The Sensible Detox Diet

By Nicole German (RD, LD)

sensible-detox-dietPatients repeatedly ask me for advice on how to follow a detox diet.

I usually want to roll my eyes because it involves some kind of lemon juice diet or all lettuce diet.

So, I have created a guide on how to follow a more reasonable detox diet.

No more juice cleanses!

Now is the time to eat real foods that cleanse the body the healthy way.

Step 1: Get Rid of Added Sugars


  • Look for every source of added sugars in your diet. This includes fruit flavored yogurts, flavored oatmeal packets, granola bars, most cereals, and sweetened beverages.
  • Look for the sugar names on labels: Cane juice and cane syrup, corn sweeteners and high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate and nectars, agave, and malt syrup. They all contain sugar.
  • Eliminate: Added sugars are not going to do anything to help detoxify your body.

One exception is real unprocessed honey, which contains antibacterial properties.

Step 2: Load Up On Fruits and Vegetables

  • Fruits and vegetables contain fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. There is a mysterious synergistic health benefit we get from eating the plant fiber and phytochemicals that detoxifies the body naturally.
  • Increasing you fruit and vegetable intake will help to keep you fuller, reduce your calories, and flush out toxins. An added bonus is that you will consume more potassium when eating more plants. This will help to reduce water weight.
  • Limit other animal products temporarily. Don’t forget to include plant proteins like legumes, beans, and quinoa to maintain muscle mass.. This will help to ensure efficient bowel movements.

Step 3: Avoid Diet Drinks or Other Diet Products

How are you supposed to “detox” if you are putting chemical diet products back in the body. This simply can not be allowed. Even if the chemicals do not harm us, the idea is to eat clean, healthy, whole foods.

Good Detox Beverage Choices:

  • Water
  • Water with Lemon
  • Green tea
  • Pure 100% coconut water
  • Herbal teas

Step 4: ADD Potent Detox Foods

These are foods to include more of when you are trying to detoxify the body: lemon, lime, green tea, apple cider vinegar, kale, blueberries, flax seeds, broccoli, and other berries. These are types of foods that are known for their high antioxidant and/or antibacterial properties.

I never truly recommend that people undergo a “cleansing” diet. You should always check with your healthcare provider first. We should always try to eat healthy with some small moderation. But, I understand that some want a jump start to get past their old habits.

Following a stricter routine for a few days can help reset your priorities, but make sure you have a more realistic plan ready to go. We can’t live by detox diets alone!

Have you ever tried a detox diet before?


  1. Claire E.

    This detox diet is much more reasonable than all the other detox diets I have ever seen friends try that required making different drinks and things. This is something I would actually try because its not as difficult having to make certain drinks and then drink certain amounts of it each day.

  2. Spectra

    Every so often, I do a veggie and fruit “fast” where I eat nothing but fruits, veggies, and water for 24 hours to reset my system. It doesn’t make me lose weight really, but it does give my digestive system a break.