Detox And Juicing Diets: The Biggest Scam In The Fitness Industry

July 10, 2016 | 111 Comments

detox juicing diets scam

Alright so that’s 2 carrots, 1 head of broccoli, 10 grapes, a couple slices of ginger, and some celery.

I gotta be honest, just writing that first sentence was painful, but there are still millions of people out there who actually believe that putting all those ingredients in a blender and drinking it will actually “cleanse” and “detox” their body.

Why do people do these cleansing and detox diets?

Because there is an incredible marketing/advertising force behind these diets. From the Master Cleanse to Natalia Rose and her crazy diets, these companies and people will do anything to convince you that detoxifying your body is the greatest thing in the world.

And let’s not forget about celebrities like Beyonce and Salma Hayek who endorse these very diets, because you know, people will do believe anything Beyonce says or does.

Also, we have these ridiculous movies that come out like Fat, Sick, And Nearly Dead. It’s a movie about an incredibly overweight and unhealthy man named Joe Cross who decides to go on a juice cleanse where he will drink nothing but fresh fruit and vegetables for 60 days.

And spoiler warning, the movie ends with Joe losing significant amounts of weight and becoming healthy again. But did Joe lose the weight because of all the fruits and veggies he drank? HELL NO! Joe lost weight because he was consuming an extremely low calorie diet, nothing more. Detoxing with juice had nothing to do with it at all.

But that’s the problem, most people are going to watch Fat, Sick, And Nearly Dead and think that it was the juice, not the reduced calorie intake that resulted in Joe’s weight loss, and that’s just going to continue fueling the fallacy that detox diets are good.

[The trailer for Fat, Sick, And Nearly Dead. I’m glad Joe
lost the weight but the whole juicing thing is ridiculous]

There is no proof people!

Like seriously, there are things in fitness and health that are somewhat arguable, but detox and cleansing diets are NOT one of them. There is literally not a single piece of scientific research that shows that these diets are effective.

I mean, even doctors and scientists deny the fact that “detoxing” does anything for your body. Everything you read about detox diets is just a combination of theory and really good marketing. It’s a big fat lie.

I mean, even if I wanted to, I couldn’t quote any research about detox diets because there is none. If you have any research to show me, then please, be my guest.

It’s impossible to “detox” your body

It’s crazy, but I think that people who use detox diets have this imaginary image in their mind that all the juice that they’re drinking is somehow “attacking” all the “dirty” stuff in their body and removing it. Tell me I’m wrong.

The official definition of detox is to rid the body of poisonous substances. So if you overdosed on prescription medicine or accidentally drank some rat poison, then only then would you actually have to detox your body with professional medical help.

But when it comes to losing weight and health, the term detox has ABSOLUTELY no meaning at all.

Your kidneys and liver detox just fine by themselves.

But how do people lose weight and get healthy with detox diets?

As you can see, I’m not a fan of detox diets and neither should you be, but then how is it that millions of people are able to use it with success?

The answer is simple – the people who use detox diets eat very little calories.

It has nothing to do with the fruits, vegetables, or maple syrup bullshit that they’re drinking. The ONLY reason that people lose weight with these diets is because they consume very little calories.

I can’t stress this enough, if you want to lose weight and get healthy, all you have to do is eat less and watch how much you eat. Blending up a bunch of fruits and veggies does absolutely nothing for your body except make you feel groggy because you have to drink that blended crap.

So what should I do to lose weight and get healthy?

Well for one thing, don’t go on detox diet. They work for weight loss, but that’s only because it forces you to consume an extremely low amount of calories.

If you really want to give your body a break from all the food you’ve been eating, then why don’t you give intermittent fasting a shot. Intermittent fasting is pretty much juice fasting without the juice and gimmicks. All you’re doing is staying away from food for a specified amount of time.

Check out my article on intermittent fasting if you want to learn more about IF.

Bottom line: just eat a sensible reduced calorie diet and don’t worry whether or not you’re “detoxing” your body or not, because that’s not possible. If you’re consistently losing fat each week, then you’re on your way to becoming healthier 🙂

You’ve been scammed, but that’s okay

In my opinion, companies and people who promote cleansing and detox diets are nothing but scam artists. They know exactly what to say and do to convince people to buy that $80 bottle of juice that will supposedly change your life.

The fitness/health industry is full of lies and deception. It’s one of those industries that “if it sounds good on paper then people will do it” type of things, if you get what I’m saying.

Hopefully I’ve convinced you that cleansing and detox diets are nothing but a big fat scam. Now if you know anyone who works at Master Cleanse, then feel free to spam them with this article.

