not a fast – If your cleanse lasts longer than one – two days, make sure it contains some form of whole foods to provide your brain with the fuel it needs to function. Fasting will also send your body into a starvation response which can make it difficult to manage your weight, among other issues.

As I mentioned earlier, when trying a cleanse (or anything new) be mindful how this change impacts your energy, vitality, cravings, appetite, etc.


Revive Wellness is a team of passionate and evidence-based Registered Dietitians specialized in nutrition and wellness coaching for the Edmonton area.

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