8 Things to Look For in a Detox, Cleanse, or Weight Loss Plan

8 Things to Look For in a Detox, Cleanse, or Weight Loss Plan

Use some of these important markers to determine if a weight loss plan is the right cleanse or detox for you.

8 Things to Look For in a Detox, Cleanse, or Weight Loss Plan

8 Things to Look For in a Detox, Cleanse, or Weight Loss Plan

1. Do you get to eat real food?

If the diet plan you are looking at is full of packaged bars and shakes then chances are it is not the real deal. Most shakes and bars are full of rancid over processed soy and whey, and sweetened with GMO corn or beets. Your body may have the opposite reaction of what you are looking for and even gain weight from the stress these altered foods put on your system.

2. Do you get to eat regular meals?

In most people skipping meals causes a major cortisol spikes and blood sugar dips. The body tends to eat it’s own lean muscle if it when people are in a starvation mode so the weight people lose will be the wrong kind. There is nothing more alarming to your system than starving to death, so don’t make the mistake of skipping meals to lose weight. Your body will put on the breaks on weight loss to keep you what it perceives as a mortal danger (starving).

*Note: Once you have been on a good program for a while it is okay to skip a meal now and then once your body has adjusted to being a fat burner, but this takes several weeks to achieve.

3. Is the diet sustainable?

Is the plan you are looking at something you can stick with for many years through traveling and all the ups and downs life throws at you? Can you go out to eat and still do it? Can you get together with friends and family and stick with the plan? Will it give you the energy you need for you to still workout and be active?

4. Does it offer variety?

Are there a million combinations of foods that you can eat and be full and happy? Can you make hundreds of different meals with unique flavors from different ethnic cuisines and never get bored? Are there hundreds of free tasty recipes you can use online to support your program?

5. Does it remove common food allergens? 

Chronic disease has it’s roots in vitamin and mineral deficiencies which is often caused by foods that create chronic intestinal inflammation making us unable to absorb the nutrients from our food. A good diet plan will minimize these foods to allow the gut to heal creating a space where the body can rejuvenate itself. When we remove the inflammatory foods and fill our bellies with the right fuel amazing changes happen: such as muscle building, less fatigue, and weight loss.

6. Is there a realistic exercise component?

Feeling like you have to go from the couch to running a marathon can be daunting, also unhealthy and unnecessary. Some of the stuff you see on the web where people are climbing ropes and picking up a 300 lb bars over their heads can also make it seem impossible to get started. It is a good idea to exercise but in a manageable way. Spending hours on the treadmill or doing possibly dangerous exercise is not right for the beginner. You want to look for a program that ramps up slowly and offers exercises you can do at home or outside without expensive memberships or equipment.

7. Is the food nutrient dense?

Many times sugar and carb cravings are signals your body is crying our for minerals and vitamins but the wires get crossed along with the message. What our body really wants is nutrient dense traditional foods like our great grandmothers ate, not store bought fat-free boxed crap. In order to satisfy those cravings we have to change the nutritional information we are providing with each bite. Without nutrient dense traditional foods like our ancestors are the likelihood of long term success is minimal to none.

8. Does the plan support your blood sugar?

Without a normalized blood sugar in a healthy range we will feel moody, angry and tired (about 80-120 mg/dl). When we feel crappy it is more likely we are going to binge on junk food in an attempt to make us feel better. A plan that does not support an even blood sugar will also create insulin resistance which over can create diabetes, a condition now affecting 100 millions Americans! Many liquid only diets and juice fasts do not support this stable blood sugar. Even diets with 6 meals and lots of complex carbs will spike the blood sugar up over 200 mg/dl several times a day which will wear out the pancreas and create diabetes.

Bonus Tip:

Does the plan offer support?

In many programs you are on your own and have no support. It is important to create community so you don’t feel alone so you can stay motivated. There are millions of other people doing what you are doing. Tap into Facebook groups, Meetup.com, online forums or find a coach who can hold you accountable.

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lCaitlin Weeks BA, NC, CPT is a full time blogger and author. She has many years of experience as a Certified Nutrition Consultant, C.H.E.K. Holistic Lifestyle Coach, and professional personal trainer in San Francisco, CA. Caitlin has had success conquering obesity after a lifelong struggle with her weight. Since 2009 she has been winning the battle against Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis using a Paleo diet. She truly believes in the mind- body connection for healing and is certified EFT practitioner. She is committed to educating others about the benefits of traditional/ancestral foods and efficient exercise.

DISCLOSURE: Not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations is at the choice and risk of the reader. Grass Fed Girl may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this website.


  1. says

    Hi Caitlin,
    I think #3 is the biggest – sustainability is key. Who wants to count calories, skip meals and feel guilty every time something passes their lips because they afraid to go over their daily calorie limit.
    January Jumpstart sounds like a great read.
    Have a great 2013.

  2. Shari says

    Any idea how long the Wednesday night phone talks will go? I’m interested but a 10pm start time is a little late for those of us on the east coast. :)

  3. says

    Hey Caitlin, quick question:

    Have you found good results with detox? I’ve tried an herbal detox that was supposed to, um, speed up the process but it had no effect.

    I’ve also tried probiotics and other things and they didn’t seem to work for me.

    Any advice?


    • says

      I believe in an ongoing detox that keeps out toxins like vegetable oils and grains. When we leave out foods we have a sensitivity too our body naturally detoxes all year. Try an elimination diet like paleo most people feel great on it!