Detox diets, juicing, and cleanses are increasing in popularity, promising weight loss, body detoxification and the treatment and prevention of everything from the common cold to cancer. One of the most well-known detox diet is the Dr. Oz 3 Day Detox Cleanse, created by Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Mark Hyman, and Julieanna Hever MS Plant-Based Dietitian.
According to Dr. Hyman, the Standard American Diet (SAD diet) is making us sick. These toxins can affect every system in the human body. All in all…Poor diets lead to toxicity, and toxins make us sick! Thus the need for a detox or cleanse. Signs that you may need a detox cleanse? Constipation, headaches, muscle ache, fatigue, constipation, food allergies, weight gain, and skin conditions such as acne.
The Dr. Oz 3 Day Detox Cleanse claims to:
“Eliminate harmful toxins, restore your system and reset your body with this detox cleanse for Dr. Oz. All you need is 3 days, a blender and $16 a day.”
My immediate reaction to this statement? Sounds too good to be true! As an aspiring dietitian, my curiosity grew…Can this cleanse really make someone feel better? Are there even toxins to eliminate? Will I only need 3 days, a blender, and 48 dollars?…It almost sounds too good to be true. To better answer these questions for myself and those I will work with, I decided to give the 3 day cleanse a try!
Each day of the 3-day plan consists of: 4 shakes (3 meal shakes & 1 snack shake), green tea, vitamins and a detox bath.
For the mid-afternoon snack shake: Repeat any of the 3 meal shakes
According to Dr. Oz, $16 a day is all you need. But, my grocery bill was closer to $38 a day (not including supplements). I guess I need to find out where he shops!
By the end of the first day, I was a bit surprised to find the cleanse wasn’t too bad! For the most part, I didn’t feel tiered, and didn’t feel like I was starving. But….this didn’t last long. By Day 2 ad 3, the negative effects (specifically headaches, fatigue, hunger, and irritability) kicked in.
- While we are talking about cheats, I will take this opportunity to come clean and admit that I also didn’t take a supplement or do the detox bath. Overall, I consider myself open-minded and willing to try anything. But the idea that bath salts can draw toxins out of my body is where I draw the line.
- All drinking and no eating. I found myself missing the act of chewing.
- For me, the hardest thing was the fatigue. I tried to stay busy to avoid thinking about being hungry. But, it was hard to do things to stay busy because I had very little energy.
- Its only 3 days. Other than drinking coffee, and skipping on the supplements and bath salts, I was able to stick to it. Whenever I was tempted to eat something, I thought to myself you can do anything for 3 days. Although I’m not jumping up to volunteer, I think I could do this again.
- It may be helpful in overcoming cravings and stopping bad habits, such as consuming too much caffeine or sugar. Evidenced by my inability to go 24 hours without coffee.
My Favorite? The Breakfast Shake.By far the tastiest shake! I drank this shake for each of my snack shakes as well.
My Least Favorite? The Lunch Shake. I couldn’t handle the weird texture. It helps to make sure to process the celery as much as possible.
WHAT TO EXPECT
1. It’s not cheap!
- My grocery bill totaled $115, which comes to $38 per day. Much more than the $16 per day cost Dr. Oz projected.
2. Preparation is key
- Make time to prep. It took me the majority of an afternoon to make everything. Be ready for lots of chopping!
- Prep ahead of time. I would recommend to do all the grocery shopping and prepping the day before you start the cleanse. Having each drink already made allows you to be ready when hunger sets in and helps you avoid eating other foods not on the cleanse.
3. Get a good blender that can do the job
It will be expensive, but it will be worth it. Fortunately, I already had a Vitamix blender that I was able to use. In my opinion, a good blender makes a better consistency and better tasting smoothie.
4. Drink water
- Drinking water will make you feel fuller and keeps you hydrated.
5. Make extra time for rest/sleep
- I expected fatigue. But I was surprised at how little energy I had during the 3-day cleanse. Try to pick days (like a long weekend) when you don’t have a lot going on.
TOO JUICE OR NOT TOO JUCIE?
The basic idea behind detox diets is to temporarily give up certain kinds of foods that are thought to contain toxins. The idea is to purify and purge the body of all the “bad” stuff. However, there has been no research to show that detox diets and cleanses help rid the body of toxins. Plus, the human body is designed to purify itself and I’m not convinced that our bodies need help in the detox process. Dr. Frank Sacks of the Harvard School of Public Health says the idea that your body needs help getting rid of toxins has “no basis in human biology”. Your organs and immune system handle those duties, no matter what you eat.
In my opinion, food should always come first! Proper nutrition is the primary line defense for your body. There is no magic diet, cleanse, or detox that has be shown to rid your body of toxins, prevent sickness, or lead to long-term, sustainable weight loss. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Most cleanses and other fad diets lack calories, and lack nutrients, which can be dangerous to health and lead to adverse side effects. With that said, when compared to other juice cleanses the Dr. Oz 3 day cleanse is not too bad, nutrient wise. The 3 day detox plan was formulated to meet all of the guidelines including about 1200 calories/per day, along with many vitamins, minerals, and very important to a cleanse fiber.
A nutrient analysis of the 3 day detox cleanse revealed the following nutrients to be below the recommended amount:
Protein, Calcium, Iron, Selenium, B12, Vitamin D, and Choline. The low level of nutrients may be accounted for by taking the recommended multivitamin supplement, omega-3, and probiotics.
Info about The Dr. Oz 3 Day Detox Cleanse found here.
Written by Hartley Collins, University of North Carolina Greensboro Masters in Nutrition Graduate Student.