What do you think? Do you “detox” your body? Let me know below.

111 Comments - Leave Your Thoughts

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  1. I once detoxed my body. It was new years day, and on new years eve I had finished off an idiotically large amount of alcohol, and for the first time in my life I wake up with actual pains in my liver. Well, some hippie chick gave me a pint of water mixed with apple cider vinegar (if that’s what it’s called in english) and I had this great sensation of healing. Since that day I always have my apple cider vinegar ready after a rough one on the town. It makes me feel better, and when I’m hung over I don’t care if it’s placebo or real as long as I, well, feel better.

    But as a weight looser, well there is something to it. I used to work in one of these hippie shops before. I sold my share of minerals, vitamins, weird teas and of course a bunch of detox-stuff. After reading about all these products (as I had to do), I understood what it was all about, because they all had one thing in common. They get the water out of your body. Many overweight people, especially women over 40, has too much water in their body and this of course adds weight. Detoxing will make much of this water find it’s way out of your body through you bladder. But, you won’t loose fat and you will loose money. My tip is buy yourself some birch tea for a buck and a half (tastes like shit but it will get that water out), and cut down on unhealthy salt food which binds water to your body.

    1. SAF,

      You’re right . When you “detox” , you’re losing a lot of water because you’re practically drinking liquids all day and that makes you go to the rest room a lot which is where a lot of the water leaves your body.

  2. I have to admit, I love the idea of cleanses because I love how I FEEL when I drink juices and teas. The “cleansing” sensation is totally due to hydration though. I seriously love this blog because you seem to be the only person who understands the beauty of a low-calorie diet/lifestyle! I even remember an episode of Tyra (haha) where they shamed a very petite woman who only ate 1000 calories a day. The gist was that it was “unhealthy” and they told her she had an eating disorder. As a petite woman myself, I am sustained by WAY less calories than the average woman believes she should consume each day.

    I do love “clean” foods when I’m extra bloated or at a weight loss plateau – It just makes me *feel* better – but overall you’re absolutely right, it’s all about the calories, baby. BTW, have you seen the documentary Fat Head?

    1. Hey Janine,
      Thanks I’m glad you like this blog. You’re right, most people tend to freak out and judge you when you go on a low calorie diet, but most people don’t realize that that’s the only real way to lose weight.

      And yeah, when I’m bloated I tend to just cut back on food intake the next day. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I think you missed the whole point of the movie. Joe Cross sought out a juicing regime to cure his chronic skin disease. Weight loss and getting healthy were also the result of his fast but he also cured his disease. I agree that juice fasting isn’t the best idea if your only goal is to lose weight. But there’s no denying the effect it has on people getting healthy and healing their bodies, getting off prescription medication, and feeling better. And yes, there is all kinds of research to support this.

    1. Hi lynn,
      Many of today’s diseases are caused by extra weight. Joe could of cured his disease and lost the weight by simply going on a calorie restricted diet. The point Im trying to make is that there nothing special about juicing, it’s the restricted calories that helped him. Also, if you have any research to show me, I would be glad to take a look at it.

      1. You missed the point of the movie. I was an Atkins girl and lost shit tons of weight and kept it off for years until I got sick with Lyme and had a full thickness burn down to the bone which required steroids and massive amounts of protein drinks, as well as my doctor making me eat certain amounts of peanut butter every day in the hospital because I was underweight. Yep…underweight on an Atkins diet..I hiked, did pilates…steroids and medicine…2 years later Boom! 150 added on. Nt from eating, either. I saw Fat, sick and nearly dead and started off pissed off…I don’t overeat..I exercise…then I gave it a chance..Oh….ok…he is trying to get off of medication…still skeptical, I watched. By the end of the movie, I was willing to try juice because I wanted that energy. Yes, weight loss would be nice, but with Lyme Disease, energy that will help combat that pain would be nice also. I did the fast and I was better for it. I understand what you are saying, though. No “diet” should be a constant way of life. Juicing should not be forever. Atkins should not be forever. The pyramid that was on the movie made sense to me…Eat beef or stuff like that once a week, fish a couple…there is no need to have it every day…and eat plenty of fruits, nuts and veggies. That is explained in the movie as well. By the way, you misspelled “Supposedly”. 🙂

        1. Alice,
          First off, I’m sorry you got Lyme disease, but honestly, I’m not very familiar with Lyme disease and it’s effects on the human body. My point of the article was not to bash people who have lost weight or have gotten healthy with juicing but is instead intended to show people that there’s nothing special about “detox” diets. Detoxing and juicing are just big marketing tools, but if it works for you then so be it.

