OK, so we've ruled out the Master Cleanse. There are still hundreds of other detox programs out there. I believe that some can be great and some are just scams. So how do you know how to judge a detox? Use common sense. First of all, I believe you should be eating food. Second of all, you should be eating food with nutritional value (think fruits, vegetables, etc.). That's really it. There may be some detoxes out there which require you to drink juices made from fresh fruits and vegetables instead of eating them...I think these are probably fine as well.
I do think that there is great value in detoxing. Detoxing, for me, is getting the sugar, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners out of my body...and then eating only whole, natural foods. When I do this, I feel great. My skin changes within a week. Cellulite vanishes. My whole body starts to shrink within a couple days. Maybe this is due to flushing out of excess water I've been holding onto...maybe this has to do with minor food allergies to gluten, wheat, or dairy that cause me to bloat....maybe I'm just eating less calories than when I am eating processed foods. Whatever the reason, I always feel great and lose excess weight super fast.
My first cleanse was the Fat Flush 11-day program. It's 10 days of eating very strictly and a one-day fast of a mixture of water, fruit juices, and spices. I always felt really faint and got really pale during the one-day fast. I did not feel that it did anything for me other than reduce my calories for the day (much like the Master Cleanse). So now, when I detox, I just eat super clean. I generally set out to do it for two weeks but end up continuing it because I love the results and how I feel when I'm eating this way.
So I'm going to take you through a few days of typical eating when on my cleanse. This is not perfectly in line with any one diet/detox I've tried or have read about. It is the method that I use based on trial and error and that I have found the most realistic and effective. Please note that I am not a Doctor, a Dietician, or a Nutritionist. Always consult with a doctor before beginning any diet/exercise regimen. That being said, I've tried a lot of diets and believe this to be the healthiest, most efficient, and most effective diet/detox out there.
Always 1 cup of hot water with lemon
-3 egg whites with 1 cup spinach and a couple spoonfuls salsa
-2 eggs, any style
-Chopped vegetables of any kind, cooked in water or broth until soft, then add 2 eggs, scramble
-3 egg whites and 1 vegetarian breakfast patty, scrambled
-1 cup plain, fat-free yogurt with berries
-1 piece fruit (or 1 cup chopped fruit)
-Any kind of salad green with 4-5 oz lean protein (chicken, turkey, salmon, tuna, etc),
as many vegetables as you want on top. Top with a combination of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and either flax or olive oil
-Soup (homemade) with reduced-sodium broth--with as many vegetables as you want, combined with a lean protein like chicken or lean beef
-Another piece of fruit
-1/2 cup quinoa with lemon juice and a drizzle of flax or olive oil
-1/4 cup hummus with fresh vegetables
-4-5 oz lean protein with as many steamed green vegetables as desired
Drink all day:
Combine a large bottle of water with a splash of 100% cranberry juice (NOT Cranberry Juice Cocktail)
After dinner drink:
Hot herbal tea with lemon
Avoid: Sugar (in any form), sweeteners (except Stevia), Alcohol, Nuts, Cheese, Milk, Bread, and any processed foods.
I am starting this way of eating tomorrow. I encourage you to try it (adjusting for more calories if you need them by adding whole grains/more food in general) if you feel like you have already blown your resolutions or just want to see what it feels like to eat 'clean.' The first few days might be hard, but I suspect you will grow to think that the plan is easy after the first week. Please let me know what you think!