Fasting has been a staple of many religions and health practices for centuries. As a weight loss method, detox diet plans leave much to be desired as they are dangerously low in calories and nutrients. The idea that you need to detox your body of anything other than drugs or alcohol has no basis in science. Still, according to a January 2009 article in Consumer Reports Health, “Fasting for a day or so is generally not harmful and might shake you out of an unhealthy eating pattern.” A one day detox will not magically purge your body, but it shouldn’t hurt you, either.
Planning in advance is an important part of a one day detox. Writing down your menu and shopping for everything you need the day before makes it easier to stick to the plan. Whether you do a juice-only fast, or eat only raw whole foods, at some point you will probably get hungry and that’s the worst time to go to shopping.
Most detox diets recommend that you consume only organic vegetable and fruit juices, raw vegetables and fruit, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Fresh, raw vegetables contain more nutrients and fiber than cooked or processed ones. Nuts and seeds contain healthy fats, and whole grains provide carbohydrates to give you energy. A one day detox of juices only should not cause you any harm, as long you don’t starve yourself.
It is not necessary to starve yourself. Making sure you take in 1,200 to 1,400 calories of healthy, natural foods will make the experience a lot more pleasant. Dropping below 1,000 calories for one day will most likely not do you any harm, but you may experience headaches, dizziness or nausea.
Staying hydrated is always important. Drinking 32 to 64 oz. of water during your detox will help your liver and kidneys to do their work.
Fasting on healthy raw foods for a day is pointless if you have nachos and a beer for breakfast the next day. Using your one day detox to kick off a long-term commitment to healthy eating and exercise makes much more sense.