  4. I also think you missed the point. I think he got healthier because he stopped eating junk and ate tons of fruits and veggies — juicing them just makes it easier and more palatable to consume that many fruits and veggies for people who are used to eating processed foods. You claim he’d have also lost the weight on a reduced calorie diet — maybe, but I could eat less calories of junk and still be eating junk. Better to eat less calories but way more nutrients, and that’s what this does. I also never heard him claim any mystical ‘detox’ properties other than maybe detoxing from the processed crap he was used to eating.

    1. Hi Ruby,
      The main reason he got healthier was because he lost all the excess fat in his body. If he was consuming a massive amount of nutrients but stayed at the exact same weight, he most likely would not have gotten healthier.

  5. In his situation detoxing by the way of juicing worked out great for his skin disease and by losing lots of weight. I don’t think his skin disease would of healed so fast if it wasn’t for all the nutrients in the juice, compared to just a low calorie diet.

    1. It’s possible that nutrients played a role, but I just don’t want people to get the wrong idea that they need to juice in order to be lose weight and be healthy.

  6. Hey,

    Just wondering about juice. Not in terms of losing weight or anything, but the juice still does provide nutrients. I’m not looking to lose weight, I just tend to ignore veggies and was thinking juicing them might be an easier way to get veggies each day. Thoughts?

    1. Yeah that’s fine, but I it’s better to eat the veggies. Or just make a shake with a ton of fruits and veggies and blend it all up.

  7. I only whole food juice in order to get my daily amount of fruit and vegetables in. I don’t think of it as magical, and I don’t do it exclusively. It’s the best way I found to get most of my daily dose, and incorporate the entire thing, rather than just the juice. The only problem anyone could possibly have with that is the fact that most of it doesn’t get chewed, so I’m supposedly not starting the digestive process. I, like most people, don’t want to sit and eat loads of produce. I follow the TLC and DASH diet aside from the “juice”. So I’m not completely calorie restricting. I consider it practical for someone who woudn’t sit down and eat a cucumber, to incorporate it into a mushy mess, then drink it. Occasionally I’ll have juicer juice in order to get whatever nutrients that provides. I’m disturbed by the brainwashing being done in the name of health. People get all worked up because you’re forcing them to rethink what they’ve been talked into believing. People also fell for magic foot pads, the lemonade “cleanse”, and an all cabbage-soup diet. Sounds healthy, doesn’t it?

    1. It’s fine if you juice to get nutrients in a convenient matter but I think it’s harmful if someone believe juicing has magical fat burning or muscle building effects vs just eating the fruit.

  8. Fat cells are known to store chemicals. For example, THC will can be detected in a fat person long after a slim person and is among many “toxins” that could be stored up in the body. The average person may not take in THC, however it seems logical that preservatives, certain hormones and chemicals found in food could also be stored in fat cells. It follows, then, that as you lose weight, you are detoxing. It also seems like common sense, to ensure that while you are doing this, you fill your body with nutrients that we designed to consume. A diet of fruits and vegetables completely fits description. People may not have an accurate idea of what detoxing means, however I don’t think detoxing is a complete misnomer.

    1. A diet full of fruits and veggies is something I always endorse. What I don’t endorse is people who juice their fruits/veggies hoping that it provides magical healing or fat loss properties.

  9. I’ve got a question. Why when you ‘detox’ on juice diet or lots of raw fruit and veg do you begin to get headaches, fevers, nausea, muscle aches etc? Caffeine withdrawal can explain the headaches but I’ve only ever got these symptoms from a ‘detox’ diet. After a while, a few steam rooms and lots of hydration you get a massive high and I assume a lot of people associate this high with feeling ‘clean’ and ‘rid of toxins’. What do you think this is about?

    1. I’m not sure why you get those symptoms. If you continue to get headaches then stop juicing.

      The whole get rid of toxins with steam rooms and saunas is bullshit. If you ask someone what toxins you’re getting rid of by using the sauna, I’m willing to bet my left nut that they wouldn’t be able to answer you. Do it if it makes you feel good and or maybe you need to lose some water weight but don’t do it to “detox” your body.

      1. I recently quit drinking caffine and I had all those symptoms. Caffine is very powerful but the symptoms went away after 3 long weeks.

        Ps I was not juicing in those 3 weeks I just quit for health purposes

  10. This article is the biggest pile of trash with no backing or logic given as to why the writer thinks it don’t work. He/she is probably a stooge of the drug companies [The give away is the cliché “Professional” medical help]

    He says “Joe lost weight because he was consuming an extremely low calorie diet, nothing more. Detoxing with juice had nothing to do with it at all.”

    Gee, then explain how his medical illnesses went away then? You’re a fool. Go back to flipping burgers when your “insights” will be useful.

    I’ve done these juices and they have removed illnesses I have had as well. Not to mention the nuclear bomb of antioxidants [Yeah look up what ANTI – OXIDANTS means] that does so much good to your body.

    1. I do enjoy making burgers. Actually I’ll probably fire up the grill tonight and make some. Thanks for the idea.

      Well Joe also lost a ton of weight, so his illnesses going away may have to do something with losing a ton of body fat.

      As for antioxidants, could you just eat fruits and veggies and get the same effects as juicing? Just saying…juicing isn’t special, it’s just another way to consume fruits and veggies.

  11. All this ‘article’ consists of is nothing but a condescending bias rant based off personal opinion which unfortunately provides no scientific evidence to back up the argument. I’m truly sorry that I wasted my time reading this. I would have been more open to hearing further information on this but it does seem the author does not want to engage properly with those opposing his views by ignoring the points they are making.

    I’m neither for or against the topic, but to brand juice cleanses that an average person would conduct at home by themselves (and in many cases, have been successful at it) as a ‘marketing scam’; when essentially what most of these people are doing is is putting money into local farmers pockets…and probably helping rise the sale of juicing devices. I think to label something as a ‘marketing scam’ when thousands of people have claimed juice cleanses have dramatically improved their health is a bit foolish. Many of these people are not being sold a product persae, but an ideal alternative lifestyle that appeals to them and many follow the belief that juicing is not specifically for weight loss, it should be to improve health problems. Those who sell bottled cold-press juices do so through the means of market research where the evidence is there to suggest that many consumers are busy and would like a ‘take away’ solution they can purchase as a matter of convenience. So, do you have an issue with manufacturers supplying this to consumers who want to buy it? How is that a scam?

    Refusing to acknowledge any of the above blatantly shows the author is not open minded and holds his own motivations. Shame on you. I’d suggest thinking your articles out more carefully in future…

    1. The “scam” is in the falsification of information.

      People who juice tend to believe that it provides additional health benefits vs just eating the fruits and veggies by themselves which is not true at all.

      Convenience is totally fine. What isn’t is the false promise of additional health benefits from juicing vs just eating the fruits/veggies.

      1. Buddy you can’t deny the fact that juicing fruits and vegetables allows you to consume way more nutrients than you would otherwise by chewing and eating them whole. The amount of fruits/veggies that you consume from one juice completely outweighs the nutritional value you would get from attempting to eat a meal full of fruits and veggies in their solid state. You would be hard pressed to consume enough to match the nutritional intake a healthy serving of organic juice provides. Stop the hate bro – there clearly ARE additional health benefits from consuming the juice from raw/organic fruits and vegetables.

          1. Just another ignorant rant from an author with obviously deeper issues. Have a nice glass of juice, maybe it will cheer you up.

        1. I’m also curious as to what benefits juice provides over just eating the veggies. You can get all the nutrients your body needs by eating the veggies, at, just throwing out a number, a tenth of the cost of juicing it. Why the heck would you want to consume more than you need? It’s just going to go straight in your mouth and out your rear. I have a hard time believing that something that’s going to put me on the can for an extended period of time with a case of the runs is good for me.

    2. Well said Simone, and Zazabelle, and Omaha…(and many others I’m sure, didn’t have time to read all the comments) – I posted my comment before reading any of the previous ones, and I’m glad I’m not alone. to me, Keith’s article seems like little more than an attack on something that has helped many people to lose weight, get fitter short term and more importantly, sustain a healthier lifestyle. In contrast, Keith’s article comes across as ill-informed, sour grapes…

  12. hello all,

    i am sorry that Keith seems to understand so little about dieting. the reason that so many people are overweight is because dieting is too difficult for most. …And low calorie diets are the most difficult.of all (and often unhealthy as i know people who chose to live of 3 bowls of cereal in order to lose weight)…

    what joe cross discovered was that by juicing he didn’t have the dreadful hunger pangs many of us suffer when on a diet. And after he got better, and lost all the weight, he then slipped into a completely different lifestyle where he juices, eats fruit, vegs, seeds, some nuts, very little meat, fish twice a week, olive oil, etc…

    i tried every diet until I came across Jason Vale and Joe Cross. Sceptical at first, I discovered within 2 days that I would be OK juicing for a week (lost 5 kgs and felt fantastic), and then adopted Joe’s way of eating afterwards. If I hadn’t continued juicing every day, I would not be here today. I no longer have arthrisis, I am very slim, and I feel incredibly healthy. All the vegetables have done wonders, just as our mothers said they would. I can’t thank Joe enough. shame on Keith for trying to preach what he obviously doesn’t understand.

    1. good for you but the fact remains is that juicing has zero benefits over eating real fruits and veggies beyond the convenience factor.

  13. I think you sound like someone who isn’t well educated on the topic . In the movie he is seen drinking at least 5-6 juices a day which would equal to over 1000 calories and he also said he ate nuts and beans so you can add that to the thousand . I disagree with you , he lost the weight by drinking natural juice from natural ingredients ridding hisself of processed foods oil and sugar . It works and this is the answer to everyone’s health problems , not just juicing but eating fresh fruits and veggies . Not this processed oily fast food we have been brain washed to love . We all have an addiction and we will die if we don’t break it . Plant based is the way to go and he just juiced the things humans are supposed to eat .

    1. It’s simply impossible to rid your body of processed foods and sugars by juicing. Your body already has a natural detoxification system called your liver and kidney.

      1. Juicing is simply a easy way to eat healthy, eating healthy helps to support your liver and kidney (and every other system of the body). By juicing with whole fruits and veggies, and even nuts you ARE ridding your body of processed foods by not eating them in the first place. Not sure why you have such a beef with juice, no pun intended.. It’s just juice, why bitch about people taking on a healthy habit even if they are misinformed?

        1. I’m sorry I didn’t know it was ok for people to be ignorant and misinformed?

          and your statement “By juicing with whole fruits and veggies, and even nuts you ARE ridding your body of processed foods by not eating them in the first place…” makes no sense. Juicing doesn’t “get rid” of anything. If it does, please provide proof.

  14. dude, obviously most people don’t believe juicing has magical weight loss or healing power. i’m telling you 95% of the people clearly know what you are “exposing”. the fact that juicing is super convenient makes it THE advantage, were living in the fast life, ain’t nobody got time to eat well anymore. stop losing time trying to discredit the juicing culture and instead try to contribute like it to an unhealthy society that needs fast easy solutions to get better. and btw everyone try to make a buck from anything these days, big corporations stick there noses everywhere,but that doesn’t make a thing bad if at the source you get what you need

    1. DUDE you have no idea how many people believe juicing is “magical.”

      You have no idea how many people believe juicing has the ability to “detox” your body. Y

      You have no idea how many people believe juicing somehow gives you special fat burning and muscle building powers.

      I have no problem with the convenience advantage of juicing, any other reason is BS.

  15. Thank-you for this article. Thank-you. I know it’s made so many people angry what you wrote is simply common sense and basic, basic science. I have overdosed on drugs and that was when I needed a detoxing agent – ie. an activated charcoal smoothie administered by the emergency room at the hospital. Every single time a friend of mine wants to go on a “detox” by drinking these ridiculous juice recipes for two weeks, they do believe it’s magical (one insists it gives her more energy later. I can see why- after starving yourself for two weeks, of course eating again will make feel you feel much, much more energetic by contrast!). Despite their extreme headaches, fatigue, grogginess, irritation, weakness, aching (you know, the symptoms of suddenly subsisting off of an extremely low-calorie diet), they do believe they are cleansing themselves of mystery harmful properties they can’t even name. If we are storing so many “harmful properties” in our bodies that we are unable to eliminate via the kidney and liver, we’d be deeply diseased and/or dead (or else we must have some undiscovered antibodies to combat these mystery toxins). Whatever toxins are ingested are exactly why we need our kidneys and livers to constantly eliminate them and why people with kidney/liver failure need dialysis. Or, if these toxins are actual poisons or the result or drug addiction,, we need medical attention so we don’t die.

    This is the same frustration I feel when people insist foods labeled with the terms “natural” and “organic” are intrinsically healthier and justified in their high cost. Know what else is natural? Arsenic. Mercury. Ipecac. Small pox.

    Anyway, I do understand the convenience of juicing – it is easier to drink a blended liquid of veggies/fruits than it is to spend time eating them solid but you are right when you say that, aside from the convenience, it is no different than eating this same amount of produce in its solid state. However, the romanticism of juicing and cleanses (even the words just make you feel healthier) are strong and marketers depend on this. Who doesn’t love the idea of flushing out the bad all in one go and getting a fresh start?

    1. Yup first person in the comments section to actually “get it” 🙂

      Like i said, juicing is great for convenience, beyond that, the magic bullshit “cleansing” detox stuff needs to end.

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